It can be daunting to chart a career path in customer experience, as there are several possible roles and pathways.
The global customer experience (CX) management market is projected to reach $48.56 billion by 2032, according to a report by Polaris Market Research. Given the importance of customer experience, beginners must quickly get up to speed and find ways to stand out from the competition.
One way to showcase expertise is by attaining a customer experience certification. A CX certification provides recognition of your knowledge and capabilities within the field of customer experience and can be the steppingstone needed to establish yourself in the industry.
Read on for the advantages of CX certification, plus some of the certifications available today.
Benefits of CX certification
There are several benefits to gaining a CX certification, including the following:
- Credibility. A CX certification boosts your credibility as a CX professional because it affirms customer experience-related knowledge.
- Increased marketability. Certification helps you stand out when searching for a job and can attract the interest of top-level companies.
- Networking. Earning a CX certification puts you among a unique group of professionals within the industry. With access to these professionals, you can find answers to questions you have throughout your career and find other job opportunities along the way.
- Continued learning. By gaining certification and keeping it current, you can establish continued learning habits and growth opportunities throughout your career.
CXPA and the CCXP certification
The Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) is a global nonprofit dedicated to advancing the CX profession. The organization's goal is to make customer experience management a key part of how businesses operate by creating standards and best practices for use across the industry.
CXPA provides a networking opportunity for CX professionals. It also administers the Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) credential, which assesses proficiency in key areas necessary for any CX job. The CCXP is the only accreditation not specific to a consulting or software firm. The CCXP certification consists of a 100-question exam that tests the following components:
- Customer insights and understanding.
- Customer experience strategy.
- Metrics, measurements and ROI.
- Design, implementation and innovation.
- Culture and accountability.
Candidates must have three years of CX-specific work experience and a post-secondary degree, or five years of work experience with at least three years of CX-specific work experience. However, beginners in the customer experience industry can join CXPA while they build the necessary experience to apply for the certification. CCXP status lasts for two years, and professionals must participate in ongoing professional development activities within the network to maintain their accreditation.
Other top CX certifications
While CCXP remains the top certification within the industry, it's not the only one available. Here are some other notable CX certifications.
The Medallia Institute offers its Customer Experience Certification course. This two-level certification program provides training and evaluates your current CX efforts in addition to fostering a culture of CX accountability within an organization.
The certificate training program will teach you how to transform customer experience insights into action and set customer-centric goals that align with your organization. This certification is ideal for operational leaders who are heavily involved in decision-making.
The Forrester CX certification is meant to build proficiency to enhance business growth. There are three certification courses for individuals and teams:
- Mastering Customer Experience.
- Mapping Customer Journeys.
- Innovating Customer Experience.
Forrester certifications are meant for individuals across all experience levels, from early career professionals to executive sponsors. They help to educate individuals and teams about customer experience best practices and align teams around common goals that can help move the organization forward.
3. CX University
CX University helps individuals demonstrate mastery of CX with the Customer Experience Specialist certification. CX University is also a registered training provider of CXPA and offers several courses to prepare professionals for the CCXP exam.
McorpCX provides general education and certification in these four areas:
- Customer experience management.
- Customer journey mapping.
- Touchpoint mapping.
- Customer experience design.
The McorpCX training is ideal for organizations hoping to advance their customer experience knowledge, and exercises are customized to suit each organization's unique requirements.
5. Customer Service Institute of America
The Maximizing the Customer Experience course offered by the Customer Service Institute of America includes eight modules in a six-and-a-half-hour online course. At the end of the course, you will earn the Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCEP) certification -- not to be confused with CCXP.
This course is ideal for onboarding new personnel and providing refresher training. Course modules include "What is Customer-Focused Service?" and "What Customers Want."
6. LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn Learning offers over 100 courses for anyone who interacts with customers in their day-to-day work, whether beginners or managers. In-progress and completed courses are automatically displayed on your LinkedIn page, providing an immediate benefit to your online profile and resume. Topics covered include the following:
- CRM software.
- Contact centers.
- Customer service management.
- Customer service skills.
- Service metrics.
GoSkills is an online learning management system with over 100 courses for technical and nontechnical skills. The Customer Service Training course is meant for beginners and features 22 lessons, some of which are free, and several downloadable exercises.
Udemy offers hundreds of thousands of courses covering various topics and specialties. With over 1,000 CX-related courses, Udemy has options for nearly every experience level. The following are some of the most popular courses:
- Customer Experience Certification Workshop.
- Customer Experience (CX) in Industry 4.0.
- Customer Service Masterclass: Turn Buyers into Raving Fans.
The courses vary in length, format and price, with several deals occurring throughout the year that can drastically lower the cost. For example, the Customer Experience Certification Workshop includes 10 sections covering 64 lectures with over three hours of on-demand video and downloadable resources. While the regular price for this course is $74.99, deals can bring that price down to $18.99.
9. HubSpot Academy
HubSpot Academy is a free online learning platform that covers various topics, such as marketing, sales, customer experience, HubSpot software and more. Course options range from short lessons to comprehensive certifications and can feature videos, e-books, quizzes and more to test your knowledge and understanding of the topic.
For example, the Creating a Customer Journey Map course is meant to teach users the fundamentals of customer experience through a customer journey map. It features two videos and a quiz with an estimated completion time of 12 minutes.
Coursera is an online learning platform with thousands of courses covering various topics and is affiliated with over 300 universities and companies. One of their CX-related courses is Branding and Customer Experience, part of the larger series Branding: The Creative Journey Specialization. While the course is estimated to take 11 hours, participants can set their own pace.