Top 11 Customer Advocate Certifications
Updated 16 min read
Certifications are important for customer advocates in the job market as they demonstrate a commitment to excellence and provide employers with an objective measure of the candidate’s knowledge and skill level. Certifications also give employers assurance that their customer advocate has been trained on relevant topics, such as customer service processes or industry trends, which can help them better serve customers. Additionally, certifications can be used to evaluate candidates against one another in order to make hiring decisions. Finally, certifications can also increase a customer advocate’s marketability by demonstrating their dedication to professional development and providing proof of expertise.
The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for Customer Advocates and explain how they can help advance a customer advocate's career.
What are Customer Advocate Certifications?
Customer advocate certification is a program designed to help organizations improve customer service and satisfaction by creating and recognizing advocates for their customers. This certification focuses on the development of customer advocacy skills, such as understanding customer needs, addressing customer concerns, and developing relationships with customers. It is intended to help organizations create a culture where customer service is valued and employees are empowered to work together to ensure a positive experience for all customers.
By having certified customer advocates in an organization, they can act as ambassadors for the company’s brand, helping to build trust and loyalty among customers. These advocates can also provide valuable feedback on how the organization can better serve its customers. They are able to identify areas of improvement in products or services that could enhance the overall experience of customers. Additionally, they can act as mentors for other employees who may not be familiar with the company’s products or services, providing valuable guidance and advice that can lead to improved efficiency and effectiveness within the organization. Finally, certified customer advocates can provide valuable insights into emerging trends in the industry which can help organizations stay ahead of competitors.
Pro Tip: Make sure to research customer advocate certification programs thoroughly before enrolling. Look for courses that are accredited and have a solid track record of success, as well as those that offer comprehensive training in the areas of customer service, product knowledge, problem solving and communication. Additionally, look for programs that provide real-world experience through mentoring or internships.
Related: What does a Customer Advocate do?
Top 11 Customer Advocate Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Customer Advocates today.
1. Certified Customer Advocate Professional (CCAP)
Certified Customer Advocate Professional (CCAP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize customer service professionals who have achieved a high level of expertise in providing quality customer experiences. It is the only certification program specifically designed for customer service professionals and is administered by the International Customer Service Association (ICSA).
The CCAP program consists of three levels: Certified Customer Advocate, Certified Customer Advocate Specialist, and Certified Customer Advocate Master. Each level requires completion of an online course, passing an exam, and submitting a portfolio or project demonstrating mastery of the material. The courses cover topics such as customer service fundamentals, communication skills, problem solving and decision making, customer experience management, and more.
It typically takes about 6-9 months to complete all three levels of the CCAP certification program. To get started, you must first register with ICSA and pay a one-time fee of $99. After that, you will be able to access the online courses and exams for each level. Once you have completed all three levels successfully, you will receive your official CCAP certificate in the mail.
The cost for completing all three levels of the CCAP certification program is $399 USD plus applicable taxes. This fee covers access to all course materials and exams as well as your official CCAP certificate upon successful completion.
2. Certified Customer Service Representative (CCSR)
Certified Customer Service Representative (CCSR) is an industry-recognized certification that demonstrates a professional's knowledge and skills in customer service. It is designed to help customer service professionals become more effective in their roles by providing them with the necessary tools and techniques to provide superior customer service.
The CCSR certification program consists of a comprehensive online course and exam. The course covers topics such as communication, problem solving, customer relations, conflict resolution, and other essential customer service skills. The exam tests the student’s understanding of these concepts.
To obtain the CCSR certification, you must first complete the online course and pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher. The course takes approximately 8 hours to complete, depending on your learning style. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive an official certificate from the International Customer Service Association (ICSA).
The cost for the CCSR certification program varies depending on where you take it; however, most programs cost between $150-$200 USD.
3. Certified Customer Support Manager (CCSM)
Certified Customer Support Manager (CCSM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize customer service professionals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in managing customer support operations. The CCSM certification is offered by the International Customer Service Association (ICSA).
The CCSM certification requires applicants to pass an exam that covers topics such as customer service strategies, customer service processes, and customer service technologies. The exam is administered online and takes approximately two hours to complete. Applicants must also submit a portfolio of their work experience and demonstrate their ability to apply their knowledge in practice.
