Employee Spotlight - Changing the Customer Experience with Our Business Relationship Managers
Q: What is your job title? And how would you define your role?
“The role of the Business Relationship Manager (BRM) at QuantumRhino (QR) is to build partnerships with our customers and gain a deep understanding of their business processes and needs. They work with our customers to prioritize requests and establish realistic expectations that supports development of mutual trust. They relay these needs to the staff at QR and provide leadership and communication on projects to ensure fulfillment. Internally, the BRM drives a culture of shared ownership, innovation, and constant evolution within our company.” - Marin Ursu, Chief Information Officer, QuantumRhino
Samantha Torrejon: As a Business Relationship Manager, we work as a translator/liaison between IT and other business units. We work with the client’s internal stakeholders to discuss their needs and wants, and then we bring those requirements to our internal development team to ensure they understand what the client is requesting.
If our development team has any follow-up questions or concerns about the requests, for instance, if they have an idea that would set the client up for better success in the long run or would open up more opportunities for them, part of my role is bringing these recommendations or concerns back to the client. We can walk through additional options, gather their input, discuss any concerns, and then relay the feedback to our development team. Additionally, we assist in following up on any tasks that may be blocked so we can get them back into the development stage. So, we work primarily as the liaison between our development team and our clients.
Erica Lizarraga: Do the developers and the clients ever interact with one another or is the BRM that main point of contact?
Samantha Torrejon: At the beginning of a project, a developer is sometimes included in our requirement gathering sessions, as well as in meetings to architect solutions, but the BRM always serves as the main point of contact for the client.
Once development on the project has started, sometimes we will invite a developer on a client call to demonstrate something they have been working on, or if they have very technical follow-up questions for the client’s internal IT team. But generally, we try and protect our development teams’ time and keep them off of client calls unless it is absolutely necessary — that’s why the BRM role is so important to our organization!
Q: In your opinion, what impact has implementing the BRM role at QuantumRhino had on both the company and our clients?
Samantha Torrejon: QuantumRhino's CIO, Marin Ursu had a vision for implementing the BRM role into our organization. He saw the value it would bring to our clients and the significant role it provided us to live within our mission - to put our clients first, prioritizing their needs and goals. The role has significantly helped in keeping our projects organized.
When there isn't a clear point of contact, or when the client is reaching out to multiple people on our side, communications and requests can get lost or contradict one another, along with the work that is being done. Implementing the BRM role, and ensuring the client knows that they are the main point of contact, has been crucial to our projects' efficiency and clarity. It has helped everybody involved — from the developers, to the business, and even all of the BRMs — to stay on time, complete projects accurately and efficiently, and help produce the best product for our client.
As a BRM, we are listening to everything the client is asking for. We know that if they want to implement something now or further down the line, we communicate that back to the developers. We are always striving to set the client up with a project that checks off all of the boxes they've requested, and allows for their business to grow. We always ensure that we are keeping scalability in the forefront of our minds and not to pigeonhole a client in one direction.
Erica Lizarraga: Jazmine - Being newer to QuantumRhino, and from your experience at previous companies, what benefits have you seen of the BRM role?
Jazmine Floyd Casey: I think it's valuable to have that point of contact who knows a little bit of everything and who can speak both the client's language and the development team’s technical language. The BRM is that bridge, so the clients aren’t overwhelmed by the details needed for the development team, and our development team can focus on delivering a stellar product to the client without having to sit through hours of meetings to get those requirements hammered out.
So to me, it's essential to have that person who can provide that holistic view and can also translate down to the details. It absolutely sets our clients up for success, along with our development team.
Q: Absolutely!! I am all for an exceptional customer experience, which comes from great communication between all parties. Now what are three words that you would use to describe the BRM team?
Samantha Torrejon: I would say communicators, leaders, and relationship builders.
Jazmine Floyd Casey: I would definitely agree with communicators, and I would also add helpful along with team players.
Q: What is your favorite thing about working together as a team?
