The Nordstrom Way

I recently finished reading The Nordstrom Way by Robert Spector and I seriously can’t stop talking about it. Spector examines all the aspects of Nordstrom’s business and culture that make it such a beloved icon of customer service excellence. From hiring to inventory to their almost unconditional return policy, every facet of Nordstrom is driven by an exceptional customer experience.

My very favorite part of the way they run their business is the simplicity. Two stand-out examples are related to their hiring and onboarding. When a new employee starts at Nordstrom, they receive the employee “handbook” which is a single card with a single rule: Use good judgment in all situations. Amazing. And when Bruce Nordstrom was asked who trains his salespeople, he answered, “their parents.” Bad ass.

I don’t have a particular taste or knack for fashion, but now I find myself wanting to shop, work, and just hang out in my local Nordstrom store. I will look at retail service differently from now on. I hope to translate many of these lessons to my job and personal life, knowing we are all capable of and responsible for creating amazing experiences for those around us.

I strongly recommend this book for anyone in a client services industry or anyone who needs an inspirational story of how business can sometimes get it really right.

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