What could be the connection between Brazilian jiu-jitsu and delivering great customer service?

Milos Adzic, Managing Director of Odessa's Serbia office and Senior Vice President of Enterprise Customer Support shares his thoughts on the critical role of technology in solving customers' challenges and strategies for enhancing customer experience through proactive problem-solving.


Milos comes to Odessa with a decade of experience at BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, where he was head of customer engagement. With a rich background in customer support and customer engagement, he shares a deep-rooted philosophy on customer success that transcends mere transactions.

Join us as we explore Milos’ reflections on making customers' lives simpler and more productive, his approach to delivering world-class customer success, and how that approach will impact Odessa’s customers.

Tell us about your experience at BlackRock and how it will influence your work at Odessa.

Milos: Customer success has been the focus of my career. I spent four years as a customer support manager at BlackRock before evolving into the head of customer engagement. In that role, my main goal was to make it easier for our customers to derive the maximum value out of our relationship with them. I'll be doing the same thing at Odessa.

In essence, the question is: How do we help our customers solve their problems with technology? And where technology cannot provide all the answers – how do we build processes and techniques that help us identify the customer’s challenges early on, so we have a head start and time to build innovative solutions? The goal is to swiftly pinpoint solutions for our customer's challenges using Odessa’s technology. Should their needs extend beyond our immediate capabilities, our response and redirection need to be even faster.

What’s your philosophy on customer success?

Milos: Customers tend to approach technology partners only when a problem has already occurred, and the teams are already in firefighting mode. An exceptional customer support team not only addresses the visible issue but also digs deeper to eradicate the underlying cause, all while proactively anticipating and mitigating potential future challenges. That way, the same problems don’t come back.

Often, the way to solve not just today’s problems but tomorrow’s problems is via additional usage of the platform — unlocking capabilities that customers may not yet be aware of. Better use of software, less work. This is how it should be. It helps make the customer’s life simpler.

What’s a specific example of how we can better help Odessa’s customers?

Milos: Let’s say one of our customers is currently facing a reporting problem. It’s typical these days because year-end reporting is coming up. While we try to find a quick resolution to the problem at hand, I also encourage the teams to delve deeper and ask questions. Why are the customers facing this problem today and not a month before or after? Could we have solved this problem earlier, and how do we avoid it in the future?

Cultivating this culture of curiosity and active listening is a feature of good customer success. This should be coupled with a good and in-depth understanding of the customer’s business. We must know our customers as well as our technology, and we need to be able to combine the two to find the right solutions.

What is Odessa’s approach to customer success?

Milos: Our vision is to be our customer’s partners in their growth and transformation journey. A partnership that goes beyond SLAs and contract terms. We have been leveraging our extensive industry expertise to build future-ready solutions that address customer’s pain points. This has helped us grow as an organization known for its industry-leading asset finance solutions. So, it’s a symbiotic partnership based on mutual growth.

We want our teams to approach customers with curiosity while being aware that we are here to solve problems with our industry and domain-specific expertise. It’s a customer-first, partner-driven approach.

What’s something personal customers may want to know about you?

Milos: I spent years in sports. I am competent in and have taught Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I also taught high school math and informatics, and my students joked that I created pain for them. So, I often joke that my focus has always been on pain. But in the early years of my career, my focus was on creating pain. As I got deeper into customer success, ‘Focus on the pain’ remained my mantra, but the angle was, of course, reducing it as quickly as possible for our customers.

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