Should customer success professionals have some form of certification?

Steven ForthSteven Forth Managing PartnerFounding Partner | Expert ✭✭✭

Customer success is emerging as a core profession, as important as product development, sales or marketing. In such situations, one often finds a number of (potentially competing) certification programs emerging. I have seen this happen in pricing where the Professional Pricing Society offer a Certified Professional Pricier (CPP) designation. Many years ago I was a professional Japanese-English translators and the American Translators Association was in the business of certifying translators. I am rather active in the global design thinking community, and am aware of seven (ulp) certification programs or badges existing or in development. Yes, badges can be different from certifications, less formal, more agile.

Should there be a generally accepted certification for customer success professionals? Why or why not?

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Answers

  • Courtney EllisCourtney Ellis Business Analyst Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    Hi @Steven Forth,

    Interesting topic for sure! I know Gainsight offers a curriculum and certification program for CSM proficiency (unrelated to the use of their software).

    For those of us who have been participating for some time, it's often strange to think of the job as still being in it's infancy, but especially in the advent of SaaS models becoming standard in the industry the ability ensure customer success, happiness, and therefore renewal is becoming increasingly more necessary.

    This is a unique skill set that seems to always be changing, especially as we are becoming increasingly dependent on data, metrics, and tech touch. I think developing an industry standard around career paths, specialties, and core competencies would be a move that would provide further legitimacy and standard expectations to the profession.

  • Steven ForthSteven Forth Managing Partner Founding Partner | Expert ✭✭✭

    Hi @Courtney Ellis I agree with your conclusion, but I want to draw out one concern. As you say "a unique skill set that seems to always be changing, especially as we are becoming increasingly dependent on data, metrics, and tech touch."

    Most certifications are too rigid to accommodate this dynamic environment. Can we then design a certification process that is more open and dynamic? That could then be a general model for how certifications work in a world where the skills required for roles are changing. In fact, I think that is true of more and more roles and is a problem that needs to be solved.

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