Anyone who has ever shopped at a Nordstrom store instantly feels what Kate Middleton feels everyday – like royalty. No request is too big, no question too difficult for Nordstrom’s crack customer service staff. Oh, and BTW, everyone at Nordstrom is in customer service.
They’re just so darned friendly and helpful.
Nordstrom Calgary, 2014
I just finished reading a mind-blowing book about Nordstrom’s famous approach to customer service, called The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence.* It’s a fascinating read for anyone who has customers, clients or interacts with other human beings.
Nordstrom is famous for the one rule it uses to guide staff: “use good judgment in all situations.” That, alone, won’t guarantee good service, however. Nordstrom also engages each new employee in a rigorous training program that helps them to understand the basic principle of retail: great customer service = great sales, and sales keep the company going.
While this may seem straightforward, we have all experienced the opposite in action at other retailers. You know, the bored shop clerk whose answer to just about any question is ‘no.’ Do you have this in another size? ‘No.’ Another colour? ‘No.’ Can you check another store for me? Reluctantly. (Side note: I was actually in a store that told me they couldn’t check another store in the area, so I had to order it online. Seriously.) Even when someone can find your item at another store, there is no further offer of help. You’re on your own to drive across town and get it.
Back in the olden, golden days of retail, when Woodward’s still prospered in western Canada, they offered service similar to Nordstrom. Ah, Woodward’s. We still miss ye.
So, heads up, retailers. Not only can I travel to shop at Nordstrom (and I do), I shop there online.
Pick up your game.
*”The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence,” Robert Spector, Patrick McCarthy. Published by John Wiley and Sons Inc., Second Edition, 2012.
DISCLOSURE: While I truly am a Nordstrom fan, I must also disclose that I am a member of Nordstrom’s Advisory Panel. I do not receive any compensation or consideration for this role.