Employee Spotlight: Raakish Appasani – Customer Success Engineer
What’s your current role at Carbon Black? Did you start in this role or did you take a specific career path to get there?
“I was originally professional services and moved on to become a customer success engineer. Within the first quarter of being a technical solutions consultant, I on-boarded and implemented a large number of clients. Because of that, I was asked to start the customer success team from there. I was brought on to build the engineering side of the team.
“In this new role, I had to create technical assessments – like a mini-health check. The concept is that we offer an annual assessment for every client. I had to figure out this program, what the metrics were, and what the value-adds were. To do so, we had to look at various customer criteria, to ensure that best practices were being following post implementation. Along with this development, I figured out how customer success engineers and customer success managers would communicate, how to handle escalated issues, and what systems we would have to use. Initially, the process was reactive. In the beginning, it was all about renewals. After we built this team, we were able to incorporate add-ons. In the second quarter we started doing add-ons, I qualified half a million in revenue.”
How long have you been here and where are you located? Does your job require you to travel?
“I started in August of 2014 and sit in the Waltham HQ.
“I don’t have to travel as much as one would think. More so recently we’ve been doing some on-sites because we have the bandwidth and we’re trying to be more strategic with the enterprise accounts.”
What does your team do?
“Aside from the aforementioned, we also do risk assessment and forecasting, too. I take every renewal opportunity for the next year and assess them. We assign numbers to them and meet with the account owners to help them uncover whether the account is healthy or not, and whether they need a tech assessment. It’s all very proactive. We’re able to identify patterns of success we look to achieve and have to constantly reassess it because it always is changing. The technical assessment is updated every quarter because things change so fast and we have to iterate.”
“It might sound cheesy, but we focus on being family-oriented. Everyone is open and helps each other. From the evolution and growth, the family sense continues to live on.
“We are also very inquisitive. We want to know what’s going on because we are the voice of the customer. We have a get-it-done type of attitude. People are willing to jump in and help out and we work hard.”
What is your most memorable experience on this team/in this role?
“I think the value add of the complimentary tech assessment is critical. It’s what differentiates us from our competitors. And also just the way we treat our customers like humans makes it a big win.
“One of the questions I ask my clients is, ‘Do you feel like YOU and your business are safe? Are we part of the picture?’ and then validate the business case. I think sometimes asking that question and hearing, ‘Yeah, you saved my team,’ is important to hear. I want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly. I consider that a success because I’m able to work with a client of any size and any maturity level and really see what’s happening. So far since we’ve done the assessments, we haven’t had any major outbreaks.”
What skills (technical and soft skills) would make someone successful in this role?
“Business acumen is very important. You have to be able to strategically understand IT processes and put yourself in the shoes of admins in large or small orgs. You also have to be able to keep up with the products and the kinds of various divisions cross-functionally. At the same time, you need to be really good pattern recognizer.
“I find a lot more soft skills in this role than tech skills is most important. You might not be administering the firewall, but understanding it is important. We also need someone who is curious. I have a tagline I like to use: ‘I’m in it because I’m in the science of humans.’ If you’re in it to analyze how humans are effective or not, then this could be good for you. After all, every customer is a human.”
What are your three most favorite things about being in this role and/or team?
“We are in hyper-growth mode so you never get bored. You always go home feeling accomplished, whether it was positive or negative, because you did something. I leave here and feel like I made the world a little bit safer everyday by doing what I do and by what we do as a company.
“Also, I love the people here, especially my team. They’re great. I’ve made some really cool new friends from being on this team.”
“You should be ready to do work hard and play hard. We have so many great events hosted here, many external teams like softball and hiking clubs, and just a great community overall. Be ready to be a part of our community. It’s funny how involved you end up getting, even if you’re naturally introverted. You’ll end up breaking out of your shell.”
Any other worthwhile things you’d like to share?
“There’s a good work-life balance here, as long as you make an effort to find it. We have very positive and transparent management here. I think those are the main things people look for in a company and we have it. “
Interested in roles on our Customer Success team? Click here to learn more!