ICCA is pleased to offer this certification training program to individuals seeking the accreditation of a Certified Service Agent.
This certification training program is authorized by the International Service Standards Alliance (ISSA) for the certification of agents providing service in any environment or industry.
This program is a set of 22 comprehensive training courses designed to provide you with necessary training to be certified as a Service Agent and to prepare you for the responsibility of professionally interacting with people, processes and technology.
CERTIFIED SERVICE AGENT
This certification program is applicable for any service agent who supports any product or service(s) in a service environment including but not limited to retail, hotel, restaurant, or administrative role which is primarily via direct customer interaction.
This certification program is accredited by the International Service Standards Alliance (ISSA).
All certification candidates who are registered under for the certified service agent program are also registered with ISSA.
Upon successful completion of the certification training program the candidate will:
-Be permitted to use the CSA® designation
-Receive a personalized ISSA certificate
-Be included in the ISSA certification public register and;
-Receive one free year of ISSA designation fees
NATIONAL OCCUPATIONAL STANDARDS
National Occupational Standard (NOS) define the knowledge, skills and abilities a person must have to perform the job at a competent level. The standards are government sanctioned, developed, reviewed and approved by government and industry committees with representation from industry and educational professionals. The NOS provide the basis for:
-Nationally standardized skill sets
-Training, curriculum development and certification programs
-Clearly defined career information
-Industry-wide human resource strategies and solutions
-Improved productivity including customer service, increased profitability and job satisfaction
Industries on the whole, benefit from standards – especially those that provide a clear definition of service employees do and how they perform their job tasks to a more credible and professional image.
The curriculum for a Certified Service Agent covers five (5) key objectives which are:
a. Demonstrate Positive Personal Attributes
b. Interact Appropriately with Others
c. Demonstrate Desirable Work Attributes
2) Communication Skills
a. Communicate Effectively
3) Technology Skills
a. Use Available Technology
4) Health & Safety
a. Maintain Personal Health
b. Work Safely
a. Meet Customer Needs
b. Attain Service Levels and Quality Goals
This certification training program follows the ISO standard for certification of personnel and national occupational standards.
The program scope is the only global certification program which offers:
-Global certification and recognition for training
-Public register of certification candidates and accredited members
-Comprehensive training curriculum
-Personalized program certificate
-Membership with ISSA
-Opportunity for career path planning
Becoming a certified service agent (CSA®) allows successful certification candidate with a professional designation, can have their training verified through a public register, ensures that the scope of training is appropriate, improves the consistency of training and allows for personal technique to enhance the certification training.
EMPLOYER PROGRAM BENEFITS
For employers, the benefits of this certification program are:
-Increased employee retention
-Better business planning
-Increased employee productivity
-Better image of the sector
-Enhanced employee development
-Public register of candidates and accredited members
Providing good service is a key business feature that organizations constantly want to improve and is vital for an organization to who wants to keep and maintain the customers that they have.
The course features included in this program are:
-Course delivery medium is online
-Course access is available 24/7
-Access to all courses for up to 12 months
Structured format including:
-Modules or Chapters
-Individual course certificates
-Candidates study at their own pace
This total duration of study for this certification program is approximately 52 hours.
All certification candidates who successfully complete the certification training program are required to maintain their designation.
At this time, maintenance is prescribed as keeping their ISSA account in good standing through payment of their annual membership fees. Failure to pay the annual membership fees will result in the removal from the ISSA public register and the member may not use their ISSA designation(s).
CURRICULUM (Learning Outcomes)
The Certified Contact Center Agent certification program is a set of 22 individual courses which meet the objectives for this role under the national occupational standards.
The course list is below and individual course overviews and learning outcomes for each course contained within this certification program can be found on the subsequent pages.
Certified Service Agent Certification Program course list:
1. Contact Center Information Use and Systems
2. Customer Needs and Desires
3. Customer Relationship Management
4. Customer Service Basics
5. Customer Service Policies and Procedures
6. Dealing with Change
7. Discovering Customer’s Problems
8. Diversity in the Workplace For Employees
9. Effective Listening For Contact Centers
10. Evaluating Customer Service
11. Handling Difficult Customers
12. Health and Wellness
13. Internet Security
14. Privacy and Data Security – Canada (Optional)
15. Rebuilding Customer Relationships
16. Team Dynamics
17. Time Management for Peak Performance
18. Understanding Your Customer
19. Verbal Communication For Contact Centers
20. Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) for Employees
21. Workplace Safety For Employees
22. Written Communication For Contact Centers
Canada: $2495 plus applicable taxes (per user)
USA & All Other Countries: $2255 USD (per user)
Course List Descriptions:
Course: Contact Center Information Use and Systems
As a contact center agent, you’ll use many different types of information within the scope of your job, including customer, product, and company information. However, to be able to use this information, you need to know where to find it. You will learn about various types of customer data including what is known as customer information and transactional functions. Additionally, you will learn about some of the technological resources and strategies used to store, organize and provide access to customer data including information management systems, customer relationship management systems, and databases. This terminology will form the basis for further lessons on using technological resources in the contact center environment. Finally, you will learn what business documentation is and how the contact center agent interacts with it. Specifically, you will then learn about a particularly useful tool used for external and internal business documentation, email templates. You will learn some common uses for email templates and how to use them within an information management system. This course is approximately 2 hours in length.
