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Merced academy offers training in customer service excellence
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Every business wants to deliver top-notch customer service, but few know just how.

For 12 years, hundreds of local employees have learned the basics at the award-winning Customer Service Academy, a series of workshops offered by Merced College in partnership with the Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce

“The feedback we continue to receive from participants is extremely positive,” said Merced College Business and Management Professor Jonae Pistoresi. “They feel that the workshops equip them with skills to better interact with their co-workers and to be able to deliver better internal and external customer service.”

The nationally-recognized academy is offered at over 70 California Community Colleges. Thousands of employees have been trained, including those of the San Diego Chargers, the Beringer Wine Group, and Hilton Hotels.

Merced's academy will kick off its 13th year with the workshop “Communication in the Workplace” from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 and 26. The $18, two-day workshop will offer tips on becoming a better communicator, a more attentive listener, non-verbal communication, and improving communication in a workplace – and a half-unit of college credit.

Workshops will continue throughout the year, with new workshops on the last two Thursdays of each month. Topics range from attitude to team building, stress management, decision making, and problem solving.

All workshops will be held at Merced College's Business Resource Center, located in downtown Merced at 630 West 19th St.

For more information, or to sign up, call 386-6734 or visit

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.