Taking Care of the Customer
The Nordstrom proposition is deceivingly simple. The proposition is: take care of the customer. It doesn’t sound so unique, does it? Many companies probably say that they aim to take care of their customer. But all too often, it’s just lip service, or it’s not executed at every level. Nordstrom does things differently. They think about the customer impact at every single level, be it a new marketing tactic, an initiative on the technology side, or training salespeople. As opposed to trying to mold already created protocols around taking care of the customer, Nordstrom reverse engineers everything from the start to be centered around the idea of positive customer experience. Nordstrom also clearly defines what they are looking for in terms of good customer service, and measures if people are hitting the standards that they’ve created to ensure that the customer is actually being taken care of.
Customer service is part of Nordstrom DNA. At its origination, Nordstrom was only a shoe store. They started showing positive customer service by allowing returns without questions, stocking a wide variety of different products, and other traits that they have continued today, even 100+ years later, at their many stores all over the country. It is a part of the company culture, and all of the employees know it and are trained in demonstrating it. They also demonstrate this culture across many different platforms, be it at their department stores, their discount stores, and their online stores.
What is Quality Customer Service?
Customer service is not just a smiling, friendly salesperson. It’s the person that you want to have a relationship with, someone who will let you know when your favorite designer or favorite label is back in stock, and someone who you will have an ongoing connection with. All Nordstrom salespeople are on commission. While everyone does get an hourly wage, a commission is where they can really make a tremendous amount of money. There are some salespeople for the company who have made over a million dollars annually, and many people can make money into the six figures. You do this by building up a clientele and having a positive relationship with people so that they want to come back and buy from you.
Amazon book: The Nordstrom Way to Customer Experience Excellence: Creating a Values-Driven Service Culture