Be different

The Turkish barber experience

About 2 years ago I needed to get my hair cut between Christmas and New Year. My usual barber wasn’t open, so I went the new Turkish place that had just opened up.

My usual barber service goes like this:

Sit down, read a magazine that’s been on the coffee table for at least 6 months, wait for about 10-15 minutes, get my hair cut, pay and leave.

The Turkish barber experience went like this:

Welcomed in by the staff, sit down, get offered a tea or Turkish coffee, wait for about 10-15 minutes for my turn and then get my hair cut.

Then, without me prompting it, I was asked if I wanted my eyebrows trimming, ears done…they spent longer shaping up the edges of my hair line. I then got a hot towel wrapped around my face and a quick massage.

I then went to pay and it was the same price as my previous barber, but I also got a loyalty card.

However, I didn’t pay normal price as I gave them a tip.

I’ve since never been back to my previous barber, I always tip my new Turkish barber and I recommend them to pretty much anyone who will listen.

So, the business lesson I learnt from this experience?

Offer extra value wherever you can, and do it where your customers don’t expect it.  Not only will it create more loyal customers, but it will also mean more referrals. As a decorator, you will have knowledge on paints and colour schemes that the customer will not. Give them this insight as free value. Show them pictures of similar work you’ve completed for other customers.  There are a hundred things you could offer. Pick a couple and start doing it for free. The benefits may surprise you.

For example, once you start doing this, you are unique, and nobody can compare you to someone else on price alone.

The more different your service is, the harder it is to compare to anything else. You’ll become a market of one, and you’ll be able to charge accordingly.  

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