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Top CX certifications for customer experience professionals

A number of organizations offer customer experience certifications, including CXPA, Medallia, Forrester and the Customer Service Institute of America.

If you're just getting started in the customer experience industry, it can be daunting to chart a career path, as there are many roles and pathways you can take.

The global customer experience (CX) management market is projected to reach $17.5 billion by 2027, according to Verified Market Research. Given the importance of customer experience today, beginners need to quickly get up speed and find ways to stand out from the competition. 

One way to showcase your 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 you need to establish yourself in the industry. 

Here are some of the certifications available and why you should get one.

Benefits of CX certification

There are several benefits to gaining a CX certification. Some of these benefits include the following:

  • Credibility. A CX certification boosts your credibility as a CX professional. A certification provides the necessary industry-specific certification to aid any 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 up to date, 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 that can be used 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 six key areas necessary for any CX job. CCXP is the only accreditation that is not specific to a consulting or software firm. The CCXP certification consists of a 100-question exam that tests the following components:

  1. customer-centric culture;
  2. voice of the customer, customer insight and understanding;
  3. organizational adoption and accountability;
  4. customer experience strategy;
  5. experience design, improvement and innovation; and
  6. metrics, measurement and ROI.

To be eligible, candidates need to have three years of CX-specific work experience and a bachelor's degree. CCXP status lasts for two years, and professionals must participate in ongoing professional development activities within the network to maintain their accreditation. However, beginners in the customer experience industry can join CXPA while they build the necessary experience to apply for the certification. 

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.

Medallia

The Medallia Institute provides certification in Operational Customer Experience Management. This two-level certification program helps train and evaluate your current CX efforts and fosters 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 goals that align with your organization around the customer. This certification is ideal for operational leaders who are heavily involved in decision-making.  

Forrester

Forrester customer experience certification is meant to build CX proficiency to enhance business growth. There are five certification courses for individuals and teams, including:

  • Leading with Customer Obsession
  • Mastering Customer Experience
  • Mapping Customer Journeys
  • Innovating Customer Experience
  • Building Winning Business Cases

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. 

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 the CXPA and offers several courses to prepare professionals for the CCXP exam. 

McorpCX

McorpCX provides general education and certification in these four areas:

The McorpCX training is ideal for organizations hoping to advance their customer experience knowledge and trainings are customized to suit each organization's unique requirements. 

Customer Service Institute of America

The Maximizing the Customer Experience course offered by the Customer Service Institute of America includes eight modules in a 6.5-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 topics include, "What is customer-focused service?" and "What customers want."

Obtaining a customer experience certification isn't the only step required to establish yourself as a professional within the CX industry. There are several skills you will need to stand out among the best. There are many training courses to take along your journey and industry conferences to attend where you can hone your skills.

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