Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why I Shop at Nordstrom

Did you think I had forgotten about the You're the Boss Series???  Well, I kind of had.

We just have two tips left, and I promise that I will complete the series.  

In preparation for #10, Have Excellent Customer Service {then we will go back to #5, which I skipped}, I thought I would like to to hear about your experiences with customer service - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

So please leave a comment, and tell us about an outstanding {in a good or a bad way} experience you have had {you don't need to mention any names}, and I will post some of the best ones tomorrow.
To inspire you, I will tell you why I shop at Nordstrom.  

If any of you have ever had the pleasure of shopping at Nordstrom, then you know why they are notorious for excellent customer service.  There are even urban legends about old ladies returning tires to Nordstrom.  

I shop at Nordstrom a lot.  I buy most of Nathan's work clothes there, and I always shop the Anniversary Sale for Beau's school clothes.  I find that, contrary to popular belief, their prices are actually fairly competitive with any other store.  But even for a few extra bucks... it is worth it to me to give them my business.

Let me just give you a few examples of experiences that I have had at Nordstrom:

A couple of months ago I purchased a pair of work shoes for Nathan.  They were not cheap.  {Keep in mind that he works at an office where a suit and tie is required every day.}  They were the same shoes that he had worn before... it was just time for a new pair.  I did not realized when I purchased them that they came in different widths.  When he wore them, he complained about how tight they were, but we both just figured that they were new and needed to stretch.  For a month he wore those shoes and came home with sore feet everyday.  The next month we went back to Nordstrom to purchase another pair in brown {the first ones were black} and realized that the reason his black shoes were so tight was because they were a B width, and he needed a D width.  The Manager of the Men's Shoe department did not even hesitate to exchange the shoes he had been wearing for over a month for a brand new pair in the correct size.

Speaking of shoes... one time I purchased a pair of ballet flats from Nordstrom.  I loved them, but the lining kept bunching up at the toes, and it was driving me crazy.  One day I was at the mall shopping, wearing those shoes, and I decided I couldn't stand it anymore.  I went into the Nordstrom shoe department, hoping that they could re-glue it for me, and they literally took the shoes off my feet and gave me a brand new pair!

And while we are on the topic of shoes {I do actually buy things other than shoes at Nordstom} the other day I returned a pair that I had worn several times because they were unbearably uncomfortable, and they took them back and gave me cash, with no questions asked.

That is why I shop at Nordstrom.  And will always shop at Nordstrom.  And have built my customer service model around Nordstrom.

Now tell me your stories!


  1. My Much Ado About You calendar is in my "What I Wore Wednesday" post!!


  2. I worked at Nordstrom for years, and while it was every once in a while annoying to have to give such exceedingly great customer service to some of the, "rough" customers it always paid off. I use the same business model with my jewelry line!

  3. Nordy's is GREAT! I had a pari of dansko's I bought there that after a couple months the buckle snapped and they gave me a new time. After the third time the same thing happened, they tried to talk me into getting another model of dansko shoes....but I think dansko shoes are really ugly and it was the only model I would agree to wear. Since they were no longer making them, they gave me all my money back.

    But I also had a time there that A heel on my shoe the rubber came off and I went in to see what they could do about it. They fixed it...for like 7 bucks. Still good customer service, but with all the outstanding stories I had heard I was kind of expecting more. Oh well.

  4. My most memorable customer service experience happened years and years ago when I bought a computer from an online store. This was back when it was still kind of sketchy to buy stuff online and there were people who had never even heard of Amazon because it was so new.

    Amazon wasn't the company, I'm just pointing out that dealing with someone who didn't have a store you could walk into or who couldn't be confronted face to face, person to person, was a really new concept.

    Anyway, the computer did not work well at all, so I called customer service and they sent a guy out. He fiddled with it, and it worked worse after he left.

    I called customer service again, and they said, "Guy says he fixed it." I said, "No, he didn't." They said, "Yes, he did." I said, "No, he didn't." You get the idea.

    Bottom line, they refused to fix it or let me return it for a refund.

    I tried to talk to higher ups and got nowhere. I then proceeded to call them every 1/2 hour I wasn't in class or doing something else. That turns out to be a lot of times.

    They learned my voice and started hanging up on me. So I switched to calling immediately after they hung up. They stopped answering calls.

    So I switched to calling the sales department over and over saying, "Could you please direct me to the customer service department?" Sales guys learned my voice and started hanging up on me, so I started calling back as soon as they hung up on me. Sales won't not answer the phone. (Also, this was all before caller ID was common.) In other words, I was taking up valuable sales time/sales lines.

    I did it for a few hours in a row one day. I was *steamed.*

    Finally someone higher up got on the line and asked what it would take for me to stop bothering them. I said "my money back." They agreed, and the guy came and picked up the computer and delivered a refund.

    I'm not exactly *proud* of this behavior, but I am glad I got my money back.

  5. Whenever anyone talks about customer service I have one experience that jumps out and has to be shared. I was flying out to Austin to see my sister and nieces last year. I had two connections (cheapest flight); one in Denver and one in Dallas. Well when I got to Denver and finally found my gate, I realized I missed my flight. Continental was great and got me situated for the rest of the trip, but the next flight to Dallas was a couple of hours away. So I waited it out, got on the plane to go to Dallas, and there was a tornado a-brewin' out that way. So we were routed to..wait for it...Austin. I was pumped! I mean Austin where I wanted to be. Then they got on the PA and announced no one would be getting off the plane and it would be at least an hour before they would leave for Dallas. So I ran up to the front and whispered my situation to the flight attendant. My final destination is here...I missed a flight so my bags are already here...etc. etc. She talked to the captain and he got someone to come out to the edge of the runway where we were sitting, take me back to the terminal (amidst all the other passengers' complaints of not being allowed off), and they scanned in my Dallas ticket to make sure I showed as completing the trip. Without that awesome customer service I would have been stuck in that plane until the weather got nicer, flown to Dallas with the weather threat ever present, and back to Austin very late that night, if at all. It was such a relief to have someone treat me like a human. I give them major props for that any chance I get.

  6. This is why I shop at Nordstrom: