When it comes to executing effective customer experience strategies, we spend a good deal of time gathering, analyzing, and executing on the voice of the customer. We want to ensure we understand customer expectations. We desire to build our products or deliver our services in alignment with those expectations. Recently, there has been a renewed emphasis on ensuring we also focus on the voice of the employee in helping us create better customer experiences. Both activities are integral to the successful execution of an effective CX strategy in your organization. But there is one more. We need to answer the WIIFM question – What’s in it for me? The “me” is defined as both customers and employees.
First let’s talk about what’s in it for customers. Too often we state lofty mission statements or develop creative marketing campaigns to promote the idea that an organization is customer centric. Who can argue with statements like, “Customers come first” or “Customers are at the center of everything we do”? If customer loyalty is our primary objective, then it’s imperative we be specific about how the customer benefits from buying our products and services and having an optimal outcome. We should answer the WIIFM question considering these 5 elements:
• Prospects. What should potential customers expect when they decide to WORK with us? Do we employ professional salespeople or experienced customer service agents who have been trained on the details of our products and use them frequently?
• Purchasing. What should customers expect when they decide to BUY from us? Working websites, availability of mobile applications, links that work, easy online ordering, timely order confirmations, assigned account managers, easy-to-understand invoices, and seamless returns.
• Quality. What level of quality should customers expect? Is ours the best of the best, without flaws or simply pretty good? How do we compare our product quality to that of our competitors? What’s our response when quality is not as expected? How do we respond to differing customer expectations regarding the quality of the product or service we provide to them?
• Price. Are we competitively priced? Does our pricing reflect the value we provide in purchasing from us? Do we price match? Do we provide the best price to both existing customers and new ones? Are contracts easily interpreted and transparent in terms of what we provide for the price paid by our customers?
• Service. Do we provide a variety of contact options such as chat, in-person, and personalized email responses to our inquiries? Do we respond and resolve issues quickly and without the need for additional follow up? Do we facilitate customer communities, updated FAQ’s and user groups to assist us in solving our own issues?
We need to be equally as specific when it comes to letting employees know and understand that the delivery of an exceptional experience is critical to both the employee’s and organization’s success. how they benefit from ensuring we deliver a great experience for our customers. We should answer the WIIFM (employees) question considering these 5 elements:
• Personal and Professional Growth. As the organization grows from providing better experiences so too can employees if they choose. Giving employees more opportunities to advance their careers as the organization expands its customer base can help retain employees and reduce attrition. Providing new learning opportunities can enhance employee knowledge and their contributions to finding new ways for the organization to expand.
• Better pay. Let’s face it, compensation is important to all of us. And it’s more than just the paycheck. What’s the total compensation package available to employees at every level? What incentives are offered? Is it clear how employees can earn more as they advance their careers? Are benefits in lock step with current generational expectations? Do we link leadership compensation to the behaviors we know will create better CX?
• Safe and Healthy Work Environments. How do we ensure that even in a virtual environment, employees are enjoying safe and healthy home offices with the tools they need to deliver the great experiences? Do we communicate frequently to give employees a sense of belonging to the continued vision, mission, and values of the organization.
• Diversity and Inclusion. Do all employees feel welcomed and respected? Does the diversity of our employee group reflect that of our customers and vice versa? Do we actively promote diversity and inclusion to benefit not only the organization but the communities in which we operate?
• Recognition. Do we celebrate employees when they deliver great experiences? Are we clear in defining what a great experience is for our customers? Are we specific in how employees can deliver that experience regardless of their role in the organization? Do we engage employees in continuous improvements and seek their feedback?
I’m sure there are many more elements to answering the WIFM question for both customers and employees. An organization can only achieve its best customer experiences when it seeks to define this question clearly and specifically for both constituencies. This lack of clarity can cause confusion, missteps, and a failure to execute the desired CX strategies through no fault of either customers or employees. As CX leaders and professionals, our job is not only to execute the strategy but give both our customers and our employees the reasons why a positive customer experience will benefit them as well as our organization.