Theater 101 for Customer Service and Communication Skills

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Customer Service Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training


So You Wanna Be A Star? READ ON…

If you’ve never been in a play, band, chorus, dance group or any other form of theater where the audience is dependent on you and you on them, then you may be in for a shock if you’re new in customer service. And even if you’ve been doing customer service for a while, you might pick up a tip or two.

If you have been in any of the groups listed above, you know what I mean. As a professional actress, theater helped prepare me to be a subject matter expert and keynote speaker on customer service.

I’m not saying you won’t be good in customer service without a little theater background, but I am saying it’s a bit easier when you have had the experience of some sort of theater background. And not just as an actor. Every part of any play or group activity has elements of customer service. And it will help make your job much easier.

It’s clear – the star is the customer, we are in a supporting role, and the stage is your company. Let’s work from this premise.

Theater 101 is a perfect precursor to being successful in customer service. It prepares you in the best possible way for these skills. Certainly not mandatory, but it is a huge help.

These are only a few of the topics you bring from theater into real life.

  1. Interacting with others.
  2. Being on time.
  3. Knowing priorities.
  4. Learning how to say something even when you forget your line.
  5. Knowing how to have a phony smile even when you don’t want to.
  6. Knowing that your problems are your problems (i.e., not complaining).
  7. Learning to work well with others even if you don’t like them.
  8. Understanding how it all ‘comes’ together.
  9. Helping others when they forget or don’t know what to say.
  10. Enjoying the ‘show must go on’ mentality.
  11. Learning how to ‘read’ a script without sounding like you are reading a script.
  12. Knowing the ‘applause’ is for everyone.
  13. Drama 101 – If you have the opportunity, join some sort of community theater class. Theater does not discriminate. Any age, any color, any religion, ANYONE can do it.
  14. Practice, practice, practice and then more practice.
  15. Learning to ‘go with the flow.’


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Nancy Friedman, customer service keynote speaker, is founder/chairman of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training and a featured speaker at franchise, association, and corporate meetings around the world. A popular TV guest, she appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, as well as hundreds of other radio, television and print outlets around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. The author of 9 books on her chosen topics, Nancy helps corporate America improve their communications with their customers & co-workers. You can see her 9 books here. For more information, log on to Nancy Friedman's website or call (314) 291-1012. Oh yeah you can email her at Nancy is a recent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame Award - St. Louis Small Business Monthly