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

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Advance praise for The Nordstrom Way

"Nobody does it better than Nordstrom. And this is the first thorough, close-up look at its service secrets. A real winner."— Tom Peters President The Tom Peters Group

"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 ...

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Overview

Advance praise for The Nordstrom Way

"Nobody does it better than Nordstrom. And this is the first thorough, close-up look at its service secrets. A real winner."— Tom Peters President The Tom Peters Group

"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 Nordstroms 'wrote the book' on customer service. Now we have a chance to read, chapter by chapter, how through four generations, this family has established one of the finest retail institutions in the world."— Peter Strom, Vice Chairman Polo/Ralph Lauren

When it comes to customer service, Nordstrom's standards are "what we all shoot for," declares David Glass, President and CEO of Wal-Mart. "The Nordstrom Way," marveled correspondent Morley Safer in a "60 Minutes" profile, is "not service like it used to be, but service like it never was."

What makes Nordstrom so special? What, exactly, does this retail giant do that so clearly distinguishes it from the competition? How does the Nordstrom customer service culture work? And, most importantly, what lessons can industry learn from Nordstrom's example?

The Nordstrom Way answers these questions and more. Coauthored by top Nordstrom salesman Patrick McCarthy and based on veteran journalist Robert Spector's exclusive, in-depth interviews with the Nordstrom family, senior executives, directors, and salespeople, The Nordstrom Way offers the first inside, uncensored book about this much admired— and much feared— retail powerhouse.

Working at Nordstrom is not for everyone. The authors describe a hotly competitive "Darwinian" culture where 35,000 employees are given freedom to either think and act like entrepreneurs or pass into extinction.

In the course of their analysis, the authors isolate practical lessons that readers can apply to both their professional and personal lives, including:

  • Becoming "other-centered" rather than "self-centered"
  • Valuing the nobility of service
  • Finding and bonding with customers
  • Serving and keeping those customers
  • Giving frontline people the freedom to make decisions

The Nordstrom Way is a vivid, richly anecdotal chronicle of an American business success story.

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: 9780471584964
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/29/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.86 (h) x 0.89 (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 Nordstrom's top salesperson over the past 20 years.

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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.

Index.

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