Both hairdressing companies, EC House & QB House, had their concept adapted from Japan which was thereafter established in Singapore as they saw business opportunity and demand from the consumer market. Similar to fast food chains, they provide quick and rather low cost hair services such as trimming of sideburns or nape.
EC House and QB House have something in common – a badge that’s among the most common and popular hair salons in Singapore. The duo have had an interesting complex rival relationship though as they fight to win the hearts of consumers. Both players have claimed, won, and lost variously but things were pretty equal between the two. Below is a glance of how the two companies compare in a few charts. To make things fair, I’ve gone to three different outlets from each respective house and requested for the same haircut: High Slope.
Although humans are not robots, the barbers whom have undergone similar trainings would have somewhat or another portray the same set of skills and thus our haircuts.
For EC House: The outcome of my hair was surprisingly different for the three outlets. I wouldn’t say they differ a lot (they still had the basic style of High Slope). But when you actually look into the little details (e.g the trimming and styling) and the overall outlook of my hair, some may see a vast difference.
For QB House: Two out of three outlets gave me the exact same hairstyle of trimming a little slope at the top and shaving the sides to equal shortness. The third outlet kind of screw it up by almost shaving my sides to close baldness. Similarly, all had the techniques and a skilled in providing the basic style of High Slope.
I actually went to take note of the time spent to get my hair done. According to their companies it should not take longer than 10 minutes. This may actually be quite subjective since some might even rush through the haircut to meet the timing.
For EC House: Time taken on average was actually 11+ minutes. However, the barbers seemed more delicate and meticulous while getting the little details to consideration. For that, I wouldn’t mind that extra 1-2 minutes.
For QB House: Time taken on average was 10 minutes and less. Honestly the whole haircut experience to me was very rush as they looks as if they’re just trying to get my hair done as soon as possible without really recognising the different needs of each individual consumer.
Clean and therefore hygienic is crucial for any barber shop as nobody wants to deal with hair flying around the enclosed shop and having a dirty shaver on their head. I personally feel cleanliness breeds satisfaction as I know I’m walking into clean space and improves my satisfaction.
For EC House: Floor rather clean of hair and dust as barber generally sweeps hair into suction port. When there’s a long waiting line at the entrance, the barbers tend to only sweep big chunks of hair rather than actually sweep all the hair up. Thus some loose hair starts to shuffle around the place when customers walks around the area, quite unsightly.
Shaver and comb was kept free of bacteria but the shaver used by an outlet had a funky smell when it’s close to my nose.
For QB House: Maybe the white flooring makes it looks clean or the floor is really clean of hair. I think the latter. This is evident as seen from employees who takes the effort to sweep every bit of hair into the suction port. Very clean area indeed.
Shaver and comb were generally clean and no unusual problem to them.
These are the few aspects which wins and eventually earns customers loyalty. The additional funding cost to reach out further to customers adds true value to them. In this case QB House has an edge over EC House:
QB House has added functionality as all their outlets has a flashing light signal which indicates the estimated waiting time before their haircut. Customers now has the power to make decisions as it gives them a rough estimation of their waiting time. Furthermore, QB House has a habit of always giving a comb to their customers as a token of appreciation and a form of professionalism. EC House used to provide this service.
Cohesiveness Of Staff
So both barber shops have this habit of welcoming their customers by greeting them in Japanese, similar to some Japanese Restaurants. It really boosts the mood of their customers and creates a sense of welcoming. I feel that the staff from EC House lacks the cohesiveness when greeting customers as some stayed silent while others greeted at different timing.
In conclusion, there is no ultimate winner as both houses continue to strive to bring quality customers service. These are just some aspects of comparison and what really matters is what consumers think work best for them. Please comment in the section below on what are some determining factors which draws them ahead of one another.