Frequently Asked Questions


Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions, categorized by topic, about certifications and more.

Getting Certified as an Organization to the International Customer Service Standard (ICSS)

Organizations who take part in the ICSS assessment process can benefit in a variety of ways by:

  • Having CSIA facilitate the process of various departments coming together to discuss and communicate about the current customer experience vs. desired customer experience. This vital interaction is key to providing a road map to the organization of where it would like to go and the role each department plays to assist in reaching the destination.
  • Having CSIA assist in identifying gaps in current processes and/or process inefficiencies.
  • Getting a final report from CSIA assessors that will clearly outline areas where your organization is strong and should maintain momentum, as well as, opportunity areas and which of those will provide the most “bang for your buck”.
  • Earning certification to the International Customer Service Standard, a globally recognized standard, that is excellent for external marketing, as well as internal morale and motivation.

One individual who has substantial knowledge of the business is required to assist a CSIA Senior Licensed Assessor in creating an effective on-site assessment agenda; no formal pre-assessment is required.

We realize that cost is often a huge factor in an organization’s ability to move forward with a project like this. At CSIA, we do everything we can to ensure that we are able to provide a thorough assessment of your organization in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible.

A custom, formal proposal is completed and submitted for your review after a preliminary call with our Executive Director, Christine Churchill. Each cost is specifically outlined so that you understand how the costs are broken down and how long the process will take. We are willing to work with you to ensure we meet your needs and your budget.

Individuals can benefit in a variety of ways:

  • Improved communication and collaboration between departments.
  • Assurance that the organization values them and what they do, resulting in team members become more engaged while at work.
  • A more thorough understanding of the organization, its goals and where they fit in that equation.

Certified Customer Service Manager (CCSM) Course

Completing the Certified Customer Service Manager course is invaluable. The topic of each module is relevant to any individual leading a team, regardless if it is customer service or another area. These training modules are filled with information as well as relevant examples for implementation at the workplace.

The takeaways from this course are imperative for running an exceptional team.

Activities within each of the training modules are workplace based and allow team members an easy way to organize, begin and complete projects; many of which have most likely been in the project pipeline for sometime.

  • 5-7 months (estimating 2 hours a week of study time)

There is NO required classroom time in order to successfully complete the training course and become certified. *Please note that organizations that have 5 or more people complete the course, are eligible for a 2 day workshop run by one of our Senior Facilitators. The cost for the trainer is included in the cost for the course, however, travel expenses are not typically included.

Individuals who have completed certification will be able to keep their certification current simply by writing one short book review on a business book of their choice and one article on a current topic in customer service or business annually.

International Service Excellence Awards

To enter your organization or an individual for consideration of an International Service Excellence Award (ISEA), simply complete the appropriate form, either to nominate an individual or organization. *Please note, there is a nominal cost to submit a nomination or application. 

There is a nominal fee to submit a nomination/application for the awards. Please note, if you are selected as a finalist, this fee will be deducted from the judging fee associated with the International Service Excellence Awards process.

If your organization is chosen as a finalist in any of the categories, an on-site visit or web conference would be required to move forward with the Awards process. At that time, we would estimate the amount of time that would be required (typically between 3 hours and 1 full day depending on the category / industry) and would put together an estimate of the costs involved to complete the judging process. *Please note, you are able to decline proceeding with the awards process after you receive the estimate.

Individual finalists will be interviewed by an Awards Judge over the phone for approximately 30 minutes.

There is not a formal awards presentation or awards dinner. We found that our previous award winners preferred to celebrate with the team members that helped them earn the award.

Get more answers to your questions by reading our blog!

Customer Service Institute of America