what is digital product management

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What is Digital Project Management and why is it important to businesses?

By Academy Xi

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We’ve compiled this list of questions most frequently asked about Digital Project Management to help you understand what it’s like to start a fast-paced career as a Digital Project Manager.

  • Project Management and why it’s important
  • Project Management essentials
  • Project Management skills and tools
  • Careers in Project Management
  • Industry demand for Project Management
  • Becoming a Project Manager

Already know you’d like to study Digital Project Management? Get in touch with our Course Advisors to discuss training options, and check out the upcoming intake dates.

Digital Project Management and why it’s important

What is Digital Project Management?

In the simplest terms, a project is a set of tasks and activities that are completed to achieve a specific goal or result. Project management is the process of leading a team that delivers that project and the best possible outcomes.  

Projects are normally temporary, rather than recurring. They should have a fixed timeline, allocated resources and a defined beginning and end. Projects may be large or small, complex or simple, and may take years to complete, or could be completed within a few days.

In a digital setting, projects come in all shapes and sizes, from developing large-scale web apps to orchestrating marketing campaigns. Digital Project Management is all about using cutting-edge tech to get the job done more efficiently and guiding a digital project from conception to completion.

How do businesses use Digital Project Management?

The pandemic has significantly accelerated the pace of digital transformation among Australian businesses. Recent years have seen organisations across the country acting rapidly to digitise business processes and migrate their activities online. 

This drive towards online business is a necessary response to the changing needs of customers and staff. As a result, businesses are initiating more digital projects than ever before, generating a growing need for a new breed of Project Manager. 

Digital Project Managers don’t stop at simply managing a team to deliver a project. They often adopt leadership roles and spearhead innovation on the widest scale, setting the strategic direction, owning the customer experience, and initiating projects that deliver results.

What does a Digital Project Manager actually do?

what do Digital Project Managers do

In the broadest sense, Digital Project Managers are responsible for planning, organising, and directing the completion of digital projects for an organisation, while ensuring these projects are delivered on time, on budget, and within scope.

Although no two roles will ever be the same, some of the day-to-day tasks that go into being a Digital Project Manager include: 

  • Planning projects (often using the waterfall approach)
  • Motivating, managing and getting the best out of your team
  • Running Agile Scrum sprints
  • Troubleshooting and getting failing projects back on track
  • Managing scope, time, budget, resources, risk and quality
  • Dealing with internal and external stakeholders 

Beyond getting the job done, a good Digital Project Manager builds trust, guides decisions, and is equally comfortable talking to developers and business executives.

Digital Project Manager essentials

What is waterfall?

Waterfall project management is generally considered the most straightforward way to manage a project.

The waterfall project management methodology breaks a project into distinct, sequential phases, with each new phase beginning only when the previous one has been completed. 

The Waterfall system is the most traditional method for managing a project, with team members working linearly towards set deliverables and goals. Each team member involved has a clearly defined role, and more often than not, none of the phases or goals are likely to change.

Waterfall project management works best for projects with long, detailed plans that require a single timeline. By contrast, Agile project management involves shorter project cycles, constant testing and adaptation, and overlapping work by different teams and contributors.

What is Agile?

Agile is a process for managing a project that involves constant collaboration and working in iterations. Agile Project Management works off the basis that a project can be continuously improved upon throughout its life cycle, with changes being made quickly and responsively.

The Manifesto for Agile Software Development laid out a groundbreaking approach to delivering value and collaborating with customers throughout projects when it was published in 2001. Agile’s four main values are:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

In project management terms, the last value might be the most important. Agile is one of the most popular approaches to Digital Project Management because of its flexibility, adaptability to change, and high level of customer input.

What is Agile scrum?

Combining the Agile philosophy with the Scrum framework, the Agile Scrum methodology is a project management system that relies on incremental development. Each iteration consists of two to four-week sprints, with the goal of each sprint being to build the most important features first and come away with a deliverable product. More features are then added in subsequent sprints and adjusted based on stakeholder and customer feedback collected between sprints.

Whereas other project management methods emphasise delivering an entire project in one operation from start to finish, the Agile Scrum methodology focuses on quickly building and refining a product to provide stakeholders with the highest business value in the least amount of time.

What is a scope of work document (SOW)?

A scope of work document is an agreement on the work a team is going to complete throughout a project. When Project Managers produce a scope of work document, it will normally include four key components: 

  • Deliverables Completing a project tends to involve a number of deliverables. Whether it’s delivering a report, building a piece of software, or finalising the design of a product, you need to have each deliverable item clearly identified in advance.
  • Timeline – This section of the document delineates the major phases of the project and their projected timelines. It will also mark the points in a project when certain deliverables are expected to be ready. A timeline is best presented visually (in a rolled-up Gantt chart, for instance), so team members and stakeholders can see exactly what’s happening and when.
  • Milestones – Larger phases of the project are often marked by milestones. Milestones are a way to help you monitor a project’s progress and ensure it’s adhering to your planned schedule. A Scope of Work document should have all milestones laid out on the timeline, including project kickoffs, presentations, hand-offs, etc.
  • Reports – You’ll probably be generating reports throughout the project, delivered to either your team, client or stakeholders. These might include status reports, progress reports or variance reports, to name just a few. The purpose of reporting isn’t just to flag whether or not the project’s progressing on schedule, but also offer a chance to highlight its successes on a more granular level.

