The Nordstrom Way: The Inside Story of America's #1 Customer Service Company / Edition 2

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Praise for The Nordstrom Way

"Outstanding customer service and Nordstrom's are synonymous. The innovative approach has allowed them to find out what the customers want and then do it. Their standards of service are what we all shoot for." - David D. Glass President and Chief Executive Officer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

"Nordstrom is a national model for outstanding customer service. American business should use this book as a primer to learn how to make and keep happy, satisfied customers." - J. Willard Marriott, Jr. Chairman and President Marriott International, Inc.

"When you run a family business that includes your customers as extended family, you're unbeatable. This book outlines an American family saga that has become the admiration of the world." - Leonard A. Lauder President and Chief Executive Officer Estée Lauder Companies

"Nordstrom's business is built on one-to-one communication with the customer. Their professional salespeople bridge the gap between the designer and the consumer. The Nordstrom Way is what the '90s are all about!" - Donna Karan Designer and Chief Executive Officer Donna Karan Company

The business community has long known that there were lessons to be learned from Nordstrom's customer service, but until now, it was impossible to obtain any reliable information. Co-authored by Nordstrom's top salesperson and based on interviews with the company's sales and management staff, this book provides an uncensored look at how Nordstrom does it and how others can too.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Nordstrom's has long had the reputation for outstanding customer service. This book, coauthored by one of Nordstrom's top sales associates, McCarthy, tells how Nordstrom's earned that reputation. The work combines case studies and personal narrative with some history of the store. Each chapter helps the reader see one or more aspects of what has made Nordstrom's so successful, for example, "The Nordstrom Culture: Setting Employees Free," "The Art of Selling: Retailing Is a Contact Sport," and "What's Inside: Creating an Inviting Place." Each chapter is followed by a one- to two-page summary of the important points. Highly recommended for any business collection.-Michael D. Kathman, St. John's Univ. Lib., Collegeville, Minn.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471161608
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/9/1996
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,538,823
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT SPECTOR is a Seattle-based freelance writer who has covered Nordstrom since 1982 for Women's Wear Daily and other publications of the Fairchild Fashion Group. PATRICK D. McCARTHY, of Seattle, has been with Nordstrom for more than 20 years. He is one of the top-performing salespeople in the company.

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Table of Contents

America's #1 Customer Service Company.

After the Gold Rush: A Store Is Born.

The Next Generation: Perfecting &'grave;The Nordstrom Way''.

The Nordstrom Culture: Setting Employees Free.

&'grave;What's Inside'': Creating an Inviting Place.

A Company of Entrepreneurs: The &'grave;Nordies'' Versus the Clock-Punchers.

The Art of Selling: Retailing Is a Contact Sport.

Customer Service the Nordstrom Way: The Future.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2003

    Good that we learn that the culture is 'Darwinian' at Nordstrom

    Regarding the 'Darwinian' aspect of the store mentioned in the book, this business of ranking workers against each other and then forcing out people who are not performing as well as others is just awful. If Nordstrom wants to play the social Darwinism 'survival of the fittest' game, then one must point out that a totally unrestrained free market has this self-correcting mechanism built right into the system to control excess greed. Because everything is held in place by the constant push/pull of opposing forces, coalitions will form to work AGAINST those who others perceive as unfair, and when you get enough people together to form a coalition (with the added firepower of lawyers), they can do some significant damage (Nordstrom learned this the hard way when they had to pay out millions in back pay for work done off the clock). So, part of the 'survival of the fittest' game means that greedy CEOs, who get richer as even decent employees are ranked-and-yanked, will find coalitions of lawyers and angry employees forming to work against them. If those coalitions win a battle or two...ka-ching! Lots of dollars get paid out to settle those lawsuits. What company wants this nutty system in place? Anyone working under these conditions should read 'How to Meet the Rich' by Ginie Sayles, though, because they can probably learn to network their way into a better employment situation through a method that Ginie Sayles refers to as 'Knowing How to 'Connect the Dots'' (251). Ginie advises the reader to 'use the relationship for another situation,' which can mean using your current employment situation as a springboard to launch a new employment opportunity with another upscale retailer, and one that has a better system in place as far as the employee is concerned (251). Another book worth a read is 'How to Marry the Rich' by Ginie Sayles. This woman understands something about self-worth and monetary compensation, and anyone expending time and effort in any relationship (including work) should read this book. Here is something you ought to memorize: 'In relationships, when you spend your emotion, time, and efforts with one person over another, you have lost the potential of some other relationship working, perhaps better than this one. If this relationship doesn't work out, then you should have something to show for it' (5). If you are ranked-and-yanked due to a sluggish economy, through no real fault of your own, then WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SHOW FOR YOUR EFFORT AT MOVING MERCHANDISE, ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT SOME PEOPLE WILL RETURN ITEMS? Are you being paid first and foremost for your time and effort when you could be in a more stable job situation, trying your very best to make sales goals, but without getting ulcers from stress, all while working for ANOTHER employer? If you take the risk of looking for a better opportunity, it may very well pay off, and true entrepreneurs know this. The BEST employment situation in retail is a decent base with a percentage on top of that, and any I/O consultant will tell you that. More from 'How to Marry the Rich' by Sayles: 'People who are not mercenary in a relationship are not superior. By not being mercenary, they have placed a value on how they can be treated in a relationship. Whether they like it or not, they have said that it doesn't cost anything to be with them, that they have a zero dollar value' (6). What if you have expended time and effort to move merchandise, but due to a slow economy, you miss your draw and are paid a lousy $8.00 or $9.00 an hour by your employer? What if you have really put in an effort that should net you significantly more per hour for the time and energy you expended, purely aside from the fact that a lot of the merchandise will get returned, through no fault of your own? Is it adding up? Is it worth it? Read Ginie Sayles, and then go shop around with other retailers. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the better opportunities awaiting you.

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