If you are considering adopting industry standards and certification for your service and support organization you are probably deluged by the sheer amount of information, facts, and myths about the benefits of earning certification, what being “certified” means, how to go about it, and why.
In this article, we will sort all this out and take a broad look at some of the benefits of standards and certification along with some of the things to look for when selecting a standards program for your service organization. Certification methodology and the quality of results can fluctuate widely between the various programs available in the marketplace, so the more information you have now the more successful you will be in selecting the program that will help you achieve your goals.
Who Should Consider Standards and Certification and Why?
Here are some of the reasons companies adopt industry standards and certify their service organizations against standards, along with what to look for when selecting a program.
- A Roadmap to World Class Service and Support
The program should provide a framework for the development of your organization. The standards criteria should provide guidance for ensuring that best practices are developed and implemented, and should focus the organization on delivering the highest quality service and support possible.
- Address Specific Service and Support Issues
The standards program should cover virtually every aspect of service and support operations. It should provide a focus on key operational areas that need attention. By gaining this focus, organizations will have the momentum necessary to address long-standing issues and improve overall operations in the process.
- Validate Current Business Practices
Those companies that feel they are already delivering top quality service and support can use a standards program as a means of validation. Inevitably, areas for improvement can be identified through the process that will drive even higher levels of performance. The certification audit should validate the practices in place within the organization, and provide industry recognition for the quality of service and support delivered.
- Market Service as a Competitive Differentiator
The program should provide the type of external validation required to help communicate the quality of services delivered to your customers. Certified organizations should have the rights to use the certification logo in marketing materials – enabling the company to better promote service and support as a competitive differentiator.
- Drive Consistency in Service Delivery
Many organizations deliver service and support regionally and across the globe. Consistent service delivery is a key component in maintaining and driving higher customer satisfaction levels. The program must provide a common framework through the standards criteria and define the practices necessary to deliver consistent service levels across geographic boundaries. The program should then measure the degree of consistency through the certification audit process.