Many of us can recall an exceptionally good experience interacting with a business. Most, if not all, of us can recall a bad experience. How that experience is viewed from the perspective of the customer is valuable information for any business. Christi Kapp, Founder of DataPsy, serial entrepreneur, sculptor and, self-described Polymath, is combining her experience, education and her ability to create something from nothing to offer business owners the opportunity to drive innovation, change and improvement through the lens of the customer experience.
"I actually launched DataPsy back in 2015," Kapp said. "I didn't do much with it until last August when I purchased the assets of a company called Learning Journey Inc. They focused on customer experience training, leadership development, management development and other similar services. The acquisition was the catalyst I needed. It made me think back to my roots of what I loved most during my career which was the time I owned TechKnowQuest – a consulting and training company. I'm still clarifying the actual focus and mission of DataPsy, but the essence is to utilize the customer experience to drive assessments of businesses and their ability to deliver what they say they're going to deliver."
Kapp's background is slightly more diverse than your average entrepreneur. After graduating from The University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering, she took a related position working in Manhattan for Bloomberg. In 1992, she followed the sun and the prospect of 'Space Planes' south to Central Florida. Her first position in Orlando was with Coopers & Lybrand, one of the original big six accounting firms. Kapp served as a Management Consultant and, among many other responsibilities and accomplishments, worked with Orange County on managing and delivering a taxpayer-focused plan for technology efficiency. From 1994 to 2000, Kapp and her ex-husband founded their own consulting company called TechKnowQuest. In 1998 they were named by the Orlando Business Journal as one of the fastest growing tech companies in Central Florida. Kapp shared what happened next.
"After we sold TechKnowQuest, I worked for as a Vice President of Operations and Marketing for a Tampa based company called Digital Fusion," she said. "After two years with Digital Fusion, I founded a boutique management consulting firm called JustIntegration, Inc. to focus on large-scale integrated system design. I was able to go back to Orange County and lead a team to develop the first Integrated Criminal Justice System (ICJIS) in the United States. After that, I worked as a technical management consultant through several consulting firms. My roles included Program Management, Project Management, Project Financial Budgeting and Forecasting (AOP), Capital Project Budgeting/Monitoring, Project Management, Service Level Management Oversight and Service Level Agreement Review. In January 2007 I co-founded, along with my husband, Art In Motion, a business that designs and fabricates unique motorcycles, trikes, vehicles and sculptures. In 2017, we opened a Bed & Breakfast in Kissimmee called, Kapp and Kappy B&B, as one of our future retirement businesses. In parallel with the B&B, my plan was to go back to computer training and consulting, but focus more on leadership and innovation training. I was ready to take everything I learned over the years and apply that information to help other businesses grow."
The purchase of Learning Journey also came with a separate brand called X Factor Institute. Through the X Factor Institute, front-line employees and managers are taught to shift from service providers to 'Xperience' providers. Successful participants earn a QCXL-Qualified Customer Xperience Leader or QCXP-Qualified Customer Xperience Provider designation.
Looking ahead, Kapp is focused on growing DataPsy and adding additional trainers. Kapp also plans on creating a multipurpose room in her B&B for DataPsy related executive retreats and workshops. Originally intended to train those in the hospitality industry, X Factor Institute will branch out to include training and certifying employees in other industries.
What advice does Kapp have for aspiring entrepreneurs? "Every time I start something new, there's a huge pit of fear," she said. "What helps is to get my eye on the goal and what I'm building and keep going until the feeling goes away. Focus on the basics of good business. Also, connect with people you know and tell them what you're doing. Get their feedback. I'm also a big believer in creating multiple streams of income to do more things. You need money to go after your vision, but you can usually find the right balance between cash flow and courage."