My name is Jeff Beaumont and I’m the Director of Support at Riskalyze.com. I love new things, people, and my family — especially at the beach to see my kids get soaked by the next wave.
My son and I near San Luis Obispo, California
At my company, Riskalyze, we serve financial advisors by helping them and their clients quantitatively find the amount of risk they’re willing to handle. There’s a few core strengths Riskalyze helps advisors with: quantitive (rather than subjective or qualitative), clients view investments in a long term approach by providing milestones, and focus on a simplistic layout without a bunch of raw, undefined data or jargon.
Before Riskalyze, I was a CPA (yep…certified public accountant) at an accounting firm in Orange County California. Quite a jump to becoming the head of Support! While I think that gives me certain unique strengths, I definitely feel “behind” the curve in many areas of Support — one reason I really, really love the community of Support Driven! For my many questions that confuse and perplex me, I have a place to go and share questions, thoughts, and struggles.
We have two offices, one here in the foothills of Northern California and our other in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ll try to highlight aspects from both since I’m there at least a week every quarter.
This was our team building activity for our California office last year: Capture the Flag Nerf War. We divided up into three teams and the battle waged on and many casualties (captured in prison, not actual injuries) were had.
Preparing for all out capture the flag nerf war across threee floors
Last year my boss and I fished along the Truckee River (Sierra Nevadas) — great to have similar hobbies and loves!
This was simply gorgeous…Truckee River near Tahoe. It was in the 20s (fahrenheit) and began to dump snow on us soon after
6:45AM — wake up! The morning routine is usually pretty quick: maybe breakfast and a quick 10–15 minute reading + meditation. Depending on how slow (or loud) I am, the kids may also be up. In which case I get them a sippie cup of water, bread if we’ve baked some recently, and/or maybe a fruit bar.
7:45AM — at the office. I try to get in before most folks on the West Coast so I can get coffee, say hi, and get a few minutes of work done before the team is in. Because the team has grown, I’m able to get in a little later rather than before.
8:00AM — usually checking in with the Support and Coaching teams. Seeing how the morning for our Atlanta team is going. If all’s well, then I usually try to focus on some of my priority projects in Asana. I’m trying out the concept of focus on the hardest, most critical things in the morning when you are the freshest.
Some of my projects lately have revolved around streamlining our onboarding process, with specific emphasis on our coaches (think Customer Success for most SaaS companies) who help customers jump aboard, get the basics down, and then really dig into the why of using Riskalyze. Other projects include writing knowledge base article, video scripting, or organizing our resources program — quite a daunting task! Lastly, a lot lately has been updating our processes, whether that’s how we handle churn, customer security and privacy, team scheduling, or how we support new products rolling out. A fun — and tricky! — one has been supporting customers where we’ve partnered with another company in a joint venture. Quite exciting to think through developing the processes and edge cases, but still very laborious, too.
During this time I’m in and out of Slack fielding questions, helping teammates, giving advice, and listening to ideas from teammates. By midday, my Asana list is usually longer than when I started.
Most mornings (till noon Pacific Time) are fairly free so I can get started on projects, be available during the peak times, and have ad hoc meetings as necessary with other teams. I really like the idea of blocking out everything (calendar, Slack, phone, email) but I’ve rarely found that it works for me. I’m distracted with the thought of there being something urgent to handle, whether it’s a “drop everything and help this customer” or there’s something super important happening with the team. I usually get creative at night, like right now as I’m writing this.
Sometimes I have demos for teams and compliance teams as they’ll want to dive deeply into the intricacies of Riskalyze, how we handle this or that scenario, how we’re handling regulatory requirements and rules, and making sure we’ve got suitable settings and disclosures primed, and locked and loaded. These tend to be fun because it’s both a really big picture view of Riskalyze, but also diving into the nitty gritty. A good balance.
11:15AM — today we have our Coaching Review meeting to share a status update on current status, what our focal points are for the week, and how we did last week engaging and delighting users. Since our team is in different locations, we use Highfive for a video conference.
Today we’re discussing the optimal onboarding timeline for new customers. For example, how can we best incorporate emails, calls, and _________ to amazingly serve our customers? It’s a question I continually wrestle with and one we continually refine. We already have figured out the onboarding approach to training to use the software — usually an administrative/integration focused phone call and then a separate call for learning the why of why they bought and how Riskalyze can help them succeed in their business. Think of teaching What/How and Why. This also incorporates a number of best practices from other customers.
12PM — I’m usually in Help Scout by this time, to lend an extra hand. This not only helps the team, but also keeps me in the loop on what questions are coming in, product ideas, and how long it takes to get back to customers (this is usually the busiest time of day). I’m afraid of my knowledge becoming obsolete and stale.
