CX beginners: Here’s how to get into the field according to 5 experts

Maybe you’re in college, about to go there, or already established in your field, and you set your sights on Customer Experience. It’s a little specific industry, and some advice on how to go about it may be handy, so we asked five industry veterans for their words of wisdom for aspiring CX specialists.

Jaroslav Chaloupka

Former Director of Customer Management, UNIQA

I don’t want to advise students to change fields and get into CX. Maybe they’re studying far more important things and will get us on Mars one day or make nuclear fusion work. I also think CX isn’t a traditional area to study.

People who can really do CX have two things in common. First, infectious will to be pro-customer and do things well. They view the customer as a partner they want to build a long-term relationship with. Fairness, decency, empathy, and integrity of opinion are the values they strive to practice. When customers perceive these in a relationship, they will be loyal and won’t mind spending money with the company. Healthy governance and sustainable profits will follow – assuming, of course, that the business model is sound.

The second common trait of great CX experts is that they are all a bit different. Knowledge of various fields and an ability to put this knowledge together, curiosity, being a good listener, understanding of both traditional and behavioral economics, and looking for solutions that work – these are the skills I would look for if I were hiring a CX expert. So if a student or anyone else finds himself in this description, they have the right predispositions for CX.

And then, it’s the usual stuff – education, hard work, learning from more experienced people and not being afraid to do new things. And remember: real CX is lived. It’s like your life mission, not just a 9-5. Good luck!

Lukáš Viktora

Head of Customer Journey, Gen

As an individual aspiring to work in CX, you need to be enthusiastic.

Enthusiastic about immersing yourself in the world of real customers and gathering insights that help the rest of the company understand who these customers are and what are their expectations. Enthusiastic about meeting real customers and familiarizing yourself with their feedback. Enthusiastic about Service Design and continuous improvement of the customer experience during every interaction with the brand. 

But don’t stop there – be the catalyst for enthusiasm within the organization. Advocate for the importance of delivering exceptional experiences and inspire others to share your passion because creating a truly great customer experience is a collaborative effort that involves every member of the company.

Nigel Bowman

Associate Partner, Dragonfish Consulting

Choose carefully the CX role and company you work for. CX roles are hard so give yourself a fighting chance of success by choosing a company that is sincere in its desire for positive, customer driven, change. True CX transformation means change at the deepest level within a company. It may mean a change in what the company considers important (e.g. in their corporate Values), how they act every day and the decisions they make (e.g. in their Behaviours and reward systems) and potentially in what they want to be (e.g. their Vision) and even how they plan to get there (i.e. their strategy). 

Many companies have slick statements on their corporate websites and in their advertising about being ‘customer centric’ but the reality for their customers (and employees) is often far from this. These companies represent a great opportunity for a CX professional to make a difference but it does not mean that the company concerned is truly open to change. My top tip is make sure you have a strong sponsor and voice at the CEO’s table. There will be difficult conversations as CX, when done well, holds a mirror up to the executive team and the Board so a strong voice + a true desire to change is vital.

Dean Brabec

CX Director, ČSOB

In my studies in Denmark and the UK, I realised that knowing the theory is important, but true success comes from putting it into practice. Working with smaller businesses allowed me to experiment, like trying basic customer journey mapping. The owners were excited because they hadn’t approached it this way before. Prioritising practical skills has been essential in addressing real-world CX challenges while searching for job opportunities in the beginning.

Ondřej Borovička

Head of Customer Experience, Out of Dark

There’s no simple answer. What’s important in CX is having empathy, understanding the data, and then connecting the two into a story. That means listening to and understanding the customer and then being able to describe this reality with numbers. Constructing the story and persuasively explaining the customer’s viewpoint will help you to advocate for and push forward the customer’s viewpoint and have an impact on CX.

Do you want to create an interactive and easy-to-use customer journey map with powerful touchpoints, personas, automatic KPI import & monitoring, and much more?

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