I swear I didn’t pick Paolo because he’s in Denver.
When I posted the ad for this position on weworkremotely.com I had no need of my ideal candidate being in the same town as me. Rather, I was totally down with the ethos of remote teams (as excellently described by 37 Signals Remote). and what that afforded by way of getting the very best candidate WITHOUT geography as a severely narrowing criteria.
I did want someone in or around the North American time zones so as to overlap with the majority of CoachAccountable users, but that was about it.
So the subject line of Paolo’s email applying for the job, “Director of Customer Support – I’m based in Denver as well” didn’t catch my eye that much, but his answers about how he would see to do the job did:
My primary focus is to help grow CoachAccountable through helping our customers succeed. …
Ideally, I’d be spending most of my time proactively reaching out to customers, showing them how to best use the platform to help their business and their clients.
I understand that there will always be a need to solve customer support issues. We’d continually strive to reduce the number of support issues through excellent customer support.
His answer to how he would ideally like to spend his time on the 3 Pillars of the role (customer support issues, building the knowledge base, and user outreach & teaching) nailed exactly what I had in mind that my ideal candidate would say:
The ideal would be something like 15% customer support issues, 45% development of the knowledge base, and 40% proactive outreach. Eventually the majority of our time would be spent on outreach.
This is Paolo De Armas. Armed with a boatload of experience in helping customers be more successful in their own businesses, he’s ready to help CoachAccountable users new and old in getting ever more out of the platform, from setting up Worksheet Templates, to teaching how to wield Metrics to fit a given coaching style, to integrating CA into the whatever established setup in order to make coaching clients have a great experience.
For the last month Paolo has been easing in to the CoachAccountable world, learning the system inside out, listening in on calls and demos, and fielding an ever wider range of support issues. Some of you have interacted with him already during this warmup phase, and I’ve been very pleased with the result.
As founder of CoachAccountable (and the one who has been fielding all support and training for the past 4 years) it is a big deal to me to entrust the support and care of the CA community to someone else. Having quick and thorough responses to questions, resolving issues & bugs immediately, teaching better coaching with the tools at hand, and listening in earnest to feedback of how CA could be better or what new features would serve have all meant so much to the development of this platform in service to the coaching industry.
For me to sleep well at night I need to know that this standard of taking care of this community is upheld, and it is with great joy that I say with Paolo the CoachAccountable community is in very good hands. In many ways in fact Paolo can be better than me: rather than have to juggle customer support against all other facets of running CoachAccountable, customer support gets to be his sole focus.
He’ll have way more time to go in depth helping you setup the nitty gritty bits of your coaching style and programs within CA, to train you on how to wield the system to the fullest, to devise solutions to problems and challenges. To that end I hope you will all feel comfortable and welcome to reach out to him for that sort of help whether you’re just getting started or have been using the system for years now.
One of the common bits of feedback I get is to the tune of “I’m pretty sure I’m not using all that the system has to offer” (the recent survey revealed a lot of this!). Let’s fix that. If you feel like there’s probably some good stuff you’re missing and could use a 1-1 session to go over things, you should assume you’re right and drop us a support note saying as much. Get your money’s worth from the platform by using it to the fullest: let Paolo show you around, learn about how you coach, and steer you to helpful parts of the system you never knew about.
If you’re worried that getting support from Paolo won’t be the same or as cool as getting it right from the creator of the system, that’s fair. I’ve been at this and trafficking in the world of coaching & coaching software for years whereas Paolo is relatively new. In some regards he doesn’t have the depth and perspective on the matter as I do.
As he gets going in earnest I’ll be tagging along, lending whatever is missing as he grows in the role. And I expect my input to be minimal and ever diminishing. Why? As part of our interview process I had Paolo teach me, pretending to be a new user, about how to use Metrics in my mock business, up to and including setting up a course to have regular check in worksheets pipe numbers right in. This setup is the most complex, integrated piece of the whole system and he nailed it, and did so with only 24 hours notice to prepare. He’s a quick study, so again I am rest well knowing that with Paolo the CA community is in good hands for support and training.
If you’d like to get acquainted with Paolo more, go check out the essays on his personal blog. Seriously, there aren’t many but they’re a delightful read, and give a real insight into the person behind the @coachaccountable email address. (Indeed they’re part of the reason why I was so impressed and quickly sold that “yes, THIS was the person I wanted to entrust my customers to for support”).
Adding Paolo to the mix is a big win for all of us: he’ll be available to help at a level which I simply can’t, and thanks to his presence I’ll be freed up to continue making improvements to the platform at a quicker pace. Please join me in welcoming Paolo to the CoachAccountable team!
More recently: Hi, I’m Paolo
Previously: Happy Birthday, CA–It’s been 4 Years Now!