This Barber Shows You All You Need to Know About Personalization

Jan 12, 2016

Barber Scissors and Comb
Get ready small business owners: you are about to learn all you need to know about customer personalization from James Williams, a barber based in Port Talbot, Wales.

Williams proved it pays off to take the time to figure out your customers’ needs in order to best serve them. The dilemma: a young autistic boy needed a haircut, but was too afraid of the scissors. The boy became particularly fearful when Williams would attempt to cut the hair by a particular ear.

Williams spent a month developing a solution that worked best for his client and finally landed on the compromise: he would cut the child’s hair while they laid on the floor.

Taking the time to figure out your customers’ needs beyond a one-size-fits-all solution can yield amazing results. A customized and personal experience strengthens brand loyalty while also increasing your chances for generating some word-of-mouth business.

Here’s more of the touching story (and amazing example of personalized customer service) as originally seen on Buzzfeed by senior reporter Alan White.

These images of James Williams, from Port Talbot, cutting a little boy’s hair have been shared thousands of times since he posted them to Facebook.

Hair dresser cutting autistic boy's hair on the floor.
He wrote that the little boy whose hair he is cutting in the pictures, Mason, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder a few months ago.

Hair dresser cutting autistic boy's hair on the floor.
Williams said he had been trying to find different ways to cut Mason’s hair for a month, writing that the child “wouldn’t allow me to go near one of his ears” and would “run away … if he wasn’t up to it”.
“But today,” he said, “I finally achieved it.” He and Mason lay on the floor “in silence”, he wrote, and Mason allowed him to “cut away” and give him his first “proper haircut”. “I love making both parents happy … by giving extra attention to Mason,” he wrote.

After he’d given the “finishing touch”, Williams said, he asked Mason for a high five but got a hug instead!

A stunned Williams, whose barber shop is called Jim the Trim, told BuzzFeed he’d been “blown away” by the reaction to his post, and that the reaction had been “absolutely fab”. He said Mason was probably the third child whose hair he’d cut with similar issues. “A lot of families have these problems – it’s good to raise awareness,” he said.

It’s your turn! Has a business gone out of its way to customize its products or services to you? Share with us in the comments.

Author:

Stephanie Jones

Stephanie Jones is a content writer and the social media manager for PATLive. She works from her cave, er, her home in Fayetteville, Ark., with her trusty dog and curmudgeonly cat by her side.

2 Comments

  • Marla Kurtz says:

    What a great article.
    I am doing something no one else does. We are an adult day program brought right to your door for people suffering from Alzheimer’s Dementia Stroke Parkinson’s Brain Injury. We are called Ray of Sunshine and that’s what we do we bring the sunshine in reconnecting people with their past leisure interests engaging them. We provide custom tailored programs to meet the clients needs.
    We do this on a very personal level by developing a trust and rapppirt with the individual. We look at the person first and the disability or barrier second. I would love you to write about what we are doing and how we are changing Eldercare in a totally hollistic positive way.

    • Stephanie Jones says:

      So glad you enjoyed the article, Marla. It was originally posted on Buzzfeed, so I can’t really take the credit. If you send along a link, I could take a look! Thanks for reading!

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