Forrester is building on its research into the ways organizations can improve the kind of customer experience they offer by launching a CX certification course that aims to close skills gaps, develop ROI models and more over a six-week period.
Based in Cambridge, Mass., Forrester’s analyst team covers a wide variety of subjects that include IT, B2B marketing and other areas that relate to CX. It also produces what it calls a CX Index that offers a way for organizations to benchmark themselves against similar firms in their industry.
According to Erin Streeter, Forrester’s vice-president of Training & Certification, the CX certification will be led by instructors with more than 20 years’ experience who will take participants through projects involving real-world deliverables and repeatable processes.
“Often customer experience gets adopted in pockets, but aligning multiple silos to a common understanding of customer experience, and getting everyone working from a common toolkit to design and improve experiences, proves really difficult,” Streeter told B2B News Network. “This course appeals because it helps drive that alignment, but also because it arms more people with the skills and working knowledge they need to be successful in helping their company differentiate on CX.”
Forrester expects those who take the CX certification to come from several possible functions within the enterprise, though there will probably be some obvious initial participants.
“In particular, marketers will find this course really valuable in collaboration with their customer experience colleagues,” Streeter said, “since establishing tight linkage between the brand — in terms of the experience the company promises to the marketplace – and CX, in terms of what customers actually experience, is so critical.”
Those who take the CX certification will be working with things like Forrester’s Customer Journey Mapping Canvas, which can be used to reflect the firm’s seven steps to highly effective journey mapping. Instructors will then ask them to actually populate and submit one based on their current CX programs as a means to demonstrate their understanding.
“The customers we co-created this product with told us this approach makes the time spent in the course extremely practical,” Streeter said. “Many of our beta testers told us the big gap they perceive in their online learning experiences is that the content might be great, but they sit down at their desk and don’t understand how to apply it.”
Beyond the six-week time period, Forrester hopes to build a true community of practice that engages its learners well beyond the CX certification and will be working with alums to measure the impact it expects, Streeter added. The company is also offering a two-week trial period for free.