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customer service

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1: According to legend, a Nordstrom salesperson gladly gave a customer a refund on a set of automobile tires, even though Nordstrom has never sold tires. The legend is true, write Robert Spector and breAnne Reeves in The Nordstrom Way. In 1975, Nordstrom acquired three stores in Alaska from the Northern Commercial Company, a full‐line department store that sold many products, including tires. After the acquisition, many product lines were eliminated, including the tire store…

1: Let’s travel back in time to the 1950s. Imagine being in the middle of the hustle-and-bustle of the New York City wholesale shoe market. A shoe representative has just shown off the company’s line to Nordstrom CEO Everett Nordstrom and a young Nordstrom buyer. The rep asks Everett for his reaction. “Don’t talk to me,” says Everett, “Talk to my buyer.” Yesterday, we looked at the Inverted Pyramid, the upside-down organizational chart described by Robert Spector and…

1: The woman who appeared in the Nordstrom shoe department had an unusual request. Would they sell her one shoe? She was on crutches because her left leg had been amputated from the knee down. She had been to other department stores, and the answer had always been no. “That request made them nervous and ill at ease,” she shares with Robert Spector and breAnne Reeves in The Nordstrom Way. “They would apologetically tell me…

1: Among the paperwork new Nordstrom associates receive on their first day of work is a single notecard entitled “Employee Handbook.” “Our One Rule: Use good judgment in all situations.” That’s it. That’s the handbook. “This simple, straightforward directive is the foundation upon which The Nordstrom Way is built because it removes the roadblocks to taking care of the customer,” write Robert Spector and breAnne Reeves in their book, The Nordstrom Way to Customer Experience Excellence:…

1: “We can hire nice people and teach them to sell, but we can’t hire salespeople and teach them to be nice.  We believe in ‘hire the smile, train the skill,'” says Bruce Nordstrom, who led Nordstrom for 40 years, growing the company from seven shoe stories and under $40 million in revenue to 156 stores in 27 states and $8.6 billion in revenue. How has Nordstrom maintained its world-renowned workplace culture, which puts the customer…

1: Imagine standing at a customer service counter. We have expectations. A good product. A fair price. If there’s an issue, it will be taken care of quickly. “Simple stuff, right?” write Robert Spector and breAnne Reeves in The Nordstrom Way. “But a funny thing happens to people when they move to the other side of the customer service counter (or the front desk or the reception area or the phone or Internet) where they are the ones who…