the sky floor

Salon vs. Barbershop: A Customer Experience Showdown

October 10, 2022

I needed a new place to get haircuts when we moved last year. I had been going to higher-end barbershops, where you sip an old-fashioned while sitting amongst hip tile work and ideal lighting. So when we moved, I started looking at all the barbershops in our new area. There was one nearby, and while it didn’t have the cocktails, it had some Edison bulbs. 

I quickly discovered that despite marking some of the tiles on my hipster bingo card, it was a classic barbershop at its heart. You get in and out in 10 minutes. The cut is serviceable but better suited for the 1950s, which I assume was before they invented the texturizing scissor. 

It was not an experience I particularly liked. So I found a nearby salon to try and have been going since. They take a lot of time with you and use current techniques, which my thicker hair needs to lay right. The environment is friendlier too. For me, the experience is worth paying a little more for. 

So who wins the showdown? No one, and everyone, because it depends on who you are talking with. 

I prefer an ample customer-forward experience, but that is just the atmosphere that would drive some men crazy. The barbershop will win hands down to the guy who sees haircuts as a utility – get him in and out with less hair than he came in with for a super low price, and he is happy. 

There is no winner in the debate of salon vs. barbershop, just different types of customers. If you are opening a place that cuts hair, what kind of business do you want to create? What sort of customer are you aiming to serve? 

Sign Up to Get Our Latest Posts Tuesdays and Thursdays

No Spam, Period. Just the latest posts.

In your business, the same is likely valid. You cannot build a business for every customer in your market; you must choose who you aim for and create an experience for that person. 

Customer experience isn’t objective, even though it can feel like it is. Are you building an experience for everyone or a particular customer? Getting specific will help your business and customers!