For this case study, we spoke to:

Kyle Romain
Kyle Romain
Senior Manager of UX Research
Emily Arciprete
Emily Arciprete
Senior UX Researcher

Kyle Romain is the Senior Manager of UX Research at ezCater, a marketplace solution that connects businesses requiring food for work events, such as team lunches and executive meetings, with catering partners, ensuring seamless logistics for timely and complete food delivery.

“I joined to build and scale our UX Research practice,” said Kyle. “I’ve been focusing on making sure we have dedicated research resources across the entire organization. My aim is to ensure that we always have a connection back to our users, both our customers and catering partners, and ensure that their needs are always represented in all our decision-making across the business.”

Here Kyle and his teammate Emily Arciprete, Senior UX Researcher at ezCater, share insights into how Rally has streamlined their participant management and recruitment process, saving them time, increasing team cohesion, and enabling research to be an impactful business partner. 

The challenge: Recruitment and participant management were a logistical nightmare.

For the team at ezCater, the process around recruitment and participant management was extremely manual, tedious, and cost them precious time. Outreach was tracked in multiple spreadsheets filled with redundancies. 

“There wasn’t a single source of truth for outreach, screening, and incentivization,” said Kyle. “I would like to say it was organized chaos, but honestly it wasn’t very organized.” 

Recruitment is the hardest part. 

“It’s no surprise that recruitment is the hardest part of a researcher’s job,” said Emily. Recruiting your users takes time and can often slow down the entire research process along with causing unnecessary stress for your research team. 

ezCater needed a better way to manage ReOps. 

Not having a unified way of managing the logistics of Research Ops introduced ample opportunities for errors. Additionally, the team lacked cohesion and consistency. “This was making us slower and causing communication issues,” said Kyle. 

Along with staying on top of research timelines, the team at ezCater cares deeply about providing a quality participant experience. “Obviously we’re talking about our product,” said Emily. “But we’re also trying to build a relationship with these people – that’s how you get the best insights and information.” 

But, crafting and enabling a quality participant experience is hard when your process is incredibly manual. “It’s difficult to really focus on the human aspect and crafting a delightful relationship when you’re clawing through your email and wasting valuable headspace on time-consuming, tedious tasks.”

The solution: Rally was exactly what we’ve been looking for.

“We had already identified that we needed a solution for our problems,” said Kyle. “We needed something that was more consolidated and allowed us to be efficient and consistent.” In his 14 years in the research industry, Kyle had yet to find a tool or solution that would adequately address the challenges he and his team were facing.

Kyle and the ezCater team chose Rally as their dedicated User Research CRM. While there were obvious challenges the team was facing, an additional and vital need was a better way to manage their current user base. 

“In the past, I’ve placed greater emphasis on non-customers or non-users as a significant part of our research efforts,” said Kyle. “But given the nature of the business and uniqueness of our offering at ezCater, there was a significant need for us to over-index on our current customers and make sure we were better understanding that experience.”

The outcome: A research CRM that exceeds expectations. 

“Rally has far exceeded our expectations,” said Kyle. Initially, Kyle was looking for a consolidated way to manage outreach. Rally delivered far more by consolidating and streamlining the entire participant management process across all areas of the business.

With Rally, Kyle and his team have been able to create distinct panels for customers, catering partners, and enterprise corporate accounts and centralize outreach, screening, scheduling, and incentives in a single location. 

“It’s gone beyond what we even initially expected it would,” he said. By reducing the administrative burden, Rally has helped uplevel how the research team operates, allowing them to drive impact by providing real insights. 

How Rally shines: Time savings & team cohesion

Since adopting Rally, the team at ezCater has experienced significant time savings and greater team alignment and cohesion. 

Reducing study setup time by 30% 

With Rally, the cumbersome and time-consuming tasks of setting up studies, recruiting participants, and managing communications are streamlined into a more seamless and automated process. “There’s only so much you can do,” said Emily. “But with Rally, I can do it all.”

Not only does Rally make the setup and execution of research studies more efficient, it also helps consolidate ongoing recruitment efforts, enabling adjustments and follow-ups to be easily managed without the need for manual outreach or additional tools. “I’m not sending individual emails,” she said. “I don’t have to add a janky plugin from Google Calendar.”

Preparing for a study normally could take an entire day’s work, but with Rally, Emily said she’s been able to reduce the time by 75%, depending on the study’s scope and type. 

An important part of being a researcher is reflecting on previous studies. Emily said Rally has simplified this process by providing an easy-to-access overview of research studies and participant data. 

Rallying around Rally

By integrating Rally into all their processes, the ezCater team has become a more cohesive unit. “We really rallied around Rally,” said Kyle. It has ensured everyone is aligned and using a common language, tool, and process. “We’re operating more closely together, which has in turn made us immeasurably more efficient as a research practice.” 

Rally is unlike any vendor partnership I’ve had. 

“We don’t view Rally as just a tool or piece of software,” said Kyle. “We view it as a partnership. It really doesn’t feel like another tool in our toolbox – it feels like we have an entire team of partners that we can collaborate with to make sure that Rally is continuing to be effective for us.”  

For Kyle, Rally feels like an extension of the ezCater team. “That’s been so refreshing.” Previous partnerships have felt like an ongoing sales call, but Kyle said working with Rally has never felt that way. “The team has always been there to provide support.” 

Would you recommend Rally to others? 

“I genuinely wish I had Rally from day one,” said Kyle. “Rally has become absolutely integral to ensuring we’re operating efficiently and effectively.” 

There are many tools that claim to be all-in-one solutions that often end up not delivering on what they promise. “Rally does all the things we need it to do and it does them all well,” said Kyle. “That’s something I’ve been really impressed with as we’ve integrated Rally into our research function.” 

“If you’re going to invest in one piece of technology, let it be Rally,” said Emily. Having Rally means you have an optimized process, you’re not working in silos, and you’re taking away from valuable time you could be spending doing meaningful research. “If you haven’t heard of Rally or you’re not using them – what are you doing?”

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