Who will speak for CX professionals?

By Nancy Porte CCXP posted 06-30-2022 03:53 PM


One question that I hear often from CX practitioners is “Why do I still spend time explaining and justifying the existence of my role as a CX professional?” Despite commitments and investments by organizations of all types in customer experience, many CX practitioners find that before they can help their organizations provide greater value to customers, they must first define their role and CX practices to the rest of the organization. Other specialties like Finance and Project Management do not seem to face this challenge to the same extent – the principles and roles of these areas are known, accepted and respected. So why is it different for CX – and what can we do about it?      

Part of the answer to the question is to understand the natural development of what is considered a profession.  One definition of a profession is “a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification.” A profession also has characteristics. One expert* states that a profession has “a professional association, cognitive base, institutionalized training, licensing, work autonomy, colleague control and a code of ethics.”

So let’s take a look at the development of Accounting and Project Management as occupations.  There is evidence of accounting language in Mesopotamian civilizations as early as 8000-5000 BC.  In 1887 the American Association of Public Accountants (AAPA) was established.  The accounting profession was formally recognized with the establishment of the professional title of Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in 1896.

Project Management is a much more recent discipline, having grown up in the aerospace, construction, and defense industries in the 1960s. Its industry association, the Project Management Institute (PMI) was founded in 1969, developed standards for the industry by 1980, and established the PMP (Project Management Professional) Certification in 1984. By 1996, PMI produced the first Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). Subsequent work has included regular updates of the PMBOK, formal study courses through the association chapters, accredited Registered Education Providers (REPs), and universities, and an extensive certification portfolio offering options for many career stages including new project managers (0-3 years of experience), skilled practitioners (3+ years of experience) and senior level practitioners (8+ years of experience).

So, what about CX? Many cite Lou Carbone and Stephan Haeckel’s 1994 article “Engineering Customer Experiences” as an early seminal article in what has since developed into the CX profession. Since that time the field of customer experience management has matured including the development of dedicated CX roles, which were present in nearly a quarter (24%) of large organizations according to a 2004 Forrester report written by Bruce Temkin.  In 2011, CXPA was founded as an independent non-profit dedicated to advancing the CX profession, and the first independent CX certification CCXP (Certified Customer Experience Professional) launched in 2014.  More and more companies recognize the importance of the profession as a key ingredient in building and maintaining customer value, and a growing number of professionals have responsibility for assessing and improving customer experience across entire organizations.  But the challenging question still remains: “Why do I still spend time explaining and justifying the existence of my role as a CX professional?”

On behalf of the CXPA Board of Directors, I’m proud to share what are doing to help further advance the CX profession and help provide independent answers about the role of CX professionals. 

  • We are the independent global professional association for CX professionals. We support CX professionals to share, learn, inspire, and grow throughout their entire career.
  • We have developed the CXPA CX Framework, which is based on a comprehensive job analysis study of the CX professional role.
  • We grant the Certified Customer Experience Professional based on the CXPA CX Framework.
  • We created CXJobBoard.com which connects top CX applicants with CX opportunities and published the CXPA Guide to Job Descriptions.
  • We host whatiscx.com and the annual CX Day global celebration to raise awareness and understanding of CX.
  • We have recently journey mapped a CX leader’s first year in a new leadership assignment in collaboration with Heart of the Customer and Quadient, results that will be shared with the CXPA member community in the coming months.
  • More than 50 volunteers are currently involved in developing the CXPA CX Book of Knowledge under the guidance of Heather Gillbanks, CCXP. This independent, peer-driven consensus CX reference book will be available this October.
  • An additional three dozen volunteers are working under the leadership of Michelle Spaul to write a series of monographs to facilitate understanding and collaboration between CX teams and other key organization functions including the C-Suite, Finance, and Operations. The series will also be available starting in October.

Each of these projects contributes toward the advancement of the CX profession – but CXPA is also much more. Our members share both passion and personal learning every day through our members-only online forum, online topic guides and resources, and peer networking opportunities. Whatever your career stage or need, we have options for you to build your knowledge, grow your professional recognition, or demonstrate leadership as a volunteer.

If the CX profession is important to you and you are not yet a CXPA member, I encourage you to join.  We are here to help support you at every step – including providing trusted, independent answers about the role and importance of CX professionals.

If you are a CXPA member, THANK YOU.  It would not be possible for us to advocate for the profession without your support. Please let me or our staff team know if you would like to be more involved or if we can provide more value to you. 

Together in Advancing CX,





07-08-2022 05:17 PM

@Michelle Morris CCXP Thanks, ​Michelle! We often discuss all that we need to do for our members but, sometimes, it’s good to take stock of how far we’ve come! Exciting time indeed!

07-08-2022 05:07 PM

@Nancy Porte CCXP - It's such an exciting time to be a part of the CXPA!  Thank you for your leadership, Nancy!   I love how you clearly laid out some of the major initiatives going on right now!  What a time it is to be a CX professional!​