Have you heard the one about the guy who walks into the barber shop, sits down for a haircut and starts telling the barber about his troubles with his son? How about the guy who tells the barber that his daughter just went into the real estate business and he’s concerned about her living on her commission, or the one about the troubled young man who is wondering about a direction for his life? It’s remarkable what people share with us while we they’re getting a service.
It’s the human touch. There’s an intangible of trust that allows people to feel comfortable enough to open up and say what’s on their minds. It’s that human element, handled with warmth and encouragement that adds value to the experience of visiting the barber shop.
Some barber shops these days have added things like pool tables, cigar lounges, and bars. The idea is to create a more complete and enjoyable experience for the client while they wait for services. Adding amusements is great for getting customers to talk with each other. Our shop has made some modest additions, free WI-FI, an ice cream freezer, a chess set, playing cards, and a Cribbage board, nothing fancy but it’s something for folks to pass the time.
Over the course of their history barber shops have long been social gathering places. A visit to the Barber shop was, and still is, a great place to really get a feel for what’s going on in the community because generally there’s a cross section of neighborhood people that come through the door, and amid the relaxing atmosphere they speak openly about their lives.
Our business is grooming, haircuts, shaves, etcetera, but our goal is helping people feel better between the time they come in the door and when they leave again, and a barber is in a rather unique place to do it.
The atmosphere of a business, any business, is very important because it either attracts or repels customers, or at any rate, a particular kind of customer. That’s very true in a barber shop, and it extends to the whole customer experience particularly the First, there’s the improvement in appearance that a good service provides. It’s a fact that when people look better they feel better. Second, because we see so many different people it’s not uncommon for us to know somebody who can be of help to someone else. These days it’s called social networking. Third, being a successful barber, means being good with people and being good to them. Last, because we do converse with people of every stripe and age, over time we get a pretty broad perspective on living so when we’re asked, many times we can offer some pretty insightful and astute observations for people to consider. We’ve had people in our shop act on suggestions we’ve made, and it’s very rewarding for us when it turns out well. Recently we got an invitation to a high school graduation on account of just that.barbers themselves, and that’s important because barbering takes place on such a personal level. It involves physical touch and the use of implements on the skin that are made to cut, so clients need to have confidence in their barber, and be comfortable with their personality.
Over time some barbers develop into colorful haircutting philosophers, poets, expert conversationalists, or comics because, let’s face it everybody can use a good laugh now and then. As a matter of fact it’s been scientifically proven that laughing is good for you health. It makes you feel better, so does music.
Music speaks to us in a way nothing else can. That’s no secret. Everyone has certain songs that are special to them because they bring back pleasant memories, evoke pleasant emotions, or help us relax. That’s the reason it’s played in barber shops and other places too, and the type of music being played will tell you about the kind of shop it is.
We use our play list, which, could best be described as an eclectic mix of classics, with some lesser known pieces to not only bring enjoyment to the listener but to kick off conversation. You might hear Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Paul McCartney, Mozart, Herb Alpert, Loretta Lyn, Styx, and Count Basie all in the same visit. Starting a conversation is exactly why barber shops are often filled with bric a brac, (old stuff and collectibles that they put on display). They are the very definition of conversation pieces.
Sure, you can go to the barber shop and just get a haircut but you shouldn’t short change yourself. There’s a lot more value to a good barber shop than that. Come in, relax. Have a nice cool towel on a hot day. Have a good conversation. Catch up on neighborhood news. Have some ice cream. Have a few good laughs. It’s biblical. The Bible says, “A merry heart maketh good like a medicine.” Why not get your prescription filled?
Oh, by the way, although, we are slowly getting busier we still have excellent availability. If you just walk in you’ll seldom have to wait to get a service especially over the summer months.