This guide will serve as a comprehensive starting point for Customer Experience Management.

There are more and more business leaders being called upon to guide Customer Experience (CX) initiatives. It’s no longer an optional function of the organization, but it has risen over the past decade to become one of the most critical and strategic disciplines.  To quote Forbes, “89% of businesses are competing primarily on the basis of CX…up from only 36% in 2010.”  Organizations that wish to survive the new global economy must not only practice Customer Experience, but they must learn to do it exceptionally well.

If you are new to the wonderful world of CX, welcome!  You will find Customer Experience professionals to be among the most generous, kind, intelligent, and passionate people in the corporate universe.  Even so, this path you’ve discovered can be overwhelming.  While I often say that Customer Experience is the best work in the world, it is also the hardest.  The good news is we are going to provide you with a massive head start.  This resource has synthesized years of learning to teach the core fundamentals of Customer Experience Management.  We will begin by laying the groundwork, continue with a step-by-step guide on how to perform the four key disciplines, and provide ongoing education with a curated list of the very best resources the CX community has to offer.  Let’s begin this journey to unforgettable experiences!

What Is Customer Experience?

Customer Experience (CX) is quite simply “How customers perceive their interactions with your company” (Forrester).  While related, CX is very different from Customer Service.  Customer Service is just one of the many critical pieces in a larger puzzle.   It’s the work of the CX professional to unify all the disparate parts of an organization to create a “one company” experience.  One could say the CX role is scientific in nature given it is made up of repeatable steps and behaviors, however it’s artistic in the sense that you are dealing with human emotions as the measure for success.  Because of this dynamic, it requires a very special type of person to be a CX leader.  We must be capable of telling compelling stories through a combination of both the empirical and the theoretical, be fluent in the language of every organizational function, as well as being masters in change management and culture building.  If you are not up for a long-lasting challenge, CX will not be the line of work for you.  But, while it is difficult, the fruits of this labor are second-to-none.  When we design exceptional Customer Experiences, we are making people’s lives better and easier.  It’s wonderful that doing the right thing for our customers is also what will grow the business and differentiate us in the marketplace!​

True to the definition above, CX work is all about perceptions.  We want our customers to have a meaningful relationship with our brand and to think highly of it.  So highly, in fact, that our customers become brand ambassadors to their friends and family.  This customer perception will be formed from a series of “touch points” or moments in which a customer interfaces with your organization.  It’s the job of the CX leader to identify and analyze each of these touch points, thereby isolating key CX improvement opportunities and enhancing overall customer journeys.  There are many tools, techniques, and best practices that CX professionals use to accomplish this objective.  We will equip you with these by exploring the four foundational disciplines of Customer Experience Management: CX Strategy, Voice of the Customer, Experience Engineering,and closing with Employee Experience.  In order to continue your education beyond the basics, we will curate for you the very best thought leaders, communities, and live events to help you accelerate your career as a CX professional.  The navigation buttons below will bring you quickly to each core discipline.  If I was with you in person, I’d give you a high-five and wish you the very best of luck on your quest to design remarkable customer experiences!  This hand emoji will have to suffice for now.

Nate Brown’s sweet spot is helping employees understand the customer journey and how they can play a role in improving it. Yet he is well versed in a variety of CX disciplines, including journey mapping, survey process and analysis, voice of the customer programs, employee engagement and many more. In his role as Director of Customer Experience at UL EHS Sustainability, he works tirelessly to improve both the agent experience and the customer experience in a multi-site, multi-platform environment, leading the client experience program for UL EHSS. Previously, Nate was Manager of Customer Support and Migration Consultant for the UL Workplace Health and Safety group. Twitter: @CustomerIsFirst  LinkedIn: Nate Brown