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Occupational credentialing — it’s what ensures that the barber won’t accidentally give you a mullet or the pharmacist won’t hand you a bottle of the wrong pills. Millions of workers across hundreds of career fields are required by law to be certified in their chosen professions, and to achieve this certification they turn to organizations that facilitate testing and check that they’ve met all the educational requirements. These certification programs perform a vital function in our economy, and yet many are weighed down by inefficiencies and antiquated processes that often leave their customers — workers who are eager to embark on their careers — frustrated and unsatisfied.

A lot of this frustration stems back to how these organizations manage the entire certification process. Rather than purchasing and implementing certification management software — which is designed to handle every facet of certification, from registration to delivering test results — they instead often employ makeshift solutions using Excel spreadsheets and rudimentary software programs to handle all their transactions. Not only does this approach make it more difficult for customers to complete basic tasks, but it’s also nearly impossible for the organizations to extract any meaningful data that will allow them to improve the customer experience.

Here are four ways certification management software will make the management of your certification organization much easier:

Glean More Meaningful Data

With more and more competition in the occupational licensing space, certification program directors are under more pressure than ever to extract actionable business intelligence from their user data, both so they can present reports to their board but also so they can implement better business decisions. But the data they can extract from makeshift solutions and Excel spreadsheets is two-dimensional at best and can’t hold a candle against the robust reporting options from a good certification management system. With certification software, you can, within seconds, answer any number of questions ranging from how many people renewed their certification last year to how many applications you’ve had year to date. You can then avoid wasting the valuable time it takes to pull all these numbers by hand.

Automate Manual Processes

One of the most important interactions customers will have with any certification organization occurs during the application process. So many organizations force their users to print a PDF application off the web and mail it and a check via the postal service. Then the person is forced to wait weeks before receiving any indication that they actually filled out the form correctly, mostly because their application must be processed manually.

Certification management software automates this process by allowing users to fill out their application and submit their payment through the web portal. Sure, it may still require some human interaction when it comes to making sure the applicant has fulfilled all their educational requirements, but most of the process is fully automated and the customer can track their application status online.

Integrate with Testing Facilities

Filling out an application isn’t the only process that can be automated. Most certification organizations partner with testing vendors they charge with actually conducting their certification tests. Typically, this means the organization must format the test to the vendor’s specifications and then upload it to the vendor’s FTP site. Then, once the customer has taken the test, the organization must then go download the results from the FTP site and then interpret them.

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Certification management software automates this entire process. The system communicates directly with the testing vendor so that the very moment the user completes the test the certification organization is able to review the results. Once those results have been approved, then they can be made viewable to the test taker through the organization’s web portal. Often times, the user can even print their licensing certificate directly from the portal.

Improve Customer Service

One of the greatest friction points certification organizations encounter is when they try to engage in customer service with their users. Because the application process is often opaque and involves weeks of waiting for forms to be processed, it’s not uncommon for irate customers to call up and ask for their application’s status. But because there’s no centralized system through which all applications are processed, staff members are unable to provide timeline information to customers, and valuable man hours are wasted fielding multiple calls from the same person.

 

Certification management software, on the other hand, allows you to automatically pull up information on any customer. Not only can you check the status of their application, but you can also view a log of previous interactions with that customer. This doesn’t just allow you to prioritize customers who have had multiple problems, but it also gives you the tools to outwit users who call back multiple times in an attempt to get around a particular rule or decision by getting a different customer service representative on the line.

 

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Producing reports. Processing application. Interpreting test results. Customer service. All these responsibilities are not only leading to wasted man hours (and money) within your organization, but you’re pissing off your customers in the process. Only with robust certification management software can you streamline these processes and focus on performing your most vital function: ensuring an educated workforce is certified and able to embark on their chosen careers.

 

Are you ready to take your certification offerings to the next level with cutting-edge certification management software? Go here to learn more. 

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