Article Review “How Nordstrom built the world’s best customer-service machine”
The article “How Nordstrom built the world’s best customer-service machine” considers the major components of Nordstrom’s success. Many customers experience extended support in this upscale Seattle-based department store. Employees are encouraged to use “good judgement in all situations” and handle problems with customers in mind. Nordstrom’s customer service assumes that all decisions should benefit customers. The company strives to handle every case of bad service and encourages clients to send emails describing the issue. Its commitment to customers involves sporadic events and daily issues such as accepting returns, helping carry purchases, or bringing products home for customers to choose and buy. Floor staff can track chain-wide inventory via mobile checkout devices to find the necessary items for clients.
Technological advancements also include a full-length mirror acting as an interactive touch screen enabling customers to scan product reviews, search for other items, and call for a sales assistant. Digital advancements present an attraction for younger customers both domestically and internationally. The company differentiates its offers in accordance with customer preferences. Due to its superior customer service, Nordstrom operates 280 stores in the US and has already opened six stores in Canada. Thus, it is also able to reach Canadian luxury segment. Nordstrom’s success is attributable to corporate culture, information technologies, and employee empowerment. These aspects may overlap each other as culture includes employee involvement and benefits from information technologies which are affected by the company’s culture. Herewith, empowerment enhances this culture and implementation of its values. .
Issue 1. Corporate Culture with regard to Nordstrom Corporate culture is generally considered to be a set of values and norms widely shared and held in the organization (Guiso, Sapienza, and Zingales, 2013). It involves behavior patterns, work environment, attitudes, and values (Madu, 2012). It comprises such crucial elements as consistency, involvement, adaptability, and mission. Consistency concerns long term alignment and efficiency through organizational systems and processes. Involvement ensures employee commitment and involvement in decision making. Adaptability concerns organizational change in response to external environment. Mission ensures clarity of the reason for organizational existence. Together, these elements reflect underlying beliefs, values, and principles. Thus, corporate culture fosters a more holistic approach to managing organizational effectiveness. It also ensures customer satisfaction and retention and fosters repeat purchases. In particular, corporate culture can enhance relationship between employees and customers (Gillespie, Denison, Haaland, Smerek, and Neale, 2008). Culture helps employees to make choices and decisions as the latter cannot be properly regulated by only formal rules. It represents communication code of an organization and helps in coordination and social control (Guiso, Sapienza, and Zingales, 2013). Indeed, Nordstrom’s culture aims at and fosters customer satisfaction. All its activities focus on provision of superior customer service and benefits which can be viewed as its mission.
This focus is reflected in the company’s belief that if Nordstrom’s actions do not benefit customers, they are not customer service. The principle of doing everything with the customer in mind is realized through …