I Trained as a Dancer…How did I end up a Qualified CX Professional?

February 1, 20184min

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.

Kate Birtles

Kate Birtles

Kate is the Director of Customer Experience for a Certification body in the Building Services sector. She has over 20 years’ experience of working with customers to meet their needs across retail, utility, entertainment and building services sectors. Kate’s creative approach has delivered success operationally as a leader of field and office based teams as well as delivering significant business change programmes. Kate is passionate about each individual being the best they can be and providing a base to really make a difference.

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