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The 21 Best Customer Service Certifications to Earn at All Levels

Jordan Miller
Jordan Miller
Last updated on 
September 29, 2022
September 30, 2022
The 21 Best Customer Service Certifications to Earn at All Levels

90% of customers agree that customer service plays an important role in deciding whether they do business with a company, according to a Microsoft survey. Research from Salesforce, meanwhile, shows that 78% of customers will forgive companies for mistakes — if they receive excellent customer service. 

Insights like these highlight the immense role that customer service representatives and managers play within a business — they resolve issues quickly, drive purchases with pre-sales conversations, and create a wonderful customer experience. 

But how do customer service professionals go about acquiring these skills? While there are a number of approaches to training, customer service courses and certification programs are great options to consider.

Whether you're a junior support agent trying to land a promotion or a team lead looking for the best certifications for your crew, this guide is for your. On top of suggesting many courses and certifications, we’ll also cover best practices when vetting and choosing certifications.

The benefits of earning customer service certifications

Benefits of customer service certifications.

Assuming that you choose a high-quality online course (something we can definitely help with), earning professional certifications as a customer service rep can boost your career and performance. 

These training programs offer substantial benefits to customer service managers as well, enabling them to lead and support their team on a higher level and unlock customer service excellence.

Here are some of the top benefits of customer service certification courses for both reps and team managers: 

Opens up career advancement opportunities

Simply put, a certified customer service rep is often going to be more attractive to employers than someone who’s not certified. They’re likely better equipped to navigate customer expectations, pick up service industry tools, handle difficult customers, and improve customer relations with certifications.

Earning certification from an accredited program can help a rep distinguish themselves in the eyes of their employer, making it easier to secure new positions and promotions. Similarly, customer service managers can improve their career prospects by completing programs geared toward leadership and skill development.

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Helps hiring managers choose the right hire

Hiring customer service reps can be a difficult process since it can be challenging to gauge and verify a rep's skills and knowledge from a job interview alone. Customer service certifications make it easier for managers to make the right hire by serving as proof of the knowledge and training that a candidate has earned. 

Adds to your company’s support training

Providing the training and instruction reps need to ensure customer satisfaction is a time-consuming part of a customer service manager's job. The good news is that online customer support training programs can deliver high-quality lessons, practice, insights, and tests — without requiring direct involvement from a manager. 

This frees up time in a support manager's schedule and allows them to focus on improving their own skills, exploring new service strategies (like proactive customer service and customer self-service), and initiatives for boosting team performance. 

Improves individual and team performance

Speaking of boosting team performance, let's wrap up with the most obvious benefit of customer service certifications: improving support skills. From communication skills to problem-solving, the top customer service courses teach reps a wide range of skills that they can use to execute their daily tasks better. 

Of course, improving the performance of your customer service team can drive serious results, from improving conversion rate with new customers to promoting greater customer loyalty and retention. When it comes to the business-boosting benefits of great customer support, the possibilities are endless. 

Customer service accelerates growth for a variety of reasons included referrals, reviews, and repeat purchases.

The 7 types of customer service certifications

Customer service certification courses can be broken down into seven main types:

  • Basic customer service agent certification: The most broad-ranging type of certification courses, these courses focus on the fundamentals and provide training on the hard and soft skills that reps need to navigate various customer interactions.
  • Customer service leadership certification: Meant for customer service managers, directors, and other team leaders, these courses are designed to improve strategic and managerial skills.
  • Helpdesk certification: These courses are intended to provide reps with training on how to utilize helpdesk software effectively.
  • Call center certification: These courses teach reps the fundamentals of phone-based customer support and the skills required for real-time conversations with customers.
  • Customer service business management certification: These courses provide support leaders with the business knowledge to align customer service initiatives with the business's overall goals, such as budgeting and data management. 
  • Customer experience certification: These courses are designed to help reps form a better understanding of customer needs across the entire customer experience and provide top-notch support across all their customer touchpoints.
  • Client service certification: These courses are geared towards any customer-facing employee (not just customer service reps) and are designed to teach the skills necessary for positive customer interactions.