Digital Project Management Skills

Digital Project Management Skills

What skills does a Digital Project Manager need?

A successful Digital Project Manager will rely on a spectrum of hard and soft skills when completing their day-to-day work. Here’s a shortlist of the fundamental skills that any aspiring Digital Project Manager should aim to develop.

Hard skills

  • Proficient with Project Management software  

Having a practical understanding of Project Management software is a must-have technical skill for project managers in today’s world. There are many Project Management software options available on the market, so you’ll need to determine which tools and features are best for you and your team’s workflow.

  • Project planning

A project plan is the foundation of the project management cycle, including the project schedule, resources and costs. The forward planning for any project lays the foundation for everything that follows, including the success or failure of the project.

  • Time management

Project management is all about meeting deadlines and getting your deliverables out on time. Project managers have to be proficient in managing their time, their team’s time and setting the overall cadence of a project. 

  • Risk management

Any project, big or small, comes with inherent risks. Before executing the project, you have to create a risk management plan to identify, assess, and control any risks involved. The more you can manage risks, the more likely your project is going to succeed.

Soft skills

  • Leadership

Project Managers are expected to break projects down into actionable items, prioritise tasks and allocate responsibilities to teammates. They use their leadership skills to motivate colleagues, offer guidance and give constructive feedback, ultimately keeping everybody fired up and a project on track.

  • Problem-solving

A Project Manager’s job can involve the work of multiple contributors and departments, often hinging on many moving parts. This can lead to complications and obstacles, such as budgetary constraints, conflicting beliefs and technical issues. A Project Manager with a problem-solving mindset can brainstorm ideas and identify solutions that help a project reach its goals.

  • Communication

Project Managers work cross-functionally, collaborating with anybody from designers to tech teams. Strong communication skills enable Project Managers to secure stakeholder buy-in, nurture meaningful work relationships and keep an entire project team focused on the end goal.

  • Strategic thinking 

From planning a project at the ideation stage, to allocating the budget wisely, Project Managers are often required to think strategically. Project Managers rely on their strategic skills to ensure that all teams, infrastructure and resources are properly organised to deliver a project to brief, on time.

  • Decision-making

Inevitably, a range of choices have to be made when taking charge of a project from end-to-end. Project Managers have to be able to weigh-up options, project probable outcomes and make smart decisions that positively impact a project’s progress.

What software does a Digital Project Manager use?

Digital Project ManagerThere are a variety of reasons to choose a career in CX. First and foremost, it’s a profession that’s in high demand. These days, businesses in every industry understand that placing the customer’s needs first is a surefire way to be competitive.   

Before you embark on becoming a CX specialist, it’s useful to have a clear picture of what the average career path might look like.

What does a career path in Customer Experience look like?

In the digital age, project managers use collaborative tools and software to synchronise teams and successfully deliver projects with greater efficiency than ever before. Here’s a shortlist of some of the software options that are powering-up today’s industry. 

TeamGantt

A Gantt chart is a visualisation that helps with scheduling and monitoring specific tasks and resources throughout a project. It consists of a list of tasks and bars indicating each task’s progress.

TeamGantt is project planning software that brings Gantt charts online. It offers free tools for creating gantt charts and allows you to share them with teams, stakeholders and clients, enabling project plans to take shape collaboratively. 

Jira

Jira is part of a family of products designed to make managing team projects easier. Digital Project Managers use Jira to create roadmaps, product backlogs and sprint boards, which can be accessed and worked on by an entire team. Jira also helps Digital Project Managers:

  • Assign and manage tasks
  • Estimate workflow 
  • Create project reports
  • Perform project analytics
  • Assign user permissions

Offering a range of functions for collaborative working, Jira allows Digital Project Managers to plan, track and coordinate an entire team’s work using just one tool.

monday.com

monday.com is an online work management platform that helps teams of all sizes plan, track and schedule their daily tasks. From large-scale product roadmaps to daily iterations, monday.com enables teams to define clear ownership of tasks, track productivity, manage sprints and collaborate effectively. 

monday.com is popular among Project Managers because it offers total clarity over a project’s status. A simple checkbox marking a task as “complete” or “incomplete” doesn’t provide enough information for a team to know where things are really at. Members can provide detailed status reports in monday.com, indicating exactly what stage a task has reached, or even highlighting any blockers that have stopped the workflow.

Careers in Digital Project Management

digital product manager careerThere are any number of reasons to choose a career in Digital Project Management. Not least of all, it’s a profession that businesses of every kind are on the hunt for. With digitisation impacting just about every industry, Digital Project Management is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but instead a key operational component for any growing company.   

