October 27, 2008

The Barber story : How to win & multiply customers

Next day being the auspicious occasion of Diwali,I decided to get a different look wink and the time spent at the saloon shaped up in an excellent learning experience.

The barbers at the shop showed great professionalism[both in terms of work and customer delight] which can be easily co-related to our day to day activities.

Below are the 6 simple learnings from that experience:

1. Always be watchful for customers
I went to the saloon in the afternoon & due to heavy rush there, I returned back home.When I again went in the evening, that same barber recognized me & asked me the reason to do the same i.e whether there was a problem or I was not satisfied with their service during the previous visit or any other reason.
It is very important to take feedback from the customer since, in today's time, customer always has more choices than you can ever think of !!!

2. How to break the communication barrier
As I don't belong to Bangalore,some times it becomes difficult to communicate[especially if the other person does not know Hindi or English].Hence,if I don't hand over the exact requirements, I cannot expect a proper output from that person.Same was the case in the saloon where language became a communication barrier sad.But soon, I remembered about my passport size photo in my wallet and that photo became a single line requirement for the barber.
It is of utmost importance to find alternate as well as smart ways to break the communication barrier else it would have a negative effect on the deliverables.

3. Benchmarking always helps
As mentioned in the previous point,my photograph became a benchmark for the barber and benchmarking always speeds up things.
Always check out if there is a benchmark in what you are doing & that would speed up your entire process of development.

4. Team-work is the mantra
At one point,the barber who was making my shave got confused & could not proceed.Immediately, the other barber came to his rescue[though he was not called for any help] & took over the baton from him.
In a team,it becomes very important to gain as well as share knowledge as at the end of the day, one person failing in a team would lead to the entire team's failure !!!

5. How to kill the Distraction
As you are aware that all saloons at least have a TV & many times, it becomes a source of distraction rather than entertainment.Same was the case with the barber, who concentrated equally watching the TV along with the hair-cut.His co-worker switched off the TV[after a while] when his slow output was creating an irritation to customers.
Every person has at least one source of distraction but when the individual distraction results in a negative effect on the other co-workers, it is time to take strict action !!! As a team, your intent should be to deliver the best and convert your first time customers to repeat customers to loyal customers to customer evangelists [as stated below].

6. How to create Customer Evangelists
As I was paying the barber,I appreciated him for his work and he reciprocated for the same.The other guy[who had got confused as mentioned in point(4)] did not only thank me but also promised me to deliver his best next time [that too without requiring the photo biggrin]
Simple words of gratitude helps develop as well as maintain a good relationship with the customer.Though the barber could not deliver, his promise [to deliver next time] makes me recommend his shop to others and this way his/your loyal customers would become your evangelists !!!

Image Courtesy:
Clipart ETC

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At Oct 30, 2008, 12:20:00 AM , Blogger Purnank Harjivanbhai Ghumalia said...

Very true!
I am really impressed by (2) about breaking the "language barrier".

You need at-least a 1000 words to a explain something properly... and an image is equivalent to 1000 words... :D

At Oct 31, 2008, 10:57:00 AM , Anonymous Jessica said...

Hi Himanshu....

A great post.
Truly incidents of our daily life teach us a lot of things.
More than that people around us teach us more than we expect them to.

Keep up the good job.

All the Best

At Oct 31, 2008, 11:03:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am a first time visitor of your blog.

Great work.

About this article.
The whole article gives us wonderful insight.
Truly distraction leads to great irreparable errors. :)
And the last two points about customer evangelism are a great help.

Will keep waiting to read more from you.

At Oct 31, 2008, 3:32:00 PM , Anonymous Himanshu Sheth said...

Glad you liked the article, in fact there is an interview with one of the co-founders regarding the same point "Pictures speak louder than words :)"

Hoping to see you more on ThoughtsPrevail.

-Himanshu Sheth

At Oct 31, 2008, 4:31:00 PM , Anonymous Purnank said...

I am a regular visitor... but may be I have not been keeping traces! :)

Will make sure that my traces would have visibility from here on!

At Nov 1, 2008, 3:55:00 PM , Anonymous Himanshu Sheth said...

Thanks for the comment and the appreciation :) Definitely,real life incidents as well as experiences teach us more than we can even imagine.

I have already experienced one because of my blog :)

Thanks again.

-Himanshu Sheth

At Nov 1, 2008, 4:35:00 PM , Anonymous Himanshu Sheth said...

Thanks for comment and glad you liked the article.May be,after this reading this article;you can be my Blog evangelist :)

Hope to you more and would try my best to come up with good articles :)

-Himanshu Sheth

At Nov 1, 2008, 6:18:00 PM , Blogger Alok (आलोक) said...

Ah! wonderful way of presenting a simple incident of day to day life, which is in my terms simple yet quite informative. Many a times we missed small things that happen around us, and not knowing they are the pointers for a hidden success story in our life.

Nice post, looks like you are rocking :)

Have a wonderful weekend

At Nov 3, 2008, 10:13:00 AM , Anonymous Himanshu Sheth said...

Glad you liked it :) I learnt two things from the incident

1. How simple incidents like this one can teach so many Business Lessons...Damn,you don't need any book :)

2. My initial thought about this article was to scrap it since,I felt that many guys won't like it, but the reaction is reverse :) So,many times the way how an incident is expressed to others also becomes important else the listeners loose interest.

May be we can say it as a well written Movie Script :)

-Himanshu Sheth

At Nov 4, 2008, 3:00:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Himanshu, Amazed with this post.

It's interesting to see such objective observations - turned wisdom posts.

Visited after a long time here and worth it yet again :)

At Nov 4, 2008, 6:49:00 PM , Anonymous Himanshu Sheth said...

Glad you liked the article and I am sure that at least you would visit ThoughtsPrevail more often like before :)

Yes, the incident really taught me lot of things and many times such incidents teach us more than the BUSINESS BOOKS !!!

-Himanshu Sheth

At Dec 5, 2008, 6:42:00 PM , Anonymous madhan said...

Great writing tips. Brilliant even.
I love your blog keep up the good work..!!!
I am really impressed by these tips that would definitely help me :
Thanks very much for the appreciation.Yes, I also liked the presentation.

At Dec 5, 2008, 7:04:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for the comment and for the appreciation :) I also learnt a lot by observing those guys in the barber shop. Hopefully I would also be able to implement it in real life.

Do keep looking out for more :)

At least I hope to get back to my usual blogging schedule :)

-Himanshu Sheth

At Nov 22, 2009, 8:54:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

At Feb 15, 2010, 11:39:00 AM , Blogger siddharth khasgiwala said...

Bhai tusi gr8 ho, ...
I was wondering that y I could not articulte the things like this, despite of the fact that I do observe the things the same way. :-(


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