The Institute of Customer Relationship Management (ICRM) is the National body for customer service providers seeking to develop and promote international service standards and professional excellence in customer Relationship Management. The institute is responsible for promoting best practices in customer service standards, professional certification and the National and International Service Excellence Awards.
Customer Service Managers come from a variety of backgrounds but unlike other professions, such as Accounting, there has been no formal industry body recognition. Anyone may call themselves a customer service manager but few have any qualification other than experience to prepare them for the role. Despite job titles such as customer service director, customer relationship manager, call center manager, manager - customer experience, national manager, customer satisfaction and consumer relations manager, few people holding these positions have any customer service qualifications. They come from diverse backgrounds - some have undergraduate degrees from a wide variety of disciplines, others have completed more generalized post graduate study such as an MBA. A significant component of Nigeria's customer service managers and professionals have no formal qualifications instead gaining considerable experience at a variety of levels in the organization before working their way up 'through the ranks'.
Professionals in other roles study their chosen discipline and then are recognized by their professional association. For example, despite studying a recognized accounting degree, an accountant is not 'Certified' or 'Chartered' until they have passed all the professional examinations of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) worked through their professional body's course requirements and are recognized as qualified in the field. The ICRM believes it is time Nigerian organizations treat service as importantly as finance.
The Institute of Customer Relationship Management will worked with interested organizations to develop a training, assessment and certification program leading to Certified Customer Service Manager Course and Nigeria's only formal and internationally recognized "Certified Customer Relationship Manager" designation.
It is time for all those in industry and the government sector with customer service management and leadership responsibilities to gain formal professional qualifications and for CEOs and human resource departments to insist on only employing customer service leaders recognized by Nigeria's peak professional body for Customer Service – the Institute of Customer Relationship Management.