To qualify for the CCSM certification, applicants must have at least five years of experience in customer service management or related fields, including positions such as call center manager, help desk manager, or customer relations manager. They must also have completed at least one ICSA-approved training course in customer service management or related fields.
The cost of the CCSM certification varies depending on the country where it is taken. In the United States, the cost of the exam is $295 USD plus applicable taxes and fees.
4. Certified Customer Experience Professional (CXP)
Certified Customer Experience Professional (CXP) is a certification program designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated a deep understanding of customer experience best practices, strategies, and tactics. The CXP certification is offered through the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA).
The CXP certification requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge of customer experience principles and practices by passing a rigorous exam. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as customer journey mapping, customer segmentation, service design, and analytics.
The exam takes approximately 4 hours to complete and can be taken online or in-person at one of the CXPA's testing centers. To be eligible for the CXP certification, applicants must have at least 5 years of professional experience in customer experience or related fields.
The cost of the CXP certification is $595 USD for members of the CXPA and $795 USD for non-members.
5. Certified Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)
Certified Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) is a professional certification program designed to help individuals develop and demonstrate the skills needed to be successful in customer relationship management. The CRM certification program is offered by the International Association of Customer Relationship Management (IACRM).
The CRM certification program consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course covers topics such as customer service, sales, marketing, data analysis, and customer relationship management strategies. The course also provides guidance on developing customer relationships and managing customer interactions. After completing the course, students must pass an exam in order to receive their certification.
The cost of the CRM certification program varies depending on the provider. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 USD for the entire program.
The length of time it takes to get certified depends on how quickly you complete the coursework and pass the exam. On average, it takes about four months to complete the entire process from start to finish.
In order to get certified, you must first register for the IACRM’s CRM certification program. After registering, you will be able to access all of the materials needed for the course and exam. Once you have completed all of your coursework and passed your exam, you will receive your official CRM certification from IACRM.
6. Certified Social Media Strategist (CSMS)
A Certified Social Media Strategist (CSMS) is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the field of social media strategy. This certification demonstrates an understanding of how to develop, execute, and measure successful strategies for businesses on various social media platforms.
The certification process takes approximately three months to complete and includes both online and in-person learning components. The online component consists of completing a series of self-paced modules on topics such as content marketing, analytics, customer engagement, and more. The in-person component consists of attending an intensive two-day workshop where participants gain hands-on experience with developing social media strategies.
To become certified as a CSMS, individuals must successfully complete the online and in-person components of the program and pass an exam at the end. The cost for the program varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $1,000 to $2,500 USD.
7. Certified Product Support Specialist (CPSS)
Certified Product Support Specialist (CPSS) is a certification program offered by the International Association of Certified Product Support Professionals (IACPSP). It is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate excellence in product support and customer service.
The CPSS certification requires applicants to pass an online exam that tests their knowledge of customer service, product support, problem solving, and communication skills. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately two hours to complete.
To qualify for the CPSS certification, applicants must have at least three years of experience in product support or customer service. They must also submit a resume and letters of recommendation from current or former employers.
The cost of the CPSS certification varies depending on the applicant's geographic location and chosen payment method. In general, it costs between $150-$200 USD to take the exam.
8. Certified Loyalty Program Manager (CLPM)
Certified Loyalty Program Manager (CLPM) is a professional certification program designed to help loyalty professionals develop and maintain successful loyalty programs. The CLPM program is administered by the Loyalty Marketing Association (LMA), an international organization of loyalty professionals.
The CLPM program consists of an online course and exam, which takes approximately 8-10 hours to complete. Upon successful completion of the course and exam, participants will receive their CLPM certification.
To get started with the CLPM program, applicants must first register for the course on the LMA website. The registration fee for the CLPM program is $495 USD.
9. Certified Voice of the Customer Analyst (CVCA)
Certified Voice of the Customer Analyst (CVCA) is a certification program designed to help professionals gain the skills and knowledge necessary to analyze customer feedback and develop strategies for improving customer experience. The certification is offered by the International Customer Experience Professionals Association (ICXPA).
The CVCA certification program consists of a two-day course that covers topics such as customer experience strategy, customer feedback analysis, and actionable insights. The course includes lectures, hands-on exercises, and case studies. Upon completion of the course, participants must pass an exam in order to receive their certification.
The cost of the CVCA certification program varies depending on location and other factors. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $1,500-$3,000 for the two-day course.
