Want Your Business to Succeed? Try Doing Things “The Nordstrom Way” – Book Review

I found “The Nordstrom Way” several years ago when I worked at a car dealership with horrid customer service issues. The Nordstrom retail stores are world famous for providing outstanding customer service in every aspect of their business and maintaining a business model that is client focused and it shows. If you have ever shopped at a Nordstrom, you know of this legendary customer service. “The Nordstrom Way” was written by Robert Spector, an international speaker on Nordstrom’s principles of customer service and Patrick McCarthy, a thirty year Nordstrom employee that became one of the company’s top performing salespeople.This book combines inspirational biographical material with common sense management tools that can benefit every company, big and small. The authors know that establishing a culture of excellence in customer service is no small feat and to ease business owners and managers into this mindset, there are very simple, easy to complete exercises at the end of every chapter. As you read through the book and complete the exercises, you begin to realize that the shift starts with internal customer service. In other words, the way you treat your employees is a reflection of how they will treat your customers. At Nordstrom, each employee is given empowerment and the ability to use their best judgment in all customer interactions. This management style facilitates a culture of entrepreneurship, teamwork and overall consensus. In time you will notice that your employees treat your business like they own the place. Imagine that much passion in one establishment!So, because I think you should be reading the book and not this review, I’d like to close with this: Often times, managers and owners will complain that “good help” is hard to find. I would like to encourage you to pick up a copy of “The Nordstrom Way” and see if the help you hired can be taught customer service excellence. I think you will find that they can with the right tools and culture in your place of business. Also, I know that book reviews are supposed to contain critiques, but due to the relevance of material, I can’t find a single negative in this one. You may not use all of the exercises and tips, but I can bet that most of them will strike resonance with most of you.