No isn’t the answer – even if you don’t have it.

no It isn’t uncommon that I go into a store looking for something, the store doesn’t have it, and I ask if the employee knows where I can get it and they just say “no.” This shows that the employee isn’t interested in helping me as a person and probably isn’t super motivated.

At Nordstrom, if they don’t have a product in their store, the sales person will often track it down from another store. I have heard of this and have had employees at Nordstrom offer to do it for me. This is a lot more than what most employees at most companies would do. I have also heard stories and read about Nordstrom employees finding products elsewhere for the customer, but I don’t have any firsthand experience with this.

Why don’t more companies do this? And why don’t more employees take 10 seconds to think of another store nearby (such as in the same mall) that has the product? It is a nice thing to do, but also a good thing to do from a business perspective. I’m impressed if I see an employee at a company is working to help me.

Companies should work to implement policies and procedures that encourage employees to go out of their way to help potential customers. If customers get a positive feeling about the employees of a particular company, chances are that’ll cause them to think better of the company.

When customers think better of a company, it often translates into more referrals, repeat business, sales, and subsequently profits. That’s the ultimate goal and the ultimate benefit of great customer service.

For more reading on this subject, check out this great post by Glen of AllBusiness Customer Service Experience. I also think it is worth mentioning that I designed the “graphic” in this post. I’m going to stick to customer service, so don’t worry.