Seeking Most Credible Customer Experience Management Certification


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I’m looking into Customer Experience Management certifications and have found 2 groups who offer a certification program – Strativity and GCCRM. Can anyone provide insight on which is a better/more credible program? Or if there is another one I have missed?


Daryl Choy
January 20, 2008


Go for Strativity.

If you are in corporate training, I’d suggest you to get certified for Forum’s Achieving Service Excellence and Branded Customer Experience.

Please visit for more information.

Good luck!

Daryl Choy, the founder of Touchpoint eXperience Management, helps firms make a difference at every touchpoint. Choy can be reached at

Graham Hill
January 20, 2008
Broaden Your Search a Bit


Daryl makes a very important point.

There are more vendors of CEM training out there than meets the eye. And not all of the training on offer is really worthy of the name. Don’t be fooled by clever advertising and endorsements. Much of the training is shallow and superficial, and of less educational value than reading through a good CEM book and mapping out your own approach with your team. And don’t be fooled by the “certification” on offer either. There are no standards bodies for CRM or CEM, so certification is just meaningless marketing hype.

There are no blue-chip universities offering CEM executive training that I am aware of. In their absence, take a look at the consulting companies that sit behind the authors of the best books on CEM to see what they have to offer. They often have training programmes too. Contact them to find out.

Far better to hear about CEM from an expert author with years of deep CEM consulting and a bona fide consultancy behind them, than from a training company that has never actually implemented CEM itself. And as the majority of the training effect occurs back in the workplace after the training has been completed, you will need post-training support (sometimes quite detailed hands-on support) from them over the next 12-18 months, as you start to implement what you learnt. This is something that training companies do not provide.

Who are the best CEM authors, what books did they write and what consulting companies sit behind them? I have consulted in CEM for clients of all sizes over the last seven years. Here is the list of books that sit on my shelf and that I use in my own consulting.

Bernd Schmitt
Customer Experience Management (and other books)
the Ex Group

Colin Shaw
Building Great Customer Experiences (and other books)
Beyond Philosophy

Home of Customer Experience

Lou Carbone
Clued In: How to Keep Customers Coming Back Again and Again
Experience Engineering
Carbone also works with IBM too.

Shaun Smith & Joe Wheeler
Managing the Customer Experience (and other books)
(Smith) Shaun Smith + Co
(Wheeler) The Forum Corporation

Michael Dunn
Building the Brand-Driven Business

There are others, but these are by far and away the best. They all contain frameworks to help you think through how to analyse, design, plan and implement CEM.

I have looked at each of Lior Arussy’s books when they first came out. Sadly, I found them somewhat biased towards customer service, and shallow and uninspiring to boot. I cannot recommend the Strativity Group’s new CEM course for this reason.

Perhaps the most innovative thinker in the CEM space today is Chris Lawer of the OMC Group. Although not published (unless you count a PhD thesis), Chris has done more to expand CEM to include Customer Co-Creation than anyone else I know. If you think of what P&G’s A G Lafley said about brands needing to let go at the 2007 ANA conference(…), you will understand where Chris is coming from. And I know he gives CEM training courses based upon his unique approach too.

Chris Lawer
OMC Group

And don’t forget Paul Greenberg of BPT Partners. Paul and the BPT team are CRM authors, experienced consultants and BPT Partners is a visionary training company too.

Paul Geenberg
CRM At The Speed of Light
BPT Partners

As I see you work in the advertising industry (for Javelin Direct), perhaps it would be best to start looking at Bernd Schmitt, Shaun Smith and Michael Dunn’s books and companies as a start point. They all come at CEM from the “Brand the Customer Experience” perspective, rather than the opposite “Experience the Real Brand as the Customer Does” perspective.

If you don’t find anything you are looking for. Don’t forget that it is possible to have a CEM course custom developed for you. There are a number of experienced CEM consultants who would do this for you. Silvana Buljan of Smartworxx ( has done this for telecoms/business school clients for example. And you would own the IP on the resulting course. That would mean you could reuse it internally, with your advertising clients and with Javelin Direct’s advertising partners ad infinitum. At no extra cost.

Please let us know what you decide to do.

PS. free to contact me at graham[dot]hill[at]web[dot]de if you want more guidance on selecting suitable training. I ran part of the biggest CRM/CEM training project in Europe (10,000 staff, 85 trainers, 18 months) and CRM/CEM consultant traing for PwC in a previous job), so I have some experience about what to look for in good CEM training and post-training support.

