“The Nordstrom Way”


Imagine this: You’ve just received the brand-new watch you’ve wanted all season for Christmas. You eagerly take it to the store you purchased it at the next day to get it resized when you realize there is a gem missing. The clerk immediately takes the watch without question, apologizes for the inconvenience, and mails you a new one within two business days. What store repetitively goes above and beyond for their customers? Nordstrom, established in 1901, has centered their company’s culture around promoting above-and-beyond customer service policies for their clientele. A department store known for their variety of upscale designer products, Nordstrom’s customer service reputation has even made its way into the form of a book, The Nordstrom Way.

If you flip through the book, it all comes down to Nordstrom’s #1 rule: “Use your best judgment in all situations. There will be no other rule.” This use of employee autonomy allows Nordstrom employees to be able to rationally assist customers in the way they would like to be treated while shopping. Nordstrom’s business model directly correlates to the Cultural Approach to Organizations theory, which states that, “an organization does not have a culture, it is a culture.” Nordstrom’s key goal lies in putting the customer before anyone else. By walking around the counter to hand you your purchase, not pointing in the direction of an item, but walking you to it, and taking returns (even in the most unlikely circumstances), Nordstrom centers their organization around the customer experience.


Now seen as a company for one of the highest regards for customer service, Nordstrom has created a culture within their organization, which many try to emulate. This ties in with the standards that Nordstrom holds for customer satisfaction. According to Forbes, there are three standards a company should uphold to ensure customer satisfaction. Why the service is of value, the emotional response the customer should feel, and the expected method for accomplishing the service in question completes the formulation of Nordstrom’s service model. By capitalizing on these three service model ideals, Nordstrom continues to be one of the most recognized brands for the ideal customer experience.

-Angelica DiPaolo, Morganne McIntyre, Anderson McNaull, Madeline O’Connor, Rachel White