When I applied for the CCXP certification, I had already been working hands-on in CX management for five years. This meant that I had an abundance of practical experience; but I was facing some serious gaps in theory. It was only when I was preparing for the upcoming exam and realised the amount of theoretical material to go through, that it became clear I needed a systemised approach. 

I started in Project Management and now find myself as a Customer Experience Professional. I maintain it is the best career decision I could probably make. My learning path to gain my CCXP certification was longwinded. I started work on this piece shortly after passing the exam. It only felt right to share my advice and experience to fellow CX-colleagues. 

When the world seems to be facing new impactful crises, this piece about self-learning seems to be just on time. Our ability to be self-starters and quickly learn new skills will be shaping our future from now on. 

Tip #1 – Frame your vision and goal clearly

Without a clearly specified goal, your learning process may just be chaotic content processing. Framing your vision from the beginning is crucial. When starting a lengthy learning project, you should consider these questions: 

  • Why am I starting this?
  • What does success look like?
  • What will I get as a result?
  • To make it happen, what are my trade-offs?

Answers to these questions will help to keep your focus on the result and end goal. On the other hand, they might make you reset your priorities and plans. Both are acceptable and important for your learning processes. For myself, the final goal was to gain a CCXP certification. Therefore, I had built the overall process around the exam preparation. 

Tip #2 – Treat your learning as a project

Without a clear plan and structure, you’re facing the risk of falling into procrastination and lack of focus. To avoid that, try applying project management principles. Any project has a specific timeframe, action plan and knowledge base – all of these can be easily applied to your learning process. 

  • Make up a realistic (that’s the key word!) plan and schedule. Make effort to stay on track with it.
  • Be diligent and accurate about saving learning content. Create a filing system for yourself which you’ll be able to easily search. This will help not to get stuck in the data chaos.
  • Be focused and consistent. Avoid starting too many learning programs simultaneously. Don’t get distracted by parallel streams and topics.

Starting my CCXP exam preparation, I made a common mistake – I hadn’t set a final date for my exam. This resulted in spending around six months longer that I should have done. However, as soon as I set up the final exam date, I braced myself for it and made it there.  

Tip #3 – Make your space pleasant to keep the process pleasant

Reserve some space for your learning – both physically and time-wise. 

  • Think of the best time for you to study and plan your studies. Book them in your calendar and block this time from anything else.  
  • Think of possible obstacles which might interfere with your studies and how to mitigate them. This could commonly include family members seeking attention, tiredness, and household routines. 
  • Think of the atmosphere and little rituals to cheer yourself up.
  • Be conscious of your body. Make sure you have enough sleep and exercise, as obvious as it may sound. Tired and sleep-deprived brain gets really slow in taking content in. 
CCXP certification learning environment

Most people I know prefer to study in the evening after working hours. I have been quite persistent in my attempts to integrate learning routine into my evening schedule. However, it soon became obvious that it didn’t work for me – I like keeping my evenings for my family. 

Instead, I have decided to have my learning routine early in the morning, well before working hours and daily chores. I am an early riser, so getting up early is not an issue, and besides, morning means minimum of distractors and fresh brain. Learn what works for you and adapt to that. 

Tip #4 – Grow your CCXP network

Networking works miracles, which is particularly true when it comes to learning. Your long road will be more fun in good company. 

  • Find yourself a mentor. It shouldn’t necessarily be someone you know personally. It can also be an opinion leader in your domain – someone who is a role model for you. 
  • Find a community where you can get support, links to useful materials and advice. 

In the beginning, I reached out for advice from colleagues who had already gained their CCXP certification. Our communication grew to a strong and supportive community.  

Today, global CX community is one of the most vivid, fast-growing and supportive among other domains. Supported and steered by global professional organisations, like CXPA, and world-known opinion leaders, the CX world is an amazing (though challenging!) place to build your network.   

Important to remember…

Every approach is individual. Each of us will have some tips about what works and doesn’t work for them personally. Go on in discovering new things; talk to your colleagues; look at other people’s experience; but always search for things that will work best specifically for YOU.  

Flexibility is particularly important now – the world is an unpredictable, yet still promising, place to live. Good luck in your learning endeavours. May the sky above your heads always be peaceful!  

My resources:

  1. “Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business” by Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine – a comprehensive and detailed roadmap to building your CX management framework 
  2. “Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine” by Jeanne Bliss – a guide for Customer Experience Officers, revealing the 5-competency model needed for successful CX transformation 
  3. “Managing the Customer Experience: Turning Customers Into Advocates” by Shaun Smith and John Wheeler – a step-by-step manual for boosting customer loyalty through the CX prism 
  4. “The Field Guide to Human-centered Design” by Ideo.org – a hands-on playbook for practicing human-centered design from design thinking evangelists Ideo.  
  5. CCXP Exam Simulator from Michael Bartlett – a must-have tool for getting through the exam routine, having a look at mock questions and understanding the exam logics. The simulator offers not only examples of test questions, but also provides detailed comments to each correct and incorrect answer. This will help you to analyse your knowledge gaps before the real exam takes place.  To become a CCXP, your certification requires as much exam practice as possible.
To help with your CCXP certification - 'Customer What?' by Ian Golding.

A separate shout-out to “Customer What? An Honest and Practical Guide to Customer Experience” by CX guru Ian Golding. This book became a true cornerstone of my exam preparation, framing all different pieces of knowledge and insights into a unified picture. The book gives a detailed overview of the customer experience “backstage”, providing not only comprehensive theory, but adding the list of practical activities to help you make this happen, and backing it all up with the “field” stories from the author. The book is the source of numerous tips and tricks, and, being written with the author’s usual good humor and ease, it is not only practical to read, but truly enjoyable as well.   

Editor’s Note: CXM’s CCXP Resources:

Here are some of our previous articles that we have published about CCXP that we would like to share for further insights –

  • Road to CCXP – this quick quiz will help let you know just how close you are to becoming a CCXP already!
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