top of page
  • Writer's pictureAshley Gallant

Salary Snapshot: Customer Experience

Updated: Mar 28

As a recruitment partner to North American tech companies, we’ve had the opportunity to talk with hundreds of high-growth start-up and scale-up leaders about their experiences, aspirations, motivations, and of course…. their compensation strategies!

When establishing a target compensation range for a new search, clients always ask us “What are you seeing in the market right now for a role like this?”. Since we’re having these conversations regularly, we thought we would pull back the curtains and share some insights to help you create a competitive compensation package. Alternatively, if you’re on the hunt for your next challenge, we hope you’ll find this data to be useful in the negotiation process.

Note: Be sure to subscribe to our Artemis Update and check out our archive of past issues for updates on big leadership moves and opportunities in tech!

We’ve seen a high demand for Customer Experience leaders recently so we thought we’d dive into a Customer Experience Snapshot! We unpack the landscape of CX compensation, tracing the journey from Customer Success Managers (CSMs) to Vice Presidents (VPs) across various seniorities.

Teaser: Here are some interesting statistics that you’ll learn more about in this snapshot:

  • A noteworthy highlight reveals a significant lift in VP-level compensation, marking a 44.5% surge since 2019, reflecting broader trends in CX remuneration enhancements.

  • A majority, 81%, reported a salary boost in recent years, underscoring a positive shift in earnings across the board.

  • A closer look at gender parity reveals an ongoing disparity, with female professionals in CX navigating an average earnings gap of 8.6% compared to their male peers.

  • These revelations set the stage for a broader discussion on the evolving dynamics of compensation and equity within Customer Experience realms.

What’s in a title?

Customer Experience roles, from CSMs to VPs, are pivotal in guiding and retaining customers. They lead teams, innovate in customer engagement, and have a significant impact on both customer and product strategy. Their responsibilities can span pre-sales, onboarding, account management, and support, ensuring customers find continuous value.

Let’s dive into the numbers

Below, we have included salary distribution data across seniorities from CSMs and Sr. CSMs, Leads and Managers, Head of and Director, and VP.

What are you looking at?

This data represents volunteered current compensation summaries from IC CSM to VP Customer Experience in SaaS start-up or scale-up companies across Canada.

In summary, the vertical charts below account for the average compensation by level, including base salary and bonus.

You may be wondering...

"Why does the average compensation for a VP of Customer Experience exceed the salary distribution's 75th percentile?". Great question, brilliant and curious reader! A 75th percentile can be lower than the average for a dataset, and is a very revealing and information-packed statistic.

How can that be? With outliers that can skew the data upwards! In this case, our survey reported a VP of CX earning $550k OTE (if you're reading this - well done! Your earnings have provided us with intriguing data analysis opportunities). Although we considered excluding this outlier, we found it to be a compelling and perhaps aspirational datapoint to acknowledge.

Which brings us to...

Wage growth! Since our last CX Snapshot in 2019, average total compensation at the VP Level increased by a staggering 44.5% from our last snapshot in 2019: from $182K to $263K, outlier included.

The Bonus Question:

Of our candidate sample, the average bonus across all levels is 18.5% of their base salary. Bonus percentages were reported fairly even across all levels.

What about Equity?

Among CX professionals, 57% hold equity or preferred stock in their organizations, slightly above the all-function average of 54%. This trend intensifies at the executive level, with 72% of VP-level individuals reporting equity ownership, in contrast to just 25% of individual contributors (ICs).

Inaugural Salary Survey Results

In March 2024, we embarked on our first-ever Salary Snapshot Survey, to enrich our collection of salary information and offer compelling insights. Below, we share some of the key findings.

Compensation by Gender

Our survey saw a balanced participation from male and female CX professionals; however, females were found to earn 8.6% less on average.

  • Across the board, 81% of CX professionals reported a rise in their compensation since 2021.

  • Among them, 89% of male respondents experienced salary hikes, in contrast to 75% of female respondents.

Searching for a new role?

Given that our respondents are engaged with us as a search firm in some capacity, we recognize a potential bias in our data. Nonetheless, it offers valuable insights:

  • 57% of CX professionals anticipate seeking new opportunities within the next year, with a breakdown of 44% of males and 67% of females expressing this intent.

  • Compared to a 44% job-seeking intent across all functions, CX leaders appear more inclined to explore new horizons this year.

Remote Work

  • Among CX professionals, 57% are in fully remote roles, 33% follow a hybrid work model, and 10% are stationed in the office full-time.

  • In comparison, the general spread across all functions in tech is 50% working remotely, 43% in a hybrid setup, and 7% based in offices full-time.

  • Currently, there's no noticeable difference in salary based on the work arrangement for those in C roles.

What’s behind the data?

Our snapshots provide valuable and current insights, derived from a select sample of individuals with verified and noteworthy experience in successful Canadian companies. This data, gathered from our recent searches and our newly launched Salary Survey, offers a more focused and relevant perspective than standard salary surveys.

  • Each Salary Snapshot represents between 60 – 120 sources.

  • Each source is an individual who we deemed a promising candidate for a role within a high-growth tech company. Most are gainfully employed and many were recommended as exceptionally talented. As a result, our salary numbers might be skewed towards the top of the range.

  • We elected not to show compensation figures related to equity or options. Though this was a significant aspect of the comp package for many execs, it’s often tough to put an annual dollar value on equity.

  • For privacy reasons, we will not disclose any specific information that could reveal the identity of an individual or their employer. 

Sharing is caring!

In the dynamic landscape of employment, salary data transparency acts as a transformative force benefiting both employers and job seekers alike. For employers, it provides a strategic advantage by aligning compensation packages with industry benchmarks, fostering equity, and enhancing recruitment appeal. Job seekers, armed with this knowledge, navigate their careers more strategically, negotiate effectively, and make informed decisions, contributing to a more open, fair, and empowered job market.

We believe that our Salary Snapshots are an effective delivery method for this data with our 4 T’s model:

Targeted: Specializing in the tech and innovation industry, our data reflects the compensation landscape of tech companies, making it directly relevant to your world.

Timely: Unlike traditional reports with multi-year lags, our 2023 salary data is up-to-date, providing you with the latest insights.

Trustworthy: Unlike free crowdsourced data, our information comes from one-on-one conversations with candidates actively involved in searches for our clients, ensuring reliability and accuracy.

Trim: We're agile and focused, offering a concise snapshot of current compensation trends, avoiding lengthy reports while retaining all the essential contextual information and analysis.

Please share this, or any of our other Salary Snapshots with your network!

Subscribe to our monthly Artemis Update to receive future Salary Snapshots directly to your inbox + more great content including our Industry Insights, Leaders on the Move, Humans of Tech, Dear Artemis and Tech Women on the Move series.

Created and published in March 2024


bottom of page