Customer-centric Info-Tech Strategies

Customer-centric Info-Tech Strategies

Quiz 3: Role-play game

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The power of improvisation games for customer service

Jesse Scinto from Colombia University explains in Forbes why Fortune 500 companies like Google, PepsiCo, and McKinsey send their employees to improvisation classes.

The power from improvisation training derives from the fact that performers don’t know what will happen before they’re on stage. The performance starts based on suggestions from the audience, after which the performers improvise and make the story up on the fly.

The improvised performance is based on certain principles – principles that can be mastered through training. For successful performance, actors need to be present, listen carefully, and contribute freely. These skills are obviously valuable in a customer service environment, in which adaptability is crucial.

This isn’t about cleverness training or joke training. It’s really about the infrastructure of communication and connecting.

                 Ed Herbstman, cofounder of the Magnet Theater

Although laughing isn’t necessarily the goal, the fun surrounding improvisation is perfect for group activities and benefits the learning experience.

According to a growing body of research, comedy has the power of improving student performance by reducing anxiety, raising motivation, and stimulating participation.

Similar findings were shared in a paper on The Neuroscience of Joyful Education. Studies on neuroimaging and brain chemical transmitter measurements showed that the transfer and storage of information in the brain are the highest when students are engaged, motivated and feel minimal stress.

The Improve Encyclopedia shares the 5 Rules of Improvisation:

  • Don’t deny
  • Don’t ask open-ended questions
  • You don’t have to be funny
  • You can look good by making your partner look good
  • Tell a story

The “Yes, and…” storytelling exercise can be carried out by two people or more and builds especially on the “Don’t deny” principle. One person starts with one sentence of a story, and the next person builds on that, either bouncing back and forth between two people or circling around in a larger group.

You can take the story in any direction, as long as it builds on top of the previous sentence with a “yes, and…” take off.

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