Customer Service Skit
Exercise Type: Customer
Time Required: 45 minutes
Suggested Group Size: 12-20
Suggested Age Group: Teenagers,
Activity Level: Light
Materials Needed: Five copies
of each of the scripts included below. Folded cards that will sit
on desks visibly labled as follows: CEO, Vice President, Manager,
and Front Desk.
Venue: Typical meeting room.
illustrate two customer service models: 1) Top-down hierarchy, and
2) Customer-oriented model. The first illustrates a typical command
and control organization, top down organization. The second illustrates
a customer-centered operation.
Activity Description: Participants
are to act out a familiar experience involving very poor customer
service which reflects a top down, hierarchical organization. One
where decisions must be made at the top level before the service
provider can act upon them.
In the second skit, a progressive organization is modeled where
the front line employees are provided a measure of latitude in exercising
Each example offers an opportunity to contrast the differences between
both types of organizations, and their impact on their employees
and their customers.
Ask for five volunteers to fill the available roles in the first
skit and position them as follows: 1) CEO sits at opposite end of
room, presumably across the country from subject establishment.
Place him/her in a desk with a CEO card visible on desk; 2) the
Vice President of the Western Region sits closer but still removed
from the front of the room; 3) place the hotel manager in a desk
(office) next to reception area; 4) place the hotel front desk in
the front of the room, center stage; 5) the customer enters from
the door outside the croom.
Make sure each participant has a copy of the script. The instructor
or another student can play the role of the narrator, and let the
Immediately after the first skit is completed, assign new participants
to play the same positions and act out the second script.
This is an opportunity for participants to experience and reflect
on the effects each type of management and organizational structure
has on the customers' experience. Get them to explore how each of
the two management approaches might impact the organizational culture,
customer experience, productivity, stability, etc. Sample questions
- Has anyone
had a customer service experience of either variety before?
- Who is really
being served in each situation/organization?
- Where does
the customer fit in each organization?
- How does
each management approach impact employee attitudes?
- What options
are available to you when working in a top down organization?
- What did
these skits tell you about the relationship between responsibility
- What skills
are required of the employees in each organization?
- Where does
personal mastery fit in each type of organization?
- The behavior
of customer service providers can have a huge impact on the customer's
experience of your organization.
- A customer's
experience, good or bad, will have a large impact on whether they
return or not.
- Your role
in customer service is critical and has a lot to do with the success
of any service organization.
- How service
providers "recover" from or correct service errors can
have more impact, positive or negative, on a customer than a service
experience that is uneventful.
- Notice that
different personalities and levels of responsibility are required
by each organization. It's important to know whether you prefer
to follow orders and procedures with little autonomy or whether
you like to have more control and use of your own ingenuity when
choosing the type of organization you want to work for.
- It's important
to know how far you can stretch the rules or policies of an organization
in order to help it accomplish its mission.
customer service exchanges for 20 minutes at a local establishment
of your choice. Discern the type of organizational structure in
place, the message coming from management, the message to the customers,
etc. Come to class prepared to discuss your observations.
About the Author: Steve Davis,
M.A., M.S., is an Facilitator's Coach, Infoprenuer, and free-lance
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trainers, coaches and consultants present themselves confidently,
access their creativity, empower their under-performing groups,
enhance their facilitation skills, and build their business online
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