Course Code: TECH502
Chapter 1: Information Use in Contact Centers
Chapter 2: Managing Customer Data
Chapter 3: Business Documentation
• What is information?
• Information used in contact centers
• Key information locations
• Customer data
• Information management
• Data integrity
• Editing and updating customer information
• Creating transactional functions
• Searching databases for customer accounts
• Validating customer identity
Course: Customer Needs and Desires
Customers have different needs and varying levels of ability to express their needs. In this course, you’ll learn how to apply a tailored approach to better meet the specific needs and desires of your customers by learning about categorizing customer needs, six sigma, and root cause analysis. This course is approximately 2 hours in length.
Course Code: SAL700
• Identifying customer needs
• Categorizing customer needs
• Six Sigma – DMAIC
• Six Sigma – DMADV
• Root cause analysis/5 whys
Course: Customer Relationship Management
Customers are very important to any business. Without customers, a business won’t last very long. So, customer relationship management & customer information management systems are extremely useful business tools. They help capture and store information about each individual customer. With this information, a company can do analysis and learn more about its customers’ needs and behaviours in order to develop stronger relationships with them. Customer Relationship Management, more commonly known as CRM, describes both the way that companies manage their relationships with customers, and the specific software tools that they use to do this (called CRM software, or simply a CRM). CRM software has been an important and integral system in contact centers for more than a decade. This course is approximately 2 hours in length.
Course Code: TECH501
Chapter 1: Customer Relationship Management (pt.1)
Chapter 2: Customer Relationship Management (pt. 2)
• What is CRM?
• How CIM relates to CRM
• Functions of CRM & CIM
• Features of a CRM
• CRM & the contact centers
• Future trends of CRM
• How does CRM work?
• Customer data
• Transactional uses
• Basic features of CRM software
Course: Customer Service Basics
This course explores some introductory information about what quality service is and isn’t, and the benefits of delivering great customer service. You’ll see how you can increase your job satisfaction and further develop essential job skills all by focusing on providing quality customer service. Furthermore, this course examines how the cost of retention compares to the cost of acquisition and investigates the main reasons why companies lose customers. Finally, you’ll explore communication styles, how to build rapport, how to be empathetic, and the importance of being positive, decisive, and helpful. You might discover it’s easier to say unhelpful things than you think! This course is approximately 2 hours in length.
Course Code: CSS300
Chapter 1: Quality Customer Service
Chapter 2: Customer Retention
Chapter 3: Relationship Building
• What is quality customer service?
• Job satisfaction
• Developing job skills
• Customer retention
• Why is customer retention important?
• Why companies lose customers
• Your role in customer acquisition and retention
• Communication styles
• How to be likeable
• The power of positivity, decisiveness, and helpfulness
Course: Customer Service Policies and Procedures
Policies and procedures may be implemented for a variety of reasons, but ultimately, no matter why they are in place, it is your job as an employee to know and follow them. In this course, you will learn more about why policies and procedures are important to know and follow for customer service. You will also practice interpreting and following policies and procedures and explore some of the possible consequences of not following them properly. This course is approximately 1 hour in length.
Course Code: CSS303
• Introduction: policy & procedure
• Escalation: interpreting policy & procedure
• Why follow procedures
Course: Dealing with Change
Dealing with change can be a difficult task for anyone, but the issue becomes even more complex once you are in a managerial role. As a manager, it is your responsibility to guide your employees through the process of change so that it is as painless and fruitful as possible. Change can bring up feelings of anger, stress, and other negative attitudes in even the best employees, and as a manager it will be your job to help them respond and adapt to change with resilience and resourcefulness. By understanding the cycle of change, the varying reactions to change, and how to deal with anger and stress, you will be able to provide your employees with the guidance and leadership necessary to face even the largest shifts and disruptions in the workplace. This course is approximately 1.5 hours in duration.
