In 15 short months, Chris Lybeer, chief strategy & marketing officer at Revel Systems, has played an integral role in shaping the company’s current and future success strategies. The basis of those strategies is straightforward: keep things simple.
That mantra comes from a 25 year career spanning the retail technology industry. Throughout that career, Chris has developed a passion for driving customer satisfaction, while also driving value and innovation to the market.
As a continuation of our blog series featuring Revel’s leadership team (check out our previous interview with CCO Leslie Leaf), I sat down with Chris to learn more about how he defines the current makeup of Revel’s distinguished DNA, and where he thinks we’re headed as both a company and an industry.
Q: You have an interesting fusion role here at Revel Systems. How would you define your position as chief strategy and marketing officer in your own words?
A: I do have an interesting role, and it’s also fun. At the end of the day, my job is to figure out which markets Revel could find success in, and how we can better service customers in those markets. At Revel, we’re big believers that it’s better to be focused on where we can be very valuable, rather than just build and sell a solution to the masses. Therefore, a big part of my role is really dialing in on how to deliver value to a specific customer set, and then launching the organization to accomplish that mission.
Q: Considering the complexities involved with successfully running a business, small or large, how does Revel Systems help simplify the process?
A: Two things jump out to me immediately. The first is that we are a company that will partner with you every step of the way. Although we’re a technology company at our core, we’re also a people company, and I believe that’s very important to stand by in this space. Whether you’re a retailer or restaurant, you need access to more technology than ever before, and it can easily be overwhelming. Business operators want to work with a company that’s going to support them as technology continues to evolve.
The second thing that comes to mind is that we are very good at growing businesses. Our solution is quite mature, and we have hundreds of businesses that are operating with Revel solutions at 20 or more sites. Based on customer feedback, I think we do a very good job of helping businesses continue to scale with us. A lot of our competitors are less focused on growing with you.
Q: You recently participated in a panel at FSTEC on the “Restaurant of the Future.” What were some of the biggest take home themes?
A: It’s always interesting to talk about the future knowing we’ll likely be 50% wrong. However, here’s what I know for sure. The evolution of technology is only speeding up, and the guessing game lies in knowing which technologies will prevail. I think voice recognition is going to get much more attention in terms of how people engage with ordering. Drive-thrus will be revolutionized if soon we’re talking to a machine, rather than a human, to order. There are a million different ways consumers want to engage, and we must stay close to our customers to help develop the right solutions.
We can’t claim that we know exactly what’s coming, but we can say that we’re going to partner with our customers as closely as possible. What we’re focused on today is making sure Revel has a POS that does the work for you, giving operators time back to run their business. Our newest product release will go live later in October, and we’re excited to share valuable new features.
Q: You mentioned that Revel’s cloud-based POS makes it easier than ever for business operators to embrace all of its rich functionalities. In your opinion, what is Revel’s market differentiator?
A: We have a complete solution for someone that wants to thoroughly manage their business, and we’ve made it very simple to use. If you want to buy a POS system just to make credit card transactions, we’re probably not the best option for you. If you’re looking for a product that’s going to manage inventory and employee scheduling and tips, seamlessly integrate with dozens of third party partners, and more, we’re a great solution.
We’re focused on the easy button and the smart button.
Q: Revel Systems has experienced exciting growth in recent years. In your tenure, what has been one of the most defining moments?
A: I think I’ll have to pick two defining moments. The first is that we’ve made the pivotal transition from being an entrepreneurial company, meaning we were making mistakes and learning from them, to being a company known for quality products and strong execution. Our customer feedback is more positive than ever before, and that’s a really great position to be in.
We’ve also experienced rapid growth recently, and despite the Atlanta office only being one year old, we were named one of Atlanta’s “Best Places to Work” in the 16th annual ranking of 100 metro area companies by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. I think that’s a testament to our people, and if we’re going to be great at delivering service to our customers, we have to be great at taking care of our employees.
Q: As a special interest, you’re known for building and driving best-in-class culture in the workplace. What does workplace culture mean to you?
A: That’s a loaded question. Although cliché, I genuinely don’t think you can grow a great company without great people. At the end of the day, if people and teams care for each other, and people working across teams have a common goal of doing the right thing for the customer, great culture emerges. Within our walls, there’s a lot of energy and passion, and we try to set the right example from the top down and the bottom up. I think that’s contagious.
Q: What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned throughout your career and leadership?
A: I’ve learned a lot of things, fortunately and unfortunately. The thing I probably hang on to the most is to keep things simple. I think it’s very tempting to overanalyze, overthink, and over-strategize. Keep reminding yourself, and your team, to be very deliberate about keeping your goal in mind.
Q: What are some interesting facts about you?
If Chris's interview has left you inspired about Revel's future-focused strategy and direction, learn more about our point of sale solution and schedule a free demo today.