While there are in-person customer service programs available locally, we’ll spend th. Most of the courses are self-paced, meaning you can make progress between shifts rather than waiting for an instructor. Of course, if you prefer on-site instructions, you can look into local options. 

Now that we've got the definitions down, we’ll explore each one in more detail and recommend some of the top customer service certifications available in each category.

1) Customer service agent certification

Basic customer service agent certification courses are the most common type of courses for support reps to attend and are designed to provide a basic yet thorough understanding of the various skills required for excellent customer service. This includes hard skills — such as learning how to use various support tools or software, data entry and analysis, and customer management — as well as soft skills like communication skills, problem-solving, and collaboration.

This is a great place to start if you don’t have any frontline customer service experience, you want to demonstrate your skill set for an employer, or you’re a newer rep looking for a structured learning experience. 

Customer service agent certification and courses.

Available courses for this certification

2) Customer service leadership certification

Most of the time, customer service managers benefit from support certification courses by using those courses to train their team and boost performance. However, there are also courses designed specifically for managers and leaders themselves.

Topics commonly covered in these courses include things such as communication skills from a leader’s perspective, how to motivate and inspire others, how to delegate and direct, and other key skills that a manager needs to hone.

By improving your own skills and knowledge as a support manager, you can improve your team's performance from the top down. You can also use these courses to acquire the skills and certifications you need to advance your own career.

Customer service leadership certification and courses.

Available courses for this certification

Get a head start on leveling up your team: Read the 15 ecommerce customer service best practices every customer service leader should know.

3) Helpdesk certification

According to HubSpot, over 85% of customer service teams that utilize helpdesk software say that it makes them more productive. Before we tell you why helpdesk software is so beneficial that it's worth taking an entire course on it, we should first define what a helpdesk actually is.

A helpdesk is a platform that allows customer service teams to manage and respond to customers, whether through incoming messages or support tickets, all in a single, user-friendly dashboard. 

At a time when more and more companies are offering omnichannel support — enabling customers to contact them via phone, live chat, social media, email, and so on — it’s more beneficial than ever to organize and prioritize the flow of requests with helpdesk software. 

For example, Gorgias’ helpdesk helped BrüMate earn over $9 million in revenue exclusively from the support team.

There may be a bit of a learning curve depending on the helpdesk and how it integrates with your team’s other business tools. By attending a helpdesk certification course, support reps are able to learn the ins and outs of this valuable software so that they can leverage it to its maximum potential.

Helpdesk certification and courses.

Available courses for this certification

4) Call center certification

A call center is an organizational structure for customer support that’s widely used. In a call center, your team takes calls from customers who have questions or concerns and works to address those issues over the phone. In fact, it’s where many customer service representatives begin their careers. Working at a call center requires great communication skills, technical abilities, and customer service skills.

These certification courses will help you learn how to improve your customer competency, get through more calls, and help your customers get a better experience with your brand while making you a better customer service specialist.

Call center certification and courses.

Available online courses for this certification

5) Customer service business management certification

Customer service business management courses are typically for managers and teach fundamentals like budgeting, data analysis, and strategic decision-making. courses.) By sharpening these skills and gaining that deeper context, managers can guide their team toward broader business goals more effectively, including revenue generation. 

Note: This type of course isn’t focused on goals like clearing tickets, helping customers, advancing leadership careers, or upskilling teams. That’s the aim of a customer service leadership certification.

Customer service business management certifications and courses.

Available courses for this certification

6) Customer experience certification

When reps have a deep understanding of the customer journey and the needs, desires, and pain points of the customers they’re serving, the quality of their service and outcomes is bound to go up. A customer experience certification teaches reps how to go beyond simple ticket handling to improving customer experience across all touchpoints — not just when they reach out with a problem or question. 

This type of course usually provides training on building and supporting a positive in-product experience, creating a full-fledged help center, designing a smooth and informative buying process, and delivering a thorough customer onboarding program. With that in mind, iit can be helpful for support team members at all experience levels. 

Customer experience certifications and courses.

Available courses for this certification

7) Client service certification

A client service certification course covers the fundamentals of customer care and how to use customer support skills in everyday roles and tasks. Client service certification courses aren’t just for customer service reps. They can be taken by anyone who wants to improve their ability to communicate with customers. 

