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86 The PCB Magazine • June 2017 Introduction "When did this happen?" I asked myself during a recent visit to my men's only barber- shop as I noticed that my $10 haircut was now $14. While I vaguely remember the price going up a little every couple of years, I really hadn't been paying attention. This caused me to revis- it an article I wrote 10 years ago and research whether this 40% cost increase was reasonable. Background Ten years ago, I wrote my first series of col- umns on Lean, and one issue focused on the topic of delighting the customer. The theme of the piece was on the benefits portion of the customer delight equation and highlight - ed one company that truly gets it: a small neighborhood busi- ness called The Barber- shop (www.thebarber- shops.com). The cus- tomer delight aspect is well worth revisiting given today's business environment and ev- er-increasing custom- er expectations. First, I will take you through a typical experience at The Barbershop from a guy's point of view, which is important in this case because the customers are exclu- sively guys. Second, we will answer the question of the 40% cost increase over the course of the last 10 years. The Barbershop The company advertises themselves as "A hair salon for men," and from the minute you walk through the door it is pleasantly ap- parent that they are serious about living up to that motto. The waiting room is a spacious, un- cluttered area that surrounds you in rich earth- tone colors and hardwood floors. There is a big- screen plasma HDTV on the wall (usually tuned into ESPN), a barrel of peanuts for your munch- ing pleasure, and cold bottled water and fresh coffee to occupy you during your short wait for service. And the best part? Large, overstuffed leather chairs and guy magazines everywhere you look; not a Cosmo in sight! Most of us guys go to The Barbershop early just so we can relax in these surroundings (Figures 1 and 2). The Service When it is time for your service, your styl- ist leads you back to their station, where you are immediate- ly handed a remote to operate your very own personal TV for your viewing pleasure as you get your hair cut. Another point most men appreciate is that once you sit down, you don't have to get back up again until you are done. There is no "let's go over to this station to wash your hair, then we will come back here to cut your hair" stuff, Is Exceptional Service Worth a 40% Cost Increase? THE RIGHT APPROACH by Steve Williams THE RIGHT APPROACH CONSULTING LLC. Figure 1: The waiting room at The Barbershop.

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