I am the co-founder and CEO of O3 World. I also have a commitment to the community and mentoring. I started the Awesome Foundation in Philadelphia. Started PayitPhorward during COVID, which raised money for people in dire need of some cash. Am currently part of Mentor Connect, where I am mentoring 3 mentees (early stage CEO's). And have been a variety of boards and given back to several Philadelphia based organizations, including TechGirlz, Coded by Kids, PURA and many more.
O3 World is a customer experience consultancy. We provide digital strategy, user experience and development services to a variety or enterprise level companies.
In this episode
There's probably only one thing that contributes the most to making a business remarkable, either remarkably good or remarkably bad. It's an obvious one, but it can be tricky to get right.
The customer experience.
Admit it, as a customer; there’s nothing that will get you talking more about a business than the experience they delivered to you.
Keith Scandone of O3 World uses his own experience with JetBlue airline as a case study as a company that gets so much of the hard part right to deliver one of the best travel experiences out there but then totally blows it the minute a customer needs to engage with them.
If it’s so important, why is it so difficult?
Listen as Keith talks to Jay Kingley on Centricity's latest Best Kept Secret podcast, on how you to have to deliver on 4 critical dimensions to pull it off and shares the 3 steps that every business needs to do to deliver a world-class experience that customers will find remarkably positive.
How do you provide a great customer experience and leading to client loyalty? Send me an email at email@example.com to tell me how you get it done.
A glimpse of what you'll hear
01:37 What companies are getting wrong about the customer experience journey
04:07 How to fix your customer experience - start by looking first in the mirror and then listening
05:39 Jet Blue - the good, the bad, and the ugly
10:29 How you win by getting your customer experience right
12:54 Don't forget about the employee experience
13:56. 3 things you should be doing if you want to deliver a great customer experience
18:39 Keith's story. Email Keith at firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to the Best Kept Secret videocast and podcast from Centricity. If you're a B2B service professional, use our five step process to go from the grind of chasing every sale. to keeping your pipeline full with prospects knocking on your door to buy from you. We give you the freedom of time and a life outside of your business. Each episode features an executive from a B2B services company sharing their provocative perspective on an opportunity that many of their clients are missing out on. It's how we teach our clients to get executive decision makers to buy without being salesy or spammy. Here's our host, the Co-Founder and CEO of Centricity, Jay Kingley.
Jay Kingley 0:43
I'm Jay Kingley, Co-Founder and CEO of Centricity. Welcome to another episode of our best kept secret podcast, where I'm happy to welcome Keith Scandone, Co-Founder, CEO of O3 World, a customer experience consultancy where they provide digital strategy, user experience, and development services to enterprise level companies. And Keith is based in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia, PA welcome, Keith.
Keith Scandone 1:12
Thanks so much, Jay. Glad to be here.
Jay Kingley 1:15
All right, thanks so much. You know, Keith, one of the things that I am constantly amazed at is when I interact, you know, whether it's in person over the phone or online, with large enterprise companies that you think would know better, sometimes the user experience, you just want to facepalm it's a really guys, what is it that so many companies get wrong about the customer experience journey?
Keith Scandone 1:43
I think it's just sort of alignment and connection. So alignment internally, number one about the priorities are all the same. I think that's a really, really big thing, kind of breaking down some of the political silos that exist inside of organizations. And then just basically consistency. I mean, that's really what you know, the customer journey is all about that they have a consistent experience, whether it's online, whether it's on the phone, whether it's at a store. So I think just sort of a lack of alignment, and then just a lack of consistency. And in the follow-through.
Jay Kingley 2:16
Do you think, Keith, that this is more of an organizational issue that as companies get bigger, the silos inevitably form, and communication inevitably deteriorates? Or is it a lack of knowledge that people really aren't trained well enough to understand how to think about the customer journey so it becomes, unfortunately, an afterthought? How do you maybe there's a third point that I don't even understand?
