A businessman stops off at a small barbershop in a small town for a quick trim and is stunned by the level of service he gets for the price he pays.
Jordan Sportal was visiting one of the branches of his company in Massachusetts and he was very upset. It was the second day of a marathon sit-down with his managers and they just didn't seem to understand what he wanted.
Jordan drove past an old-fashioned barber shop, and on impulse decided to stop. He parked his car, got out, and headed for the door. Beside it was a red and white barber pole, just like he remembered back when he was a boy.
Jordan didn't know it, but he was about to take a trip back in time to a more gracious era.
Jordan was in town for a meeting with his managers. | Source: Unsplash
Jordan heard the silvery tinkling of a bell as he walked in, and a man in his fifties stepped out of the back of the shop. He was wearing a spotless white tunic and a wide, welcoming smile.
"Welcome, sir!" he cried. "How can I best serve you?"
The more you give, the more you get.
"I was hoping for a quick trim," Jordan said. "I'm not feeling myself..."
"You soon will," the man declared cheerfully, leading Jordan to one of the plush, red leather and shiny chrome barber chairs. "Sit right down and I'll take care of you."
Jordan sank into the chair with a sigh and propped up his feet. It felt good to give himself over to someone else's hands. "So," he asked. "How much for a haircut?"
Jordan saw an old-fashioned barber-shop. | Source: Unsplash
"$25 for a haircut," the man said. "And if you want a shave with a massage, it's an extra $16."
"Let's get the full treatment," Jordan said. "Why not?"
The man soon came back and placed fragrant hot towels on Jordan's face. "Can I bring you something to drink, sir?" asked the barber. "An expresso, a club soda, or iced cucumber water?"
Jordan stared at the man. At his New York barber shop, he paid nearly $90 for a haircut, and he didn't get any special treatment! "I'd love some iced water," he replied.
The man came back with the water and removed the hot towels from Jordan's face. He then started rubbing a scented cream into his skin. "This will soften the skin and make the shave smoother," he explained. "But it works best if you let it soak in for 20 minutes. How about a newspaper to while away the time?"
Jordan sat in a comfortable red barber chair. | Source: Unsplash
"Newspaper?" cried Jordan, delighted. "I haven't held a newspaper in years!"
He sat and read the newspaper the barber had brought him until it was time for his shave. Then the man cut his hair beautifully and added lotion. "There you are!" he said. "Perfect!"
Jordan got up and approached the mirror to take a closer look at his haircut, and that was when he noticed the words carefully stenciled onto the glass: "Whether you've come here for a haircut or just a chat, you're welcome. So sit down, take off your hat!"
"That's a great motto!" Jordan smiled.
"It's what I believe," the man said. "When a customer comes in, he is my guest and I welcome him as such. I want him to feel relaxed and to enjoy himself. That way, he will become a friend and always come back."
The barber brought Jordan cucumber water. | Source: Pexels
"I like how you think!" Jordan said to the man. "Have you always been a barber?"
The man smiled. "Yes and no... When I was a teenager and when I was in college I helped my grandfather out at the barber shop," the man explained. "Then I got my MBA and got myself a corporate job.
"Twenty years later I found myself unemployed when the company I worked for went bankrupt, so I came back to the barber shop..."
Jordan's mouth hung open. "You went from being a top executive to a barber overnight?" he asked.
"There's no difference, you know," the barber said gently. "My grandfather taught me that whatever you do you need to do your best, and that is what I do. I was the best executive, now I'm the best barber."
Oscar provided Jordan with a newspaper. | Source: Unsplash
Jordan paid the man (his name was Oscar Martin) and went off to his meeting with his managers. But throughout his meeting, his mind kept going back to his conversation with the barber.
The next morning, bright and early, Jordan was knocking on Oscar's barber shop door and ringing his doorbell excitedly. "Listen," Jordan said. "I have a proposal for you...
"I like how you think. Your concept of customer service is EXACTLY what I want for my company, to give them the best, not the bare minimum..."
Oscar looked at Jordan, confused. "Ok..." he said hesitantly. "But..."
"I want you to come work for me as my Services Manager. Look!" Jordan had a thick folder in his hand. "I've got a contract here. I think you'll find the salary very attractive..."
Jordan offered Oscar a contract to run his company. | Source: Unsplash
Oscar was sorry to leave his barber shop, but he was excited by the new challenge. He started implementing his customer service concepts throughout the whole of Jordan's company's many branches.
By the end of the second year, profits had increased enormously and customer loyalty was close to 92%. "Wow!" Jordan cried, shaking Oscar's hand. "You've really come through for me!"
Oscar smiled and shook his head. "You know, if you treat people well, they always come back, and the more you give, the more you get!"
What can we learn from this story?
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a delivery boy who is fired from the restaurant he works in for making and delivering food for a disabled woman after closing time.
This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org