Applying Nordstrom’s Service Model To Your Business

If there’s a name that’s synonymous with customer service in retail, it’s Nordstrom. While they set a very high bar, it’s one your business can aspire to reach simply by paying attention to the details. Not sure where to start? We’ll outline it in nine easy steps.

Step One: Remember the Golden Rule of Commerce

The saying goes, the customer is always right, even when he or she isn’t. So when the latter occurs, for instance when a good customer misses a sale on shoes by a day, empower your employees to bend the rules. You may take a thirty percent hit on a pair of pumps, but you’ll gain the one hundred percent loyalty of a customer well satisfied.

Step Two: Adopt A Customer’s Point of View

When setting policy, for instance when establishing hours of operation, think about how they might impact customer satisfaction. If you’re an auto repair shop owner, does closing at 5:00 p.m. really accommodate nine to fivers? Would weekend hours generate happier clients? Consider all the options from the customer point of view.

Step Three: Always Respond to Customer Feedback (Especially Negative)

Don’t ever let a customer complaint go without responding positively and fixing the situation. Once you’ve done this, reflect on what happened and evaluate how to respond the next time.

Step Four: Pay Attention to the Details

How many times have you heard that it’s the little things that make the biggest differences? Consider the Nordstrom policy on paging. When an employee is needed, instead of an annoying announcement that disrupts the shopping experience, a simple chime is sounded that’s coded for different areas. Now that’s noteworthy.

Step Five: Hire the Best

When hiring, look for individuals who are pleasant, confident and proud to represent your business. You want employees who can make customers feel welcome. You also want them to be able to make spot decisions that generate lifelong impressions. One Nordstrom security worker chose to search the cleaning crew’s vacuums for a customer whose diamond disengaged from her wedding ring while trying on clothes. Not only did they find it, they found a passionate advocate in the process.

Step Six: Train Your Employees Well

Ever visit a business that has one great employee and several average or poor ones? In many cases these stellar employees are the reason customers come in. To establish good service across the board, train all of your employees to promote excellent service. Once this is accomplished, your business – and not just one employee – will stand out.

Step Seven: Remember Birthdays

Nothing makes a better impression than a birthday remembered. Create a birthday log of all your customers and send them email cards with discounted offers to celebrate their special day.

Step Eight: Listen to Your Customers

Nordstrom employees are great listeners who get to the heart of the matter by letting the customer speak first. Of course, they’ll always offer expert advice, but only after the customer has spoken his or her piece.

Step Nine: Make Their Day

As a business owner, you have incredible potential to make a lasting impression on a customer. Whether it’s locating a lost gemstone or adjusting your hours around their needs (and not yours), it’s something you should think of often. And make good on even more so.

Few words in business stand for service like Nordstrom. By learning from their examples, however, your business could become a name to remember.

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