Keith Scandone 2:44
Yeah, no, it's a great point. And again, it depends on the organization and such. You know, first of all, a lot of this is based on technology, and the technology is created to it a lot of ways create operational efficiencies, well, technology moves us at a fast pace these days. So sometimes, especially if you're a large organization or small, and frankly, it's just hard to kind of pivot that quickly with new technology. And then maybe the larger that gives your smaller company may not have the money or the resources, if you're a bigger company, just turning that ship is just might be a lot more difficult. So sometimes that is, sometimes that's the case. Sometimes honestly, Jay it's just this is like cultural, or just kind of follow-through, it's, you know, if you have turnover inside of an organization, and this is still a people game, even though you have, you know, technologies, maybe that can facilitate a lot of these experiences. Still, if you all of a sudden have your head of customer experience or your head of marketing or into some of these key roles. There's constant turnover, it's hard to then get them trained to get them back sort of in the flow thing. So I think it's a people thing and a cultural thing. And then certainly a technology. They're probably the three main, I'd say sort of roadblocks for success.
Jay Kingley 3:56
All right, excellent. Now, given how important this is, and how difficult apparently for so many it is, what do you think these companies should be doing that they're not doing today?
Keith Scandone 4:09
Well, I think that the biggest thing, I can say this as a CEO, myself, I think you really need to take a step back and look yourself in the mirror. And I think that's a thing you need to do personally, as a leader, but then I think certainly, I think you need to do more holistically as an organization. You know, the world as I said, technology not only moves so quickly but what was happening the last year kind of proves that we, you know, ingest and digest information much much differently and cultural ties and how we create connections with, you know, customers, clients, whatever has dramatically changed. So, I think that we have got to be willing to take a step back and listen to our customers may be a little bit more listened to our employees a little bit more. And just kind of listen to what's happening in you know, in the world, and I think that just because you were successful, a member of the C suite prior to COVID doesn't mean The same rules apply. So I think really kind of taking a step back, I think really listening to, you know, what's happening, you know, with your company and with your employees and with your customers, I think that's the most important thing just because I do know that, again, that connection with your, your end-user has really adjusted and changed over the last, you know, year plus,
Jay Kingley 5:20
Right now, Keith, you know, maybe you could share an example and one that's on my mind is, you know, the pandemic had everything, so shut down. And then vaccinations happen, things start opening up. So a few, literally a few months ago, I after, like, a year and a half, I've never gone in an airplane, I got on an airplane. And boy, it reminded me of why is it so hard? Do you have any examples of where, you know, you would point, you know, whether an airline or anything else where you would say, this is where it's breaking down?
Keith Scandone 5:58
Yeah, so I'll give you a couple of examples. So you say airline, I think JetBlue is a good example. JetBlue I love as an airline. You know, and as you said, even during the pandemic, I mean, their airline that seemed like they had new planes, new seats, they have free internet, you know, they have TV, I don't think that they, I think they ensure that there was always at least a seat in between you and somebody else. The actual physical experience for JetBlue is amazing. It's probably, you know, my favorite airline, and the rates are always seemingly pretty affordable. But their technology is just an absolute mess. I mean, their website, and their app seem to crash on me every single time I use it. Their live chat, while it exists, typically is not very helpful to get me what I need. And then you can call but the wait time is normally 25 to 50 minutes. And I've had to do this several times over the pandemic over the last year or so. And so it's you know, it's a real shame, especially the website, this is not that complicated. I mean, this day and age, it's like, it seems like they got the really hard part, right? I mean, nice planes cost a ton of money, very nice people, good rates. They're being obviously very clean and very aware of what's going on, make sure there's like social distancing space and such. But then they're failing at the technology side. And then beyond that, Jay, I mean, I've reached out directly actually, to I don't know their titles, but like, let's say director of customer experience Director of Digital CTO, and no response as well. So, you know, that's a perfect example that, you know, you're just following your enemy, even email, actually, through the system, just like your website is throwing errors constantly. And it's never really getting better. I don't hear back. I mean, that is just a completely and totally failed customer experience. And now I'm expressing not only to you but to your audience. So my voice now has been expanded, you know, who knows how many times over, and a lot of you know, and that's the thing that a customer experience if it's great, you're going to tell people, it was really bad, you're going to tell people it's dependence as an organization, what side of the fence you want to be on so, so that's one, I can give another one