Improv as Customer Service

by Joyce Garrison


The core philosophy of Improv is Yes! And...

Yes! And… is a state of being where you, and your fellow players step onto the stage, with an agreement to be present, ready to play, and where there is no “wrong” answer. It’s unconditional acceptance of yourself and for your fellow players. Life, itself, is Improv. And Customer Service is definitely Improv. In your workplace, you have your Employee Handbook and/or manual, and receive training for your job, but they didn’t give the customers a manual.

That part is easy to forget. The customers are people. You can’t put individuals into categories. People have layers, moods, wants, needs and personalities. In order to help someone, you have to be available and ready, even when you’re not. And that’s where Improv comes in. I have been a Bartender for over twenty years, and it has been an amazing job of play. I have also been an improviser for fifteen of those years. These two aspects of my life are beautifully intertwined because behind the stick, I am able to create a product, interact with my guest and to communicate with people on a personal level. My bartending skills may be the tools, but it’s my experience in Improv that makes my job feel like play.

Day in and day out, I work with the guest experience. I always say that I am not in Customer Service, I am in Guest Service, where my goal is to create an experience for that guest. Think about it. How would you treat a guest in your house? How would you play with one of your friends? You want your guests to have a great time and most importantly, to come back and visit you. By incorporating Improv into your Customer and Guest Service experience, you will learn how to actively listen, stay present in the situation, anticipate the of need of your guests, and to assess the situation. Most of all, you’ll learn how to accept each moment with the “Yes, and” philosophy of play and to change your own experience in Customer Service by playing well with others.


Play Storming is proud to introduce Ms. Garrison as the newest member of our team! Joyce joins us as Education Director. As a recognized expert in the area of Hospitality and Guest Services, Joyce brings her experience to our Customer Service Training. To learn more about her background click here

For more information about Play Storming Workshops, including Customer Service Training, fill out the form below.

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