The International Customer Service Standard
The International Customer Service Standard (ICSS) is an Approved Standard of the International Standards Accreditation Board (ISAB).
The development of the ICSS is an initiative of the International Council of Customer Service Organisations (ICCSO)
This Standard has been written using a consultative process involving leading global corporations, small and medium-size enterprises, government bodies, institutions, and individuals.
As per ICCSO guidelines, the Standard will continue to be developed and will be updated again in 2025 to reflect changes in customer expectations and customer experience management.
The International Customer Service Standard for organisations has been developed both as an acknowledgement of progress made to date by some organisations in relation to standards of excellence, and as a benchmark for others to pursue.
This Standard establishes a framework for customer experience management that is designed to withstand the rigours of international competition and scrutiny.
Management of the customer experience is now accepted as a vital management discipline, and the implementation of robust customer service management is a basic operational requirement for public and private sector organisations.
This Standard provides both a recognisable benchmark and a ‘how- to’ implementation approach.
The Standard addresses four key components or perspectives:
• Financial / Governance
• Learning and Growth
Each perspective considers not only the customer, but also the internal workings and infrastructure of the business that are required to deliver the customer experience.
The International Customer Service Standard applies equally to all organisations, including for-profit businesses, government, and not-for-profit organisations. Its aim is to shift organisational focus from product or service OUT, to customer IN. This means creating an environment where customer input is largely responsible for determining the product or service output, rather than where the supplier or service provider attempts to force a product or service on the customer, in the hope that it will meet customer needs and generate loyalty. A well- integrated customer experience management system can reduce costs and increase profits.
The International Customer Service Standard certification process for organisations enables an organisation to measure their alignment to the Standard and performance in customer service delivery and customer experience management.
The certification process is managed by ICCSO members and results in:
Formal ICSS measurement and scoring
ICSS performance reporting including risks and opportunities
Award of Certified Customer Service Organisation status.
*In 2020, certified organisations can elect to maintain certification to ICSS: 2015-2020, however new organisations to ICSS are required to undergo certification to ICSS: 2020-2025