CONSUMER PROTECTION: HOW CERTIFICATION HELPS PROTECT CONSUMERS
Consumer Protection. These are 2 words that weigh heavily on the shoulders of both business owners and consumers alike. The direct relations between consumer protection and profit causes companies to take extensive steps to protect their consumers, knowing full well that a scandal in services delivery can mean millions of dollars in loss or even worse; legal problems and closure of the company.
One of the ways that companies and practitioners ensure that their services are up to par is by way of certification. An obvious benefit of certification is that it ensures that the operator or practitioner is up to par and are well versed in their expertise. What the public doesn’t realize is that there are other less obvious benefits that are no less important and benefits the consumers directly.
Certification places the practitioner in the group of people that are abreast with current developments that are safer and more efficient. Once an individual is certified, he or she is a member of a group of like-minded people that operates within the same industry. This allows for free flow of information within the group that benefits all the members. Big information base results in more knowledgeable practitioners.
New developments will be made available to recognized bodies first before being disseminated to other practitioners. It is an undeniable fact that research papers are made available to recognized organizations and bodies first before being made available to the public. Thus, members of a certification body have the advantage of first-hand knowledge before anybody else. This will result in more efficient solutions, more profit and most importantly to consumers: better and safer SOPs.
Any alerts are also dealt with in the same way. This has more impact than any with regards to the consumer. Research and development may uncover previously unknown dangers regarding products and services. Again, these results are released to organizations and bodies first which in turn alerts their members. Certified members are able to react to these alerts faster than uncertified practitioners.
Certification body provides consumers with an avenue for malpractice complaints. Certification bodies listen to consumers. It is the one of the ways that they can collect data to improve on their services. These bodies also have a board comprising of industry experts that reviews these reports. This ensures consumers that their complaints are systematically reviewed by those within the industry and also protects the certification members by providing unbiased and informative judgment by these bodies.
There is a two way communication between the certified practitioner and the certifying body. Apart from consumers, certified members also update the body regarding any potential problems encountered in day to day operations. This plays a very important role. SOPs and procedures are developed by industry experts, but the real world application is done by the practitioners. Any improvements are bound to be formulated by the practitioners. These updates will be used to improve products and SOPs which ensures that the consumer will always get the best services.
Certifying body keeps tabs on the performance of the practitioners they certify. Certifying bodies continuously monitors the performance of their members through the feedback of consumers and the members themselves. Members that provide services above and beyond what is the norm are duly recognized. You will know by the certificates of excellence that companies display on their walls and on their media releases. On the other hand, those that are not performing well are given further training or worse, are no longer certified. Certification bodies will usually notify consumers regarding these wayward companies via mass and social media. The impact is terrifying; a loss of certification will always result in the loss of consumer confidences and massive loss in profits.
In conclusion, practitioners and business owners are aware of the importance of certification in relation to customer acceptance. Being certified means you are an able service provider at par with recognized standards. This customer confidence guarantees that your company enjoys continuous sales and profit.
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