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December 13, 2007 / consciousness

Service Marketing or why i hate the barbers

If you talk about services in the economical/marketing world, they always come up with the example of a barber. Services are described as highly tangible with a high degree of internalisation of an external factor.

Namley this means there is a person performing a “service” on you; cutting your hair, therefore you are the external factor that needs to be integrated. what bothers me about this is the high level of customer integration. i mean you go to a barber and he’ll ask you how you want your hair cut. well, um, how about SHORTER?? that doesnt help most of them, they want an exact description of what you expect only to mess it up and give you such a bad cut that you’ll be leaving the barber wearing a hat. i always take one with me.

but somehow i find that incredibly strange that i should tell a trained professional what and how he/she should do his/her job! i mean, i dont drive to the garage, telling the mechanic that he should refurbish the carburettor, clean out the particle filter, drill out the crank shaft or whatever. If i knew that much about cars i wouldnt bother asking HIM to do it. i’d simply do it myself. Same goes for your average electrician/pc-mechanic or even your bank clerk, they are there to help me with such stupid questions like:

  • the car makes funny noises. fix it.
  • the fuse in my house keeps exploding. fix it.
  • my pc crashed. fix it.
  • i have 1 million dollars and i want more. do it.

So why cant i go to the hairdressers and basically say: “my hair looks like shit. cut it.”
and if you look at my haircut (i go to the hairdressers about once a month) it doesnt take a rocket genius to figure out what it must have looked like about a month ago. to be a certified barber you go through about two years of training. they dont teach you in that time what haircuts look like after a month? do i have to go to C.S.I. to get them to figure it out?

bottom line, i just came back from the hairdressers and as usual i look like complete shit. why do i pay them for fucking me up about once a month? if i say short, like what it looked like about a moth ago i get strange stares. i dont want color, no extensions, no styling, just cut it god damn!! i really hope that i’ll go bald before my hair turns grey. that’ll just be one less care in the world. thank you evolution!!



Leave a Comment
  1. Aura Mae / Dec 14 2007 4:23 am

    The reason the hairdresser asks you how you want your hair cut is that not everyone wants it to look the same every time. And since you hated your cut last time, it would seem that you don’t actually want it the same, either.

    The best solution? Have a relationship with one hair cutter who can learn your preferences and the idiosyncrasies of your hair and your personality. Then you can just sit down and chat after saying “Just the same, please.”

  2. luzie / Dec 19 2007 10:45 pm

    i’m SO glad i’m not the only one who has hairmergencies every once in a while. i must say though that i’m still convinced that my recent trip to the hairdresser’s was more traumatic than yours. 😉

  3. Signfell / Dec 27 2007 8:26 pm

    Speakin from a Barber’s perspective…. I cut hundreds of clients hair in a given week, some ppl twice a week. Your hair is a statement about yourself and society. Reasons for your style can depend on mood, environmental influences (fashion in general), occupation, etc. Reasons for me asking “what do you want?”, is an understandind about said things, also my “mood”(always professional) and my initial evaluation of your physical makeup(facial and body, fashion and syle, body language). Given , these things change everyday in the evolving mind and masses,,,,,,What Do you want?

  4. Signfell / Dec 27 2007 9:25 pm

    PS . I must admit ,,, today there are alot of cookie-cutter Stylists/Barbers, mass produced and thrown out to think they are going to be the next stylist to the stars. I must also admit that I do not take “anyone’s” money for sevices rendered . Some people are not good customers, some are not communicative enough , some tell you too much, some are fidgety, other fall asleep,some time-consumed, others want you to spend “more time” on them. The ratio of “good to bad” customers are favorable, but a motto i go by:” All Money Ain’t Good Money”
    The reputation of an establishment may be at stake in such circum stances, “eye contact” and a nice firm hand shake , someone that makes you feel comfortable yet is still focussed on task-at-hand,, are good precursors to an enjoyable experience. Once trust is established you become more apt to express your wants or needs.
    If you can’t get a simple trim (about 1/4 inch a month) ,the shop ‘s manager shop should be able to accomadate such a simple task, if not it’s time to move on.

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