Graham Hill
Independent CRM Consultant
Interim CRM Manager

February 4, 2008
Thank you!

I greatly apprecaite your guidance and information. I’ll look into the books you recommended and contact Silvana for the offering you mentioned.

– young CEM grasshopper

March 18, 2009
Thank U

Thank you so much, i contacted the companies you mentioned as I was seeking a corporate training for our customer experience managers.

Lior Arussy
June 2, 2009
Complete Stratgeic Framework – Power In Execution


I just came across this post and felt it needed to be responded to. Better late then never.

For the record Strativity conducted complete CEM design and execution program for leading clients around the world. Our work, based on our CEM stratgeic framework, did not stop at disgnostic and design but extended all the way to employees experience, organizational alignment and change management which ensured success and sustainability.

In fact two of our projetcs won awards for the organizational transformation we created.

Our work was applied to multitude of touch points, industries and business models. This is the experience we bring to our CEM Certification program.

Although you mentioned a nice list of consultants, none of them to the best of our knowledge is willing to share at the level of depth their approach and teach CE practitioners how to do it themselves. we do.

The cem certification program delivered by Strativity,, was attended by participnats from around the world and I strongy suggest that you will read some of the comments of real participants and how they evaluated the knowldege shared with them and their overall experience. This is the ultimate judge.

Lior Arussy

P.S. I am truly sorry my books failed to inspire you.

August 7, 2011
CEM for Public Sector

Hi all,

Am looking forward for a CEM certification program/training that provides hands on experience and real life applications with specific focus to the public sector. The ultimate goal is to equip the government concerned staff with necessary tools and methodologies to transform their organizations and enhance their customer experience using internal capabilities.

Appreciate if someone can provide guidance, insights, and recommendations on the best suitable program meeting above needs.


Z Al Ameri

July 30, 2012
customer experience management training

LearnMax is one of the leading provider of workshop on Customer Experience Management. Their module helps you enhance the total customer experience across multiple channels and touch-points throughout the whole customer lifecycle.

September 6, 2012
CEM certification projects

Checkout IICEM. For advanced classes there are hands on projects that help the course attendees master the classroom training.
Sampson Lee
February 24, 2013
Seeing is Believing

Listen to the voices of attendees from 58 countries on six continents.

Julio Herrera
February 25, 2013
Match your needs and different courses features

My contribution: Six years implementing CEM in hotels in Europe. Took GCCRM course at the beginning. Read many books cited by Graham Hill above (by the way, a clever description of current CEM courses landscape). Nowadays there is a wide range of CEM courses, each one stressing a specific aspect of the transformational process. So you better matched your current needs with them. If it is not clear your main gaps, I recommend read one of the books which cover the whole process. In my view there is no a book or a course being the holy grail of CEM.

GCCRM course inspired me to “cross the river to the other side” and to see TRULY how things are from the point of view of every single customer; easy to say and tough to reach; thank you Sampson.

I have read and studied the book Customer Experience Strategy written by Lior Arussy. It is strongly oriented to harness the team with powerful tools to transform people within the company, to action, to get results. Extremely inspirational for me. Thank you Lior.

Paul Ward
February 25, 2013
Training for CEM

I’ve taught the GC-CEM training probably 10 times. I also have a lot of respect for Paul Greenberg’s CRM training, which includes a lot of CEM components. I don’t know Strativity’s content, but they seem well-respected.

The key is not to find “the best”, but “the best fit”. Each of the groups I’ve mentioned have extensive material online you can check out to see what is actionable, coherent, and research-driven, and to what extent.

Schedule is also important, as is location. I know that the GC-CEM group works hard to make the trainings convenient to major cities/airports, and I would presume the others do as well.

All three programs have had attendees at the highest levels from the top global companies, as well as midmarket players. I think this is important, since that means most companies should be able to get value out of the trainings.

One thing that I believe distinguishes GC-CEM is their original research that has not been underwritten by clients. They truly want to build a dataset out of their general framework that people can reference and trust. Plus, I know that Sampson Lee listens hard to the voice of the customer on these trainings and chooses great talent to teach. This may also be true for the other participants.

Finally, I totally agree that you should first survey the popular literature. I would go further and recommend a survey of the academic literature as well. This will prepare you for an appreciation of the approaches offered by these training companies.

Good luck!



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