The retail industry has seen an overhaul in recent years in how it works to attract, retain, and grow new business. Customer demands are changing constantly and intensifying, resulting in stiff competition and transition. Finding its way into new markets of retailing, TEMPOE was established in 2009. TEMPOE’s mission is to put retail within reach for both its retail partners and their customers, and is using technology as its driver to cut new inroads.
Chris Garrido, CEO, provided details of TEMPOE’s history, what it offers clients, and its transformation to date.
TEMPOE was initially started with a vision to serve the retailer that has cash and credit constrained consumers unable to complete a purchase due to their lack of available credit. We have always stayed true to that mission but enhanced it to be The Obvious Choice for retailers, consumers, and stakeholders. We do this through a seamless integration at the point-of-sale, whether for brick-and-mortar, e-Commerce, or mobile transactions.
We now have a fantastic network of associates and partners that are able to service consumers and enable them to obtain the products they need and want without regard to their FICO score or waiting for credit approvals. Retailers have the confidence to know that they can gain a loyal customer, and consumers keep coming back.
Could you illuminate us on your initial project and product developments?
Initially, it was a one-size-fits-all approach. Retailers, consumers, and partners had to conform to our business practice to be serviced. Since then, we have led the industry with cutting-edge enhancements intended to simplify, integrate, and create a leasing experience that drives repeat customers.
What is your company’s posit in the current marketplace?
TEMPOE is the only alternative-financing/leasing company integrated through a national retailer’s point-of-sale system that offers secondary and tertiary leasing services. TEMPOE operates consumer leasing services within all 50 of the United States as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Leasing services are offered through traditional brick-and-mortar retail partners, as well as through mobile, e-commerce, and other channels, to enable consumers to take home durable goods today with no credit required. Approval of the applicant occurs within seconds in the store, mobile, or online application. We also offer early purchase options at 30, 60, and 90 days for a small amount over cash price in most states.
What is your firm’s approach toward growth?
Our reputation as an industry leader is earned through hard work and evaluation. We are innovators and are truly interested in our partners’ overall success – help them achieve success beyond our services offered. We are problem solvers, we care, and most importantly, we are partners, not vendors or suppliers.
What are your business models?
Our business model is B to B to C. Early on we realized that our retail partner was our customer, and our ability to service their customers was key. That means we have an exponential obligation for service and we take it seriously with our customer-centric service model.
One trait that successful organizations often have in common is the ability to switch directions quickly in response to changes in the market. What is your standpoint?
I wouldn’t go so far to say that we alter the global IT structure but we deliver groundbreaking technology through our inTEMPOE product integrations. Five years ago, mobile transactions were limited. Now they’re a prerequisite of the market. We have evolved into an ease-of-use platform with offerings such as our ‘Text-to-Apply’ enrollment.
How diversified are your offerings? Because customers' perceptions of your business can really make or break a business.
We offer “flat entry” promotions, integrated marketing campaigns in-store and online, and are constantly looking at simplification. Another point of our development was how we handle returns and collections. We don’t have – nor do we want to have – rental or retail stores re-selling our returns. We strive to have the consumer satisfy their needs with our services and that of our retail partners, and then repeat the process. We offer a ‘repeat business model’, not a singular transaction and that drives our Obvious Choice service culture.
What is your company’s breakthrough value proposition?
We are innovators in our industry and how technology can be used and leveraged to achieve an extraordinary shopping experience for those who had run out of options. Our retail partners want to say “yes!” to their credit-challenged customers. We offer a pathway to success with a short-term commitment, fast approvals, early purchase options, and low payments.
What qualities of your company have helped in your success?
Quality of Retail Partners – Our partners are trying to change the face of retail and its presentations. We do not accept a sub-standard service provider and our account managers work side-by-side to ensure the success of every store and retail outlet.
World-class executive leadership – Our team leaders have current and lengthy experience in their areas. We are not all from the same industry, but our varied industries and experiences allow for multi-pronged approaches to solving problems.
Laser focus on customer service excellence –When we provide leasing customers with an outstanding customer experience, it reflects on our retail partners. We never lose sight of that; we owe it to our partners to provide superior service to drive brand loyalty, trust, and confidence.
Innovative purchase and payment technologies – We have cultivated an agile and responsive IT team that ensures POS integrations, data integrity, and security. inTEMPOE is a comprehensive, single-source technology for speedy integration with retailer support systems.
Culture is not a static thing; as the company evolves its culture also changes. Are you constantly re-evaluating your cultural tactics?
TEMPOE is a fun place to have a career with people that truly care about each other, the clients, and consumers. We empower employees at every level to make decisions and choices which in turn provides a higher level of success and satisfaction. We utilize a Net Promoter Score to gauge ourselves within the industry and as an organization. This feedback enables us to measure our performance and future success.
What is your company’s commitment to the future?
We provide a competitive example of how undeserved, financially responsible customers can have access to mainstream retail products. The Obvious Choice Mission is to deliver solutions and provide new convenience through all manners of platforms and shoppers.
What Garrido has to say…?
“Our vision is simple,” said Garrido. “We want TEMPOE to be the Obvious Choice for our clients, consumers, and stakeholders connecting retailer and consumers with easy access to acquire products. Our clients are serviced through our world-class management team, associate stakeholders, and partners in an omni-channel store, e-commerce, and mobile experience.”
Backdrop of the man who made it possible
CEO Chris Garrido brings more than 25 years of experience in the consumer finance sector and has been with TEMPOE since 2013, most recently serving as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Garrido’s distinguished career includes 17 years of executive operations in the rent-to-own, leasing, retail, and consumer finance industries. He drove growth in profitability and performance at ACE Cash Express, ZEC Financial, and Rent-A-Center locations throughout the US.
During Garrido’s tenure at TEMPOE, he has overseen building national client development, an investment in customer-centric service delivery, and the company’s landmark achievement in 2017 of $1 billion in lease originations.
“Solid relationships are built on trust, and that’s the foundation of the TEMPOE experience.”
“TEMPOE creates rhythm by putting retail within reach for our clients and their customers.”