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what is a customer experience manager

What is a customer experience manager?

Today, more than ever, companies are realizing that providing exceptional service and building strong relationships with customers is the key to success. At the heart of this endeavor lies the role of the customer experience manager (CEM) – a strategic leader tasked with orchestrating every touchpoint of the entire customer journey to ensure satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.

In this article, we will look into the world of customer experience management, exploring the responsibilities, skills, and strategies that define the role of a customer experience manager, or CEM.

Role of a customer experience manager

At its core, the CEM is responsible for overseeing and optimizing every interaction between the company and its customers, with the overarching goal of delivering a seamless, satisfying, and memorable experience. The responsibilities of a CEM typically include:

  • Customer journey mapping: Understanding the various touchpoints and interactions that customers have with the company throughout their entire lifecycle, from initial contact to post-purchase support, helping ensure customer engagement.
  • Strategy development: Planning and implementing strategies to enhance the overall customer experience, aligning with the company’s brand values and objectives.
  • Cross-functional collaboration: Working with departments across the organization, including marketing, sales, product development, and customer support, to ensure a cohesive and consistent customer experience.
  • Data Analysis: Using data and analytics to gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and pain points, and leveraging this information to drive improvements and innovation.
  • Feedback management: Implementing processes for collecting, analyzing, and acting upon customer feedback, including surveys, reviews, and social media interactions.
  • Training and development: Providing training and support to employees at all levels of the organization to ensure a customer-centric mindset and effective delivery of service.
  • Performance monitoring: Checking key performance indicators (KPIs) related to customer experience, such as customer satisfaction scores and customer retention rates, and taking corrective actions as needed.

Key objectives and goals

The primary objectives and goals of a customer experience manager revolve around creating positive, memorable experiences that drive customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. Some key objectives include:

  • Enhancing customer satisfaction: Ensuring that every interaction with the company leaves customers feeling satisfied, valued, and appreciated.
  • Increasing customer loyalty: Building strong relationships with customers and building loyalty through personalized experiences, proactive communication, and exceptional service.
  • Improving customer retention: Increasing customer lifetime value by addressing issues promptly, anticipating needs, and exceeding expectations.
  • Advocacy and referrals: Turning satisfied customers into brand advocates who actively promote the company to friends, family, and colleagues, leading to increased referrals and organic growth.
  • Differentiating the brand: Setting the company apart from competitors by delivering a unique and memorable customer experience that reflects the brand’s values and resonates with target audiences.

The importance of customer experience managers in hospitality


In the hospitality industry, where guest experience and satisfaction are paramount, this role holds particular significance. Hospitality businesses, including hotels, resorts, restaurants, and travel companies, rely heavily on providing exceptional service and creating memorable experiences to attract and retain guests. Here are some of the main reasons why this role is particularly crucial in the hospitality sector:

  • Tailoring experiences to individual guests: Customer experience managers in hospitality are tasked with understanding the unique preferences and needs of individual guests and ensuring that their experiences are personalized and memorable. From arranging special amenities to anticipating requests, CEMs play a vital role in exceeding guest expectations and building loyalty.
  • Ensuring consistency across touchpoints: Whether guests interact with the hotel staff, book a reservation online, or engage with the brand on social media, consistency is key to delivering a seamless and cohesive experience. Customer experience managers work across departments to ensure consistency in service standards, communication, and branding across all touchpoints, enhancing the overall guest experience.
  • Resolving issues and enhancing recovery: Despite best efforts, issues and complaints are inevitable in the hospitality industry. Customer experience managers are trained to handle guest complaints with empathy and professionalism, working swiftly to resolve issues and turn negative experiences into positive ones. Effective issue resolution not only preserves guest satisfaction but also helps in building trust and loyalty.
  • Staying ahead of industry trends: The hospitality industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies, trends, and guest preferences emerging regularly. Customer experience managers stay abreast of industry trends, leveraging innovative strategies and technologies to enhance the guest experience and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

Working on guest experience within the hospitality sector can be a rewarding career if you like ensuring that people have a great time. If you want to consider this as a career path, you should look at getting a degree in hospitality management.

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Skills needed to be a successful customer experience manager

Mastering a diverse set of soft skills is essential for success in any customer-focused management role. From effective communication to analytical prowess, here’s a glimpse into the core skills required to excel as a customer experience manager.

