May 3, 2021

One value statement from the Nordstrom store: “Service to the customer above all else.”

I bought shoes there. Tried them on and all seemed fine. But the first day I wore them out in the world … oops … hurt my feet.

I told a friend how I had just wasted the money, darn it all. And I was kinda criticizing my mistake. My friend told me to return the shoes. “But I can’t return shoes that I’ve already worn,” I responded. And my friend responded: “At Nordstrom’s you can.”

So I took the shoes back. And the sales person said, “Of course, we’ll take the shoes back. I’m so sorry that the shoes didn’t work.” The sales person didn’t have to go to her boss to see if I could return them. The sales person just took them back.

A Nordstrom story I heard…that is sooooooo amazing! That same value: “Service to the customer above all else.”

A woman goes to the make-up counter. She’s looking for something specific. She and the sales guy keep looking and looking and just can’t find what she wants. She’s not angry or anything. She plans to come back another time.

Out the front door she goes. Walking down the street. And she hears someone behind her calling out: “Wait Miss. Wait!” She turns and there’s the make-up sales guy running towards her, waving. “I found it,” he says. Big smile.

He gives her the make-up thing. Says, “Have a good day!” And turns around and walks back to Nordstrom’s. (And if you’re curious… NO! he didn’t ask for the money.)

What do you call all that? I think of respect and consideration. Going that proverbial “extra mile”. Just plain nice and thoughtful.

I’m not naive. I know that’s “good business”. But since when is good service, respect, consideration bad?

You and I can distinguish between genuine and fake. I’m aiming for genuine and appreciate genuine.


About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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