mwachirake, Oops, I think I posted a little in advance by accident...I wonder if you are comfortable saying where you live. I don't think I have spotted that info thus far. I'm trying to get a sense of what your opportunities are--not because I know about every place in the world, but because through process of elimination, I might understand better.
In MY world, I think it is typical to find job opportunities that don't require specific "papers" or certification. It all depends on the company. Some companies are very vague and list very little information on what kinds of credentials are needed; others are more specific and ask for a certain level of education; still other companies specify that you have completed high school/secondary school; and there are also companies that hire people who have completed degrees/certificates/diplomas beyond high school, yet it doesn't necessarily matter what the degree was. I don't think people spell this out often enough, but I think the value in seeing a degree for many people is not so much what it was, but the fact someone completed a project that required dedication and focus. Because customer service can include a range of topics and industries, you can have a range of qualifications, broadly speaking.
I'm not sure why you would not have an opportunity to move into the customer service department at your present company, which is closely tied into marketing. What you have been doing by contacting recipients of awards is familiar to me, as I have had people in my teams provide this kind of work. It is seen as the administration within marketing initiatives. And these are tasks that are handled by employees with a range of experience, depending on the company. When the volume is too high for people that need to focus on bringing in business, a need for someone to focus on the "administrative" task appears. Maybe that is the way the customer service department you have was created. And maybe you were involved as the receptionist because this was not a typical thing that department would handle or had the capacity to handle.
I don't think I can do you much good on the topic of where to increase your credentials at this stage. But if you have been involved in the end stages of marketing campaigns (fulfillment), even though you are actually the receptionist, you are performing "customer service" to me, as you are a part of a process that shows what a company can do, and correct, and do better next time, and so on.
It sounds like what you are calling "customer service" is a specialized thing, with your own lens, and from inside your own company. I don't have your lens, so I might not be seeing the same thing.
Thanks for coming back to talk about this, you've made me think :)
Maybe if you describe the types of things you do again (including what you like and dislike), that will shed more light on where you stand as a candidate in customer service and where to go next. I'm not a recruiting specialist by title with the proper training, but I have hired dozens of people (or hundreds, I should make an effort to count), and this has given me some insights into knowing what people are looking for beyond what they say. So, maybe I am actually a recruiting specialist in the long run. Meanwhile, I hope that, if you are not finding answers that bring you to the next best step from me, you will find them through other people reading and posting here.