Communication skills

They must be adept at articulating ideas, conveying information clearly, and listening attentively to both customers and internal stakeholders. Strong verbal and written communication skills enable CEMs to build rapport with customers, collaborate effectively with cross-functional teams, and address customer concerns with empathy and professionalism.

Analytical skills

Data and analytics are essential to gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and trends. Analytical skills enable people to interpret complex data sets, identify patterns and correlations, and make data-driven decisions to enhance the customer experience. By leveraging analytics tools and metrics, CEMs can measure the effectiveness of customer experience initiatives, identify areas for improvement, and optimize strategies to drive positive outcomes.

Empathy and understanding

Empathy is a foundational quality for customer experience managers, as it allows them to understand and empathize with the needs, emotions, and perspectives of customers. By putting themselves in the shoes of the customer, CEMs can anticipate their concerns, tailor solutions to meet their needs, and provide compassionate support during challenging situations. Empathy builds trust and loyalty, leading to stronger customer relationships and enhanced satisfaction.

Problem-solving abilities

Challenges and obstacles are inevitable when dealing with customers and guests. Customer experience managers must possess strong problem-solving abilities to address issues promptly, identify root causes, and implement effective solutions. Whether resolving customer complaints, streamlining processes, or overcoming operational hurdles, CEMs approach problems with creativity, resourcefulness, and a proactive mindset.

Leadership and management skills

As leaders within their organizations, customer experience managers must exhibit strong leadership and management skills to inspire, motivate, and empower their customer service teams. Effective leadership involves setting a clear vision for how to improve customers’ interactions with the company, building a culture of customer-centricity, and providing guidance and support to team members. Additionally, CEMs must excel in managing projects, resources, and timelines, ensuring that initiatives are executed efficiently and successfully.

How to become a customer experience manager

If you aspire to work in this enriching and satisfying field, here are steps you can take to pursue this rewarding career path. Of course, there is no one set path, and there are plenty of ways to head towards this career.

Earn a relevant degree

While there isn’t a specific degree requirement for becoming a CEM, pursuing a relevant field of study can provide you with the knowledge and skills needed for success. Consider earning a bachelor’s degree in fields such as business administration, marketing, communications, psychology, or hospitality management.

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Whether you want to specialize or change career, our master’s degree gives you the know-how needed for customer experience management in the exciting field of hospitality

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Gain relevant experience

Practical experience is invaluable in preparing for a career in customer experience management. Seek opportunities to gain experience in customer-facing roles, such as customer service representative, sales associate, or hospitality professional. Additionally, consider internships or entry-level positions in marketing, sales, or operations departments, where you can learn about customer relationship management and business operations.

Develop key skills

Customer experience managers require a diverse set of skills, including communication, analytical thinking, empathy, problem-solving, and leadership. Take proactive steps to develop these skills through coursework, workshops, seminars, and self-study. Practice active listening, hone your written and verbal communication skills, and seek opportunities to collaborate with cross-functional teams.

Familiarize yourself with customer experience technologies

There are various tools and technologies used in the industry to collect, analyze, and manage customer data, feedback, and interactions. Familiarize yourself with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, survey platforms, data analytics tools, and other relevant technologies. Stay updated on industry trends and advancements in customer experience management software.

Pursue professional development opportunities

Continuous learning and professional development are essential for staying relevant and advancing in the industry. Consider pursuing certifications or attending workshops and conferences focused on customer experience, customer service, and related areas.

Build a strong professional network

Networking can open doors to new opportunities and provide valuable insights and support as you pursue a career in customer experience management. Attend industry events, join professional associations, and connect with professionals in the field through social media platforms like LinkedIn. Building relationships with mentors, peers, and industry experts can help you stay informed about job opportunities and best practices.


What is a customer experience manager? This role is instrumental in shaping the success and reputation of businesses across industries. As businesses recognize the pivotal importance of delivering exceptional guest experiences, the demand for skilled CEMs continues to rise.

CEMs play a multifaceted role, overseeing every aspect of the customer journey and striving to exceed customer expectations at every touchpoint. From communication and analytical skills to empathy, problem-solving abilities, and leadership qualities, CEMs possess a diverse skill set that enables them to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.

For aspiring CEMs, pursuing a relevant degree, gaining practical experience, and continuously developing key skills are essential steps for success. Additionally, staying abreast of industry trends, leveraging technology, and networking with professionals in the field can further enhance career prospects in customer experience management. If you want to start your path towards working on guest experience in hotels, resorts, or similar venues, you could look into studying for a hospitality degree in a world-renowned school such as Glion.

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