Today I got a $16 dollar haircut. It was a big event as its the first time I wouldn’t end up with a self-inflicted shaved head since the start of Covid. The conversation I had with the barber, and how I found the barber and booked my appointment, and what it means for small law firms and solo practitioners is the subject of this video blog post.
TRANSCRIPT OF VIDEO (transcript by Otter.ai and not proofed for accuracy, but looks pretty close):
So I got my first haircut today in well over a year since COVID. And this video blog post is not about my haircut. But the haircut is relevant because of the conversation that I had during the haircut. And so over the last, what, 14 months or so I’ve been trying to do my own hair quarantining. And every time I screw it up, and so I would just shave it down and let it grow back out. And so finally decided, Okay, it’s grown out. It’s time, I’m going to go and find a barber. So the next question is, what barber haven’t been to one in a while.
So I look online, I locate a barber somewhat near me, it looks like interested in barber shop. And what really sealed the deal for me as I was able to make an appointment online with a few clicks, went in and got my haircut. And that’s where it got interested in. And where I think this is an interesting conversation for lawyers. So this barber shop is what you would expect to see in a barber shop. If you walked into a barber shop in the 70s. In the 80s, and the 90s. It probably has been there that long. And it hasn’t changed much, if at all, no computers in sight, not even a cash register, just a bunch of chairs that you would see at an auditorium that a computer at a community rec center, and the regular barber chairs with a bunch of seemingly independent barbers.
So I made the appointment with Chris, who goes by Buddha, the barber, because I found his website. And when I sat down and got my haircut, Chris, and I ended up having a fascinating conversation. I did most of the listening, he did most of the talking for the first little while.
And what he said was struck me as really relevant to the times that we’re living in and how COVID has changed how small businesses that serve local areas, just like small law firms have changed and adapted. So Chris recently switched from doing only walk ins to doing only online appointments. And he was telling me his journey about how he figured out how to build his own website, how he read some SEO books, and figured out that SEO is really about content, and that he could easily do it himself by just telling his story and writing content and how he had a waiting period where he kept checking Google every week. Now they’re not on the first page, nowhere to be found. And then suddenly, because of the content that he put in, he was on the first page of Google for pretty much every relevant search that you could think of for a Tucson barber.
Now, he is telling me all this not knowing what I do for a living. And when he finally asked what I do for a living, and I told them, I work at a tech company that build software that enables small law firm owners to have their own website and do exactly what he did. And he figured out how to do on his own in the barber shop world, and how he’s layered in payments, how he’s layered in scheduling software, and how he’s really created this seamless experience. That still led me the customer to have that old school barber shop experience, but completely online.
And the reason why I think this is so relevant is a lot of attorneys I think are still hoping that things are going to go back to the old normal to the old pre COVID status quo where people are going to want to pick up the phone and make appointments, that they’re going to want to come in to the office physically, that they’re going to want to get the information directly from the attorney rather than being able to consume the information that they need to educate themselves and make a purchasing decision online on their own terms, without having to have the pressure of conversational reciprocity, without having to have that emotional and psychological tie that happens when you talk to somebody and take up their time. You And feel because of that more pressure to buy. And so when I went to check out with with Chris, I asked, you know, I was expecting this was going to be a cash only situation, given my surroundings. I said, you know, do you take cash? Do you take credit cards? What do you prefer?
And he said, I’d take either. And I said, Well, I’ve only got 100 in my wallet. So let’s do a credit card, he gets out his cell phone, again, no computer in sight, no cash register, no credit card machine, he takes out his Bluetooth card reader, he syncs it up with his cell phone, he takes it, I swipe, I sign off on the tip and the payment right on his cell phone, and I’m out the door.
And if I can have that kind of experience with an old school, Barber, and I’ll go back to him for as long as I need a haircut when I’m in Tucson, and I’ll certainly recommend him to all of my male friends and acquaintances that want to know, in Tucson because he gave a solid haircut, solid value. But as much as that a solid, seamless, tech driven experience. And if you’re a lawyer, when you’re not giving that same kind of experience, to your clients and potential clients, if you’re expecting the status quo of somebody calling up and driving down and finding parking, and coming in and sitting in your lobby and being impressed by your mahogany or your marble or you know, even your nice IKEA setup in your office, face to face. That may or may not happen. And I think it’s going to happen with diminishing returns.
Because we now live in a world that has fast forwarded. It’s tech adoption for pretty much all small businesses at least five years. It’s not that we didn’t see this coming. I think anybody that’s been paying attention to how technology and small businesses has been evolving, knows that this day would come.
But I think what a lot of attorneys, especially attorneys that maybe you’re a little later on in their career, just didn’t expect is how suddenly this would happen. How jarring it would be to law firms that don’t adapt and don’t take advantage of the latest technologies, and how much the consumers of services like legal services appreciate the conveniences the technology provides.
So thank you, Chris. Thanks for for sharing your experiences with me. Thanks for the haircut. And I will certainly recommend you and I will even post a link to your website and your barber shop at the bottom of the blog post is going to be associated with this video. And if you’re an attorney, thinking about taking the jump into higher levels of tech engagement both within your firm and from your firm to your clientele and potential clientele. There’s never been a better time.
If you’re a dude in Tucson looking for a solid and honest haircut, check out Buddha (Chris) The Barber. Thanks Chris!