Diversity Equity & Inclusion The Inside Scoop VMinclusion Women At VMware

From Core Electronic Engineer to Senior Customer Success Manager

Anamika Ghosh is a Senior Customer Success Manager for the VMware S360 APAC team based in Bangalore, India, and joined VMware in December 2022. Graduating in 2015 with a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering, Anamika shares her insights on how transitioned from an Electronic Engineer to a customer-facing role and Customer Success Manager.

Going back to 2015, I was elated when I got into my chosen engineering college and graduated with flying colours in the BE Electronic Engineering. I was always buried under a pile of 700-page engineering books, while also thinking about my dream job.

After I graduated I went straight into a Technical Support Staff role without taking a break. It was during this first role that I realized my passion was in dealing with customers as a trusted advisor and this set me on a path of customer-focused roles.

Starting as Technical Support Staff

I still remember my first job interview for a Technical Support Staff role, and revising a lot of technical knowledge from my degree. Afterward, my interviewer told me that they were very impressed with my communication skills. During the interview, I listened patiently and responded to each question with confidence – even though some of my answers were not correct. I was delighted that I got my first job and so I did not give much thought to the interview feedback around how they liked my communication skills over my technical skills, and why they selected me even after I gave a few wrong answers. Though I was an engineer with good academics, I always knew I was more inclined towards business operations in my heart but never voiced it out loud.

In that role, I quickly got to grips with the technical product information and then customers started to ask me for solutions, feedback, or enhancements. It became clear that just six months into the role, it was my stepping stone to explore customer-facing roles.

As a result, I got promoted to Customer Success Lead where I managed implementation, onboarding, training, and making adoption collateral to handle customer objections. It gave me a great opportunity to look at a customer’s business and how their operation team used the product/solution in a real-time scenario.

As the famous CS expert and growth consultant Lincoln Murphy says, “You can focus on adoption, retention, expansion or advocacy; or, you can focus on the customers’ desired outcome and get all of those things.”

VMWare S360 Senior Customer Success Manager

Today, under the CXS organization in VMware, I work as S360 Customer Success Manager. I enable our APAC customers by focusing on quick and successful onboarding along with adoption and use of the VMware platforms. We deliver a unified customer experience during their transformational journey and work with them to get maximum value from the VMware solutions/products.

Are you considering becoming a Customer Success Manager?

Every Customer Success role will look a little different depending on the size of the team, the product you oversee, and the department you’re in, but these are my top tips and insights for anyone considering moving into a Customer Success Manager role.

Core Skills

My job involves a lot of communication with several people in the customer’s team and has led me to learn another vital skill – relationship building. This skill enables me to oversee smooth functioning within and across teams, both internal and external. 

I was also able to develop other important skills such as strategic planning, defining goals, implementing time management techniques, and maintaining a work-life balance. 

Developing Relationships

A Customer Success Manager is responsible for developing relationships that promote retention and customer loyalty. Our job is to work closely with customers to ensure they’re satisfied with the products/services they receive and to identify and improve areas of dissatisfaction.

The daily workload might vary, but it will typically involve:

  • Maintaining healthy and long-lasting customer relationships
  • Finding ways to enhance the customer experience
  • Evaluating and analyzing customer needs to identify opportunities for expansions and upgrades 

Retention and Advocacy

Maximizing retention and advocacy will be your two primary goals. However, the job is a lot more than that — sometimes you have to look at customer success as a holistic strategy rather than a siloed series of tasks.

I recommend reading “The Customer Success Professional’s Handbook: How to Thrive in One of the World’s Fastest Growing Careers–While Driving Growth For Your Company”, by Ashvin Vaidyanathan and Ruben Rabago (Gainsight Pioneer Leaders). I am sure it will give you a broader picture and help you to make a decision about Customer Success.

With such a wide range of skill sets required for this field, you get a good chance to explore what you are good at. Spending a few years in this field would naturally reveal your strengths and weaknesses based on which you can make an informed decision to proceed further in your career. It’s important to remember that we all have our strengths and weaknesses, allowing us to shine uniquely within our roles.

If you want to work in the tech industry but not as a technical professional, customer success is a career path one should explore. It’s quite exciting to be able to say that you are doing the best work of your career every single day.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.