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The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: The Handbook For Becoming the "nordstrom" of Your Industry, Second Edition by Patrick McCarthy, Robert Spector

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Chapter 3

Nurture the Nordie

Mentor, Support, Praise, Recognize, and Reward

When we hire those eager beavers, it would be a crime if we didn’t feed them while they’re hungry.

—Bruce Nordstrom

Nordstrom is an organization fueled by emotions. Motivated employees bring a passion to their business, a drive to succeed, a desire to sell, and a long-term devotion to serving the customer.

Managers and buyers, who are charged with bringing out the best in each member of their team, work to sustain this spirit by creating an emotional bond with their fellow employees through a potent blend of praise, recognition, and joy. And occasionally even tears.

“Sometimes we push you, sometimes we pat you on the back,” said a national merchandise manager for one of Nordstrom’s shoe divisions. “When I was a store manager, I wouldn’t ask anyone to do something that I wouldn’t do, whether stacking merchandise for a sale, or staying late. I tell people to be accountable for what you do; work hard, and you can do whatever you want to do.

“You can’t tell someone to go out and give good customer service, to go out and get a sales increase. You have to tell them how to do it. Give the salespeople something they can use. For example, suggest that they send a thank-you note to a customer who brought back a return.”

After going through employee orientation and becoming familiar with the culture, the systems, the merchandise, and the sales goals expectations, salespeople are encouraged and empowered to develop ...

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