”Yes, and. . .”: What improv theater can teach service firms

Case Solution

This Case is about CUSTOMER SERVICE, DEVELOPING EMPLOYEES, HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

PUBLICATION DATE: July 15, 2015 PRODUCT #: BH678-PDF-ENG

This episode of Marketing & Technology introduces supervisors to improvisation–colloquially called ‘improv’–or acting sans preplanning, as a device for delivering warm, un-mechanical service without breaking the training budget. We start by describing improv, reviewing its history, and covering the rules and guidelines that improv uses. Subsequently we identify a number of the methods in which improv was utilized in non-theatre settings, and we present several cases of improv in customer service. We reason by offering three lessons that improv theatre can educate service firms.