WAACSP expands scope of customer service education (CSE) in the Ecowas region
- Basic certification program open all year round
- Advanced certification now bi annual
- Admit and certify more CS instructors to grow the regions trainers network
The "Level of customer service standards in the ECOWAS region 2020-21 report" recently released by the WAACSP technical study group, identified lack of customer service education as a major contributory factor to the poor state of customer service and experience in West Africa amongst regional, bi-National corporations, public and private organizations.
Poor service curriculum and education at 46%, lack of training and re-training of service personnels by organizations at 28% while lack of service policy by organizations 3rd, at 17%.
While these top three are identified as causatives for declining quality of service delivery, experience and customer satisfaction, the WAACSP TSG listed two root causes to why this has been so and largely ignored, viz;
- Financing and cost of service education and
- Lack of adequate resource persons to deliver service education.
Based on the foregoing, WAACSP in partnership with its affiliates and partners, is now rolling out new measures aimed solely to fill these gaps and improve service parameters.
The immediate goal is to provide quality service education, improve on the accessibility of trainers albeit at comparative cost across the whole spectrum of service education.
To this end, the association has taken a new policy direction. Starting from the 2022 service year and subsequently, the body has approved three (3) new outlook viz:
The professional certification in customer service program (Basic)
An entry level certification program for new entrants into the customer service industry, usually a bi annual diet program of May and November yearly on the WAACSP calendar will now be an all year continuous education program. The training and certification transited from 65% online in 2019 to 100% online in 2020/21. This, we believe will now give aspiring customer service professionals opportunity to undertake the program at anytime of the year and at individual’s pace. However, the diet period still subsists. WAACSP aims to give education and certification accessibility to whomever qnd at whenever with same metrics as with during the diets, it also affords participants the opportunity to gain their certification and use it for intended purposes and will now be time constrained.
The Advanced certification program will now have two (2) diets as against an annual diet hitherto.
The key essence for this new schedule for the advanced program is to provide opportunities for career growth for service professionals who haven’t been able to aspire and apply for managerial roles due to lack of pre requisite training and certification in customer service, experience and other scopes. Service professionals have had stunted career growth as personnel’s from other departments HR, Admin. Marketing etc are engaged to head customer service department largely due to lack of advanced trainings or certifications in customer service education. It will also give CSPs opportunity to study and specialized in various arms of customer service; client retention, experience management, quality assurance and control etc.
More trainers/customer service instructors
This year, WAACSP will be expanding its trainers network with a view to grow human and training capacity within the region. The ratio of 1 trainer per 47 CSP’s in organizations and 1 trainer to approximately 700 service consultants, officers etc in the open service market across the customer service industry in Ecowas further illustrates the poor service resolution skills, leadership and service / client management acumen adept in the region. Remotely, lack of properly trained service personnel accounts for:
- low percentage in repeat customer (client retention)
- drop in sales and revenue.
WAACSP as a body, is looking to make customer service education accessible and available to over 50,000 ECOWAS nationals within the next 24 months. This necessitates a training, certification and licensing of WAACSP approved customer service instructors beginning first quarter 2022. Modalities for the addition of more trainers into the WAACSP trainers network will be released by end of January 2022.
The task is arduous and challenging but the vision and end result is what the goal attends to.
The West Africa Association of customer service professionals - WAACSP as the largest customer service body in Africa, is committed to these as we build and improve service quality.
The charge lies on us as a community to set the standard, equip and educate the drivers and see to it we all improve and engender better service experience.