Samantha Torrejon: Our whole BRM team is so open and excited to collaborate with each other. In our weekly meetings, if we need advice or guidance on a project, everyone on our team is willing to help out with suggestions or advice. We are invested in winning as a team; nobody is on an island by themselves.
Erica Lizarraga: That's wonderful! In this remote world, I imagine there are many out there who feel isolated, like they're on an island all alone. Despite our fully remote organization here at QuantumRhino, our team is still connected!
Samantha Torrejon: Definitely, and I think to your point, in the past when I was working in an office, it didn't always feel that way either; there wasn't the openness and willingness to collaborate, to work together for one common goal. Everybody was, in a way, siloed and just doing their particular part without much thought to the project overall. But at QuantumRhino, even though we aren’t physically in the same location, we’re much more a team than I ever experienced when working shoulder to shoulder with coworkers in an office!
Jazmine Floyd Casey: I've been with QuantumRhino a little over two months, so I think for me, being new, not only have the other BRMs made me feel welcome, but everyone else at QuantumRhino has been so welcoming and kind. No one has made me feel inadequate for not knowing something; everyone has been super helpful with training sessions or providing resources between departments from the front-end to the back-end. That's been great!
Q: What have been some of your biggest accomplishments as a BRM team?
Samantha Torrejon: One thing I appreciate about our team is every time a project is complete, the team celebrates that as a big win for the entire team. It’s not just a BRM team win, it's a win for the whole QuantumRhino Crash. So many hands go into all of these projects, it really takes the whole village to get it done!
Q: I think that philosophy speaks really well to QuantumRhino's team culture, which leads me to my next question. How would you describe QuantumRhino's team culture to someone seeking employment?
Jazmine Floyd-Casey: While we definitely work hard, the culture at QuantumRhino is so relaxed compared to my prior experiences. In times where it would be easy to have a bad attitude, such as looming deadlines or additions to project requirements, everyone is always in good spirits, remains helpful, and is willing to take the time to help each other out!
Samantha Torrejon: I absolutely agree. The very support Jazmine just spoke of, and that we mentioned previously, flows all the way up to Senior Leadership. CEO, Chris Sinkwitz and CTO, Chris Reynolds hold meetings with our BRM team on three days every week to assist with any technical questions or concerns we may have.
To have that kind of support is fantastic! To be able to talk to the company leadership about technical questions, business questions, and client questions and to get those answers right away, in real time, really shows how supportive the entire Crash is. We all want the company to be successful and to be a company that people want to work for, and that clients want to work with.
Additionally, I'm amazed daily by the intellect and talent we obtain here at QuantumRhino and how willing they are to share those talents and skill sets with everybody else. I've worked for companies that don't promote that growth mindset and it truly hurts the company and its employees.
QuantumRhino is a constant advocate for allowing its employees to grow professionally, learn new things, and try new things and it shows when you talk to anybody on the team and see how willing they are to teach you, rather than just do it for you, so that you are constantly sharpening those tools, learning new things, and growing your skill set. It truly amazes me!
Q: Now don't you both jump out of your seat, but for my last question if you had a day with zero responsibilities, how would you spend it?
Samantha Torrejon: My immediate thought is just to sleep, but my FOMO (fear of missing out) would never allow me to do that! I’m based in Phoenix, Arizona, and I think it would be so nice to drive to Flagstaff or Sedona, take a little hike, maybe get a nice lunch on a patio somewhere with a cold cocktail, and enjoy my family without the millions of things that we have going on every day — and without the nervous energy of tantrums in the restaurant or diaper changes from my little one and newborn twins!
Jazmine Floyd Casey: I am a small-time streamer which means I stream video games in my free time. While I don't have any kids, I have my plant babies and my cats that I would also love to give some extra attention! In my previous position, I traveled a lot, working 14-hour days and 60-hour weeks. So even just having extra time back in my week by working remotely now with QuantumRhino has been amazing!
Q: Thank you both for your time and for sharing with us just how impactful the BRM team is to our clients’ successes!
To connect with Sam: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samantha-torrejon-0181a157/
To connect with Jazmine: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jazminecasey111290/