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Customer Service – Best and Worst: Department Stores

A few months ago (while in the midst of taxes), I was combing through all the large purchases made on my credit cards over the past few years and noticed that many of them were from the same few establishments, over and over. I thought this was interesting as even maybe five or ten years ago, my statements would have had a much larger diversity of merchants. I realized that over the years, I’ve had some either great customer experiences, or poor ones – and that these experiences have really driven my purchasing habits and captured my brand loyalty.

Since customer service experiences can have such an impact over what we buy and where we buy it, I thought I would share an example of one of my best, and one of my worst customer service encounters. For this post, I decided to focus on department stores.

Best: Nordstrom

via About.com

via About.com

I know that it’s almost become a little cliche to cite Nordstrom as a good customer service example, but hey, I’m a believer! I’ve never been let down by service twice there – which means, in the rare occasions, I haven’t had a good experience with a front line associate, a manager has always fixed it.

My first Nordstrom customer service story: In high school, I splurged on a pair of Kate Spade sunglasses, with a gradient lens. I was so proud of these glasses! They were something like $150 which meant it equated to at least 30 hours of waitressing drudgery. I wore them all the time, and especially on my head. Unfortunately, this must have stretched them out over time (I have a big head too – Mr. Feather affectionately calls me “The Bobble”). One day they fell off the kitchen counter, and broke into two pieces on the ground.

I went back to Nordstrom the next day to go shop for a replacement, and pulled out my broken pair in front of the sales associate . To my surprise, she whipped out a small eyeglasses screwdriver and tried to put the two pieces back together. “Should be easy,” she said, even though five minutes later it definitely appeared that it wouldn’t be. Continue Reading