The Nordstrom's Theory

There are some things that you can be trained to do and others that are ingrained into your DNA. Take for example last summer when I shopped online for over a month for the perfect pair of bronze/brown sandals (or flip flops here in Austin- yes, it’s common to wear these to the office here). I wanted them to be sparkly and elegant and didn’t want to pay over $50 for them. I went to Nordstroms.com and found the best pair of flip flops ever- they called out to my soul and I knew then that the only thing that would complete me was that specific pair of flip flops and I had to have them TODAY.

So I call Nordstroms in Austin and they inform me that they do not carry that line locally but could I hold one moment? Hold? What for? I’ll just order them online and be angry that I cannot have the instant gratification I sought by going and picking them up in person (I hate online shopping, the wait is excruciating). After 90 seconds, a perky male voice said that he was the manager of the shoe department (oh great, here comes the “you can order them online” speech) who was very quick on his feet (get it? get it?) and told me that there was a young lady from Austin training that day in Dallas where they carried that shoe and he would be glad to have her personally bring down a variety of sizes for me to try on when they open in the morning… What? Are you serious? Someone would literally carry boxes of shoes in their little BMW 323 just so I could try them on and maybe buy them? He kindly said “if they aren’t the right fit for you, I’m sure the perfect pair is in the store, I’d love to show you any shoe you’d like. I’ll have these shoes on hold for you and I’ll see you tomorrow!”

I was floored. I have told this story a million times and have explained to people that I now buy shoes from Nordstroms because of this incredible customer service experience. Even if I don’t need shoes, I feel obligated when I walk through to pick up at least a little somethin’ somethin’. Now this service was not something that was in the training manual- this man truly wanted to make me happy, even for a measly $35 pair of flip flops.

Imagine if the Real Estate industry behaved in such a way where part of your continuing education was a test of your service skills. I watch my husband bend over backwards for every client, even when there is no need (ex: going to all inspections, running paperwork across town so a courier can’t screw it up, etc). I also see that because our market in Austin is doing so well, a lot of green agents take clientele for granted- not returning calls, acting irritated at a referral because they’re busy, and so on and so forth. Can you imagine if Nordstrom’s had acted irritated with me for wanting a service that THEY SHOULD provide? I would be screaming about it to this day.

Remember, I could still be ranting about a bad experience at Nordstrom’s, but instead I continually project to the world a story of the most amazing service ever. So, take a tip from Nordstrom’s AND by emulating their model, maybe someday, someone will blog/brag about the amazing service YOU have provided.


toufic said...

if you have a chance to keep up with it, Seth Godin is a great advocate of just this kind of thing. The idea being that the exceptional will register with the client so much that it'll completely change how the business is done


Austin Realtor's Wife... said...

Toufic, Seth is an amazing resource, isn't he? It'll take me a lifetime to read everything he's written, but I'm workin' on it :)

When are you going to update your blog??? :)