Bill The Barber’s Secret to Success

Ten years ago, I moved back to Denver. At the same time, a new shopping center opened up behind my office with a Barbershop. Being convenient, this became my shop.  I happened to get Bill as my Barber; he is the owner.

Now in this center, we have seen restaurants; clothing stores and specialty shops come and go. Yet, Bill still stands, why, Because he understands that in order to GET, you have to GIVE

I was reminded of this, this morning as I was shaving. I just got my hair cut a couple of weeks ago.  Now it is just a little too long. (I would like a cut to last 3 – 4 weeks). No worries though, because I know that when I go into Bills shop and say, “You know Bill, I think we left it a little long,” he will throw me in the chair, apologize, trim it up and refuse any remuneration.

That’s right even though this is a “do over”, I will want to pay him for his time. He takes the time every time I visit, to convince me that he cares about my satisfaction. And, as a result, if I get a cut that requires a “do over” Bill always gets another chance.

Now think for just a moment. What does this really cost him? It takes fifteen minutes to clean up around the ears and to trim a little. In addition, he may feel the need to sound a little contrite (He may even be thinking,” Can you believe this guy”?) but he always makes me the client, feel as if he cares.

So what can we take from this as business managers and owners? Let me suggest that as we move into this time of deflation and recession that we want to take VERY GOOD CARE of our customers. It really doesn’t take a lot of effort if you take the time and energy to make it a habit.  Clients don’t like it when you only respond to their concerns, as they are getting ready to terminate the relationship. At that point, it is too late. (That’s probably another topic.)

Some ways we can show this value are:

–          Send a Hand Written Thank You note out of the blue (Don’t wait for the holidays).

–          When an opportunity for a “Do Over” pops up, leap into the breach to make it right.

–          Examine your customers business and your service offering. Ask yourself, what can you do to help them achieve their goals?

–          Act as if you like your clients. Listen, to your organization and how they talk about your clients. Are they valued business partners or are they a pain in the…

I won’t say it is easy but it is pretty simple. People do business with people and organizations that provide value, and who are grateful.  Bill has the found the Secret can you?

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