Podcast: Serving Up the Good Stuff!

Kristi TurnerRusty Pepper, Host of the Why Marketing podcast, sat down to chat with Kristi Turner the CMO of Compeat about her impressive 27-year marketing career and what her team of SaaS marketers are ‘serving up’ for their customers of restaurant and bar owners!

Read on to hear the key points discussed or click here to listen to the full podcast on Rusty’s website.

Rusty Pepper: Tell me about Compeat.

Kristi Turner: Compeat focuses on driving profitability for restaurants.  What’s unique about Compeat is our consultative approach to everything that we do in sales, support, and training.  We have 18 years of best practices. We see what an entire base of restaurants across fine dining to fast casual, and from one location to 600 locations are doing. What we really focus on is advising our customers on more than just how to use our software, but how to use the software to drive your profitability.  For example, we can guide you on how to set up your software to help you both short-term and long-term. Or, this is how you should look at business intelligence analytics to help understand what is working and what is not.

Rusty Pepper:  Do you use your customers as testers for rollouts? Or if a customer comes to you and says they really need “to do this”, do you try it and see if it is something that you can roll out? That’s the beautiful thing about SAAS technology, you can play it quickly.

Kristi Turner:  Yes, we have a process for rolling out products where our developers design it and test it in a beta mode with a couple of key customers. They get feedback, go back and redesign and tweak it, then go back to beta customers. It’s back and forth with our customers testing it. And, also, we have a User Acceptance Test internally which is our internal experts from every department. With almost 80% of our employees coming from the industry, they are also great for testing.  We have 3 levels of testing.  We have the engineering QA testing asking, “does it work as designed?”. Then we have the internal experts doing user acceptance testing. And then we have our customers doing beta testing.

Rusty Pepper:  What benefits does being a SAAS tech provide?

Kristi Turner:  SAAS technology is a B2B play, versus the B2C play. Some of the fun in what we do is our ability to be agile, flexible, and constantly adding enhancements to features or upgrades. Where for others, there is a whole different process from a product development and marketing prospective.  We get to tweak things and constantly improve the user experience. We are an 18-year-old company, so we have the challenge of taking old technology and transitioning that into a modern tech stack. Now we deliver products in a completely new way. Instead of re-writing a product or taking 6 months, 9 months, or a year to develop a new product, we are just focused on improving the user experience and adding enhancements and feature every 2-4 weeks.

Rusty Pepper: As you look at your industry, what gets you really fired up.

Kristi Turner:  The adoption of technology by restaurants is greater than it has ever been. Historically, over the past 15 years, restaurants have been slow to adopt technology. Now I think it’s very common. It is probably rare to find restaurants using spreadsheets for inventory or scheduling. Technology is a must. If you are going to run a restaurant you have to have technology.

I think the challenge in our industry today is choosing the right technology partner because there are so many to choose from. You can find yourself managing 11-13 technology vendors.  Now take that down to the store manager level; that’s 11 log-ins, 11 passwords to remember, 11 vendors to understand their updates. Also, the lack of integrations among those vendors leads to a lack of data integrity. As you are choosing technology vendors, if you have a vendor that can provide a majority of your solutions then you’ll have one technology provider, one to call for support, one log-in. Plus, the integration and data integrity among them is smooth.

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