If you are ready to signal to the business community that you are serious about customer experience and your intention to be part of its leadership ranks, it’s time to work on earning your internationally recognized Certified Customer Experience Professional certification.
Doing so makes you a part of an elite group of certified CX professionals who lead the way in customer experience innovation and action.
The Basics of the Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) Certification
The certification is called CCXP and it is offered by the CXPA organization. It is paid ($645 for CXPA Members; $495 for Non-Members) and it is valid for two years. You will need to maintain the CCXP certification during those two years by attending CX events and by continuously learning. At the end of the two year period, certified CX professionals pay either $349 or $199 to extend the certification for two additional years.
Once you earn the CCXP certificate, your name is published in the official record of CCXPs around the world.
Make sure to review exam eligibility rules as part of your planning process. And please do not underestimate the CCXP exam! It is not easy, and it is not intuitive.
In order to do well on the exam, you must study the materials. So the exam format doesn’t surprise you on test day, you will need to use sample exams to prepare. Go back to your SAT and GMAT years and calibrate yourself to standardized test thinking.
Why bother? Why take the CCXP exam?
It is still quite rare to find a certified Customer Experience professional (there are only about 700 certified professionals in the world), but that gives you even more of an edge in the CX industry.
Even if you do not believe in certification as a general rule, I recommend you take this one. It helps you learn how to build and execute a structured, organized CX strategy across an organization.
For me, the CCXP certification helped me to better understand my current role in my company and how it relates to the CX field overall. I found the learning process rewarding, and I recommend it to every professional who is serious about pursuing a customer experience career.
How to prepare for the CCXP exam
Since the CCXP exam is not widely popular, it is challenging to find structural materials to prepare for the exam.
To help you overcome this challenge, I am sharing my study plan and resources. I took the exam last November when it was still in the “old” 70 question format (there is a talk about changing it to 100), and my result was 88.57%. You need 80% to pass.
The following structured approach worked for me. Feel free to adapt it to fit your learning style.
Read Test Prep Materials
The first thing I read was the Official CCXP handbook. Chapter 3 is the most useful for exam prep. It breaks down the 6 categories of the exam in detail, along with what percentage weight each category has in the total grading.
Next, I read Michael Bartlett’s CCXP Exam Preparation booklet. I bought it in hard copy and memorized it. It was foundational and helpful. I highly recommend making Bartlett’s material the foundation of your study plan. He includes 40 exam questions in the back that are good preparation for the real exam format. I went through those CX exam study questions 2-3 times before sitting for the test.
Study Books by Customer Experience Thought Leaders
Next, I read one of my favorite Customer Experience books – Outside In. The only regret I had was that I did not have enough time to read this book twice. Pay special attention to Chapter 6, and to the early chapters.
Following Outside In, I picked up another must-read for CX test prep, Chief Customer Officer 2.0 by Jeanne Bliss. She goes deeper into measurements and how to think about customer growth as a result of CX. I recommend you read this book after you have read Outside In.
The next two books to cover are Uncommon Service and The Effortless Experience. Although this list may feel like a lot, it is totally worth it. These are foundational materials and essential concepts that all CX professionals know about and use daily.
Regardless of your interest in the CCXP certification, I recommend you use these books to get acquainted with the foundations of CX.
If you have never done Journey Mapping in your career, the Customer Journey Management class on the CXPA website is an affordable way to learn fundamentals on the go. It is around $50 for CXPA Members. And the series of recordings allows you to go at your own pace. My favorite – and the most practical – sections were taught by Valerie Peck.
Commit to Learning
After the Journey Mapping class, I had to face that, in order to get comprehensive learning relevant to the CCXP exam, I needed to invest more. So I took Lynn Hunsaker’s online class.
That class put all of my readings in a structural format that allowed me to think fast on the exam. Her class, CCXP Exam Prep Course, is my favorite resource to prepare for the CCXP exam.
The class followed the structure of the exam and focused on the things that need to be memorized for the exam. I do not think that I would have passed the exam without spending that class time learning. The class is not cheap. It is as expensive as the exam itself. But it is totally worth it. When I first started the test prep process, I was not convinced I needed to pay the money and waited until the last moment to do so. In the end, I could not have made a better investment for myself.
Take Practice Tests
I don’t think I am telling you anything new that your SAT prep teachers did not when you were preparing for college. Practice exams are the best way to practice for standardized exams. However, don’t do it too early and waste the good resource while you are still learning.
Towards the end, I did nothing but practice exams so I could really get comfortable with the test format. I also read all the answers and learned from my mistakes (again, nothing new, but people don’t do it).
Check out CX University
I used CX University as a resource. I loved the tests. They were built like the real test and were relevant. For about $70, I got hundreds of questions for each of the six test topics. Also, when I reached out for support, they were quick to respond and even gave me a free additional test to better prepare for the exam!
Everyone has a different learning style, so my exact CX exam prep plan might not work for you. Regardless of your approach, I hope that the information I shared is helpful to you.
If you need to brainstorm on your specific goals, reach out to our Mentoring Program. We are always excited to speak with CX professionals across industries.
None of the publishers or instructors offered me any incentive to feature them here. This is my authentic experience, and I am happy to share it with you. Good luck joining the ranks of the Certified Customer Experience Professionals around the world! We need more of you for sure!
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