The Nordstrom Effect
Last week, I travelled to beautiful New York City for Nordstrom’s grand opening. After dissecting every aspect of the store’s hits, misses, and innovations, I’ve picked up some valuable insights. Read on to learn more!
Upon walking through the store’s mammoth doors, I was struck with just how busy it was. A sea of potential customers lined the showroom floor, moving in droves around a variety of different displays. However, the sales associates didn’t appear phased: they calmly and efficiently assisted their clients, ensuring that everyone’s needs were met.
To celebrate the opening, Nordstrom also provided a 15% discount to all shoppers—and price-matched with their competitors’ ongoing promotions. When combined with their stellar service, this made for a shopping experience that even New York’s elite are sure to remember.
Throughout my visit, I spoke to a number of sales associates to better understand “The Nordstrom Effect”—that is, their unique brand differentiator. Here’s what they had to say:
Q – Do you think Nordstrom will be successful in NYC? Why?
A – Yes—the brand’s attitude to customer experience is phenomenal. Here, we are taught to treat customers the way we’d like to be treated. For me, this means receiving top-notch service even if I’m wearing flip flops, or if I’m not carrying a Chanel bag. At our competitors’ stores, I would be looked up and down and made to feel small. Our indiscriminate approach to client care makes our shopping experience more enjoyable.
Q – What is the Nordstrom customer experience difference?
A – We are taught to focus on the ONE person we’re serving: they’re all that matters at that moment in time. We don’t check our phones or look around for the next customers—we’re all in. We’re also focused on quality of service over quantity. I’m never trying to serve 5 people at once, so that I can get more commission; in the end, this gives me more time to understand the customer so that I can meet their needs. This is better for me and for Nordstrom: I can up-sell the client every time because I get to know their preferences. With this, I make more money, and the Nordstrom brand does better.
The Final Word
Ultimately, my visit to New York revealed that a democratic approach to customer service is the future of sales. This means that in order to attract and retain consumers, emotional intelligence is absolutely key.
I’ll be taking a similar feet-on-the-street approach to other notable, trail-blazing ventures around the world, combining key takeaways with my extensive business knowledge to best serve SLM’s clients. Stay tuned to this blog for my upcoming adventures!
– Alexandra Blum, SLM FounderBack To The News