We Care (The Problem With Scale)

Bank of America is getting blasted for its extremely low customer service scores in a recent poll. Of the four largest banks in the country, BofA scored the lowest. That’s not to say the other three scored high either, though. All four scored lower than any local credit unions or regional banks. While listening to the story on NPR, I was struck by a comment made about this phenomenon:

Basically the smaller you get, the higher the level of customer satisfaction. There is a direct correlation with how customers are perceiving that they are being cared for.

As musicians, we must avoid the pitfall of thinking like BofA—trying to get as many people in the hall as possible, sacrificing our art to play for the lowest common denominator. Instead we must focus less on trying to attain some corporate level of scale. Think small. Focus on making sure every audience member, every fan, feels that you connected with him and that you care about his experience.

As BofA scaled its business to serve a larger and larger portion of the public, it forgot what helped get it there in the first place. In a post-corporate world, we must avoid the lure of scale. Just because we are big does not mean we have scaled our integrity to match. And what are we without our artistic integrity?

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