Before you embark on a career in Digital Project Management, it’s useful to have a clear picture of what a typical pathway might look like. 

What does a career path in Project Management look like?

Here’s an example of a typical Digital Project Management career pathway, broken down into roles of increasing responsibility and seniority: 

Project Coordinator 

The entry-level position that will launch many careers is a Project Coordinator. Businesses with larger project teams will often hire Project Coordinators, who are normally freshly qualified in the field. 

Project Coordinators normally report to the Project Manager and assist with administrative tasks on projects. It is their responsibility to ensure the Project Manager and all team members have what they need to meet deadlines and reach a project’s milestones. This means that Project Coordinators must be across all aspects of a project, from short and long-term goals to the scope of work and budget.

Project Manager

After gaining a few years of entry-level experience, it’s likely you’ll have most of the technical skills in place required to run projects and become a full-blown Project Manager.

Project Managers take the lead on a project and oversee everything from planning through to completion. Going from Project Coordinator to Project Manager will likely mean a healthy jump in your salary, but will also come with more responsibility, since the success (or failure) of a project will largely fall on your shoulders.

On a daily basis, a Project Manager is in charge of overseeing the budget, reporting on progress, managing stakeholder expectations and synchronising the work of different team members. You’ll need the ability to strategise on a high level, yet also be across the key day-to-day details.

Senior Project Manager

For anyone with big ambitions, once you’ve got several years of Project Manager experience under your belt, you’ll be in a strong position to apply for a Senior Project Manager role (sometimes called a Project Director). 

As well as all of the duties that come with a normal Project Manager role, you’ll take on the additional responsibilities of coordinating the work of all Project Managers, handling relationships with suppliers and subcontractors, reporting at an executive level, and hiring new team members.  

Industry demand for Project Management

With businesses of every kind recognising the value of being more strategic in how they approach projects, Project Managers are hot property across a full range of industries.  

According to a recent survey, 71% of Product Managers believe the perceived value of their role is increasing, rising significantly from 55% in 2019.

In Australia the demand for Project Managers is particularly strong, with Seek currently advertising more than 5,500 specialist roles

You should also remember a professional Project Manager’s skills are in demand on an international scale, so wherever you find yourself living, you’ll have work experience and a resume that hiring managers are actively searching for.

How much do Project Managers earn in Australia?

Lucrative pay opportunities for Project Managers in Australia are representative of a profession that businesses are searching for. 

 Talent.com records the average Project Manager salary in Australia at $124,750 per year (or $63.97 per hour). Even entry-level positions start at $105,387 per year, while more experienced Project Managers make $162,179 per year on average (all salaries as of October, 2022).

Becoming a Project Manager

How hard is it to learn Project Management?

Even for a complete beginner, getting to grips with Project Management is not as hard as you might think. That said, there’s a range of skills and approaches you’ll need to develop, including managing scope, time, budget and risk, motivating teams, troubleshooting and getting failing projects back on track. 

You’ll also need to dedicate time and practice to getting the most out of the industry’s latest tools and software. 

If you’re aiming to get a foothold in the profession, you should strongly consider earning a formal certification in Project Management. It will be difficult to secure your first role without this, since other rival applicants will have a certified skillset

Where can I study Project Management?  

There are many options when it comes to qualifying as a Project Manager. In the past, many have chosen to take a Bachelor’s degree in Project Management, which takes 3-4 years to complete.    

There’s less of an expectation for Project Managers to be university trained nowadays, with most employers favouring skills, experience and a strong portfolio over formal degrees. 

As a result, more people are enrolling in condensed bootcamp-style courses, which leave graduates industry-ready in a much shorter period of time. These courses focus on the tangible skills that today’s professionals need to make their mark on the industry.

 

What Project Management courses does Academy Xi offer?

Academy Xi offers practical, industry-recognised training that’s designed for digital careers. Our beginner-friendly Digital Project Management courses will teach you how to use collaborative tools, software and a strategic approach to synchronise teams and deliver high-impact digital projects.

Whatever your lifestyle and time commitments, Academy Xi has a course that’s perfectly suited to you. 

Both courses have been built in collaboration with industry professionals from top digital companies, offering you the chance to:

  • Learn how to plan and manage projects using Waterfall and Agile Scrum methodologies.
  • Complete a project relevant to your business or workplace – walk away with a number of deliverables and the foundations for an executable project management plan. 
  • Master those all-important leadership and communication skills, including building trust and managing remote projects. 
  • Gain confidence with digital concepts and terminology with weekly topics designed to help you coordinate digital projects and collaborate with technical teams. 
  • Get access to a comprehensive workbook containing a range of Project Management templates – use it to complete your projects and keep it to use on the job. 

Not sure which course is right for you? Chat to a course advisor and we’ll help you find the perfect match. 

Want to discuss your transferable skills and training options? Chat to a course advisor today. We’ll help you to find the perfect course so you can kickstart a career in the fight against cyber crime.

Academy Xi Blog

What is Customer Experience (CX) and why is it important to businesses?

By Academy Xi

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We’ve compiled this list of frequently asked questions to help you understand what it’s like to start a new and dynamic career in the field of Customer Experience.

  • Customer experience and why it’s important
  • Customer experience essentials
  • Customer experience skills & software
  • Careers in Customer experience
  • Industry demand for Customer experience
  • Training in Customer experience

Already know you’d like to study CX? Get in touch with our Course Advisors to discuss training options, and check out the upcoming intake dates.

Customer experience and why it’s important

What is Customer experience?

Customer Experience refers to how customers interact with your business at every point in the customer journey, from the first moment they become aware of your brand on social media, to the service they receive from your customer support team.

Built around the principles of Human-Centred Design, Customer Experience is not just a set of actions, but also aims to connect with your customers’ feelings and needs. At every customer touchpoint, the business decisions you make will influence your customers’ emotional responses to your brand and whether or not you live up to their expectations.

Customer Experience is all about strategically planning and optimising every single interaction your customers have with your brand, leading to unforgettable experiences and a loyal customer base.

How do businesses use CX?

As well as the features of a product or service itself, customers often differentiate brands based on their all round experiences with a brand. Customers want to feel connected to the brands they use and, more often than not, will only buy from businesses that take the time to truly understand them. 

All this means businesses are implementing customer-centric Customer Experience strategies to deliver personalised, pleasing interactions at every customer touchpoint. These interactions have a cumulative effect on your customers’ overall impression of your brand, making customer experience critical to your ability to attract new customers and grow a profitable business. 

Customer Experience has the potential to positively impact every facet of a business, from a marketing team aiming to understand the customer’s motivations, to a software team tasked with building a user-friendly website. Ultimately, Customer Experience can shine a light on how you should structure and run your entire business. 

What does a CX specialist actually do?

what does a cx specialist actually do academy xi

A role in CX is multifaceted and normally brings a wide range of responsibilities. Although no two roles will ever be the same, some of the day-to-day tasks that go into being a CX specialist include:

  • Performing customer research
  • Planning customer journey maps
  • Creating customer personas
  • Coordinating different teams
  • Assigning and managing tasks
  • Managing stakeholders, both internal and external
  • Determining metrics for success
  • Collecting and analysing customer feedback data

Customer Experience essentials

What is a Customer Experience strategy?

With many businesses now recognising the need to carefully plan how customers will interact with their brand, it’s commonplace for companies to implement a CX strategy. This involves putting actionable plans into place to deliver a positive, meaningful experience across all touchpoints. This will include monitoring key metrics and finding purposeful ways to measure the effectiveness of your CX strategy.   

It’s vital to build a strategy that incorporates all departments, and not just the folks working in customer-facing roles. By drawing feedback and insight from the entire business, you’ll find it’s easier to rally your organisation around its ultimate CX goal – improving all the engagements people have with your brand. 

What is Human-Centred Design?

Human-Centred Design (HCD) is an approach to problem-solving that puts the people you’re designing for at the heart of the process. What distinguishes Human-Centred Design from other approaches is its obsessive focus on the person who will eventually use the design. The aim is to establish whether or not the solution that’s been designed is truly meeting the user’s emotional and practical needs. 

In the case of CX, this process begins with empathy for the people who will interact with your brand, product or service. Your goal is to pinpoint the kinds of experiences they find most desirable, the problems they need solving, and any pain points they’re keen to avoid.  

CX specialists favour the Human-Centred Design process because:

  • It generates a wide variety of ideas
  • It can be used to translate ideas into prototypes and service models
  • It’s iterative and aims to improve designs via customer feedback

By continually validating, refining and improving your CX strategy through a lens of Human-Centred Design, you can discover the root causes of your customers’ knottiest problems and arrive at tailored CX solutions.

What is a customer journey map?

Customer journey mapping is the process of creating a visual story of your customers’ interactions with your brand. You’ll need to be able to map out the customer’s experience as they progress through all the touchpoints, from initial contact and purchase to long-term loyalty and brand advocacy. 

Customer journey mapping helps you to see and experience your business from the customer’s perspective, so you can plan interactions that truly satisfy their needs. Customer journey mapping is a crucial component of the research stage when devising your CX strategy.

Customer journey maps can be used throughout an entire organisation, helping the content team determine what information the customer needs most, or informing the marketing team about the kinds of people that make up their target audience. 

What are customer personas?

Before you can give your customers the experience they really want, you first need to have a clearly defined sense of who they are. Customer personas help you better understand the people engaging with your brand. 

The most accurate customer personas are based on market research and insights you gather from your actual customer base (this might come from sales data, surveys, interviews, etc.). Details incorporated into customer personas might include gender, age, professional background and geographical location, as well as broader specifications surrounding their motivations for using your product or service and the problem they are trying to solve.   

