I left my barber.
For most of us, male or female, leaving your hair grooming place of choice is a big deal. It would take a few straws to break that camels back.
I had been utilising them for over ten years. Despite the moves of house I had, I still went back. Am I a creature of habit? Not really. It was more the relationship built and trust. I was happy and comfortable there. I made the effort to drive a few suburbs to keep utilising them.
The process is simple. Park, walk in, note the others in front and wait. I usually relaxed reading or on my phone. Shoulder to shoulder with other customers. I looked forward to the waiting!
So who is the predominant customer of the Barber shop? Male and sometimes, females taking their sons.
Does the customer have an issue with the process? It seems to work well as it is. We’ve all grown up with it. Is there room for change or even disruption? Not that’s occurred to me, the customer, at least.
The only problem with the process of getting a haircut at a barber tends to be a bad haircut, which is subjective and the result.
Is technology required?
Maybe technology could add something to the experience. Free wifi would be a nice start. TV, sure, cool. But not essential.
Maybe an online booking system? During peak periods or to ensure you don’t have to wait during your lunch hour during the week, however is any of this a need to the customer?
How did technology cause me to leave?
One day I walked in and was confronted with a 17 inch touch screen near the doorway. It had a list of instructions where I had to select the time I wanted and enter my name. My name would be then put on a big list on the big TV on the wall.
My brain quickly said “too much and too hard for a haircut that I am already paying $30 for”.
I turned around and left. I’ve never been back.
The trip out of my way, combined with technology for technologies sake were two barriers in the buying process.
The lesson for me is putting barriers in front of people to purchase your product. If the barrier was for an internal process, then there has to be a better way than putting internal issues onto the customer, especially on the road to a sale. Is it worth $360-400 a customer a year?
The same applies online. How easy is it for a customer to access you? How easy is it to buy? How many clicks to a purchase?
To be honest, I feel like a right prick for leaving over something so little, but I on another level, I have no regret at all.
If it ain’t broke…