A Case for Call Center Certification

By Beth Cooper

Certification programs have been around for a long time. Type the words “certification program” in any Internet search engine and you will be presented with hundreds of thousands of results.

A “mom-and-pop” industry for many years, our industry is working hard to upgrade our image. One of the ways we are accomplishing this is through memberships in regional and national professional associations. Until June of last year, however, only CAM-X and ATSI had anything to offer in terms of an independent, external evaluation. Though useful and enlightening, their Award of Excellence programs only measure the CSRs (Customer Service Representative) response to a call. How is a call center to demonstrate to their clients a dedication to reliability? Enter the Startel National Users Group’s 24/7 Certification Program.

Introduced during the 2001 Summer National Conference, the 24/7 Certification program establishes the best set of procedures and policies necessary to be in place and running so that the site has a high probability of achieving 99.99% annual run-time. This equates to less than fifty-three minutes of unplanned downtime over a one-year period.

Participating in a certification program will improve your standing in the marketplace and with your clients.   It will set the standard by which your prospects measure you and your competition. Suddenly, price isn’t the issue any more. Value is. Reliability is. Professionalism is. And, when you can also mention that your CSRs and supervisory staff are likewise certified, you further differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. Your whole operation is elevated to a higher level of quality assurance unverifiable prior to the introduction of the 24/7 Certification Program.

As previously mentioned, a certification program has been developed for CSRs; the Supervisor Certification program was introduced at the SNUG 2002 Winter Conference in Orlando.

Beth Cooper is the Director of Operations at Answer Quick, based in Tennessee. She is also Chair of the SNUG Education Committee. She can be reached at BeeCooper@aol.com or 865-970-9908.

[From Connection MagazineMarch 2002]

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