With a detailed understanding of the specific needs, behaviours, and concerns of the people who make up your market, you’ll be able to personalise your all round brand experience and provide customers with the most satisfying outcomes possible. 

Customer Experience skills & software

Today’s CX specialists rely on an ever-expanding array of software to help them go about their work more effectively and efficiently. 

Though there are a broad range of tools and platforms on the market designed specifically for people working in CX, we’ve rounded a handful that many CX professionals use from one day to the next. 

  • Zendesk

Zendesk is one of the most popular CX tools available, offering four products in one cloud-based package: support, guide, chat and talk. Between them, you can do everything from building a customer service portal, to giving your employees a self-service bank of customer service advice. It also offers live chat, a sales CRM function, analytics and reporting, and can be integrated with applications like Salesforce and Google Analytics.

  • Salesforce

Salesforce is a suite of software products that helps marketing, sales and IT teams connect with their customers. The Salesforce CRM has the capacity to bring together masses of customer data, enabling businesses to closely track customer activity. Insights drawn from Salesforce can be used to build stronger customer relationships, improve customer service, speed up response times, and personalise communications, all of which can optimise the customer experience.

  • Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a cloud-based customer support platform that provides a help desk dashboard, an in-built customer chat function and support tools for customer service agents. Powered by AI, Freshdesk’s solutions evolve with the demands of your customers. Freshdesk is a popular choice among businesses aiming to increase customer engagement and maintain positive customer interactions as they scale.

What skills does a CX specialist need?

A successful CX specialist will draw on a variety of hard and soft skills when completing their day-to-day work. The most in-demand skills that anybody aspiring to work in CX should aim to develop include:

  • Empathy

Before you can meet your customer’s needs and deliver a satisfying brand experience, first you need to listen to your customers and empathise. Empathy and listening might be the most important skills in CX, determining your ability to really understand your customers wants, needs and potential frustrations. Without this understanding, you’ll never give them a satisfying customer experience. 

  • Analytical skills

CX professionals use qualitative and quantitative data to build sound, well-informed CX strategies that are based on hard insights. You might need to interpret customer feedback, which could entail sifting through masses of data, while you’ll also need to carefully listen to customer interviews and pinpoint any critical underlying insights.

  • Project management

Implementing a CX strategy often involves coordinating ideas and input from multiple teams. It’s not humanly possible to do it all alone. A CX specialist relies on project management skills to facilitate collaboration and ensure team members complete tasks within set timelines.

  • Communication

CX specialists often work cross-functionally, collaborating with anybody from software engineers, to marketers and the customer service team. Strong communication skills will enable you to nurture meaningful work relationships and align teammates with your CX strategy.

  • Strategic thinking 

From identifying a CX opportunity, to implementing a plan and refining it based on customer feedback, CX specialists are all about thinking strategically. People tasked with improving CX rely on their strategic skills to ensure that all teams, infrastructure and resources are focused on a CX vision.

  • Decision-making 

Inevitably, a range of choices have to be made when leading a CX strategy. CX specialists have to be able to weigh-up options, anticipate probable outcomes and make wise decisions that positively impact a brand.

Careers in Customer Experience

There are a variety of reasons to choose a career in CX. First and foremost, it’s a profession that’s in high demand. These days, businesses in every industry understand that placing the customer’s needs first is a surefire way to be competitive.   

Before you embark on becoming a CX specialist, it’s useful to have a clear picture of what the average career path might look like.

What does a career path in Customer Experience look like?

customer experience careers Australia academy xi

Here’s an example of a typical Customer Experience career pathway, broken down into three simple steps:

Step 1: Land an entry-level CX role

Most Customer Experience careers are kickstarted with an entry-level position. Larger organisations will often hire Associate Customer Experience specialists, who are often freshly qualified in the field. 

Some of an Associate Customer Experience specialist’s responsibilities include: 

  • Conducting Customer Experience research and reporting to seniors.
  • Tracking customer experiences across online and offline channels, devices, and touchpoints.
  • Analysing customer feedback on product and service ranges, as well as preparing reports.
  • Logging technical issues and documenting customer compliments and complaints.
  • Responding to customer queries in a timely and effective manner, via phone, email, social media, or chat applications.

Step 2: Land a mid-level Customer Experience role

The next step in your career might entail landing a mid-level role as a full blown CX specialist. Your typical day-to-day responsibilities might include:

  • Identifying new customer needs and taking proactive steps to maintain positive experiences.
  • Collaborating with IT developers, as well as the production, marketing, and sales teams to enhance customer services and brand awareness.
  • Aligning customer experience strategies with marketing initiatives. as well as informing customers about new product features and functionalities.

Step 3: Land a senior-level Customer Experience role

Once you’ve accumulated roughly 3-5 years of experience in a mid-level position, you’ll have the chance to move up to the role of a senior CX Expert. At this level, your work will become much more strategic, relying on your ability to coordinate the efforts of different teams across a business. You’ll be taking on more serious responsibilities, which include:

  • Managing the work of your company’s other CX specialists.
  • Leading collaboration across cross-functional teams throughout your organisation.
  • Devising, implementing and leading your company’s CX strategy.
  • Managing all important interactions with internal and external stakeholders.

