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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 6

Communication and Teamwork

We’re All in the Customer Service Department

If you’re not a team player, you won’t have a long career at Nordstrom.

—Bruce Nordstrom

Nordstrom demands individual achievement and unselfish teamwork, both of which are essential to (a) the culture, (b) the experience, and (c) the bottom line.

In fact, teamwork may be the more important of the two. You can be the highest grossing salesperson in the organization, but if you don’t give service to your fellow employees, you will not survive. Consequently, a Nordstrom employee must be a team player who makes a contribution to the success of his or her department, store, region, and company, particularly in team selling competitions and contests, which are essential motivating tools to the Nordstrom Way.

Nordstrom constantly reinforces the idea that when the company is at its best, it is the result of a group effort. Nordstrom is both a collection of individuals and a seamless team, with each member of that team expected to be ready, willing, and able to take care of each other, while taking care of the customer.

For example: The manager of a women’s wear department in a Nordstrom store in the Pacific Northwest wrote a letter, which appeared in the company newsletter, Loop, about the teamwork of one of her salespeople.

“I was apprehensive about leaving my crew for a vacation because of the heavy shipments of anniversary merchandise we were receiving. Tom must have known I was nervous about being gone. ...

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