I have for years known about The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence. There are many books available on how to implement this level of customer service into any organization. Here is an example of one of many. In a recent book titled “The Two Factor Theory of Customer Service” written by Dr. David Elwood – the founder and Chairman of Elwood Staffing, he describes a never to be forgotten experience at Nordstrom.
Albeit I have heard about it, I confess that I have never read any of the books that describe the methodology, or personally experienced it to the degree that I was able to a few days ago. In an effort to tell the Nordstrom folks about my outstanding experience, I was looking forward to completing a survey by going to a link listed on my receipt. Alas, because I didn’t make a purchase, but simply an exchange, I wasn’t able to reach the survey link. Since I wasn’t able to tell the Customer Service team about my experience via a survey, I am using my blog to share what I consider to be the best customer service experience that I have ever had.
Shoes & pain
During a recent trip to Mykonos – one of the many beautiful Greek islands – I purchased two pairs of shoes that I thought were quite sleek made by Swims, a Norwegian brand that I had never heard of before. You can see the cool products that they make here. One of the two pairs was worn on my long flight back home (Indiana) when I was awake for over 24 hours. Well, very quickly on my way back I realized that I had purchased a size way too small for my chunky feet. The 24-hour journey back home was one painful experience as I walked in a couple of airports.
On my way back I did some research on the brand and realized that Nordstrom carried them in Indiana. I looked for my receipt to no avail, and in spite of that, and being a bit familiar with “The Nordstrom Way” I decided to take them to the store with the wild idea that they would somehow lend me a hand. I wasn’t expecting absolutely anything as I:
- had purchased the shoes thousands of miles away
- didn’t have a receipt
- had actually worn one of the two pairs for over 24 hours
- the store from where I had purchased them was a small shop with no affiliation whatsoever to Nordstrom
When I walked into the shoe department of the local Nordstrom, I approached a representative called Kyle. My dialogue with him is a critical piece of this blog entry:
Fernando: Hi, There, what is your name?
Fernando: Hi. Kyle. I have a big favor to ask. I am a big fan of the company, I have been a customer of yours, and admire the way in which you provide customer service. I know that this is a big shot, but I decided to give it a try. I bought these two pairs of shoes last week while traveling to Greece. I love them, but they are killing my feet. Would it be humanly plausible for you to help me out since you carry them in the store? Here is the issue though: I don’t have a receipt, and I have worn a pair for a few hours.
Kyle: I think that we can certainly help, but let me chat with my sup.
Fernando: Thanks, Kyle.
Kyle (after 2 mins): We can absolutely help. Would you like store credit, or do you want to try to find a bigger size of the same shoes?
Fernando (in shocked): I think I will do store credit as you guys don’t have the same color of the ones I purchased.
And after a few mins, I had a card loaded with the amount that I paid for my shoes thousands of miles away – no hassle, no questions asked, no receipt, nothing…This has been without a doubt the best customer experience that I have ever had. As a customer service passionate advocate and practitioner, I felt that it was my duty to share about my experience with Nordstrom and anyone else who somehow comes across this blog. My hope is that someone at Nordstrom reads this post, and manages to share it with Kyle, and perhaps others in the organization. Your devotion to customer service is undoubtedly the reason for your success. I dream of the day when many other companies strive to be just like you. You have gained a loyal customer for life.