The Barber of Brooklin

back view of man in barber shop. barber cutting hair with scisso

I sat in the waiting chair for 40 minutes while he finished with another client.

“Hey Dave, how’ve ya been?”

“Nothing to complain about.”

I sat in the barber’s chair and without hesitation he said “Still the usual?  #4 clipper, high line, longer on top and tapered towards the back?”

“You got it.”

“How’s your summer going?”

“Not bad, looking forward to a vacation in a few weeks.” I answered.

It was a full 5 minutes before either of us spoke again.  I asked him how his kids were doing, and he asked about mine.  The rest of the haircut was filled with the same banter – about the Euro cup, Brexit, and the new 407 highway through Brooklin, with short stints of silent work in between.  Then it was over, we shook hands and said “See you in 5 weeks.”

And the next client took the chair … “Hey Brian, what’s new with you?”

The Barber of Brooklin has Customer Intelligence Management in spades.  It’s all in his head.  He knows all of his repeat clients.  But it goes far beyond just knowing their name and saying “Hello Dave”.  He has real intelligence on each individual, and treats everyone differently based on that intelligence.  In other words, he personalizes the experience.  How did he do it for me?

First, he knows the facts about me.  That I live in Brooklin, have kids, have been coming to him for 6 years, that his kids and mine went to the same school, and loads more.  He has lots of context for conversation.

Second, he knows my personality.  I’m friendly, but not a non-stop talker during a haircut.  So he leaves little breaks in between short conversations – just the way I like it.

Third, he knows my preferences and interests – football and that the Euro Cup would be of particular interest, even though my team, England, perennially loses!

Forth, he knows how to apply that context with current events.  So as the news of Brexit played on his TV in front of the barber chair, he reasoned that I’m an England football fan, maybe my family is from there, and maybe it’s be a decent topic to bring up.  “What do you think about Britain leaving the European Union – does that affect any family members?”

Finally, he can anticipate future events and make relevant offers or reminders.  “Hey you mentioned that wedding coming up in August – is your son going too?  Let me know and I can book an appointment for the both of you.”

Most large organizations would kill for that level of Customer Intelligence and personalization.  But most have resigned themselves to think “That’s just small store service – it can’t be replicated across a large organization without seeming plastic and phony.”  That used to be true.  But it isn’t any longer.

Customer Intelligence Management is a new breed of software that ingests all sources of customer data, synthesizes raw data into a realistic customer likeness to get a complete context of each customer, then applies reasoning to anticipate events and enrich that customer likeness with intelligence.  Customer Intelligence is shared with customer-facing employees through their existing customer care, marketing and sales force applications.

Check out the “how it works” video on AllSight’s Customer Intelligence Management System to see how a CIM System could change your organization.  Empower each of your customer-facing employees to be as engaging as the Barber of Brooklin with Customer Intelligence Management.


About David Corrigan

I’ve spent my entire career helping clients utilize emerging technology to solve their customer data problems. I've always enjoyed solving abstract problems. I've worked with hundreds of companies to utilize new technology, plan and drive to a roadmap, and evangelize and drive momentum for their information projects. During the day, I work on product strategy and marketing for @InfoTrellis, and I'm busy trying to disrupt the customer data and analytics market so that organizations can finally understand every single one of their customers. After hours, I like to take photographs, read, write, practice yoga, or watch soccer - Manchester United and Toronto FC are my teams of choice. Follow me on Twitter @DCorrigan or on LinkedIn at

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