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


Here’s a GREAT new hire interviewee questions: What type of theater experience have you ever had?

Why should you ask that question?

REASON: Because someone who has ever been in a play; part of a band, chorus or dance group; stage manager, grip, sound, prompter, make up, lighting, a director; even sports knows that the audience (your customers) are depending on them.

My professional theater background has helped my customer service career thrive immensely. And I’ve been honored to share what has helped build Telephone Doctor.

Not being in theater, band, chorus and the like, doesn’t mean you won’t be good in customer service. It means those who have had that experience will understand the mentality of customer service faster, and often, better.

And regardless of the title or job responsibility in your company, we know everyone is in customer service.

Theater 101, as I call it, is a perfect pre-curser to holding a job in customer service. Theater 101 prepares you in the best way for better communications. Below are only a few Theater 101 skills that will enhance your customer service reputation.

Theater skills teach you:

  • To interact well with others
  • How to be on time
  • How to learn priorities
  • To learn how to say something even when you forget your lines
  • How to have a phony smile even when you don’t want to smile
  • To understand your problems are just that: “your” problems
  • How to work well with others, even if you don’t enjoy them
  • How to understand it all “comes” together eventually
  • To help others when they forget or don’t know what to say
  • To realize the “show must go on” mentality
  • How to read a script without sounding like it
  • To understand the applause is for everyone – the ‘team’
  • How not to complain
  • How to deliver your lines sounding fresh, no matter how many times you’ve said them
  • Get it right “the first time”
  • That practice, practice and more practice makes perfect
  • How to go with the flow

The theater mind is one that thinks of the audience before themselves. It’s how we need to be with customers. Make certain that you and your team understand that mentality.

Customer service is the “stage.”

The customers are your “audience.”

You can make yourself a “STAR.”


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Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman, customer service keynote speaker, is founder and 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.