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The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: A Handbook For Implementing Great Service in Your Organization [Paperback]

Robert Spector
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: The Handbook For Becoming the "Nordstrom" of Your Industry The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: The Handbook For Becoming the "Nordstrom" of Your Industry 4.4 out of 5 stars (14)
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Book Description

March 8, 2005 0471702862 978-0471702863 3
First published in 1995, The Nordstrom Way is a classic guide to great customer service. This new book replaces The Nordstrom Way with an even more practical guide to becoming the “Nordstrom” of your industry. Designed for customer service managers and trainers, as well as business owners, it’s an invaluable resource for designing your own programs and initiatives. The authors not only explain the principles of the world’s best customer service company, they also show you how to implement them in your own organization. The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence will help your business make customers its number one concern, and help make your business number one in your industry.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Service Principles from America's #1 Customer Service Company

Praise for The Nordstrom Way

"For anyone looking to understand customer service at its best, this book bubbles with insights."

"Outstanding customer service and Nordstrom are synonymous. Their standards of excellence are what we all shoot for."
—David D. Glass, former chairman and CEO, Wal-Mart

"American business should use this book as a primer to learn how to make and keep happy, satisfied customers."
—J. W. Marriott Jr., Chairman and President, Marriott International

"The Nordstrom Way takes an unusual look at the direct link between empowering your employees and creating a long-term relationship with your customers. More businesses should follow their example."
—Howard Schultz, Chairman, Starbucks Coffee

The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence describes how Nordstrom earned its legendary reputation—and reveals the principles behind its phenomenal customer service. If you want to be the Nordstrom of your industry, this is your guidebook. It will help any company put in place Nordstrom-style systems, motivational tools, and a service-oriented culture that leads to delighted, loyal customers.

This comprehensive handbook includes a wealth of new exercises for managers and trainers who work with frontline service providers. Implementation resources include:

  • Questions for assessing and improving your customer service culture
  • Exercises for improving teamwork, motivation, and selling effectiveness among your frontline employees
  • Secrets of Nordstrom's all-time top-selling salesperson

About the Author

ROBERT SPECTOR is a bestselling business book author and international speaker on Nordstrom's principles of customer service. He has spoken to companies such as Cadillac, Dell, Wells Fargo, and the Red Cross. He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Women's Wear Daily. To book Robert as a speaker, visit

PATRICK McCARTHY worked at Nordstrom for more than thirty years and was the company's all-time top-performing salesperson.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 3 edition (March 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471702862
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471702863
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 7.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #533,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Spector is recognized worldwide as the ultimate authority on The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence. His best-selling business classic The Nordstrom Way: The Inside Story of America's #1 Customer Service Company is the first and only up-close and personal look at how this company became the national standard of customer service. BusinessWeek said it "bubbles with customer service insights."

In March 2012, a completely new edition of the book The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: How to Become the Nordstrom of Your Industry was released. Please watch Robert's author video to learn more about what's new - for YOU - in the new edition.

Robert has been involved in customer service since the age of 13, when he first went to work in his mother and father's butcher shop in the farmers' market in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Working alongside his parents, he learned firsthand what it takes to take care of customers--and to keep them loyal. Those lessons inspired his latest book, The Mom & Pop Store, which features interviews with successful independent retailers from all over the world. Robert believes that the elements of world-class customer service are the same, whether they come from Spector's Meat Market, Nordstrom, or, the subject of his international bestseller Get Big Fast.

Robert has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, among others. When he is not speaking, training and consulting internationally about customer service, he lives in Seattle.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit simplistic: doesn't examine some of the pitfalls October 30, 2011
I'm a former Nordstrom employee. There are a few things wrong right off the bat with the book: the employee manual is not just one page anymore. Second, the book only examines the pros of Nordstrom. There are a few notations of "competition" but Spector and McCarthy do not examine the reality of cut throat competition on the sales floor. Depending on the management of the store, it can be either harnessed or turned negative. Some of the team examples no longer exist (like nominating employees for recognition). Too much is left to independent departmen managers: and many lack formal training. A good manager may or may not be a good sales person but that is how Nordstrom promotes. I do agree that customer service (be it the sales staff, the buyers, or actual cutomers) is critical in any role but there is little examination of the culture of Nordstrom that can make it a good learning experience but not a good career trajectory.

Spector and McCarthy seem a bit reluctant to take of some of the shine of the silver bagged company: it's too bad. There is a lot of good information for early career types or sales managers but there is a lot of Kool Aid. And don't believe all the heroic tales in the book: it's a problem for Nordstrom employees. They are 100% commissioned and expected to do some of these crazy stunts which is time off the floor and thus out of his/her pocket. Read for the frame work; ignore the mythology.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stories of the best Cust. Service around January 25, 2006
I was very excited to read this book after enjoying Spector's book on The author did not disapoint and I enjoyed this book much more than his last!

The best part of the book are the examples used. In addition to Nordstrom, he has also incorporated examples from another large company, and a few small and midsize companies as well. No matter what industry you are in, or the size of your will get value out of this book.

It's a fast read and would be great to share with co-workers and/or employee's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Inspiration January 13, 2011
By Jason
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved reading the Nordstrom Way series. I did however, make the mistake of reading the older one first and the newer one had a lot of the same information in it. I work at a store that is a Powerhouse in the world, so I don't necessarily have a lot of control over making changes to the company. I did however, find that there are things in this book I could implement on a store/local level. This book gave me amazing inspiration in the field of Customer service. I recommend it to anyone who is looking to improve themselves in that area.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and an easy reading October 30, 2010
Nordstrom is considered a visionary company by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras (in Built to Last). This book explains what Nordstrom does in order to achieve such a rank.
The book is full of stories on what the company does to foster customer service, what managers do and what sales representatives do. The stories are called "heroics" and you will find lots of them throughout the book.
The Nordstrom culture is very similar to Disney's, so no wonder both are considered visionary by the authors of Built to Last.
Nice reading and inspirational. Go for it!
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, fun, informative -- but not that practical September 27, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Nordstrom Way is sort of like two books in one. The first, a business biography, would merit 4 stars; five if expounded upon. The second, however -- and the real intent of this book -- a customer service "how to," is a bit lacking. The reason: Nordstrom's customer service is so over the top that most businesses in most industries would go bankrupt putting its principles into practice. Nordstrom department stores have thrived by servicing a niche market of customers who are willing to pay a premium for truly outstanding service. But that niche is small, and the principles are just inapplicable to most retailers, let alone other business models.
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