Blox Life: An Interview With Preet Kumar
Welcome to Blox Life! This interview series shines a spotlight on Armorblox team members - chronicling their daily work, highlighting their achievements, and sharing their advice for people who wish to pursue similar careers. In this interview, we’re delighted to speak with Preet Kumar. Preet leads customer success and support efforts for Armorblox, playing a vital role in maximizing the value customers receive from the platform while also capturing feedback to help drive the Armorblox product roadmap. Take it away, Preet!
Q. Can you tell us something about yourself?
My name is Preet and I joined Armorblox a year and a half ago. I started my career in corporate finance and to broaden my skill set, I transitioned into the tech industry and took a Professional Services role where I worked with Fortune 500 companies to implement and roll out their customer experience strategies. In parallel to the customer facing responsibilities, I enjoyed working on operational projects to help teams scale more efficiently. This eventually led me to Armorblox where I was brought on to help build the Customer Success structure and team.
Q. What is your current role at Armorblox? What does a typical day (or a typical week, if you can’t fit everything in one day!) look like for you?
I currently manage all Customer Success & Support efforts for Armorblox. At a high level, Customer Success is responsible for:
- Developing strong relationships with customers to ensure they are getting the expected value from our product as well as to understand areas of improvement and their future needs, and
- Being the advocate for customers internally within the company by working closely with cross functional teams to improve the overall customer experience.
There are many other things Customer Success owns, but those can be seen as byproducts of the two major areas of focus above. As Customer Success, I believe it's vital that we have a pulse on the full customer journey experience so we can help identify areas where as a company we are doing well and where we can improve in delivering the best experience for our customers.
A typical week for me consists of the following:
- Weekly Metrics: I start the week by reviewing metrics for all our customers to understand user engagement and product usage over the past week, and identify if there are customer specific or broader patterns that are emerging. This can lead to bringing up recommendations to customers on the next call or reaching out to Product to highlight certain trends.
- Customer Calls: I meet with each customer on a regular basis to help answer any questions, share new product updates, and collect any feedback they may have. After each meeting, I write up notes to share any feedback with the appropriate internal teams.
- Support Tickets: I respond to and triage any incoming support tickets or questions from customers and, if necessary, work with Engineering to deploy fixes.
- Sales Calls: For late stage deals, we start to introduce Customer Success so we can make sure there is a smooth transition from Sales to Customer Success and there is deep knowledge transfer of the customers’ challenges and use cases.
- Meet with Product: I regularly meet with the Product team to review customer feedback and plan for new enhancements and features roll outs to customers.
- Meet with Sales: I have periodic syncs with every Armorblox Account Executive to review upcoming renewals and new deals for their territories.
- Meet with Marketing: I also work closely with Marketing on customer case studies, testimonials, and webinar planning.
Q. Why did you decide to join Armorblox?
Anand, one of the co-founders, was very persistent and would periodically reach out and keep me posted on how the company was coming along. Ultimately, with the right role and timing identified, I joined Armorblox based on Anand sharing a vision with me for the opportunity to learn and help build a company and culture at this early stage. It was also a great opportunity to combine my different areas of expertise -- data analytics, customer relationship and operational efficiency -- to build a Customer Success structure from scratch while avoiding the pitfalls I'd experienced in companies much further along their journey.
Q. What is an accomplishment at Armorblox you’re proud of?
I believe one of the fundamental roles of Customer Success is to help bridge the gap between what Product/Engineering builds, what Sales sells, and what the Customer purchases. There are two components to doing this successfully: 1) listening and collecting feedback from customers and 2) being able to work with the appropriate cross-functional teams to action on the feedback. I’m really proud of the strong alignment across cross-functional teams that we have at Armorblox and our focus on building a data-driven product feedback loop. Two specific accomplishments come to mind that have been a result of that strong alignment.
- Earlier this year we released version 2.0 of our product. This was a large project with backend and UI changes which required migration of all our customers to the new version and retraining. Anytime customers (and Customer Success) hear the word migration, there is nervousness as it can be very time consuming and the experience can be rocky. Thanks to early planning and strong alignment amongst Product, Engineering, QA, and Customer Success, we were able to smoothly roll out the upgrades with minimal downtime and minimal effort required from our customers --- all while transitioning to remote working due to COVID-19. What I was even more proud of was how few support tickets we received after the upgrade. At the end of last year, we hired a QA team, which to me as Customer Success was a huge signal that as a company, we are truly putting the customer first and it's not just lip service. This is the first tech company I've worked at that has a dedicated QA team and that too at this early stage.
- We recently started having conversations with our customers about the value they've experienced since deploying Armorblox. When you hear that on average we've helped our customers reduce time spent on email security by more than 60% and reduced user reported emails by more than 90%, it's worth pausing and reflecting on what a real impact Armorblox has on our customer's day to day. Every decision, every feature, and every line of code has a tangible direct impact.
Some of Preet’s best Armorblox memories caught on camera!
Q. Do you have any advice for people who aim to pursue a career similar to yours?
Learn to anticipate business and customer needs. One of the principles I've held since the start of my career has been to work myself out of every role I take on. This taught me to look at business processes to find areas of improvement even where a “problem” may not exist. This mindset allows me to be a proactive partner with my customers to try to anticipate their needs based on observations and not just what they directly say.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Preet a little bit better! For email security news and trends, unique email attack detections, and more Blox Life, subscribe to Armorblox email updates below.