January 04, 2019 | 11 min read
Humans of MacKeeper: Stasmass, COO at ZoomSupport
Position: COO at ZoomSupport
Random fact: For 6 years, he's been working on improving the standards at ZoomSupport and Kromtech. Now the requirements for Support and Sales Agents are so high that if they had been in place six years ago, he would not have been hired!
Let's travel back in time to your first day at the company. What was it like?
It was April 2013. I joined the company as a Sales Agent. At first, everything seemed weird. There were young people running all around in hoodies and ripped jeans, actively discussing some work stuff. Though I always wanted to work in a company without a dress code, I was not used to it. My previous job was in government, so everything felt a lot different (I mean a lot).
Overall, I liked it. The atmosphere was friendly. There was no bureaucracy, and everything seemed easy-going.
My first few days were strange. I did not know the product well; I hadn't tried it myself, but I had to sell it. I felt like a Mary Kay consultant or a guy from a religious cult—the one whose job it is to convince and recruit others. At some point, I even thought about quitting.
Luckily, soon everything changed. I started to feel attached to MacKeeper and the company as a whole. I started to enjoy my responsibilities—talking to people and selling. In just two months, I became a top seller. This gave me a chance to influence the product. Although I was still a Sales Agent, people started to come around and ask my opinion. They were like "You are a top seller. What do you think about this?" and "You manage to sell more than others. What's your opinion about that?" This gave me the will and chance to grow in this company.
Your nickname is Stasmass. What does it mean for you?
When I was working in the US, my American colleagues found it hard to pronounce my real name, Stanislav. To make their lives easier, they started to call me Stasmass. You may think the "Stas" part is obvious, but it's the most mysterious part [laughing]. Why ‘mass’? Because I'm tall. I'm massive.
So, when the HR manager asked me about a nickname, I didn't come up with a new one. However, I'm glad I am Stasmass. Who I am today and who I've managed to become in six years at this company is “Stasmass,” not Stas Khilobochenko.
Let's talk business. What team you are a part of? What role does your team play for MacKeeper?
I am one of the heads of ZoomSupport. Here's how I see the role of our team: we gift wrap our company’s products and hand it to our customers. The product is valuable in its own right, but we strive to add even more value.
We provide a few services. We support our customers via in-app chat and our call center. We also run quality control to ensure the support standards are equally high across the company. Our main goal is to be customer-centric, that's why we do what we do.
Describe your typical day at work.
Now I am the head of ZoomSupport and Remote Assistance. Since I've been working here for almost six years, my role has changed a few times. There was a gradual move from product functions to roles where I lead and manage. I would describe my current position as a strategic one. It's a C-level position where I no longer write scripts for support agents but instead think about the future of our company 10 (or 20) steps ahead.
Although I've climbed the corporate ladder and gained a lot, I feel like I've lost something, too. I used to be right in the middle of everything. I used to sell. I used to be close to our customers. When you work on a C-level position, you can no longer know immersed in the details of certain processes. I used to know the most, and now there are people who're much deeper into the process than me.
Name three character traits or skills that are necessary for your job.
Ideally, you need to be born on March 31, and your name should start with "S"—but it's not obligatory (just kidding).
You should have a sense of purpose, tolerance to stress as well as emotional and political intelligence.
If you could choose any superpower to help you with your job, what would it be?
I am a Marvel fan. I've always dreamed about having a superpower, so I'm glad you asked. In my opinion, time control is the coolest. It's not about time management. I'd like to be able to turn time back and fast forward. If this one is too expensive, and we don't have a budget for it, freezing time would be nice, too.
Describe your job in 3 words.
Team. I know some people call our team a family, but I don't think it's the right word. Family is bound together by default, while a team is about people who’ve made a decision to be together, not because they have to but because they have a common vision and goals.
Rhythm. I never know what will happen tomorrow. I don't even know what city or country I'll work from next week. It's not about uncertainty or about changes. It is about the rhythm our company has managed to sync with. I don't know where our energy center is, where the engine is that our founders pour Red Bull into, but we never stop. And I'm ok with it.
Symbiosis. There is a symbiosis of who you are inside and what the company is about. If there's a match between your personal reality and the company’s, you’ll work for the company for years and not even think about leaving.
On days when you lack motivation for work, what helps you to pull yourself up and do it?
There is work-related and life-related motivation. I realized what life motivation was about the day my daughter was born. It was the moment I realized that I have no right to fail in this life. It’s no longer an option.
As for work-related motivation, mine comes from a feeling of responsibility. I've always appreciated that people trust me. So, even if I come to the office and feel tired or lazy for some reason, I remind myself of all the people who depend on me.
What is your personal anti-stress recipe? How do you recharge after a busy week at work?
I'm not the best person to give advice on managing stress. I take vacation only once every few years, and I know it's not good. I'm working on it.
For now, my anti-stress recipe is mountains—they’re only a two-hour drive from where I live, or a glass of whiskey.
If you could swap places with any employee in the company for one month, who would this be? Why?
I'd go back to the roots and pick a support agent. Why? Because it's 3 days of work followed by 3 days of relaxation! (I’m kidding).
On a more serious note, I'd want to spend some time on calls or chats with customers. This would help me understand how everything is going with our customers, what works well, and what needs to be improved. I'd also learn what people working on shifts are discussing and what new nicknames they’re calling me [smiling].
Describe your dream job.
For me, it's not that much about companies but rather about the products they create. Of course, I'd like to work for a company everyone knows. Ideally, it would be a US-based company. I love the US, and I wonder how corporate values, processes, and traditions in American companies differ from what I am used to.
Now imagine you've got the job offer of your dreams. It's too good to reject, so you're leaving. What piece of advice would you give the company and your team before you head out?
I'd say to keep moving forward no matter how much the circumstances change or what life- or work-related challenges may happen on the way.
Oh, and I'd remind everyone that first is first, and second is nothing.