Course Code: MP102
Chapter 1: Change in the Workplace
Chapter 2: Change Management
Chapter 3: Managing Anger, Stress, and Attitudes
• How to help employees adapt to change
• The benefits and costs of change
• Demonstrating how to help employees address their fears and apprehensions towards new circumstances and ideas
• The three-step cycle of the change process
• The process involved in the adaption of change
• The problems faced by management during times of change
• The different types of reactions to change and what you can do to manage these
• The characteristics associated with resiliency to change
• Strategies that can be used to help employees cope with change
• How to help employees deal with their anger and stress
• How to identify and manage negative employee attitudes
Course: Discovering Customer’s Problems
It is very important that customer service agents are skilled at identifying the underlying causes of their customer’s problems. In this course, you’ll learn more about different strategies and techniques you can use to identify the true cause of your customer’s problems, including using customer history, root cause analysis, the 5 why’s and fishbone diagram techniques, and the PRIDE method. This course is approximately 2 hours in length.
Course Code: CSS305
• Using Customer History
• Root cause of customer dissatisfaction
• Methods for determining the root cause of customer dissatisfaction
• Customer needs: P.R.I.D.E. introduction
Course: Diversity in the Workplace For Employees
The workforce is made up of a wide variety of people. In this course, you will learn to apply strategies that will help you positively contribute to a diverse workplace. You will become familiar with common misconceptions and pitfalls that can lead to discrimination and stereotyping. You will also be given the opportunity to reflect upon your own awareness of diversity in the workplace. This course is approximately 1 hour in length.
Course Code: DIV404_EE
Chapter 1: Diversity Defined
Chapter 2: Stereotypes
Chapter 3: Discouraging Stereotypes
• What is diversity?
• Terms related to diversity
• Diversity self-awareness inventory
• Cornerstones of diversity
• What are stereotypes?
• Common phrases and the stereotype behind them
• Experience with stereotypes
• Politically correct words
• The stop technique
• Contributing to a diverse workplace
• Handling discrimination
Course: Effective Listening For Contact Centers
When you hear something, does it also mean that you’re listening? Is it one and the same thing? We often mistake these two terms as interchangeable. This course will describe the difference between hearing and listening and how effective listening is a key contributor to successful communication in all aspects of life. This course is approximately 8 hours in length.
Course Code: COM100
Chapter 1: Elements of Active Listening
Chapter 2: Core Issues Related to Listening
Chapter 3: Overcoming Listening Issues & Applying Active Listening
• Introduction to active listening
• Attending skills
• Following skills
• Reflecting skills
• General types of listening barriers
• Workplace barriers
• Root cause analysis
• Overcome listening barriers
• Active listening
Course: Evaluating Customer Service
Being evaluated can be stressful for some people, while others find it exciting. One way to eliminate this stress is to take the mystery out of the test, or to understand what is being evaluated and why. In this course we’ll look at why and how customer service is evaluated. We’ll look at different types of customer service evaluations and performance reviews. You’ll see what aspects of service are being evaluated and how you can improve your job performance. This course is approximately 1 hour in length.
Course Code: CSS304
• Evaluating customer service
• Evaluating and monitoring customer service
• Performance reviews
Course: Handling Difficult Customers
Unfortunately, one part of many jobs has to do with dealing with frustrated, angry, or upset customers. This course provides you with some strategies to add to your customer service tool kit for: communication strategies and techniques, problem resolution, and techniques for maintaining your own emotions. It also covers when you should draw the line with a customer who is excessively difficult (using vulgar language, being verbally abusive, or threatening). This course is approximately 4 hours in length.
Course Code: CSS302
Chapter 1: Different Types of Difficult Customers
Chapter 2: Handling Hostile Customers
Chapter 3: Problem Resolution
Chapter 4: Escalation Procedures
Chapter 5: Calming Customer Emotions
Chapter 6: Techniques for Handling Agents’ Emotions
• Types of difficult customers
• Hostile customers
• Creating a customer log
• Dealing with abusive customers
• Types of hostile and abusive customers
• Problem resolution resources
• Common problem resolution techniques
• Problem solving stages
• Customer history related to current issues
• Problem escalation procedure
• Time-driven and event escalation
• Escalation procedure practice
• The C.A.R.P. method
• 12 steps to diffusing a hostile customer
• Dealing with abuse
• Tools for reducing conflict
• Discussion to conflict
• Employee stress
• Understanding anger
• Learning to cope
• Coping practice
Course: Health and Wellness
Health and wellness encompasses many different aspects; however, this course focuses on nutrition, exercise, mental fitness and stress management, work-life balance, and ergonomics. There is a strong focus on issues affecting the workplace. Yet, the techniques and tips presented are also applicable to everyday life. This course is approximately 1 hour in duration.