that's actually really unique just to the types of COVID. And that was Publix, obviously, a supermarket. And they came out with something that was going to be I think, in many ways, at least, was their intention to be great. And to really kind of separate them. And that was basically to provide COVID shots, you know, as being a primary sort of resource for COVID shots. But there again, technologies, their system was atrocious. I mean, you had to get on only a couple of days a week at like 7 am. And just hope that a position opened up. That's a really easy thing to do. Okay, first of all, I mean, you can basically get on in the morning, you can put yourself in a queue, considering how many are left or in the old fashion, you can basically sign up put yourself on an email, and then they can send you some appointments, and they got really destroyed. For this. Again, I commented about them on LinkedIn and called them out no response, I reached out to a couple of them directly, including their CTA CEO, no response. And this was really a shame and a missed opportunity because they were doing something that could have actually been a great PR move, and they just absolutely destroyed it. So it's a good point of like if you're going to step outside of your comfort zone as to kind of what you do and they're not known as a technology company. Well, then you better be sure that you're doing it appropriately because like I said, you know, they say no good deed goes unpunished. Well, you know, that good deed definitely did not really help their brand recognition. So,
Jay Kingley 9:33
So it reminds me of an analogy. Take my favorite sport football, you know, you have diagrammed out an intricate running play and the line blocks correctly. The quarterback hands the ball off correctly. He gets him downfield blocking the running backs pinballing off of defenders staying on his feet and he doesn't hold the ball tight enough. And someone comes and, you know, knocks it out from behind just as the goal line is in sight. I mean, they put in so much effort to getting so much, right. But they leave some critical things undone and just ruins it, you know, you have failed to score when it was right in front of you. And it's, I think you make some great points here. So let me ask you this. If they do the types of things you're you're telling us that is worth doing? What kinds of benefits can accompany expect?
Keith Scandone 10:34
Well, I think the most obvious one is just better brand loyalty, I mean, better customer loyalty. You know, I think, obviously, as I said, JetBlue, I am actually more reluctant to use it now. Just because it's the challenge. And I'm just afraid that it's going to be, you know, difficult to check in when I need to, or if I need to change my flight, it's going to be difficult than got to sit on the phone for a long time. So. So I think you'll definitely have more customer loyalty. And, you know, I'll give you an example of, and restaurants are actually notorious for this restaurants are terrible, about customer experiences in general. And there are restaurants, I've been to, like 15 20 times, and I show up to the hostess the host, and it's like, they don't have any record of me ever being there before. I mean, that's just such a blatantly you know, silly missed opportunity, quite honestly. But there was one restaurant that I ate at in DC, actually, at this point, it's like, I mean, it might be like eight years ago, really, really nice restaurant. And, you know, in, in our food, there was a little wire that was it was around, broccoli rabe, but normally ties the broccoli rabe has little wires dangerous. And, you know, fortunately, we didn't cut our mouth or anything. But the way they handled it is they brought out every single dessert they have on their menu, and they filled our table with the desserts. And we obviously couldn't finish them. But they even offered that since we obviously couldn't finish them would they like for us to refrigerate them overnight, and we can come back the next day and pick them up or take them home. But we were going out afterward. And we declined. But I've told this story. So many times as so many people, I've gone back to this restaurant many many times over because listen, they made a mistake, but they owned up to it, they were aware of it and they way overcompensated for it. So you know, you're gonna get that kind of like brand loyalty, I think that's a really, really big thing. I think also you probably get employee loyalty, particularly if your brand is not just in a profit, but if your brand is giving back to the community if you're in your brand is to be more progressive overall, looking out for people, you know, then you're gonna have people that work for you that can be prouder of you as an organization and the mission that you are part of and certainly, obviously the technology as well, because it's going to make their jobs easier. Jay,
Jay Kingley 12:52
For so many companies, the customer interaction with the employee is the brand experience
Keith Scandone 12:58
Absolutely what the employee experience and career. That's, that's a really, really big thing. Absolutely. And so, you know, I've noticed We've been in business for 16 years, and I think you know, more than ever, we think about not just customer experience for our, for our clients, but we think about it for ourselves employee and customer experience. And, you know, honestly, we're, you know, we're constantly working on every single day, we're trying to improve our processes from recruiting, you know, to retention to obviously delivery for you know, our employees and our clients. So it's just something you have to be it's not a set it and forget it that some of these things used to be many years ago.