Industry demand for Customer Experience

demand for customer experience specialists

How high is the demand for Customer Experience in Australia?

Delivering amazing customer experiences is one of the best ways to drive sales and build long-term business value. It’s no surprise that CX skills are highly sought after in most industries. A whopping 56% of business executives in APAC countries, including Australia, say that developing a strategy to improve customer experience is one of their top priorities.

There are currently over 6,648 Australian CX specialist roles available on Seek (October 2022). 

It’s also worth remembering that CX capabilities are in demand globally, so wherever you find yourself living, you’ll have work experience and a resume that employers are hunting for. 

How much do Customer Experience professionals earn in Australia?

The pay opportunities for Australian Customer Experience specialists are representative of a role that’s in high demand across a number of industries: 

 Talent.com records the average Customer Experience salary in Australia at $91,019 per year (or $46.68 per hour). 

  • Even entry-level positions start at $66,774 per year, although there are much higher associate salaries depending on your resume and portfolio. 
  • Experienced CX specialists make $144,917 per year on average.

There’s also a good chance you’ll find working in Customer Experience highly rewarding, particularly at the top end of the profession, with Customer Experience Managers scoring a perfect 5 out of 5 for job satisfaction.

Careers in Customer experience Customer Experience

 How hard is it to learn CX?

Even for a complete beginner, picking up CX is not as hard as you might think. That said, it’s important you begin with a strong motivation to connect with your customers, think strategically and collaborate with other teams. You’ll need to learn how to:

  • Provide organisations with an understanding of their customers using research and data. 
  • Create and implement CX strategies that deliver exceptional customer experiences.
  • Measure and evaluate the performance of your CX strategies through data analytics.

If you’re aiming to get a foothold in the profession, you should consider earning a formal certification in CX. It will be difficult to secure your first role without this, since so many other candidates will have a certified skillset.

Where can I study Customer Experience?  

There are many options when it comes to qualifying in CX. Most employers favour practical skills and a strong portfolio, which means more people are enrolling in condensed bootcamp-style courses, which quickly prepare graduates for the industry. These courses focus on the hands-on techniques and tangible skills that today’s CX specialists need to make an impact in the field.

What CX courses does Academy Xi offer?

Academy Xi offers practical, industry-recognised training that’s designed for digital careers. 

Whatever your starting point, our CX courses offer you the chance to:

  • Design an actionable CX strategy – use it in your current role, or as a portfolio piece showcasing your skills to future employers. 
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of CX theory, including foundational CX, where CX fits in an organisation and how to influence co-workers. 
  • Put theory into practice by working on weekly practical activities and CX projects.
  • Add value to businesses in any industry by learning how to research customers, analyse data and plan exceptional end-to-end experiences. 
  • Future-proof your career with an innately human skill-set that can never be automated or replicated by technology.

Whatever your goals and lifestyle, Academy Xi has a course that’s perfectly suited: 

Not sure which course is right for you? Chat to a course advisor and we’ll help you find the perfect match. 

Want to discuss your transferable skills and training options? Chat to a course advisor today. We’ll help you to find the perfect course so you can kickstart a career in the fight against cyber crime.

Academy Xi Blog

Market update: How much do CX Professionals earn in Australia in 2022?

By Academy Xi

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Are you eyeing up a career in CX and keen to find out what’s going on in today’s industry? We’ve put together this market update to bring you all the latest CX statistics and insights.

What is Customer Experience (CX)?

Customer Experience (CX) refers to how a business engages with its customers at every point of the customer journey, from the first marketing email to customer service and everything that falls in between. In short, CX is the sum total of all the interactions a customer has with your brand.

Customer Experience is not just a set of actions. It also focuses on your customers’ feelings. At every customer touchpoint, the decisions you make will influence the emotional responses customers have to your brand and, as a result, how successful your business will be.

See your earning potential in Australia

Forbes reports that 87% of business leaders consider CX to be their biggest driver of growth. It’s no surprise demand for qualified CX professionals is at an all time high, which is reflected in the earning potential for skilled professionals. 

Junior CX salary

Entry-level positions in CX start out at an average salary of $66,500, but there are junior positions offering far more. Industry conditions and the strength of your portfolio will impact your starting income.

Mid-Level CX salary

Once you get some runs on the board, you can expect a mid-level income in the vicinity of $90,500.

Senior CX salary

According to the latest stats from Talent.com, a senior-level CX professional in Australia can expect to command $144,500

Can you work freelance in CX?

Are you keen to find a role that allows you to work on your own terms? Luckily, you can venture into the world of contract work as a CX professional and work on the projects of your choosing, wherever and whenever you want. 

