What happens when a Customer becomes an Employee?

As a Caternet customer, Sian used our hospitality software platform every day. As the newest member of our Customer Support team, she’s followed the footsteps of many Zupa employees and joined us – having made the exciting jump from consumer to provider!

You made the move from a large hospitality business to a software provider. Can you tell us about your decision?

Working at Wadworth & Co meant I used Caternet every day. In the kitchen, this was the platform our chefs would purchase ingredients; and for back of house, a smooth way to manage our end of week tasks. As you can imagine, a large managed estate needs a paperless way to check all its invoices have been received and calculated at the correct price! There are so many areas where a pub can leak money if not properly tracked – such as staff refreshment and the petty cash to pay our window cleaners. Look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves.

As busy as we were managing up to 150 covers at a time, I felt the hospitality industry developing fast around us. Thankfully, time-saving technology is taking over, and each side of a transaction can ensure simple tasks such as making a booking or ordering a delivery is completed in the most efficient and user-friendly way. We are a community with time pressures. Our technological climate reflects the need to shoot down frustration!

My decision to move from behind the bar to behind the screen means I can stay at the forefront of technology whilst helping to develop systems and help hospitality become more efficient. This will go some way to protecting the industry and jobs.

Which Caternet modules did you use at your site?

To understand and improve our site’s KPIs, my role relied on the reports generated within ‘My Figures‘. As a manager, I also had the power to adjust stock variances and edit weights and measures when needed inRecipes‘. Our chefs appreciated the contact with suppliers, without having to go through head office every time.

How have you found your move into software?

The Zupa teams have been amazing, starting with a thorough HR induction before I got to my desk. As a business that’s continually developing new products, I’ve had a lot to learn about digital security. Training is ongoing, but I’ve been able to jump straight into my role and began supporting our customers from day one. Reading the ‘back to basics‘ blogs have helped!

If we get a spare moment I can ask for training from other parts of the business (like Software Testing and Data). I am the kind of person who asks hundreds of questions, which is lucky because there is still plenty for me to learn. I cannot wait to develop my knowledge further.

What does good customer support mean to you?

Word of mouth is incredibly important in the hospitality industry. If customers suffer a negative experience, it reflects in the business and is never a risk worth taking. Word travels even faster with social media (TripAdvisor and Google Reviews etc) and people vote with their feet!

Word of mouth is incredibly important in the hospitality industry.

For me, good customer support is being able to identify and resolve the issue at hand – no matter how big or small. It shouldn’t be a problem to direct an enquiry to another part of the business if it finds a fix to their problem, especially in the knowledge you did everything you could for the customer. It’s about striking a balance of a worthwhile response and not keeping the customer waiting. Just ensure you gather as much genuine feedback as possible.

As a customer, I always found Caternet to provide a personalised response. Automation can only ever answer a fraction of concerns and questions. Responses can only ever be unique to the issue at hand. Take a minute and put yourself in the customer’s shoes; prove your empathy.

What’s been the biggest surprise since moving to Customer Support?

It’s rare, but when we do have to create jobs for the developers, we test everything and walk our customers through any changes. I never realised how heavily involved Customer Support is with development and testing. I finally see what goes on behind the scenes!

Where do you see your new career taking you?

I love the support role I am in and problem-solving will always be exciting! In the future, I’d love to get out and about and see how the company designs its solutions with clients, and also how this translates into training.

Finally, how are you finding office hours?

The way Zupa is structured means the office is an effective environment, so after working the anti-social hours of pub management, I’m enjoying my new lifestyle. My weekends are a different type of busy now!


To learn more about Caternet, Powered by Zupa click here.

Read more Customer Support stories here. To search for a role at Zupa head over to zupaJobs.

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Call 023 8212 4099 or email us on sales@caternet.co.uk