A certificate program in customer service prepares students to pursue entry-level customer service positions. A certificate program teaches students to use basic office computer applications, such as word processors, spreadsheets and email programs. Students also learn to help customers by providing accurate and useful information regarding a product, service or event. Graduates could be prepared to pursue voluntary certifications from national and international organizations.
To begin a customer service certificate program, students must have a high school diploma and proficiency with computers is preferred.
Customer Service Certification
Customer service courses teach students to communicate with customers, organize and maintain business records, use computer applications and resolve customer problems or questions. Common courses include:
- Administrative organization
- Computer applications
- Business communication
- Customer service procedures
- Conflict resolution strategies
Employment Outlook and Career Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were more than 2.5 million customer service jobs in 2015. Over a quarter of all customer service representatives work in retail or administrative and support services. Because customer service is an integral part of business operations, the employment of customer service representatives is expected to grow 10% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov).
The median hourly wage for customer service representatives was $15.25 in May 2015, reported the BLS. Customer service representatives working in the motor vehicle manufacturing earned the highest wages in 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Certification and Continuing Education Information
Most customer service representatives gain greater career prospects through professional experience. Many customer service positions are entry-level but offer the opportunity for advancement to supervisory or management customer service positions. Industry organizations like the International Customer Service Association (ICSA) and the National Retail Federation (NRF) offer voluntary certification programs for customer service representatives, though certification is not required for most customer service careers.
For individuals who wish to pursue a career in customer service, a certificate will provide some of the formal knowledge used in the industry. Yet, hands-on training will most likely give the most valuable insight for performing the job well.