In this episode of SaaS Origin Stories, Phil speaks with Daniel Fayle, Co-Founder of Chekkit, an all-in-one customer interaction software helping companies get more reviews, more social proof, message your website leads, and more! Prior to this, he was a Small Business Advisor at Scotiabank and was an Intern Analyst at Roynat Capital. One of his previous clients says he has “outstanding customer service skills,” and that it is “always a pleasure working with him and his team.”
They discuss how Chekkit succeeded despite Daniel’s lack of experience in tech; why a good business pitch is so vitally important; how reviews can be super polarizing; and how a small business can begin to expand globally. They also delve into why coming into an industry a little later can actually be a benefit more than a hindrance!
Guest at a Glance:
Name: Daniel Fayle
About Daniel: Daniel Fayle is the Co-Founder of Chekkit, an all-in-one customer interaction software helping companies get more reviews, more social proof, message your website leads and more! Prior to this, he was a Small Business Advisor at Scotiabank and was an Intern Analyst at Roynat Capital. One of his previous clients says he has “outstanding customer service skills,” and that it is “always a pleasure working with him and his team.”
Topics we cover:
No Background in Tech? That’s Okay!
Daniel talks about how, when they first started Chekkit, he didn’t have much experience, if any, in tech, and neither did his co-founder! In fact, he started off in finance of all industries. They decided to make an app for fun, one that could look at the analytics of restaurants and bars, but it wasn’t until a little later on that they decided to build on that idea and create Chekkit. Later, they pitched the idea to investors, and the rest is history.
It just goes to show, you don’t always need a background in tech to create something great. Whilst it can certainly help, if you just believe in your product enough and are dedicated to making it work, you can make it happen.
“I have a finance background. I was a commercial banker - no background in tech, no education, no knowledge. Nothing! I was working up north at the time [...] I met one of my co-founder and he had no background, education or network in tech and software, and we were just extremely poor. We basically said ‘why don’t we just create an app for fun.’”
The Importance of a Good Pitch
When they first started Chekkit, they went door to door at different restaurants and bars, pitching their business idea to them. Their pitch was so good and useful for the customer reviewing aspect of businesses, they even managed to get a dental practice as a client, something which Daniel was surprised by. Afterall, he thought that hospitality businesses would make up all of their business, so finding out that there’s a need for Chekkit’s services in other industries was a pleasant revelation.
“I knew a friend that had a dental clinic and, us being new to the space and not really knowing, I didn’t really think of reviews as a big thing for other [industries], I just thought about restaurants and hospitality. But I pitched it to my friend and he was like ‘yeah, reviews are huge for us’, so that definitely caught us by surprise.”
The Polarization of Reviews
When trying to attain organic reviews for a business, they can be extremely polarizing. Most of the time, people will only leave reviews if they’ve had a negative experience; it has to be a really good experience for someone to go out of their way for a positive one. That’s where Chekkit comes in: it’s their job to encourage people who may not have had a five-star worthy experience, but still had a decent time, to leave reviews for businesses to get the recognition they deserve.
“Reviews are super polarizing if they’re just purely organic. Like, if a lot of people have a really bad experience, they’re going to leave you one star, and there’s gonna be a lot of people that have a really good experience that leave you a five star. But you’re missing that inbetween where a lot of people are still having good experiences, they just don’t think to review.”
The Global Expansion of Chekkit
When expanding their business outside of Canada, they found that the US and Australia were more in tune with the technologies available to them and recognised the problem in the customer service market. This made it a lot easier for them to get business and clients. However, if it wasn’t for their beginnings in the tougher environment of Canada, they’d probably have found it a lot harder.
There was one slight issue they had to iron out, though - due to the higher understanding of customer service issues around the world, it meant that there was far more competition. But this only drove them further to succeed, opening up more opportunities to learn from others! Sometimes, it’s best to come to a market later and help solve the same problem, but in a better way.
“Sometimes it pays dividends not to be the frontrunner in your space. There’s a lot of examples out there.”