Exceptional Customer Service in Action

nordstrom_logo I read a story about an experience that customer service speaker John DiJulius (who I recently had the pleasure of watching speak) had at Nordstrom. His story is pretty typical of Nordstrom and what you would expect from the company.

John had noticed a pair of his shoes were damaged a little. The shoes were a year old, but John believed the shoes were from Nordstrom. He took them to the store and asked for the manager. The store manager didn’t think the shoes had been sold by Nordstrom (they had never sold the brand), but took them anyways. A few hours later, the shoe was fixed and there was no charge for the repair.

However, the story gets better: John later found out the shoes hadn’t been purchased at Nordstrom. The manager was right. When hearing the story, John’s wife told him that she had purchased the shoes at another store.

Look at the experience this way:

  • Even if Nordstrom had sold the shoes, them taking a year old pair of shoes and fixing it for free within a couple of hours is pretty good. That would be exceptional customer service by most standards.
  • However, Nordstrom taking shoes they did not even sell and repairing them for free shows a real commitment to the customer and to customer service as a principle.

Nordstrom’s handling of the situation shows the company is pretty out of the ordinary in the way it handles customer service situations. This situation shows that they value their customers and don’t believe that their customers are out to get them.

Something like this is what causes people to say positive things about your company. John has probably told a lot of people about this experience. Those people will in turn tell others. It reflects positively on Nordstrom each time. The next time you go into Nordstrom, you may remember the story and remember that Nordstrom doesn’t hassle their customers. That way, when you pay a small price premium, it won’t be an issue.

What do you think you can learn from Nordstrom? If you didn’t get anything out of it, I would say you have to re-read the post and think about it some more.

5 Responses to “Exceptional Customer Service in Action”

  1. The Q-bicle said:

    Oct 16, 07 at 11:16 am

    Great post! Examples such as yours regarding customer service plays a huge part in sowing excellent creative seed. The more opportunity we are presented with to display excellent customer service skills day-to-day is not only ethical, it adds to the appeal of our business or service. In turn, we will all feel a great sense of accomplishment while our customers will want to spend more time experiencing what our service or business has to offer. Excellent post, very insightful!

  2. Bill Gammell said:

    Oct 16, 07 at 4:35 pm

    I’ve worked with some managers that believed that our customers were “out to get them.” They were always trying to find the “real reason” why a customer was doing what they were doing. It turns out that most of these managers were out to get others.

    Thanks for the reminder about what service really means.

  3. Service Untitled said:

    Oct 16, 07 at 9:52 pm

    Great examples of customer service are things that everyone can be inspired by. Nordstrom seems to have plenty of great stories about it, so it’s even better.

    Bill, managers who think their customers are out to get them will end up making a lot of bad decisions. A vast majority aren’t out to get you and punishing that vast majority is a bad idea.

    Thanks for your comments!

  4. Service Untitled » Kudos to Zappos - customer service and customer service experience blog said:

    Oct 24, 07 at 6:56 am

    […] Reading great customer service stories like this is terrific. Just like the Nordstrom example, it is very inspiring. This one is a lot more heartfelt. it is something that a lot more people will think is exceptional and that a lot more people will really give credit to Zappos for. […]

  5. darren said:

    Nov 03, 07 at 9:05 pm

    i agree…service does go a long way. i had a similar experience where the boss store manager went WAY above the call of duty to make sure i had what i needed, when i needed it…even though he wasn’t there!

    i remember that…and pass it along..