During this time I usually have a one-on-one or two with teammates in Atlanta. A great chance to catch up since I don’t get to see them on a daily basis (more on that later!).
2PM — Sometimes I break for lunch, but to be honest it’s really, really hard to get away when it’s go time. So I’ll at least grab a snack.
2:30PM — The workload usually calms down around here, but my day doesn’t slow down. Now it’s usually tackling some of the integration issues, coordinating with different teammates on common issues, outstanding items, and ID’ing what needs improvement. Lately, it’s been several really slick security feature upgrades on the backend for tracking and logging, and external verification with customers.
4:00PM — for the last 1–2 hours of the day I’m usually cranking on projects, making sure we’re properly staffed for the rest of the week, and looking at what is coming the rest of the week.
I’m also spending time with my Northern California team and helping them on projects and asking for help on mine.
5:30PM — Usually try to wrap up the last few meetings, write down some notes in Asana, and then head home for dinner with the family!
5:45PM — Dinner is typically around this time with my two kids excited that “daddy’s home!” The rest of the evening (until their bedtime) is usually with them either roughhousing, playing games, watching Curious George, or outside doing chores. We have a few fruit trees, grapes, raspberries, and a garden so for only have 1/5 an acre (8,000 sq. ft. of land), we’re using it pretty well. With the kids they usually “help” digging in the garden followed by me saying “noooooo! Not there! Go dig there!” and then, since it’s springtime, giving them seeds to plant. A couple days ago it was cilantro and bok choy.
This was the early June last year. With the warm weather we’ve been having, I’ve already got a start for this year and my micro-climate garden is ready to roll.
Side of our house where we grow a fair amount of veggies during the summer months!
7:00PM — usually check Slack to make sure everything is calm and peaceful and then back to time with the family. Maybe a tv show (Top Gear UK, anyone?), reading, and then turn in for the night. I’m waiting impatiently for Amazon Prime to figure out what they’re doing with the former hosts of Top Gear, I’m getting antsy!
Now, let’s take a quick look at a day in Atlanta.
8:00AM — whoa, that’s early. I’m at the office with everyone else. Usually a few cups of coffee later, but I love being there the full day with the team.
10:15AM — break time! Time to learn the local game…Dice Ball. Usually I lose, but that’s okay. Gotta make your team feel good, right?
Dice Ball. There’s some tape at the far end where we get points depending on which square we get the dice into. If you roll two dice with the same # and also you score, then you get another die to roll! Smacktalk galore.
10:30AM — After that, back to one-on-ones and training. My last trip was totally jam-packed from 8AM to 8 or 9PM every day that week. It was overwhelming but totally worth it and grateful to have such an amazing team.
Much of the time was spent dialoguing and sharing ideas. Since I’m not physically in Atlanta every day, I take these weeks to focus much more on people than my emails and projects. And besides, I know those will be waiting for me on my flight home.
12PM — lunch! Since I’m in a new place, gotta try the different locales. There’s the Greek place I really love, taco joint, or sports bar. Tough decisions. Greek.
1PM — Spent some time covering the finer points of newer aspects of our product but got interrupted by…an Amazon box filled with 200 nerf darts.
A few minutes later… Locked and loaded our guns and interrupted the engineers playing ping pong to riddle them with dozens of darts. Ensuing Support vs. Engineer battle breaks out.
1:30PM — back to one on ones. Learned some really cool stuff about some of my newer teammates, such as where they’ve traveled, their goals and aspirations for their life, and what brought them to Riskalyze. I love the beautiful pictures that are drawn for you in listening to a person’s Why story for why they live, what they care for, and what really moves them to be compassionate, caring, and to make a difference in this world. I hope, no matter how busy we become, we never forget this.
5:30PM — I really wish I had a picture for it, but at end of day started a full on war between everyone in the office (having 200+ darts lying everyone doesn’t hurt, either). There were many direct hits, many “how did you miss that?!”, and plenty of skilled acrobatics.
6:00PM — dinner with coworkers, drinks, and enjoying their company before I catch a flight to see my amazing family that I’ve missed so much this week!
Parting thoughts: I think one of the more interesting aspects of many of our jobs is the variety we face. Sure, there are many routines and grinds in the day-to-day, but surrounding yourself with people who are truly caring, thoughtful, and hardworking is an awesome experience (adding spontaneity doesn’t hurt, either). One reason I really love our industry of Support: people make the difference and challenge each of us to grow and excel still further, often more than we ever thought we could. I hope the same can be found for you.