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Building a business is not easy. Building a sustainable business even more so. It takes more than a big idea, it takes people working together, applying diverse talents consistently over time.
Our business is about Customer Experience, but its actually about people
In 2009, our CEO had a big idea to make the world more customer-centric and set out on a mission to build a business that does just that. But big ideas take perseverance and passion, and the team at Smoke CI quickly found that a key quality when building a sustainable business was the grit of the employee's.
In the book Grit, by Angela Duckworth (read the book summary here), the team from Smoke CI has found lessons about what is required of us as we continue to grow, but also about what it takes to implement a successful CX strategy.
Grit is about holding the same top-level goal for a very long time.
Smoke CI has been built over a decade, and fundamentally our top-level goal has not changed. Similarly, for organisations wanting to implement a successful CX programme, it is vital to retain a long term goal in mind. Customer Experience is not a point in time exercise but requires both a long term vision and the dedication to see it through.
Paragons of grit have four psychological assets: (1) interest (2) practice (3) purpose (4) hope.
These characteristics are intrinsic to teams who build sustainable businesses, as well as to organisations focused on Customer Experience. At its core, Customer Experience requires the attention of every person within the organisation, to not only be interested but also invested in enacting the philosophy daily. Each process and product should be assessed through the lens of its purpose in building up the customers feelings of satisfaction and loyalty. Lastly, while it may sound esoteric, a CX programme is underpinned by hope. The hope that an organisation will care about each customer and the belief that despite service failures, it can do better.
Gritty people do more deliberate practise and experience more flow.
Turning big ideas into reality takes discipline and purposeful action towards a common goal. Colloquially, being in a flow state, refers to a mental state where someone is fully immersed and energised by the task at hand. CX programmes require deliberateness, both from a measurement and reaction point of view. Consistent measurement over time will uncover trends, which, through deliberate action, can be rectified to deliver superior customer experience.
Both business building and Customer Experience programmes require the talent of dedicated people to become sustainable over the long term. Turning big ideas into big results needs a disciplined approach, using the best tools available combined with that special something called grit, that in the end will see you through.
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