You may be the leader in your industry, already known for providing the best customer service. You may be experiencing the meaning of the truism: “It’s lonely at the top.” When your company is looking for a role model, for inspiration to go even further, who can you turn to? One solution is to seek out the leaders of other industries, analyze their philosophy, and test what has made them successful.
One such industry leader is Nordstrom, the company that grew from a shoe store in downtown Seattle to a nationwide specialty fashion chain with renowned services, extensive size ranges and an excellent selection of clothing. , shoes and accessories for the whole family.
According to its website, the company’s philosophy has remained unchanged for more than 100 years since its founding by John W. Nordstrom in 1901: to offer the customer the best possible service, selection, quality and value. Perhaps that is why Nordstrom has been the subject of great interest from others in the retail industry and beyond.
In fact, authors Robert Spector and Patrick McCarthy have written a national bestseller titled, The Nordstrom Way: The Inside Story of America’s Number One Customer Service Company (New York: Wiley & Sons, 1995). McCarthy enjoyed a successful career as one of Nordstrom’s outstanding salespeople. Consider this series of summary statements from Spector and McCarthy’s book, followed in each case by comments. You may be pleasantly surprised.
The best people at Nordstrom will do almost everything possible to ensure that a shopper leaves the store as a satisfied customer.
This is what excellent customer service means. Remember what Zig Ziglar says: “It is your attitude rather than your aptitude that determines your altitude.” Of course, this “whatever it takes” attitude applies to both your internal customers and your external customers.
Motivated employees perform “heroics” – acts of excellent customer service, which are part of the Nordstrom technique.
Encourage people to report the heroics they see their coworkers do. These heroic acts can come in all shapes and sizes – from going out of their way to locate a product, making unheard of deliveries, responding kindly, and providing satisfaction when a customer is extremely upset, whatever it takes to get our customer to say, ” Wow! It exceeded my expectations, and my expectations were already high! “
Employees are instructed to always make a decision that favors the customer over the company. They are never criticized for doing too much for a client; they are criticized for doing too little.
Your performance is always measured by what you can or cannot deliver to your customers. Like Nordstrom, you must consider their needs before your own interests.
Nordstrom would rather hire nice people and teach them to sell than hire salespeople and teach them to be nice. Nordstrom, it is said, “hire the smile and train the skill.”
I heard a nearly identical statement from my company managers talking about their hiring practices. This is especially true in customer service departments such as sales, customer service, and shipping.
If you treat clients like royalty and let them know that you will take care of them, they will usually come back to you.
It is always easier and cheaper to retain a customer than to find a new one. Spend time and attention on the customers you already have to ensure that they will remain loyal to you even when a competitor lowers their price. They will know that it is a comparison between apples and passion fruit.
When customers enter a department, salespeople always make sure they are recognized. They are relaxed and unhurried to help the client feel the same way.
Here sometimes you have to learn to walk a fine line. However, the principle is true that if your employees seem frantic, the customer will adopt the same attitude. They must learn to exude calm confidence, even when they are extremely busy or under pressure to meet a difficult deadline.
Keeping good workers up-to-date in the company is just as important as attracting new ones.
What is the average tenure of your employees? Six months? Four years? Twelve years or more? Just listen to what people say over and over at their retirement party: At our company, they say, “I’ve worked here for X years and I want to tell new people: this is a great company to work for. I always felt like like they treat me like family here at the company. “
Nordstrom’s underlying culture and philosophy is not difficult to pass on to the next generation because it is simple: provide excellent customer service.
The “customer focus” should be one of the core values of your company; you can’t just talk lip-service. It must be fundamental to what you are and do.
Look for leaders in other industries and discover their philosophy of customer service. You will find inspiration for yourself and your employees to provide the best services and products, resulting in excellent customer retention, longer employee tenure, and improved bottom line results.