Keep in mind that having in-house experience is vital before you embark on a freelance career. This means you’ll have a stronger portfolio of work, greater professional experience and also a network of contacts from your previous places of employment, all of which will positively impact your ability to find clients. 

How much can freelance CX professionals make?

As with many contractors, the rates you charge will vary depending on your level of experience, certifications and skill-set. 

Day rates can range anywhere from $400AUD to $1000AUD+ and will be determined by the industry, complexity of the project and the skills needed for the job. 

Remember that as part of becoming a freelancer, you’ll need to cover all of the expenses a salary would usually incorporate, including superannuation, sick leave, annual leave and learning and development costs. These costs all need to be factored in when you’re deciding on your rates. A freelancer rate calculator can be useful when setting your prices, as can finding out what your peers are charging in the same field.

What skills are needed for CX?

While there are a wide range of hard and soft skills needed for a successful CX career, we’ve rounded up the top five as a starting point. Having these skills at your disposal will give you a competitive edge as you get your CX career rolling. 

  • Communication

You will be working with a variety of teammates and stakeholders on any given project, and having the ability to communicate effectively is vital. You’ll need to be able to share your ideas, findings and approaches in an easily understandable way. Remember, the audience you are presenting to or meeting with might not be CX specialists.

  • Empathy

All good CX begins with empathy. In order to deliver CX that wows your customer base, it’s necessary first to place yourself in the customer’s shoes. The most effective CX professionals rely on their powers of empathy to understand how customers feel about a brand, their pain points and the kinds of interactions that are most likely to delight them. A CX survey found that 91% of CX practitioners believe empathy is one of their most important professional attributes. 

  • Collaboration 

CX touches on just about every facet of a business. As a result, executing a CX strategy will mean working in collaboration with colleagues from various departments. You’ll need to weave together the ideas and outputs of your peers, which means your ability to work cross-functionally is key. In order to rally other departments around your CX vision, it’s also helpful to have strong project management and leadership skills.  

  • CX strategy

Many CX roles will require you to define a customer experience strategy, which includes putting actionable plans into place to deliver a positive, meaningful experience across all touchpoints. It’s vital that you’re able to build a strategy that addresses all departments, not just the folks in customer-facing roles. By incorporating feedback and insight across the business, you’ll find it’s easier to align your company with its CX goal – improving all the interactions that customers have with your brand. 

  • Customer journey mapping

Customer journey mapping is the process of creating a visual story of your customers’ interactions with your brand. You’ll need to be able to map out the customer’s experience as they progress through all the touchpoints, from initial contact and purchase to the ultimate objective of establishing their long-term loyalty. Customer journey mapping helps you to see your business from the customer’s perspective, so you can create interactions that truly satisfy their needs. 

How to start a career in CX

Before launching a career in the competitive world of CX, it’s useful to undergo formal training that sets you apart from the crowd. Academy Xi Customer Experience: Elevate courses enable you to upskill, secure a promotion or take on more exciting responsibilities in your current role, with:

  • Tailored support from an industry expert mentor
  • The chance to work on personal projects
  • The choice to complete the course part-time or self-paced

Our hands-on courses offer you the chance to:

  • Design an actionable CX strategy and use it in your current role, or as a portfolio piece showcasing your skills to future employers.
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of CX theory, including foundational CX, where CX fits in an organisation and how to influence co-workers with a CX mindset.
  • Put theory into practice by working on weekly practical activities and CX projects.
  • Add value to businesses in any industry by learning how to research customers, analyse performance data and plan smooth customer journeys.
  • Stay in demand by developing an innately human skill-set that can never be automated or replicated by technology.

Want to discuss your transferable skills and course options? Speak to a course advisor today and take the first step in your CX Design journey.

Academy Xi Blog

Student Spotlight: Ben McCarthy

By Academy Xi

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As a Multimedia Producer at Melbourne’s Fed Square, Ben decided to upskill in CX and give the venue’s visitors experiences they’ll never forget.

After climbing the ranks in broadcasting, Ben landed a role as multimedia producer at Fed Square. Find out how the Customer Experience: Elevate course is helping Ben plan events that are bringing a buzz to one of Melbourne’s most loved venues.   

Can you tell us about your career before Academy Xi?

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in film production technology from Staffordshire University in the UK. I moved to Australia after I graduated and started my career in media management with a small broadcasting company. A few years later I landed a television programming role with Viacom, where I worked with several of the company’s brands, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV.

In 2018 I moved to Melbourne and began working for Fed Square as a multimedia producer. Fed Square is a venue for arts, culture and public events on the edge of the Melbourne CBD. In recent years, Fed Square has started to focus more closely on the strategies underpinning the organisation of its events.

These days, Customer Experience is at the heart of everything Fed Square does, to the extent that our ledger department is called CX CIO. With the company culture shifting toward CX, I felt it was the right time for me to upskill. I wanted to broaden my knowledge and make sure that my skill-set aligned with the direction the industry was heading in.

