Think like your customers.

Most companies I know would love to be the “Nordstrom” of their industry. Everybody knows what that means. But many only have an inkling of the principles behind Nordstrom’s phenomenal customer service.

I had my own experience with their legendary service just two weeks ago. While trying on a dress, sixty dollars cash slipped out of my pants pocket. I had not taken the time to put it in my wallet, and didn’t notice the money on the floor when I left. Rachel, the sales clerk who helped me, and I had chatted a bit and I discovered she had only been with the company for a couple of weeks. I purchased the dress with my Nordstrom’s charge card and didn’t think a thing about it until that evening when I received a phone call from Rachel. She had found the money after I left. In order to track me down, Rachel had to find my receipt, look up my billing information to get my phone number and make the call.

Could she have taken a different path? No doubt about it. But this young lady treated me “the Nordstom way.” She put herself in my shoes. She took the initiative to find me and do the right thing.

Perhaps somewhere in Nordstrom’s training guide there is a procedure for“what to do when you find cash in the dressing room” but I doubt it. What I do know is that Nordstrom empowers their front line people to give great customer service, the freedom to make decisions and the management support to make those decisions.
Why is it so hard for other companies to give great customer service? Maybe they need to think less about their own organization, processes and rule book. Maybe they need to forget about the way things have always been done. Maybe they should ask Rachel. And start thinking like their customers.

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