A long-lasting partnership between Merced College and the Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce has resulted in many area businesses getting the information and training they need to take their customer service to the next level. This summer, the college is planning yet more opportunities to help area businesses find more effective ways to serve their customers through a series of workshops that will cover various components of the customer service industry.
The Merced College Customer Service Academy
The professional development training workshops will be held on the college campus, and are provided through the school’s Customer Service Academy. The Customer Service Academy, which has been in existence for 13 years at the college, offers 10 different areas of professional development training, including:
• Customer Service
• Team Building
• Values and Ethics
• Stress Management
• Time Management
• Conflict Management
• Decision Making and Problem Solving
• Managing Change
Although one of these areas specifically deal with customer service, all the training provided through these modules can be beneficial to a business’s level of service. For example, learning how to communicate more effectively will help employees interact positively with one another, as well as their customers. Other areas, including team building, attitude, values and stress management, will all directly impact the business environment, which will trickle down to how customers are cared for by employees.
New Workshops Coming
The latest offerings from the Customer Service Academy will include August workshops on conflict resolution. The subject will be addressed directly from a customer service standpoint, and help service providers learn how to work with conflicts with customers to produce a positive resolution. In addition, attendees will learn skills that will help them interact more effectively with their co-workers.
In September, the Customer Service Academy continues their series with a weekend of workshops on decision making and problem solving. In October, participants will learn how to manage organizational change. Each course requires a small fee and offers one-half unit of credit from the college. Workshops will be held in both morning and afternoon sessions, and those attending will enjoy comfortable training rooms with state-of-the-art equipment to make the learning experience as positive and productive as possible.
Award-Winning Program Boasts Long History
Thousands of employees from the Merced area have participated in the Merced College Customer Service Academy over the past 13 years. The Customer Service Academy is also available through other colleges in the California Community College System, extending the reach and benefits of the program. The Academy has won various awards, including a national award for its economic development. Statewide participants include recognized companies, including the San Diego Chargers, San Diego Zoo and Hilton Hotels.
The Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce was established in 1936 and currently boasts a membership of more than 600. The Chamber has partnered with Merced College to offer customer service training to both the businesses that have membership with the Chamber and the general public. In addition to the Customer Service Academy, the two organizations work together to provide professional development in areas like leadership training and managing harassment in the workplace.