Background Nordstrom was founded in Seattle more than 100 years ago and has embraced customer service from day one. In the 1980s the firm’s customer service became legendary: – Clerks were known to pay shoppers parking tickets – Rush deliveries to offices – Unquestionably accept returns – Lend cash to strapped customers – Send tailors to customers homes
Employee Handbook The 8 Management Principles of America’s #1 Customer Service Company are: 1. Provide your customer with choices 2. Create and inviting place for your customer 3. Hire nice, motivated people 4. Sell the relationship 5. Empower Employees to take ownership 6. Dump the rules 7. Encourage Internal Competition 8. Commit 100% to customer service
Provide customers with choices customer service means stocking the right item, in the right size, in the right color, at the right price, at the right time. – Provides customers with a wide and deep inventory: Typically carries between 150,000 and 200,000 pairs of shoes Wide assortment of apparel and cosmetics to choose from – For customer’s credit ease, Nordstrom has a card for every budget: Nordstrom Retail Nordstrom Legacy Nordstrom Platinum Nordstrom Platinum Legacy
Create an Inviting Place for Your Customer Convenience and openness are trademarks of Nordstrom store design. Store layout like a wheel – The hub is the escalator and the spokes are the marble aisles that lead directly back to each of the 30 departments or so Atmosphere – Honey parlor feeling with blushy upholstered chairs and sofas Convenience – Wide Aisles: along with wider escalators and elevators, make it easy for customers to circulate through the entire store – Large waiting rooms, furnished and welcoming Refreshments – Currently 4 restaurant concepts; from espresso cart to full-line restaurant
Hire Nice, Motivated Employees The company’s preference is to hire a nice person and teach her how to sell, rather than hire a saleswoman and teach her how to be nice. The best salespeople are entrepreneurial self-starters. Nordstrom gives people the freedom to do whatever it takes to make the customer happy (as long as it’s legal).
Sell The Relationship Service your customers through the products and services you sell. Here is the statement about Nordstrom's policy about finding a lower purchase price elsewhere, copied from the Nordstrom website: We assure you'll never pay more. If you find the same item elsewhere for a lower price, we will gladly match it. Our Customer Service Specialists are ready to assist you, simply call 1-888-282-6060, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In other words, if a customer finds the identical item (including brand) elsewhere for a lower price, Nordstrom will refund the difference to its customer, or will sell the item to the customer for that lower price.
Empower the Employees to Take Ownership Nordstrom gives the people on the sales floor the freedom to make good judgments—and management supports them in those decisions. No questions asked return policy (transaction service) Personal thank-you notes from employees (post transaction service) Sales people receive constant pep talks from management
Dump the Rules Tear down barriers to customer service Customer Friendly Environment: Free coat check service Concierges Piano players who serenade Community Service Our employees are involved in hundreds of organizations in their own communities. Nordstrom encourages employees to volunteer in local activities such as food and blood drives, holiday "adoption" programs, and fundraising walks and runs. We think it's great when our coworkers choose to make the most of their time by helping others.
Encourage Employee Competition Sales people, who are paid on commission, are judged on their performance, not their obedience orders. Workers are sorted out by a natural selection process where only the fittest survive. The company has very high expectations. If you don’t meet them, you’re gone.
Commit 100% to Customer Service Nordstrom does not consider customer service a strategy, but rather a way of life Nordstrom continually reinforces this attitude by spreading stories of customer service that are above and beyond the call of duty