The experts at Software Advice, an online resource for customer service software buyers, recently compiled a summary of customer service certifications that can be obtained by service professionals. As is true with any profession in a highly competitive job market, certifications can give a job seeker an advantage over their competitors. More importantly, the skills the individual learns by completing the education requirements of the various organizations will help customer service professionals excel in their position and make them more valuable to the organization… and who wouldn’t want that?! The certifications range from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars and vary by the position and skills enhanced by the training/certification. Many companies pay for learning opportunities so it can be a no cost way for a service professional to enhance his or her professional status. For an employer, it is a path to better customer service through a more highly skilled customer service team!
Here are a few of the organizations and corresponding certifications mentioned in the article:
Customer Service Institute of America (CSIA) offers the Certified Customer Service Manager (CCSM) certification. This certification is required for membership in CSIA. Courses are self-directed with no classroom requirement. The certification provides students with management training they may not receive on the job. This is worthy of note since many times managers are simply promoted from the front lines. Just because someone can do a great job answering customer questions does not mean they can manage others doing the same!
HDI is the world’s largest membership association for technical service and support professionals and is the leadi9ng certification body for the tech support industry. Tech support requires a completely different skill set than service in a non-tech setting so training specifically designed for this segment is going to be far more effective than putting a tech staff through standard service training. HDI offers both instructor-led classroom courses and self-paced online courses, all of which end with a certification exam. Certifications are role-specific, ranging from entry level to support center directors. Many participants are sent by employers but there are also professionals completing certifications in order to better their job prospects.
Service Strategies Corporation is a global service improvement company also specializing in service and support in the technology arena. It offers training and certification for individual and leadership development with classes both online and in-person. All certification programs are role based. These programs also involve a certification exam. Courses are taken by professionals who have just been promoted into a management position but are also taken by seasoned pros who want to improve on existing skills and knowledge. HDI certifications can help gain attention for a professional seeking a new opportunity.
If you are interested in learning more about the specific curriculum and costs of the certifications mentioned above, you will want to read the full article written by Holly Regan of Software Advice. Her concise report will shorten the learning curve on finding out which certification will be the best fit for you or your team members.