Customer Service Certificate and Certification Programs
Read detailed information about customer service certificate programs and certification in the field. Get info about program prerequisites and curricula, as well as employment outlook and salary statistics.
A customer service certificate program is an ideal way to prepare for a career as a customer service representative. Certificate programs allow students to become proficient in all areas of customer service, including customer communications, office organization and computer application usage.
A certificate program in customer service prepares students to pursue entry-level customer service positions. A certificate program is usually completed in one semester and 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.
Most certificate programs require students to have a high school diploma. Although proficiency in computer applications is not a prerequisite, many programs prefer students to have some level of familiarity with computers.
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 2.1 million customer service jobs in 2010. Nearly 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 industry is expected to grow rapidly; the BLS expects more than 2.5 million customer service jobs to exist in 2020 (www.bls.gov).
The median hourly wage for customer service representatives was $14.70 in May 2012, reported the BLS. Customer service representatives working in the pipeline transportation of natural gas industry earned the highest wages in 2012 (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.
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