Jim S Miller

Thoughts on the Client Experience and Banking

3 Customer Satisfaction Lessons from the Takacs Quartet

leave a comment »

I recently had the pleasure to attend a concert of the Takacs Quartet. As crazy as it sounds, while listening to their music, I was thinking about what makes their music so phenomenal (which it was) and how it applies to great customer service (sometimes it’s hard to have customer service on the brain 24×7). The Grammy Award winning Takacs Quartet was formed in 1975 and still has two of the original members, while the other two joined in 1993 and 2005. Their 35 years of success has several lessons we can apply to delivering a great customer experience.

3 Key Lessons from the Takacs Quartet:

Every performance matters – The Quartet performs over 90 times per year throughout the world. At that pace they performed over 3,000 times. The Quartet is based in Boulder and have played the same venue many times, but they still put everything they had into the performance. In banking, a teller may already have serviced 30 customers today, but it may be the customer’s first interaction with the bank, or one of the few times they come in during the year. Don’t phone it in… just like the Quartet makes every performance special, make every customer interaction matter and make each customer feel special. No Excuses… it doesn’t matter how many times you have done the same thing, how tired you are or what is going on at home. 

Practice makes perfect – A great sounding quartet doesn’t just happen. The Takacs Quartet spends endless hours practicing both individually and as a group. Their performance sounds flawless, but only because they have put in the hard work ahead of time. Do you “practice” on the job, or do you “practice” off-stage?  Most companies offer a minimal amount of training. How would the Quartet sound if they took 4 musicians, put them through a one day (or one week) training course and then sent them on stage to play?  Probably not a performance I would want to buy a ticket for.  Occasional training is not enough.  Employees should also role-play, discuss customer service scenarios and practice the art of delivering high quality service.

Teamwork – Imagine how the Quartet would sound if the Cello was off-key. Their sound is amazing because each member executes perfectly on his/her part. A mistake by any of the performers ruins the groups sound. The same is true in customer service. One person not doing their part ruins the entire customer experience. A customer might get great service opening their bank account, but then receive poor service from a teller. For the customer, that teller transaction ruins the entire experience with the bank. While playing, each member of the Quartet is not only following their music, but also looking at their 3 “teammates” in order to keep in synch (there is probably a better musical term for that, but I certainly am not a musician). Employees work as part of a team. It is important to pay attention to what is going on around you. If one of your team is struggling, give them a helping hand. Taking care of the customer is everyone’s responsibility.


Written by Jim S Miller

November 3, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: