I looked in the mirror and couldn’t believe I had waited so long to get my hair cut. As I packed for a business trip the following day, I sighed and opened Google Maps on my phone. “B-A-R-B-E-R” I typed and clicked search. 23 entries popped up, none of them familiar to me. I clicked through a few, reading the reviews and checking out the websites to see who wasn’t going to charge me an arm and a leg but also wouldn’t make me look like Beaker from the Muppets. Naturally, I had waited until noon on a Saturday, so I had to toss a few options out immediately for various reasons: some closed at 2pm, some weren’t open at all, others were a week out for appointments. “Who makes an appointment to see a barber?” I asked myself.
Post-haircut the following day, I pondered why I was having such a hard time committing to a new barber or even looking for one. I had a 17-year relationship with my previous barber who retired the end of December. I can’t blame him as he’s had his business since the 80’s and saw an opportunity to take some time to enjoy life and not work almost every day of the week. However, I kept coming back to the fact that it was just so easy and painless to get my hair cut when he was open.
I thought about the real reason why I was avoiding searching for a new barber, and I think it comes back to the relationship we had built over almost two decades. He was easy to talk to, reliable, priced right, and I never had to tell him how to cut my hair after the first few times. The only thing he would ask me is if I wanted my hair shorter or normal in length—he knew what I preferred. This gets right to the heart of it, in my relationship with my barber and with each of our customers and vendors that we use, it’s all about the relationship and developing a partnership. If you have a good product or service and your price is right, what’s left is the people aspect. That small part means a lot in today’s age of 10-second interactions and poor standards in customer service. There’s comfort in walking in, saying “Hi Joe” and knowing everything will be fine because of the understanding and trust that you’ve built up.
At BC in the Cloud, we value our relationships with our clients just the same way and this was a reminder to me that the relationship with each and every customer is unique, special, and important. We partner to achieve their goals and identify what’s important to every single one of them. We want to develop lasting relationships that outlast the one that I had with my barber.
If you’re wondering about my haircut, I ended up at a chain salon with some random person who I will probably never see again. And not because the haircut was bad, but because the salon just isn’t set up to build a relationship—they’re built to do volume. That’s not my ideal experience so I’ll continue my search next month as I look for the barber who will partner with me for the next 20 years.