Is the Customer Experience Really Everyone’s Job?


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Is it really everyone’s job?

Pundits and experts alike say that customer experience is everyone’s job. If you google “customer experience is everyone’s job” and “customer service is everyone’s job,” you’ll find endless articles, blogs, and webinars with that very title.

It’s true. Technically, it is everyone’s job.

The spirit of the statement, though, is this: every employee impacts the customer experience, whether he’s part of your frontline interacting with customers face to face/phone to phone or she’s behind the scenes making sure the website works well or designing brochures to describe your products. Every employee matters; every employee contributes.

It seems like that’s just one more proof point that the employee experience comes first – and drives the customer experience.

So it kills me when I see so many job postings for “customer experience” roles. In this regard… NO, customer experience is not everyone’s job. I’ve seen positions posted with titles of Customer Experience This or Customer Experience That. Ironically, the postings were really sales/retail  positions or call center/customer service jobs. And sadly, many of the job descriptions never even mentioned the customer! How can that be?

I am an active member (and a Board Member) of the Customer Experience Professionals Association; my colleagues and I are fighting to get recognition for the customer experience profession. This means that we’re looking to legitimize, validate, or otherwise verify or confirm that if your job entails listening to the customer and using what you hear to develop and to execute on a customer experience strategy, or if you oversee a team of folks doing the same, or if you are tasked with ensuring the entire organization drives toward a better customer experience, then you are a customer experience professional. If that’s the case, then your title should have the words “customer experience.” (If you’re a consultant who consults on one and the same, it’s fine if your title contains those words, too.)

Instead, what we’ve found is that, with the popularization of customer experience roles and the push to improve the customer experience, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, making it trendy to put “customer experience” in every title. Unfortunately, this simple action dilutes the profession and what we’re trying to do.

The good news is, customer experience has gained attention. The bad news is, with that, it can also become meaningless. When job descriptions have a customer experience title but never mention the customer in the actual description, a major fail has occurred.

What should you do?

Do your job, the one you’re hired for. You don’t have to have “customer experience” in your title in order to prove that you impact the experience. If you’re a true customer experience professional, one whose role is to make customer experience management an integral part of how their companies operate, do all that you can to stay true to the profession… for yourself and for those around you. For those whose job is to deliver a great customer experience, give the CX professional a chance – they are taking what they hear from customers and translating it into a story to help you deliver a great experience.

In the end, yes, we are all responsible for ensuring our customers have a great experience – title or not. How will you execute?

When it comes to creating a great customer experience, everyone within the company is committed to doing what it takes to succeed. -Quotepedia

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Annette Franz
Annette Franz is founder and Chief Experience Officer of CX Journey Inc. She is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, consultant, and speaker. She has 25+ years of experience in helping companies understand their employees and customers in order to identify what makes for a great experience and what drives retention, satisfaction, and engagement. She's sharing this knowledge and experience in her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the "Customer" in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business).


  1. I almost jumped out of my seat to applaud when I read this post. I, too, am getting quite annoyed at the job postings for “customer experience professional” or “customer experience specialist” which are actually call centre jobs, retail jobs, or other sales jobs.

    I agree that everyone in the organization impacts the customer experience in one way or the other. “Customer Experience is in every business decision” is one of my quotables.

    I agree with you with respect to the nature of the work we customer experience professionals and customer experience specialists do. We specialize in the end-to-end experience a customer has, delivered by employees who need to have a good to great employee experience.

    I’m with you 100% that we need to speak up to ensure the value we provide is recognized and appreciated, rather than diluted by those who have jumped onto the CX bandwagon.

    Feel free to reach out if you’d like to join forces 🙂

  2. As admirable as it seems to undertake creating an association of customer service professionals, I kept thinking about the enormity of the challenge as I read to the end your article. Along the way, I questioned whether this was a meaningful project. When I got to the last sentence – the quote from Quotepedia – I had my answer. Because everyone in a company can be defined a Customer Experience Professional, there is no specialization, no uniqueness, no centralized collective knowledge, no formal certifications, and no ethical contract. (I saw none on the CXPA website, though I did see pages for global sponsors and corporate members.) Most telling was the conspicuous omission of a statement describing exactly what a customer experience professional is. How would anyone know whether this group supports their professional development goals?

    While some professional associations do not have all these elements (some do not have formal certifications, for example), the absence of all of them seems odd to me. An association of customer service professionals compares to an association of computer professionals. Is it anyone who uses a computer? What would be the point? The closest I could find was the AITP – the Association of Information Technology Professionals. But that organization offers a specific vision, mission, values, and guiding principles. (see Maybe CXPA is working on similar definitions. Without them, I don’t see the value.