Jay Kingley 13:34
And I would think something else which I think implied in a lot of what you said is, by creating these remarkable customer experiences, word spreads in your brand is enhanced. So not only do you get more brand loyalty, you have an opportunity to expand your market share and actually grow your top line from new customers, in addition, just to retaining the old. So, Keith, it brings up sort of an obvious question, which is, you're the Chief ExperienceOofficer, Head of Digital Marketing or Chief Revenue Officer for an enterprise, what is it that you should be doing to really take your customer experience to a different level?
Keith Scandone 14:16
Again, a lot of different ways you can go about this, there's, there's first thing number one, I'd probably try to take a step back. And if you don't have the team internally bring in at least one consultant like it could be a person or someone you trust, to at least take a step back and understand all of the touchpoints. And the touchpoints are going to be you know, going to be broader or more complex, depending on the size of the organization. But it might be your retail stores. It might be your call center. It might be your website. It might be a mobile app or outlook application you have it might be a customer portal, there's a variety of different touchpoints that every single company has. So I think, first of all, you just have to really kind of map out what are all those touchpoints and what does the customer journey looks like? So, Jay, if you you know, if you want to go into a coffee shop for the first time, what does that experience look like from the very first touchpoint all the way through. And, you know, again, as I said, it's like a restaurant, do they remember you? If you, if you have been there before? Are they giving you some loyalty programs? In some way? What does the payment system kind of look like? When you're checking out? What is the follow-up look like? What is the return process look like? If you have to do that, you know, there's just a variety of different ways. You have to think about all the different touchpoints of your customer. So I think you have to determine that first and then recognize, like, what is the, I guess, almost lowest hanging fruit? Like maybe what internally can we fix like this, maybe enhance the website a little bit, or maybe let's enhance the technology a little bit or move to a better payment processing plant, or maybe, you know, let's say in retail shipping, because of Amazon's become free, we charge $7.95 maybe find a way to fix that. I mean, you look at the low-hanging fruit, the things that are maybe creating the biggest pain point, fix those. And then again, like starting to, potentially the dirt internally, or bring in a firm or outside agency or someone consultancy to help you kind of tie all this together. It's like, it's like a talk about like with, if you hire like an interior designer for your home, you may have exactly the the the textures and the colors and the style that you like. But if you're trying to design your whole home, it really helps to have an interior designer tie all those things together. Well, have you thought about this particular tile? Have you thought about this particular material? Have you thought about this brand, I can get a deal over here for you. And so I look at it outside sources, the same thing when they're going to give them more objective perspective for you, which is helpful. But they'll be able to tie all those things together. And while doing so as I said before, help to break down some of the political silos because the reality is that some departments just you know, marketing and technology are very obvious ones, they don't always see eye to eye. So you need something to be like I'm taking your, you know, needs in consideration and yours in consideration. So, but I would say that, yes, it's it should not be. It should not be all at once, we have to kind of take small bite size approach to fixing this thing over time.
Jay Kingley 17:03
And I also think that there's a change in mindset. So many companies are focused on customer satisfaction, NPS but you really need to be thinking about where's the friction in how customers relate to us, and where is their sacrifice, because as soon as a competitor figures it out, that satisfaction they expressed goes to dissatisfaction, because they have a different comparison point, a different anchor, and you need to get out ahead of that, Keith, that was fabulous. When we come back, we're going to find out about Keith, and learn how he developed this expertise and a little bit more than he does for his clients.
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Jay Kingley 18:44
We're back guys. Again, we've got Keith Scandone Co-founder and CEO of O3 World a customer experience consultancy. Keith, tell us a little bit about the types of work you do for your clients. What are the key pain points that you deal with and some of the challenges that you have?