To obtain the CVCA certification, individuals must first complete the two-day course and then pass an exam. After passing the exam, they will be awarded their certificate and will become certified Voice of the Customer Analysts.
10. Certified Quality Assurance Specialist (CQAS)
A Certified Quality Assurance Specialist (CQAS) is a professional who has demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of quality assurance principles and practices. The certification is awarded by the American Society for Quality (ASQ), an international organization dedicated to promoting quality in all aspects of life.
The CQAS certification requires applicants to pass two exams: the Quality Assurance Fundamentals Exam and the Quality Assurance Professional Exam. Both exams are multiple-choice and cover topics such as quality management, risk management, process improvement, and statistical analysis.
The CQAS certification process typically takes between 6-12 months to complete. This includes studying for the exams, completing the application process, and taking the exams themselves.
In order to become certified, applicants must first join ASQ as a member. Membership fees vary depending on your country of residence; however, they typically range from $50-$250 USD per year. In addition to membership fees, applicants must also pay exam fees which range from $150-$200 USD per exam.
Overall, becoming a Certified Quality Assurance Specialist can be an expensive endeavor; however, it can open up many opportunities for career advancement in the field of quality assurance.
11. Certified Advocacy Marketing Specialist (CAMS).
Certified Advocacy Marketing Specialist (CAMS) is a professional certification program designed to provide marketing professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively plan, execute, and measure advocacy marketing campaigns. The CAMS certification is offered by the American Marketing Association (AMA), in partnership with the International Association of Professional Advocacy Marketers (IAPAM).
The program consists of three levels: Foundation, Advanced, and Expert. Each level requires successful completion of an online exam. The Foundation level takes approximately two hours to complete while the Advanced and Expert levels take four hours each. In order to qualify for any of the levels, applicants must have a minimum of two years experience in advocacy marketing or related fields.
The cost for the CAMS certification varies depending on which level you are applying for. Foundation Level costs $299 USD; Advanced Level costs $399 USD; and Expert Level costs $499 USD. All fees include access to course materials, practice exams, and a one-year subscription to AMA’s online library of advocacy marketing resources.
Once certified at any level, you will receive a digital certificate that can be used as proof of your credentials when applying for jobs or pitching clients.
Do You Really Need a Customer Advocate Certificate?
The answer to this question really depends on your individual situation. If you are looking to break into the customer service industry, then a Customer Advocate Certificate may be something that could help you stand out from others when applying for positions. It can show potential employers that you have taken the initiative to gain knowledge and skills in customer service, and it may demonstrate a commitment to the field.
On the other hand, if you already have experience in customer service or are looking to advance in your current career, then a Customer Advocate Certificate may not be as beneficial. You would need to evaluate whether the cost of obtaining such certification is worth it in terms of time and money compared to other available professional development options.
Ultimately, the decision should depend on your goals and objectives. If you feel that a Customer Advocate Certificate will help you reach them, then go ahead and pursue it. However, if you feel that other options may be more beneficial for your career path, then it might be best to focus on those instead.
Related: Customer Advocate Resume Examples
FAQs About Customer Advocate Certifications
1. What is a Customer Advocate Certification?
Answer: A Customer Advocate Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual's ability to provide excellent customer service and advocate for the customer. This certification is typically offered by industry organizations or educational institutions and requires successful completion of courses, exams, or other requirements.
2. What are the benefits of becoming a Certified Customer Advocate?
Answer: Benefits of becoming a Certified Customer Advocate include increased job opportunities, higher salaries, improved credibility among customers and peers, and enhanced skill sets to better serve customers.
3. How do I become a Certified Customer Advocate?
Answer: To become a Certified Customer Advocate, you must complete the necessary coursework and/or exams required by the certifying organization. You may also need to demonstrate experience in customer advocacy roles through work history or volunteer activities.
4. What topics are covered on the certification exam?
Answer: Topics covered on the certification exam may vary depending on which organization administers it; however, common topics include customer service principles, communication strategies, problem-solving skills, and best practices for advocating on behalf of customers.
5. How long does it take to get certified as a Customer Advocate?
Answer: The length of time it takes to become certified as a Customer Advocate depends on several factors including how quickly you complete your coursework or exams and how quickly your certifying organization reviews your application materials. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to become certified as a Customer Advocate.