I am not usually one for looking back and reflecting, as there is too much to be had from life, with plenty on my horizon.
However, having recently studied for – and passed – my CCXP exam, I have paused to think about how I got here. The mix of individuals attending the CX Masterclass made me realise that our profession attracts so many different people from so many backgrounds and career choices.
I am now Director of CX for a certification body, but this was not my original career plan and my journey here has not been a traditional one.
To start with, I didn’t go to university – I went to a performing arts school and trained as a dancer. The main thing I learned, and still carry with me to this day from working in theatre, is that hard work and positivity is the key to success. Life as a dancer is hard graft and at times very harsh from an emotional perspective, even though I did have a ball.
Since leaving the professional theatre world I have worked in customer service with many different focuses, including retail, financial, projects, and customer contact. I have been very privileged in my career to have worked with some amazing people who truly believed in me and what I could achieve.
My business career started in credit management, where I quickly understood the importance of building relationships both inside and outside the organisation; my success in the role was dependent on good customer understanding.
Every role I have ever had – from operational leadership to project management – has always been about people.
I only had the realisation about two years ago that what I have been interested in and dipping my toe into was so much more than just customer service and developing people; my thirst for knowledge and prolific reading led me to research Customer Experience.
The proposition of sitting an exam in CX was rather daunting as my work up until I attended the training course was from my gut and what I felt was the right thing to do, rather than from a structured ‘profession’ approach.
However, the first training course with Ian Golding sparked so many ideas – ones which I had previously only tinkered at the edges of. It put everything into place for me.
There are clearly areas where I am stronger than others, and the help, guidance, and extra resources provided by Ian during that first session gave me the confidence to continue my learning.
I chose to take the exam after the CX Masterclass. The exam itself was far longer and more challenging than I had imagined. However, now I have the qualification I am so excited to be entering 2018 with access to a wealth of knowledge and support through the CCXP which will help me to deliver my customers a much more consistent and improved experience.