Keith Scandone 19:05
Sure, so there are a few different ways in which we you know, typically work with clients sometimes. And as I said, before, during the break guy, I mean, oftentimes, it's just like one piece first. So it might be like this particular product that we have a digital product that we have that our clients really rely on. It could use some improvements, and a lot of that as we can enhance the user experience, you know, the design aspect of it. Or it might be that there's some technology kind of quirks, we could do some help there. So it typically starts with a product, or let's say a large, you know, website or something that they see in front of them. Our job is not only to fix that is to see beyond that, where are they sort of like more digitally bankrupt or produce some more help. So it's our job to kind of say, all right, you say you need this will do this, but understand that this is just one piece of your entire customer journey. So this obviously is tying to all these different other pieces. So then we're going to try to help give some advice or insight on these other pieces, so again, it might be a product, it might be a website, sometimes we are brought in to basically look at the entire customer journey and to do digital transformation kind of across the board. And that's a much more, you know, complicated and much more lengthy, you know, project in that regard. That's why I say it, see where you need the help right now, and then work with an expert that can focus on that, but just also be able to look at the ecosystem around you to see where they are, somebody else can help. Because like, for us as an example, we are, we're customer experience consultancy, we are steeped in digital, we don't do everything we don't do media buys, we don't really do branding, we don't do graphic design, we don't do you know, search engine optimization, we're specialized. And so recognize that work with a partner that you trust, that can do what they're very, very good at, but then also have an ecosystem around them that like, Listen, I, I recommend maybe these couple teams to look out for marketing, or these couple teams to look out for branding, or whatever that might be.
Jay Kingley 21:05
So Keith, a wise old mentor once told me never confuse experience and expertise. And as I like to say, people don't buy what you do they buy how good you are at doing it. So Keith, what makes you great, you and your company and doing customer experience work?
Keith Scandone 21:24
Add to that Jay, I think given you know, I'd say that you know, people hire people. So it's not just that, you know, what you said, there's obviously has to be a, you know, a very tactical, strategic, tangible, you know, the reason you're choosing somebody, but they also want to trust you. And I think that's one of the biggest things in our relationships, I mean, a couple of our longest standing relationships or clients we've had for nine years. You know, so I really think that they trust us, I think that the relationship building aspect is really, really critical. They don't expect us to kind of like, you know, do project work, come into the work left, I mean, and we don't, and we also look at it as like we're looking at as a partner, that partnership might be over time Jay has actually helped them build the team, and pass that work off to them that that means that we're being genuine, we're being honest, we're not just trying to make money off of them. So I think that they, you know, I think trust is the most important thing. You know, hopefully, with us being around for 16 years, we built up a good reputation in the world, we build up a good reputation with our clients. But, but I think it's mostly just by kind of doing the right thing. And I think our philosophy is always to kind of improve upon ourselves. So you know, one of our core values, and we kind of adjusted them slightly last year, but still is kind of it holds true to me, it's just kind of always growing. And I always looked at this as not only people inside of our organization but the work that we provide as well. So we slightly sort of pivoting. So if we're an innovative company, then hopefully clients, you know, want to work with us as well. I mean, we typically work best with progressive organizations and meaning they could be the most conservative companies in the world, but they have to be willing to do something progressive in their space.
Jay Kingley 23:07
And Keith, I know from our past conversations, I think you guys also deliver a heck of a customer experience to your clients. And that is perhaps of a pretty strong calling card.
Keith Scandone 23:18
Ah thank you. I think so. But again, you know what, it's something that we constantly challenged with Jay, I mean, how can we be there for them, that it is really a relationship, not just a, you know, I've always said I don't want to look at as a vendor, I want it to be a 51 49 percent partnership. They're 51 because they're paying and they're in control. But ultimately, we should really be treating each other with mutual respect, not being condescending, one way or the other, like we're no one else or because we're their vendor, they can talk down to us. And it's really about that mutual respect. And you're gonna get way more out of each other. I mean, this is like a personal relationship, if somebody kind of talking down to you all the time and nagging you, you're not gonna be really happy. And it's the same thing in the professional workplace.
Jay Kingley 23:54
Now, Keith, people can go to your LinkedIn profile, I encourage them to do so reach out connect with you. And your LinkedIn profile will get a sense of your resume. But what LinkedIn doesn't ever answer, which I find really interesting, is not what you've been doing in your career, but why you've been doing it. So what are you know, one or two of the key either personal or professional milestones that you experience, which is a big reason why you co-founded and are running? O3 World today?
