The Nordstrom Way

Anyone who has ever shopped at a Nordstrom store instantly feels what Kate Middleton feels everyday – like royalty. No request iNordstrom Calgary exterior entrances 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.floor sign edit

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.


Nordstrom rocks the house!

I had the chance to attend the Nordstrom Calgary opening gala last night, along with 1,800 other fashion-forward people. What a party!

floor sign editFun floor stickers were scattered through out the store

I will be writing a series of posts about my experience, but first, here are some comments from two of Edmonton’s most prominent fashion experts, who also attended the Gala.

“I was really impressed with the open concept of the store, but also the effort to create an intimate and unique experience in each department. This is the kind of department store design we haven’t seen much of in Alberta and it’s exciting to see stores like Simons and Nordstrom leading the way. Also, kudos to Nordstrom for the Canadian artwork I spotted in the fitting rooms.” Janis Galloway, Dress Me Dearly.

fitting rm 2 apt editOne of several custom designed fitting rooms at Nordstrom

“I think Nordstrom will fill a gap in the Calgary and Alberta fashion scene – it’s not The Bay, it’s not Holt Renfrew, it’s not Simons. It feels youthful, but still carries the established, high-end labels we’ve formerly had to travel to the States for. And did you see that shoe department?!”  — Caroline Gault, Alberta editor, Fashion magazine

ladies wear editLadies wear!