Customer support especialist

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Help Desk Institute


Official Curriculum

Customer Support Specialist (CSS) Certification Standards

Customer Support Specialist (CSS) Certification Standards

CSS Certification Standards
This document contains HDI’s Customer Support Specialist (CSS) Certification Standards. It provides the information, requirements, and guidance necessary fortest creators, curriculum developers, test takers, and test administrators.



The competencies for each of the HDI Certifications were identified and approved by the HDI International Individual Certification Committee. It is the committee’s intent to recognize the breadth of knowledge required, document the needed skills, and provide leadership to the support industry onthe meaning of a certification in customer services and technical support. The HDI Certification is an open certification that is independent of any training curriculum. HDI Certification objectives are published to allow any organization or individual to develop curriculum that will enable individuals to pass the exam, which is independently administered. HDI is the administrator, facilitator, andarbitrator of the standards.

Certification Objectives
HDI’s CSS certification recognizes an individual’s knowledge of customer service competency and certifies that the individual has skills required to work in the support industry. A person who passes the certification exam is expected to understand the role of the Support Center professional and best practices for communications, customerservice, teamwork, ethics, Support Center processes, and using terminology. Concept CSS Weighting % 30 30 40 100%

Professionalism Skills Process

Certification Structure and Weightings: Name of the Certification:
HDI’s Customer Support Specialist „ CSS is the acronym that is used for the Customer Support Specialist „ HDA is the acronym that is used for the Help Desk Analyst „ HDM is theacronym that is used for the Help Desk Manager

Target Demographics and Prerequisites
HDI’s CSS certification test and training materials are geared towards individuals who are at an entry level or are transitioning to a new career in the support industry. Examples of job titles include: „ Customer Support Specialist „ Customer Service Technician „ Help Desk Agent, Technician, or Specialist „Dispatcher „ Call Screener „ Call Agent „ Service Center Analyst HDI expects that individuals interested in obtaining this certification will mirror HDI’s membership demographics. Test takers will come from various industry sectors and a range of large, medium, and small sized Support Centers. The one thing that all of the test takers will have in common is a desire to be recognized for demonstratingan understanding of the important topics listed in these standards in order to pursue employment and advancement opportunities in the support industry. Prerequisites for passing the certification exam will be a working knowledge and understanding of the responsibilities of a CSS, the skills a CSS needs, and the standard process requirements for a CSS. Individuals should not take the certificationexam unless they have a strong desire to work in the customer support profession and have a functional understanding of the concepts included in this document or have successfully completed certification preparation coursework.

Introduction 5

HDA Certification Standards
PROFESSIONALISM Element Criteria Range of knowledge and understanding for criteria (not exhaustive) The role of theCSS is to: „ Consistently deliver quality customer support „ Understand and document customer needs „ Manage customer expectations (as per the service level agreement (SLA)) „ Resolve (or assist in the resolution of) customer inquiries and problems „ Take ownership (as appropriate) of customer inquiries and problems „ Enhance the customer’s relationship with the Support Center and organization...
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