Keith Scandone 24:28
Sure. So you know, what's not on my, my LinkedIn is that after college, I spent six years in Los Angeles pursuing acting and did you know some acting and did some entertain reporting and you know, learned a heck a lot about myself in the world of that industry, enough to realize that I don't want to be in that industry. But I think the biggest thing actually, is that I wrote a play that was produced and I think that experience because I acted in it and I wrote it, but also I had to hire the other actors and the director, I had to do the set design I had to promote the play. So there were a lot of elements that I basically was the producer of it. And I think that really kind of number one made me realize, okay, I kind of want to get out of this industry because there's really no rhyme or reason for it. There's no formula for success in Hollywood. But I also recognize that I don't just want to be in front of the camera, I actually kind of want to be behind it. I like, you know, and I realized in the business world now, while I have some strengths, I typically kind of look at myself as a generalist, you know, so even the work that we do, you know, I'm not the one, you know, doing the work for our clients, I might be building the relationship, but I'm certainly not delivering the product, like our, you know, our very experienced and outstanding team is doing. So. So I think that was a big milestone, after I wrote the play and out produce it, I soon moved to Philadelphia, which is I was from the suburbs of Philadelphia. So that made me that was a big milestone to change kind of what I was doing, I think, in life, and started the business really a couple of years after I got back and honestly take because I didn't have a whole lot of options. I mean, you know, I had, I had shifted to a whole other career at marketing that I got into and pitched the convention center, got a job, and then worked for the small company. And the company, I wanted them to scale in a certain way. And they didn't want to and so just basically kind of looked at one up, do my own thing, our own thing, and just met a web designer and a web developer, so it kind of made sense. It just merges our marketing, design, technology kind of capabilities and starts, you know, so it but and could I've gotten a job maybe, but at that time, I mean, my resume was was was super thin in terms of this particular space. So and I didn't have a family or anything like that. So there was a time to really be able to take a risk. So yeah, so I started then, and I would not recommend this, a lot of people, I did not really have much of a business plan, I was very kind of naive about the industry. The good thing about that is I didn't have a lot of fear, if I did more research, I could have potentially been like, Oh, that's very, very competitive. And I didn't, so again, not that I would recommend doing it that way. But that was one of the benefits for me. So I think that was a big turning point. And then just as an organization, a couple of years ago, and yet we're service organizations we've discussed, we have a ventures program, which is really kind of an accelerator for other small companies. And that is been really, really awesome. Because, you know, I think that I'm best as an entrepreneur, best at starting new ideas. And that's an example of me being kind of branch out and us becoming a little bit of a product company for these organizations. And so that's been a real turning point as well, taking this sort of a little bit more traditional service model, and then try to like mix in the kind of product, you know, ventures and VC side. So and that's been number one fascinating, rewarding to me, I mentor a lot of companies anyway, so it kind of works in that component. And there's just kind of the, you know, the financial, you know, aspect as well, which I'm kind of learning as I go. So I'd say there were some there probably a couple of really, really big milestones are kind of turning points in my life in my career.
Jay Kingley 27:58
Well, Keith, you've really educated us and I think, talked and supported your expertise in the customer experience world. You're a fascinating individual. That's a pretty powerful combination. I'm sure a lot of our listeners are thinking Well, how do I reach out to Keith, what is the best way for people to get in touch with you?
Keith Scandone 28:16
Email is always the best honestly, it's just firstname.lastname@example.org. And it's the letter O. As our name stands for ozone not many people know that.
So O3world.com or on LinkedIn is is as you mentioned, as well on a kid's schedule, but happy to hear from anyone that wants to reach out directly look for some bite advice and mentorships and insights. You know, happy to help.
Jay Kingley 28:40
Fabulous and we'll put your contact information in the show notes. Keith, thank you so much. I come away. A little bit smarter about the customer experience journey to great use of my time. I have no doubt. It's been a great use of our listener's time. Thank you again. And until next time, let's make it happen.
Keith Scandone 29:02
Thank you, Jay.