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Break fix, support, managed services -- It's all customer care: Q&A with Arbela's Jumi Rho

By Sarah D. Morgan, Customer Success Manager, Arbela Technologies

Sometimes it’s break fix, sometimes it’s part of an SLA (service-level agreement), and sometimes it’s a report or new enhancement. At Arbela, it’s always customer care. This week I talk to Jumi Rho, the highly effective Arbela Customer Care Manager who has a pulse on customer care in a way few do. If you are an Arbela customer today, you are aware of Jumi’s technical and functional care level. If you become an Arbela Customer Care member, you’ll benefit from her understanding of life on the client side.

SDM: Jumi, support is a broad word spanning break fix to Customer Care. How do you define support?

Jumi: The word support is unpopular because it is stereotyped as just break fix. At Arbela, customer care ranges from break fix, enhancements, training, services, customizations, managed services and performance tuning. All which customers can engage with as needed regardless of partner status, for post go-live support after an implementation with us, or a fully managed services contract.

SDM: Why is the word support so stereotyped – how does that affect perceptions?

Jumi: Sometimes when customers or AX users call for support, they think in terms of break fix. I help perceptions by introducing customer care at this early stage where we are proactively caring for the customers holistically even though the issue may be small. This is because even at the break fix level it’s important to listen to the client’s big picture. In customer care, we have a quarterly plan to see if we can help users be successful in their needs, to align to company goals, to continue the alignment established during the implementation and their future goals.

If a company’s goal is to better their customer experience, we ask ourselves, how can we help to make that customer experience better. Do they need to improve their sales order processing? Their invoicing? The way they send out their invoices? We look at what their company’s business goals are and see how we can align those to meet their goal.

So, you can see, effective customer care is not just about IT, it’s about helping the business get to their goals. To do this, we can’t limit ourselves because everything needs to be aligned.

SDM: How is Digital Transformation changing the speed of support?

Jumi: We must be more proactive and ensure clients are aware of the rapidly changing news from Microsoft such as platform and application updates. We must be more ahead of the game and be the experts to inform our clients what changes are coming. With D365, platform updates will happen monthly, and we will proactively tell the customer they are coming and council them about hidden details.

SDM: Where does your motivation come from for customer care compared to peers who focus on the initial implementation and consider that the end of the job.

Jumi: I was the client before I joined Arbela and I came to join the team that was supporting me. I specifically wanted to get into support. Coming from client side, I knew the pain points the clients were having and I wanted the experience to be better improved for everyone.

SDM: What have you put in place to make sure Arbela customers are successful?

Jumi: First, what we really want to do at Arbela is to make sure whenever we get requests, that we are responding and helping them get to resolution in a timely manner. It’s easy for senior staff to resolve error messages, but we really encourage our team to think about why that error came up and make sure it doesn’t come out in the future. Secondly, we make sure the tickets and cases are updated on a daily and weekly basis. If something is on hold I want to know the reason so no one is in the dark. Constant communication is a key.

SDM: Do you see a trend in the types of post go-live services that customers need?

Jumi: Adding on new entities is a request many companies come to us with. They go through an M&A (mergers and acquisitions), purchase more companies and add more entities to AX. Or any sort of tasks that were pushed out to post go-live phases because tasks went into the backlog. We see a lot of change in processes, request for training. So many times, users were too busy during go-live training and circle back during post go- live. Another frequent request is where people aren’t using the system to the full capacity and executives ask for us to come onsite for training. Performance also comes up frequently. We haven’t seen a lot of this for D365.

SDM: What do you tell customers about succeeding after their implementation?

Jumi: In a perfect world, the SOW (statement of work) for post go-live support kicks in before the go-live. As you are approaching your go-live date, we don’t leave you, we pick up support. Many times, if the support agreement kicks in before go-live, you will meet the new team members, so you have continuity and knowledge transfer without breakages.

For example, with customizations perhaps not all the scenarios were covered or tested with the cases that they thought about. UAT (user acceptance testing) is usually performed very quickly and the testers are the business users that must make sure their business is running. We have continuity on the team for this.

We had a case where there was an Infor process a client was running where they customized the batch job process and they didn’t think about all test cases. They had duplicate orders that affected the revenue which was duplicating orders and affecting the revenue. We weren’t their implementation partner, but we came up to speed quickly.

When customers quit their partner after go-live due to unresolved issues and join us we have a lot to learn about their environments. We quickly ramp up on their environments by spending time in the beginning going through their list of customizations, areas we must focus on for success. We must have that knowledge and come up to speed right away.

SDM: What is your favorite part of your job?

Jumi: Resolving issues – helping people help their business!