How many times have you experienced dealing with a customer service representative and felt like they were  just telling you their script?

Since we work with tools of play, like improvisation techniques, we’ve found a strong connection with improv and customer service. Customer service reps are constantly handed situations where they have to go off script and do what they can to help the customer. In our improv shows we are always dealing with something new that is offered and we have to flow with it.

Here are 3 rules from Improv that can improve customer support.

RULE 1: Active Listening


No improv scene can work without active listening. The actors will miss what is offered and go off track. The actors have to acknowledge they heard it with their response. I’ll cover that in next rule.


Customer service reps need to acknowledge they heard the customer first before they can deal with their issue. They have to make sure they are getting the whole message and gist of what the customer is saying before they respond.

RULE 2: Say Yes, And…


In improv shows the actors must say” Yes! And…” to the offers presented. This means more then just saying Yes. The actors have to add something of their own to move the scene forward


Active listening is about empathizing with the customers issue. Saying Yes, And is offering solutions for the customer. It shows openness to the customer that you are willing to help the customer. Customer reps can start giving the customers a call to action and next steps.

RULE 3: Make Positive Statements

convert-negative-statements-to-positiveIf improv actors ask questions all the time in scenes they put too much pressure on the other actors to come up with ideas. Instead the actors are making positive statements that move the scene forward and help the other actors out.


Customer service reps are considered experts in the services of their company. The customer is relying on customer service to help solve their problem. The customer service reps need to avoid giving non-committal and vague answers. They need to make positive clear statements that the customer can understand. If they know the answer they need to communicate it clearly. If they can’t help the customer then they need to make a positive statement about what they can do to help.


These rules of improv can be applied to any customer service interaction. Training customer service reps to be able to go off script so they can handle unexpected situations will go a long way in building loyal customers.