Connecting Customers, Activism, and Exceptional CX at Patagonia


On the surface, every call center provides the same service: Customers reach out with questions and concerns, and customer service representatives ideally answer their questions and solve their problems. At Patagonia, these interactions look a little different.

Patagonia representatives do so much more than solve problems. They are environmental advocates committed to preserving and restoring the natural environment. Patagonia is a Certified B Corporation, a designation that a business is a leader in the global movement for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy. Everything they do centers around their mission: “We are in business to save our home planet.” While some people are drawn to Patagonia primarily for their high-quality products, others are brand advocates because the company’s commitment to prioritizing purpose over profit aligns with their values.

The company’s five core values—quality, integrity, environmentalism, justice, and not being bound by convention—are the tenets of how they do business, and that extends to the customer experience (CX). Patagonia expects a lot from their fully remote CX team, partly because people engage with Patagonia on more than just products. Representatives have impactful, authentic conversations with customers because they share a deep appreciation for the products, an awareness of environmental issues and company initiatives, and personal experiences with activism. Customers and customer service representatives often inspire each other to become more involved in a higher purpose.

But those authentic conversations can’t happen if customers can’t reach the company.

Restoring Trust in the Connection

Patagonia’s previous call center solution had a lot of challenges, including frequent outages. When an outage occurred, employees had a hard time getting prompt, accurate responses from their previous call center. Patagonia also had no way to provide a notification that the system was down or an estimated resolution time. It was impossible to rely on the solution, which caused frustration for both employees and customers.

“One of the things that’s wonderful about Talkdesk is that they’re very responsive. When we submit a ticket or report a service issue, they respond quickly.”—Mari Stoner, Senior Manager, CX Operations, Patagonia

To improve reliability and create consistency across systems, Patagonia turned to Talkdesk. Compared to their previous solution, the experience was like night and day—in most cases, problems are resolved within a few minutes. Mari Stoner, Senior Manager of CX Operations at Patagonia, says, “Talkdesk’s responsiveness has by far been the biggest impact for us when it comes to identifying issues and then solving them.”

The Talkdesk CX Cloud implementation happened alongside a migration to Salesforce, and the projects required a partnership between Stoner, Patagonia’s training, IT teams and Talkdesk support. Patagonia developed a robust training plan and created content based on Talkdesk resources. They updated some items to fit their specific needs, taking the time to make things "overly clear" for their 300+ CX team members.

“While learning how to use Talkdesk is simple, it always helps to be even more clear than you think you need to be and provide support. In a remote environment, people can’t just turn to their neighbors and ask how to solve a problem,” Stoner says.

With their extensive preparation and support, the representatives completed training within a week. 

More Precise Reporting and More Streamlined Operations

In addition to improved uptime, enhanced reporting has made a difference in Patagonia’s contact center. The new and improved reporting in Talkdesk lets Stoner and her team see if a representative misses a call and discover why. Did the customer hang up? Did the call disconnect due to a dicey internet connection? Did someone reject the call? Determining the cause of events means managers can coach CX team members more effectively.


“Having clear information lets us provide our representatives with better feedback and room for their own growth and development, and that’s been really helpful,” says Stoner.

Better, more granular reporting also allows the company to see more big-picture trends. CX supervisors use Talkdesk reporting daily to view how many people are on live calls at any given time and monitor and support that volume. The workforce management team uses Talkdesk reporting to help with forecasting, moving people to where they are needed most and understanding contact arrival patterns. With improved granularity, the team can be more specific and targeted with their training because they know what areas need work and where they’re seeing success.

In 2023, Patagonia added Customer Experience Analytics and  Quality Management™ to their tech stack. These new features provide room for the CX team to review overall quality and provide clear, actionable steps for individual representatives as well as the team.

Patagonia is always looking to streamline and simplify, and they use Talkdesk as a shared system for their inline brand and B2B business. “One of our big wins is having a QM process in Talkdesk that limits the amount of systems training we have to do,” Stoner says.

Along with reporting, Customer Experience Analytics and Quality Management offer another way to identify opportunities for improvement. “We have a very high level of quality at Patagonia, but we always want to continue to find ways to improve,” Stoner says. While the company uses a customer survey to gather customer feedback, that action requires effort from the customer. Using a combination of Customer Experience Analytics and Quality Management, Stoner can use data to coach her employees in specific areas based on the data.

“One of the things that has been really great about Talkdesk is that we have much clearer reporting than in the past.” —Mari Stoner, Senior Manager of CX Operations, Patagonia

“Our previous quality assurance process was really tedious,” Stoner says. “It didn’t allow us to have enough data points to truly identify positive or negative trends to know how to level somebody up or support them with encouragement when they are doing a great job.” Now, the quality assurance process enables Patagonia to quickly elevate representatives' performances and has been instrumental in improving contact routing and reducing missed contacts. Stoner’s CX team is often the first touch point for Patagonia customers worldwide, and they can now gather the information and data needed to provide customers with a better experience.

Supporting a Unique Contact Center in Unconventional Ways

Artificial intelligence (AI) can transform any contact center, and Patagonia has been considering how to ensure any AI initiatives fit into their values, mission, and standards. While they don’t see themselves using AI as a customer-facing tool, they are interested in its ability to streamline resources. Representatives need to know a lot of information since customer inquiries sometimes require deep research. “We’re currently working on figuring out a way to have AI help us determine a resolution for the representative to share with the customers. AI can help them find information faster so they can determine which solution will work best for any customer in a given scenario,” Stoner says.

Years after their initial deployment, Stoner and Patagonia’s Talkdesk system admin still hold biweekly meetings with Talkdesk representatives. During those meetings, they work together to find solutions for any issues they happen to be having. Talkdesk is working with Patagonia to connect customers and representatives who speak a shared language, for example.

"We’re a unique contact center. Sometimes out-of-the-box functionality isn’t going to work for our setup," Stoner says. "We’ve had a great experience working with Talkdesk to think of unconventional ways to use the products that support our business and take us to the next level, whether that’s having a better understanding of where we’re thriving and where we can continue to improve our customers’ service experiences.”

By allowing the company to see opportunities to improve, upscale, and help representatives become better connected to customers, Talkdesk is helping Patagonia’s customers develop a closer connection to the brand and their powerful mission through an ecosystem of activism, support, and communication.