Course Code: HWS405
Chapter 1: Healthy Living – Nutrition
Chapter 2: Healthy Living – Physical Activity
Chapter 3: Healthy Living – Mental Health & Stress
Chapter 4: Work-Life Balance
Chapter 5: Ergonomics
• Canada Food Guide
• Portion control
• Nutrition labels
• Benefits of physical activity
• Types of exercise
• Barriers to physical activity
• Tips for getting & staying active
• Characteristics of mental health
• Practicing mental fitness
• Positive vs. negative stress
• Signs and symptoms of stress
• Coping with stress
• The Employee Assistance Program
• Issues with work-life conflict
• How do you know if you have work-life balance?
• Five phases of achieving work-life balance
• Consequences of work-life imbalance
• Getting support from your employer
• Sitting and working at a computer
• Proper laptop use
• Taking ergo breaks
• Environmental concerns
Course: Internet Security
In recent years, computers and computer-based technology have quickly become the norm within most workplaces, including contact centers. As a result, it is important to understand how to properly use these machines and systems and protect the information and data held within them.
Knowing how to properly protect against viruses, malware, and phishing by using proper encryption, password protection, network security, and computing habits is crucial whenever dealing with sensitive company and personal information. This course will address a variety of issues related to internet privacy and security associated with computer and online vulnerability. This course is approximately 1 hour in length.
Course Code: PRS201
• Viruses and Malware
• Social Networking
• Phishing and Identity Theft
• Encryption, Password Creation and Network Security
Course: Privacy and Data Security – Canada (Optional)
With the fast-paced proliferation of technology in the workplace it is important to understand the rules, regulations, and laws that govern various aspects of the computer-based workplace. Information privacy and security concerns have become increasingly important, and as a result it is crucial to understand both federal and provincial privacy legislation.
By understanding legislation like the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), as well as guidelines surrounding the protection of electronic information, privacy breaches, and employee surveillance, you will be able to appreciate how your job as a contact center agent intersects with both federal and provincial laws. This course is approximately 1 hour in length.
Course Code: PRS200
• Principles of PIPEDA
• Responsibilities and Accepted Procedures – Privacy Breaches
• Provincial Law
Course: Rebuilding Customer Relationships
When you’re faced with a situation where a customer has already had negative experiences with your company, it can be difficult to rebuild a trusting relationship. In this course you’ll learn about why it’s important to rebuild customer relationships and useful methods for addressing and repairing customer relationships. Using a six step process, you’ll learn how to properly address a customer’s concerns, fix his or her existing problem, provide atonement for previous dissatisfaction, as well as other methods to rebuild trust with existing customers. This course is approximately 1 hour in length.
Course Code: CSS306
• Rebuilding relationships: why?
• Service recovery process introduction
• Rebuilding trust
Course: Team Dynamics
The use of different types of teams and team work, in particular virtual teams, is becoming more prevalent in the workplace. It follows that the concept of team dynamics is an important aspect of organizational behavior. In this course, the advantages and disadvantages of teamwork will be explored. As well, elements of effective teams will be focused on, including the level of interdependence, team size, team composition, team cohesion, team norms, and team trust. You will also learn about the constraints on team decision making and how to overcome them. This course is approximately 1 hour in length.
Course Code: TEA604
Chapter 1: Introduction to Teams
Chapter 2: Design Elements
Chapter 3: Team Processes
Chapter 4: Team Decision Making
• What teams are
• Different types of teams
• Advantages and disadvantages of teams within organizations
• Types of interdependencies
• Sizes of teams
• Composition of teams
• Team life cycle
• Team norms
• Team cohesion
• Team trust
• Conflict and constraints in team decision making
• Team decision making strategies
Course: Time Management For Peak Performance
Regardless of the industry or position, successful leaders understand the importance of effective time management. When faced with competing tasks and simultaneous deadlines, it important that you are able to manage your time successfully. As a leader, if you model good time management and coach your team members in this important skill, you will reduce stress, maintain team focus, and stay in control. This course will teach you how to identify important tasks, avoid procrastination, set achievable goals, organize your workspace, prioritize to improve productivity, improve your scheduling, and delegate effectively. This course is approximately 1 hour in length.
Course Code: TM101
Chapter 1: How to Begin?
