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Why Candidate Experience Matters to Your Certification Program 

Why does candidate experience matter to your certification program? Ultimately, prioritizing the test candidate experience is about upholding the integrity of the certification program itself. When candidates perceive that the exam session is convenient, has adequate customer support, and is fairly evaluated – this experience contributes significantly to the credibility and growth of the certification program. 

3 Reasons Why Candidate Experience Matters to Your Certification Program

Successful test candidates become word-of-mouth advocates for your program. A certified user is invested in your product. It is increasingly common for test candidates to share their new credential on social media platforms, generating earned reach and positive sentiment at no cost to your organization’s marketing budget. This is impactful because 88% of people trust online reviews from other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts, according to the Local Consumer Review survey. Certificants who move to a new company or role commonly recommend and endorse the products they have certified expertise in. These recommendations can generate new client referrals for your organization. 

Certified users of your product can increase client retention. When customers can confidently fully utilize all the features of your product, they are more likely to continue using your product. Certification can increase customer knowledge of your product to an advanced level. This in turn can increase retention and reduce customer churn. Forrester Research found that formalized customer education programs, which may include certification, drive an average increase of 7.4% in customer retention. 

Certification can reduce customer support costs. A certification program is an investment in educating your users on advancing their knowledge and experience with your product. A certified user is more likely to problem solve and become a go-to expert in their organization, which in turn can reduce the customer support burden. This cost savings to your company can be directly attributed to the success of your certification program. 

3 Common Test Candidate Complaints to Avoid

Test candidate complaints can have an upside, serving as valuable feedback toward improving the exam session experience. When it comes to ensuring the best experience for your test candidates, there are a few common pitfalls to look out for. Here are 5 of the most common reasons a test candidate might leave their exam experience unsatisfied. 

Technical problems with the exam session. Issues with the online platform, such as slow loading times, crashes, or technical glitches during the exam, can be frustrating and disruptive. Poorly designed or confusing user interfaces, difficult navigation, lack of clear instructions regarding the exam format, or other technical issues can also frustrate test candidates.

The exam contains scoring errors or other issues. For the test candidate, the following issues could have an adverse impact on an exam’s legal defensibility and credibility. 

  • Wrong items on a test form
  • Items with incorrect point values
  • Changes to scoring after an exam has gone live
  • Using test scores to draw conclusions the test wasn’t designed to measure

The exam doesn’t accurately measure the job/role/task. Psychometricians work with a test sponsor client to ensure that a certification exam’s content accurately captures the knowledge level expected in the job role or by someone holding the credential.

Candidates who have been working in the job role for a reasonable amount of time may have legitimate complaints if test items don’t reflect the job’s responsibilities. 

Periodic review of test items to ensure that the exam accurately captures the knowledge expected of a certificant is a critical task in exam maintenance. This is an ongoing task, not just a “one-and-done.” 

Kryterion’s approach to test candidate success

Kryterion’s highly trained, in-house customer success pros, in-house psychometricians, and test delivery teams know that the long-term success of client certification programs depends on their candidates’ test experience. Our expert guidance and insights can make a huge difference!

Want to learn even more about best practices to launch a credentialing exam that meets industry needs, attracts qualified professionals, and maintains credibility and relevance over time? Click here to schedule an informational call with a Kryterion expert.

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