Sales reps, customer support reps, customer success reps, product team members, and other customer-facing employees who want to learn the soft skills required to effectively interact with customers (and, when appropriate, upsell them) can benefit from it. 

Client services certifications and courses

Available courses for this certification

Where customer service certifications fall short

All of the high-quality customer service certifications that we've covered so far can offer a lot of value to customer service reps and team leaders. However, these online certifications are not the end all, be all solution. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re weighing courses/certifications as a learning tool: 

Online certifications aren’t a replacement for training

Regardless of the certifications that a support leader or rep has earned, thorough onboarding, continuous education, and ongoing training is still a must-have. 

Training courses are wonderful for their convenience and relative affordability, but they can't quite match tailored, one-on-one training. If you’re a support manager, it’s still your job to give each rep the hands-on coaching they need to perform at their highest possible level. And if you’re a customer service rep, it's your job to ask for or take advantage of skill development opportunities.

Team members will still need tailored training for their specific role. For example, product knowledge is one piece of customer service training that no online course can provide. Even helpdesk certification courses will be limited in value unless they cover the specific helpdesk your team uses.

Online support certifications require extra investment from team members

Online certification programs in particular can require a large degree of self-motivation. Support managers counting on these programs to upskill their team may find that some team members struggle to stay engaged. Similarly, job candidates or agents looking to advance their careers need to plan for the time investment and have tactics to stay accountable and get the course done.

If you’re struggling with team member engagement, check out our guide to customer support incentives. 

Some certifications are better than others

There isn’t one single organization vetting and accrediting every customer service certification program, and some aren’t reviewed by anyone but the course creator(s). When every course isn’t held to the same standard or worth your time or money, you’ll want to do some due diligence before hitting “Sign up.” We’ll give you some tips in the section below. 

None of this is meant to discourage you from online customer service certification programs. Used well, these programs can offer valuable skill- and confidence-building, which in turns leads to better customer service. However, understanding the pitfalls is the first step to using these programs properly and within the scope of what they’re built to do.

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How to make sure your certification is worth your time

To improve the odds that the certification you or your reps receive is comprehensive, accurate, and will actually hold weight with future employers, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1) Look for accredited programs

Some online customer service certification programs have earned accreditations from recognized bodies like higher education institutions or professional associations. 

As an example, the Customer Service Institute of America (CSIA) is an arm of the International Council of Customer Service Organizations (ICCSO), which promotes excellent CS practices through standards, awards, and development programs. The institution and the program itself must meet a rigorous set of standards, which helps you rest assured it’s a quality training opportunity. 

Once certified through one of their programs, you can include their logo on your LinkedIn or resume to make your application (or request for a promotion) stand out:

Customer Service Institute of America logo

2) Check out reviews from students and graduates

If a customer service certification program is well-known and respectable enough to be worth considering then you should have no problem finding online reviews from reps who have already completed the program. These reviews serve as an unbiased source of feedback that you can use to gauge a program's quality and value.

For example, the Customer Experience Certification Workshop on Udemy includes ratings and reviews, the number of students who have taken it, and even companies who have offered the course to their employees before. 

Reviews of customer service courses
Source: Udemy

4.1 is a pretty solid score, especially considering the course has over 2,000 reviews.

3) Research the organization or individual offering the program

The reputation of a certification program is deeply tied to the reputation of whoever is offering it. A potential employer is going to value a certification much more if they recognize and respect the individual, school, company, or organization that offers it, even if they are not familiar with the program itself. With this in mind, research the “who” behind the certification course. 

Even if they’re not accredited by a major certification body, they may be an organization that’s known for excellent customer service or a thought leader in the industry. 

More ways to level up your skills or your team now

Whether you’re an agent looking to develop your skills and boost your career prospects or a manager looking for ways to train your team, online customer service certification programs can offer plenty of value. As long as these programs are used within their proper role and chosen carefully, they can be a convenient way to learn a range of customer service skills.

Gorgias users can check out the Gorgias Academy for high-quality courses and certifications that help you become a certified helpdesk expert and practice beginner and advanced skills along the way. 

For more ways to learn and upskill today, explore these 20 practical customer support tips.

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