Chapter 2: Getting Organized
Chapter 3: Reducing Your Workload
• Time wasters
• Combating procrastination
• Setting goals
• To-do lists
• Organizing computer files and & email
• Levels of authority
• Just saying ‘No’
Course: Understanding Your Customer
In this course, you’ll look into different types of customer needs, especially unstated needs. Satisfying your customers may be more complex than you originally thought. Solving their problems and answering their questions is not enough. Next, you’ll explore how to identify, validate, and meet customers stated and unstated needs by using different probing techniques and other active listening skills, as well as a 5 phase approach to problem solving. Finally, you’ll investigate how customer needs are related to service and product options and how you can use your customers’ background information, such as call history, to provide them with better customer service. This course is approximately 1 hour in length.
Course Code: CSS301
Chapter 1: Customer Needs
Chapter 2: Identifying, Validating, and Meeting Customer Needs
Chapter 3: Customer Information
• The Kano Model
• Recognizing customers’ unstated needs
• Another unstated need: consistency
• How to identify customer needs
• Validating customer needs
• Meeting customer needs
• Determining service options
• Who are your customers?
• Customer information
Course: Verbal Communication For Contact Centers
The ability to communicate articulately and effectively to varying audiences is a key skill in all professions. This course will help you to develop or refine your verbal communication skills in the use of professional business language and information gathering techniques. This course is approximately 8 hours in length.
Course Code: COM101
Chapter 1: Information Gathering Techniques
Chapter 2: Questioning Techniques
Chapter 3: Speaking Style
Chapter 4: Summarization to Confirm Accuracy
• Introduction to information gathering
• The purpose of the interview
• Introduction to questioning
• Types of questions
• Contact center practical tips for effective questioning
• Introduction to the voice
• Speaking characteristics
• Telephone voice
• Summarization introduction
• Steps to conversation summarization
• Summarizing technical instructions
Course: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) for Employees
This course is designed to prepare you to successfully write the WHMIS certification test for office workers. You will learn to recognize hazard symbols, understand components of Material Safety Data Sheets and workplace labels, and understand worker rights and duties. This course includes a practice test which will help you determine your readiness for the official certification test. This course is approximately 1 hour in length.
Course Code: WHM400_EE
Chapter 1: What is WHMIS?
Chapter 2: Warning Signs
Chapter 3: WHMIS Documents
• The What, Why, and Who of WHMIS
• Duties of Suppliers and Employers
• Rights and Responsibilities of Workers
• Classifications of Controlled Substances
• WHMIS Labels
• WHMIS Material Safety Data Sheets
Course: Workplace Safety For Employees
Safety in the workplace is everybody’s responsibility. In this course, you will identify common workplace safety hazards and become familiar with the regulations that protect you. You will learn how to prevent and respond to workplace accidents and incidents. This course also includes information about Joint Health and Safety Committees and organizations that govern workplace safety. This course is approximately 1 hour in duration.
Course Code: SFT403EE
Chapter 1: The Backbone of a Safe Work Organization
Chapter 2: Preventing Accidents
Chapter 3: Accident Management
Chapter 4: More about the Joint Health and Safety Commission
Chapter 5: Creating a Safe Work Environment
• Types of workplace hazards
• A culture of safety
• Worker rights
• Joint health and safety committee
• Hazard identification
• Hazard resolution
• Duties of workplace parties
• People at increased risk
• Safety plan basics
• Accidents versus incidents
• Responding to accidents
• Documenting accidents
• Members of the committee
• Meeting structure
• Employer responsibilities
• More employer duties according to the OHSA
• Workplace safety and insurance board (WSIB)
• Implementing a safety program
• Hiring for safety
Course: Written Communication For Contact Centers
E-mail, texting, and instant messenger applications for communication are norms in all professions. Without a commitment to strong writing skills, an intended message can be misread or misunderstood. This course on written communication will help you to develop and refine your professional writing skills. This course is approximately 8 hours in length.
Course Code: COM102
Chapter 1: The Importance of Reading & Writing Skills
Chapter 2: Creating Case Notes
Chapter 3: Simplifying Written Communication
Chapter 4: General Business Writing Skills
Chapter 5: Corporate Internal Correspondence
• Reading skills
• Writing skills
• Introduction to case notes
• Summarizing for case notes
• Creating case notes
• Summarizing written communication
• Steps to summarize written communication
• Writing clearly
• Writing concisely
• Writing completely
• Writing courteously
• Rules for good writing
• The memo
• Instant messaging
Canada: $2495 plus applicable taxes (per user)
USA & All Other Countries: $2255 USD (per user)