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Nordstom's Customer Service

Nordstrom Case

Nordstrom is an upscale US department store chain with sales that topped $8 billion in 2009. John W. Nordstrom originally started the company as a shoe store but it grew over the years into a fashion specialty chain store selling top-quality, brand-name clothing, accessories, jewelry, cosmetics, and fragrances.

From the beginning, Nordstrom has delivered in and stressed the importance of providing the highest level of customer service possible along with top-of-the line, high-quality merchandise. As a shoe retailer, the company offered a wide range of products to fit most everyone's needs and price point. As it expanded into fashion and apparel, it maintained these goals.

Today, Nordstrom sets the standard in customer service and loyalty. In fact, the company is so well known for this trait that urban legends of unusual acts of customer service still circulate today. One of the best known tells how in 1975 a customer came into a Nordstrom store after Nordstrom had purchased a company called Northern Commercial Company. The customer wanted to return a set of tires originally bought at Northern Commercial. Although Nordstrom has never carried or sold tires, it happily accepted the return and instantly provided the customer cash for his purchase.

While Nordstrom's "no question asked" return policy remains intact today, there are other examples of its exceptional customer service. Its sales representatives send thank-you cards to customers who shop there and have hand-delivered special orders to customer's homes. Nordstrom installed a tool called Personal Book at its registers that allow salespeople to enter and recall customer's specific purchases in order to better personalize their shopping experiences. Nordstrom also provides customers with multichannel for shopping, allowing them to buy something online and pick it up at a store within an hour.

Nordstrom's customer loyalty program, Fashion Rewards Program, rewards customers on four different levels based on their annual spending. Customers who spend $10,000 annually receive complementary alterations, free shipping, a 24-hour fashion emergency hotline, and access to a personal concierge service. Customers a the highest rewards level ($20,000 spent annually) also receive private shopping trips complete with restocked dressing rooms in the customer's specific size, champagne, and live piano music; tickets to Nordstrom's runway fashion shows; and access to exclusive travel and fashion packages, including red carpet events.

This strategic and often costly customer-focus approach has reaped great benefits for the company. Not only has Nordstrom emerged over the past 100+ years as a luxury brand known for quality, trust, and service, but its customers stay loyal even in hard times. During the economic crisis in 2008 and 2009, many customers chose to shop at Nordstrom over its competitors due to their existing relationship and hassle-free return policy.

Nordstrom currently operates 112 full-time stores, 69 Nordstrom Rack clearance stores, with plans to open 50 new stores over the next 10 years. When a new store opens, Nordstrom connects with the surrounding community by hosting an opening night gala complete with live entertainment, a runway fashion show, and the ultimate shopping experience to help raise money for local charities.

As Nordstrom moves forward, the company continues to be flexible and look for new tools and means to help deepen and develop its customer-salesperson relationship.

1. How else can Nordstrom continue to provide exceptional customer service and increase brand loyalty?
2. What are Nordstrom's greatest risks, and who are its biggest competitors?

Answer questions, support with at least one source dated after 2007, approximately 400 words.


Solution Preview

Nordstrom Case Study Posting ID: 507711

First, consider the exceptional customer service that Nordstrom already provides, such as; its Fashion Rewards program that offers reward points where a customer who accrues points for each dollar spent in-store reaches 2,000, Nordstrom automatically mails the customer $20 in Nordstrom Notes that can be applied to future purchases. Depending on how much they spend annually, Fashion Rewards members also have access to perks such as concierge service and free alterations. It also has a Personal Book software program that allows the sales person to record personal information about the customer such as size and color preferences, birthdays and anniversaries, and other information that ...

Solution Summary

This solution is a dissemination of Nordstrom's customer service. It is more than 300 words of text providing an exposition on how Nordstrom can be more effective among its competitors.