The 6th Annual CX day celebration offers a good time to reflect on how our industry has and continues to evolve – and it is a reminder that we need to evolve with it. Some CX leaders are newer to the profession and are looking for practical advice on how to grow their skills and careers. Others may have more experience, but want to keep up with industry advancements. Either way, our involvement in CXPA provides opportunity for professional and career development.
Professional development takes many forms, including academic degrees, formal coursework, attaining certifications, attending conferences and informal opportunities. I recently read an article that said companies are now providing less in the way of formal training, leaving it to each of us to manage our own professional development.
- ATTAIN CCXP CERTIFICATION. It is essential that you have a deep knowledge of core CX competencies. Effective CX leaders have a strong sense of the goals they are setting out to achieve. They also understand all the steps and details necessary to achieve these goals. They consistently demonstrate good judgment in developing strategies to understand customer needs, anticipate emerging demands and design excellent experiences. Lucky for us, the CXPA has provided a way to obtain professional recognition of high levels of knowledge of the CX discipline by becoming a certified customer experience professional. This will validate your credibility and expertise, provide a framework for advancement and demonstrate your commitment to continuous improvement. For more information, see ccxp.org.
- ATTEND A CONFERENCE, WEBINAR OR PODCAST. A wealth of information is available for the CX industry. A number of conferences offer opportunities to learn and network, such as the Qualtrics X4 Summit. And, of course, the CXPA has its annual conference and considerable resources available online. My company, Walker, offers regular webcasts and podcasts for professional development. These resources and more can help you learn and grow at a pace comfortable for you.
- FIND A MENTOR OR BE A MENTOR. A mentor can promote awareness and refinement of your professional development. A formal mentor relationship is a learning and development partnership between someone with expertise and someone who wants to learn. It could be formalized through an organization like CXPA, or you could approach someone you think would be able (and willing!) to help you grow. Or, you might serve as a mentor to someone just getting started – and you might be surprised by how much you learn in the process!
- SPEAK AT A CONFERENCE, WEBINAR OR PODCAST. Leaders in virtually every field possess strong communication skills. CX is no exception. The most effective CX leaders communicate the importance of CX in a way that not only encourages empathy for customers but also presents CX as a vital business strategy. This is true when delivering presentations and leading workshops as well as during daily interactions with internal and external stakeholders. Volunteering to speak to a group forces you to understand the topic and communicate clearly to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. Often, conferences, such as CXPA’s annual Insight Exchange, have a “call for speakers” on their website. You can also let it be known that you would be willing to be a guest on a webinar or podcast.
- WORK ON ADOPTING SPECIFIC TRAITS COMMON TO SUCCESSFUL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE LEADERS. Through the cumulative experience of the Walker team, we have identified 10 traits of top CX leaders as being:
- Catalyst for Change
- Business Savvy
You have to take charge of your professional development – no one is going to do it for you!