I started researching CX training and the Academy Xi course really stood out, mostly for its emphasis on Human-Centred Design. I spoke to your sales team and they were really helpful in answering all my questions, while all the content the course would cover was very clearly laid out online.

Finally, I read testimonials from ex-students and discovered what they’d gone on to achieve in the industry. Ultimately, the whole package seemed very convincing and I decided to enrol.

What were your highlights of the course?

I really enjoyed the live sessions, which were not only informative, but also a lot of fun. It was lovely to get to know people from different parts of Australia, who were involved in all kinds of industries.

The class had people working in a range of fields, from human resources to local government, and the variety of input really brought everything we were learning to life. The course gives you the principles of CX and then you apply that framework to whatever industry you’re involved in. It was really insightful to see just how flexible CX is and how it can be used effectively in a range of different contexts. A lot of my inspiration for how I would use CX with Fed Square came from seeing how my classmates were applying it in their industries.

I also really appreciated that everything we were learning was completely practical. After the live workshop sessions, the assignments gave me a chance to mobilise what I’d learned.

For my personal project, I worked on a brief for Fed Square. I lead the multimedia department and decided to look at our events through a lens of CX. Fed Square uses a lot of outdoor screens, which are distributed throughout the plaza. My personal project gave me a chance to explore future-state possibilities, whereby the screens could play a bigger role in guiding the experience of our visitors. I looked closely at all of Fed Square’s multimedia infrastructure to understand if it was being used to facilitate the best possible CX. What pleased me most about the course was that I was able to put everything I was learning into practice in my role straight away.

How did you find studying online?

Even though the live sessions were carried out online, they were still really interactive and engaging. I looked forward to them all week. In fact, the whole course was very nicely set up as an online experience. It helped that the class had its own Slack channel, which made it easy for everyone to stay connected and share ideas and resources.

There was a period in the course when I was on leave and travelled to Sydney. Because of the flexibility of Academy Xi’s online learning system, I was able to be away from home, keep track of the content and still study with minimal disruption.

Being a video gamer, I also appreciated the gamification of all the modules. It meant I was able to keep an eye on everybody else’s scores and do my best to beat them, which I think really speaks to my competitive nature!

How did you find balancing the course with your current role?

Truthfully, it was quite challenging to begin with. In Melbourne, we were in the midst of reactivating the CBD. This included a big push to revitalise the city’s public events, which Fed Square is heavily involved in. When I started the course it was a very busy time with Fed Square, so for the first couple of weeks I was having to find ways to juggle my study and work. Over a period of time, I was able to find a nice balance of the two, and even set aside a bit of free time on the weekends. 

It was helpful that the course mentor, David, was upfront about the workload and set realistic expectations for the whole cohort, explaining that the course required a good amount of effort. It was a classic case of “the more you put in, the more you’ll get out”.

When I handed in the final assignment, I had a huge sense of achievement. The fact that I’d completed the course and managed to hold down all my life’s other responsibilities just added to the accomplishment.

Ben McCarthy

How did you find working with David?

I had a great relationship with David. I found him very approachable and always had a direct line to him via the course Slack channel, which meant I was able to clear up any questions I had as they cropped up. My one-on-one mentoring sessions were really insightful and helped guide my projects. I booked a session with David just as I was preparing the presentation for my CX strategy. He was able to give me feedback that tweaked my strategy and improved the presentation I gave to the cohort.

I appreciated that David made such a big effort to listen to all of the students. He took the time to understand our projects, what we were trying to achieve and what the different touch points were, before helping us fine tune our strategies.

The advice David gave us was unique to our projects, and he didn’t just dictate what good CX should be. Even in the live classes, he kept everyone engaged and involved, which made the whole course experience feel very personal.

Ben McCarthy

Do you have any plans for further training?

At the moment, I’m very much focused on applying the principles of CX in my role. I want to make sure that any Fed Square objectives I’m involved in are strategically driven by CX, which should raise our capabilities and help our programs give the best possible experiences. Since completing the course, I feel like I’ve got the skills and confidence to guide the CX process and lead a project to the right outcomes. This means I’m able to add value for our visitors, and add value to the organisation as a whole.

I’d love to take another course, but I’m getting married in November, meaning the rest of the year will be quite busy. By the start of 2023 I should have the time to take on another course. I’m interested in the possibilities of Service Design, which extends very naturally from CX and is really tuned in to what I see myself doing in the future at Fed Square.

Would you recommend Academy Xi?

Without a doubt – I already have! I’ve got some friends who’ve expressed an interest in taking digital skills courses and I was very quick to recommend Academy Xi.

Before the CX course started, I was a little apprehensive to find out what the quality of the content would be, if the mentor would be a good fit, and, ultimately, whether or not I would get value for my money. In the end, the whole course experience was wonderful.

When I do have a chance to enrol in a Service Design course, there’s a good chance I’ll return to Academy Xi, which is definitely something to look forward to in the future.   

If you’re keen to bring the possibilities of CX to your career just like Ben, check out our Customer Experience: Elevate courses.

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