  3. Andrew,

    Thanks for your comment. Just a minor correction… the association is one of customer EXPERIENCE professionals, not of customer SERVICE professionals. There is a difference (

    And the whole point of my post is that NOT everyone in the organization is a customer experience professional.

    You must have missed the link right there on the homepage about Certification Program. Here’s the direct link to the CXPA’s certification…

    I won’t share the various links here, but if you take a moment to look around the CXPA website (, you will find answers to all of your questions, e.g., mission of the association, what a CX professional is, etc.

    If you can’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to reply here… I’ll find you answers. I can assure you that CXPA has those elements and more. The association is focused on education, sharing, networking, advancing the CX profession, and so much more.

  4. Annette, I completely agree with your article! I have some thoughts about Andrew’s comment, and the topic as a whole.

    I’ve found that customer experience excellence is affected by every employee, partner and supplier of an enterprise. Everyone has a ripple effect on customers’ well-being. Nobody is exempted from the need to be customer-centered.

    Customer experience (aka CX) is a managerial context for everyone: stewardship for choices that are wise with respect to 1) financials, 2) people, and 3) customers’ well-being is universal to every manager and everyone else the company formally associates with.

    Even though every supervisor in a company has responsibility to manage their staff, including performance reviews, development plans, compensation and promotion recommendations, and the like, nobody finds that confusing about the HR profession. I think it is important to apply this analogy to “customer experience excellence responsibility” apart from the “CX profession”.

    Vendors and marketers and execs who want to jump on the bandwagon of a hot topic are truly doing this noble cause a disservice when their claims and roles confuse (A) ripple effect on CX versus (B) the 6 competencies of CX management, as you point out, Annette. CX is not identical to customer service or customer loyalty or CRM or VoC. It’s an umbrella for those endeavors, just as HR is not identical to training or recruiting or benefits management or the software used to automate HR responsibilities.

    Vendors and practitioners alike could help clarify the full value of CX by ceasing to confuse it with technologies:

  5. Thanks, Lynn. And great point about the technology aspect of it, which truly has confused the subject even more. Every platform out there now is a customer experience platform. Software is “simply” a tool to facilitate the overall objective.

  6. Hi Annette – sorry it has taken me so long to add further support to your words here. I quite agree that ‘every person and their dog’ is jumping on the CX bandwagon right now – That is a good thing in some respects, but it is vital to keep reinforcing that whilst everyone in an organisation does indeed have an impact on the delivery of Customer Experience, the skills and competencies required to TRANSFORM the way an organisation thinks about, delivers, designs and improves the Customer Experience is a very different matter.

    I always say how ironic it is that CX is one of the newest professions to gain recognition around the world – ironic as CX has always been there – just subconsciously!! It is so important that genuine CX Professionals are able to maintain and GROW the credibility and authenticity of the tremendous value that we are bringing to businesses all over the globe. I believe that there is an increasing wave of recognition that a greater level of knowledge and competency is needed – which is why the more CCXPs there are in the world, the better!!

  7. Yes, CX is a real profession, and the CXPA is the key reason why that’s true.

    Yes, “customer experience” is everyone’s job, in that directly or indirectly, everyone has an impact. From the product designer to the person in the shipping office to truck drivers to sales people, … everyone!

    (Of course, I could replace “customer experience” with “customer relationship,” “customer value,” or “customer-centricity” and that last sentence would be just as true. )

    But that doesn’t mean “CX” should be applied to every job. As Annette points out, over exposure could water down the term.

    I thought this was a pretty good definition: “if your job entails listening to the customer and using what you hear to develop and to execute on a customer experience strategy, or if you oversee a team of folks doing the same, or if you are tasked with ensuring the entire organization drives toward a better customer experience, then you are a customer experience professional.”

    This positions CX as more of a strategy profession, not the doing. So, customer service people contribute but they’re not really CX professionals.

    The problem is that when a term becomes trendy, everyone wants a piece of the buzzword goodness. Popularity leads to an overcrowded bandwagon, which either collapses or empties out as people rush to the next trendy title.

    The CX profession is at least partly to blame for this, by pushing CX as an all encompassing business strategy that includes products, pricing, and, yes, even experiences! Everything is included in the CX, and everyone should be involved. There’s already a word for that: business.

    Be careful, because once you’ve jumped the shark, the next step is reruns.

  8. Thanks, Ian. Agree with all your points… especially the point that the skills required to transform the experience are a very different matter.

    Love the notion that CX has always been there. You’re absolutely right!

  9. Bob, your point in the last paragraph is an interesting one… there is a word for that, and it is “business.” Customers are the reason we’re in business, so perhaps it’s ok for all of those areas to fall under the CX strategy.


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