In his three years at MuleSoft, Avi has grown from Senior Director to VP of Global Support, building his team to solve the major technology challenges our customers face!
What is the most interesting problem you’re working on solving right now?
As our customer base and demand grow, we not only need to expand our team to support our new customers and growing workloads, but we also need to reimagine the role of support in this ever changing environment, scaling the organization and find new and better ways to drive value for our clients in order to maintain and improve both customer and employee satisfaction. This is a big and fun problem to solve!
The Support team at MuleSoft is completely different from what people are used to. Traditionally, the Support team is very reactive—they wait for calls, reply to customers, and save the day. However, modern Support, such as that at MuleSoft, is very proactive; we work hard to prevent issues from happening in the first place. We do this by creating a more comprehensive knowledge base––whether it is by using cutting-edge technologies and cognitive computing, providing personalized search results with machine learning, or identifying trends based on existing questions and requests.
Why did you choose to come work for MuleSoft?
I am lucky to have quite a diverse career with both individual contributor and leadership roles that have touched many different aspects of software and technology. As my career progressed, I focused on technical leadership roles that had direct a connection and impact on customers. When I was searching for my new adventure 3 years ago, I was looking for a change and a different environment based on leadership and focus. MuleSoft was hiring for a Head of Support, and the job description caught my attention because it demonstrated the focus MuleSoft has on driving customer success. Additionally, I really liked that the description included a 3- and 12-month plan, which demonstrated structured and aggressive goals and expectations.
After meeting with MuleSoft Support team and leadership team, I was convinced this is the place for me. I saw a great leadership team with a huge but realistic vision, an awesome product that is needed in every enterprise, and a smart Support team. Almost 3 years later, I still feel the same about the role! There is huge opportunity for growth and development. I joined as a Senior Director, and last year I was promoted to VP of Global Customer Support. Similarly, all of the managers on my team started out as individual contributors.
Take us through a typical day in the life.
My days are quite hectic, with short segments of meetings and discussions on different topics with customers, my leadership team, and various team members. I also work cross-functionally with other teams at MuleSoft, such as the Customer Success, Product, and Engineering teams. All of these activities ensure that we identify challenges, and have a clear owner for solving each of them.
As focused as we are to assist our customers to be successful and drive great outcomes, we are doing our best to put as much focus on developing our team members and helping them continue to grow their careers.
What 3 things are always on your desk and why?
- A note with my top 5 initiatives
- A wireless headset: music, calls, quiet
- A bottle of water
What teams do you work with most, and how do you collaborate?
The teams I mostly work with are the Product Engineering and Customer Success teams. The Product team builds the product for our customers, and the Support team addresses customer inquiries regarding those products. There is no other organization that touches customers this frequently, so the Support team is essentially the voice of our customers.
Support has a key role in aggregating information we gather from our interactions with customers and communicating that information back to the product and engineering teams so we can continue to improve our products. For each Product we have, a Support Product specialist works together with the Product and Engineering team, in order to provide supportability requirements, run supportability assessments for new releases, deliver ongoing feedback, and prioritize customer issues as need. In this role, the Support Product Specialist is essentially an extension of the Product Engineering team.
We also work closely with the Customer Success team, in order to both tactically and strategically assist a customers, and provide them with a proactive long-term success plan that includes their initiatives and goals.
What is your favorite activity outside of the office?
I like to swim and listen to music, however, my favorite activity is traveling the world. I have traveled to many places, but there are many more places waiting for me!
What is your proudest accomplishment in your role here so far?
Over the years, we have had many challenges and accomplishments, but those that really make me proud are related to my teams. First and foremost, we tripled the size of our organization, restructured it, and promoted engineers to lead and manage the regional teams.
We have an ultimate goal to be a world-class support organization, which engages and partners with our users and customers throughout their journey by providing valuable, timely, and meaningful interactions. World-class support can only be measured from the customer lens, and we are very happy that our customers acknowledge and recognize this; in fact, we have received a 90%+ customer satisfaction rating in the last three years.
What is your favorite thing about working on the Support team at MuleSoft?
There are actually two:
- The first is the fact that we assist our customers in building great solutions for their business to drive amazing business outcomes across various industries. Some of these projects are groundbreaking and can have a major impact, such as how Mount Sinai is redefining healthcare delivery.
- I am also privileged to have an amazing, smart, and talented team of engineers and managers who really care about our customers, MuleSoft, and the Support team. Collectively, this team knows what areas we need to improve on and how to so; this makes my work much easier by allowing me to better facilitate and nurture the team––allowing them to shine.