Tag Archives: Customer service

THE NORDSTROM CUSTOMER SERVICE MODEL A LA WALMART

1 Sep

[ Please visit our sister sites GOD IN THE TEMPLES OF GOVERNMENT http://www.godinthetemplesofgovernment.com and THE CENTER FOR COPYRIGHT INTEGRITY http://www.centerforcopyrightintegrity.com ]

It is the classic lesson in customer service. Few know it. I do. I teach it when needed like last week. Simply, the customer is always right.

The retailer, Walmart, had a momentary lapse of forgetfulness of priorities. Four call backs later and asking for a supervisor, I began to teach the Nordstroms Model. Guess what, six days later, Walmart’s Automotive department got it. Love them.

They remembered the customer in service.

Don’t take it wrong. This is a compliment to Walmart’s team in Arlington. Long hours, longer days, customers that complain is more the norm than people are able to admit to anymore in a world of social media used to bully and blast. To not take a moment and thank the team for overcoming the downfall of technology that added to the remiss, would be unfortunate when it is as easy to commend team members who put the customer back in to service.

I learned the Nordstrom’s model back in the ‘90s. I had attended a Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce meeting. A speaker from the food services industry told a story, the Nordstrom Customer Service story that went on to become a staple in Customer Service Industry bibles.

It goes this way.

A farmer walks in to a Nordstrom’s store, hefts a tire unto the counter and said, “I want my money back.” The sales clerk was taken aback by a tire on a Nordstrom’s counter in the dress department.

She politely explained to the farmer, “Sir, we sell dresses.”

The farmer answered, “I bought my tire here.”

The clerk tried again, “Sir, we sell clothes not cars.”

The farmer, repeated, a little louder “I bought my tire here,” then hitched his thumbs in to his belt loops.

The clerk, schooled in Nordstrom’s Customer Service model, begged a moment from the farmer, called over another clerk to hold her place, and the farmer company at the counter, then stepped in to the back to consult with her superior, said to her superior, “Sir, we don’t sell tires here, we sell dresses.”
Her superior said, “I know, but we are Nordstrom” as he walked her back to the customer where the farmer, and tire, were waiting.”

The clerk’s supervisor asked to see the farmer’s receipt, which the farmer produced that showed a tire store had been located at that same spot that later became the supervisor’s Nordstrom. The clerk’s supervisor counted out the exact change owed the farmer, took the tire with as the clerk’s supervisor returned to his office, tire in hand.

The farmer left pleased.

The clerk followed her supervisor to his office. Without the clerk saying anything, the clerk’s supervisor looked up and said, “In Nordstrom’s stores, the customer is always right.”

Walmart stood behind the warranty of a new tire that deflated under warranty. Technology’s overreach into customer-retailer relations created problems with accessing product in real time along with interfering with other steps in the relationship. A supervisor and team captain took it upon themselves to go the extra mile for a customer.

The upside is, Walmart came out ahead, two baby outfits, a golden book, a sports bra and sweat top and a wish that Walmart superstore was closer. Imagine, a store that has everything from apples to stuffed zebras with everything in between under the same roof.

OMG, my dream vacay is now camping out overnight at Walmart, glamping at the ultimate. Walmart has everything!!!! Food, clothes, snacks, clean bathrooms, bedding, mattresses, books, TV’s, radios, did I say books, crafting stuff, is this not heaven on retail earth?

As if it couldn’t get better with Nordstrom’s, it did. On a recent foray to Nordstrom’s lingerie department, albeit the annual sale time, I received a thank you note and card from my sales assistant. As scary as one could make getting a card from a sales clerk, let’s reframe it. In a world of impersonal emails flooding my Inbox, someone took the time to hand prepare, post and send a note saying ‘we see you, you exist for real.’ Amen. Business card included, too. Take a note, big box retailers.

Why, I don’t even have to pack, bring makeup or think twice about anything because I can do everything once in 24 hours without even repeating myself. Damn, I would forgo camera shyness to live this dream. Birthday is coming, Walmart. Call me. Call me, Sam. You got my digis.

Linda, Mike? You rocked the Nordstrom Customer service model. You made this customer feel like a queen for a few hours. Thank you. Grin, looking forward to 24 hours on your turf….. !

THE NORDSTROMS BUSINESS MODEL CONGRESS NEEDS TO LEARN HOW TO HANDLE STELA FROM – The Customer is Always Right:

23 Jul

A farmer showed up in the Nordstrom’s store. He hefted a tire on to the counter to the shock of the Return Counter employee. The farmer said “I want to return my tire.” The startled employee got no where with the adamant farmer who insisted he bought the tire there years ago and wanted it taken back with a full refund. The manager was called. The employees caucused- fast. The manager stepped to the counter, thanked the man for his partronage, confirmed the amount being requested, then counted it out, to the farmer’s satisfaction. The staff began to talk all at once. Their manager shushed them when he said “the customer is always right.’ Years earlier there had been a farm store right where the Nordstroms stood that day. And so goes the Nordstrom’s Model, that Congress has to take a lesson from.

If its good enough to be part of the Bible in Business schools all these years later, its good enough to teach CONGRESS that the CUSTOMER is always right not the companies let alone the companies like Disney forcing companies like (_______) to take “stuff” they don’t want for the “programming” they do want.

There are 308,694,441 Americans.

Do the voter math.  

THE ANAGRAM OF STELA IS STEAL (E&C roundup June 2013):

23 Jul

Congressman Joe Barton leaned in to his microphone. He shared the humanity of a legislators life in a city where often legislators are painted as less than humane. But legislators doing their constituent’s work- need housing here, in the Capitol, and there, wherever back home is. Multiple residences means multiple costs of services replicated in each home, as Barton’s case may be, in each state and county. Three homes means three cable bills. As Mr. Barton pointed out, cable doesn’t come cheap these days. Do the Congressional math- $200 a pop times three equals $600, a hefty price, when service options are restricted by Cable providers to package options, each pricier than the other, bundled with programming options along with the one show, or two, customers like Barton want. 

The hearing, a second on STELA, held by the Energy & Commerce Committee, was coincidental to the Cable Industry Gala the night before. Hearing witness Amy Tykeson, CEO of Bend Broadband was congratulated for being inducted into the Cable Industry Hall of Fame. How nice to save an industry travel costs back and forth to the Capitol.

Chairman Upton opened the hearing making an understatement in a world where technology changes day to day. Upton said to hearing attendees that the video marketplace changed since STELA, the Satellite Television Extension and Localism, was enacted back in 1988. The E&C’s hearing was called to “Revoke” or “Revise” STELA. Recycle should be an option. Walden said, “The purpose of the law was to give the then nascent satellite industry a leg up in providing distant broadcast signals to viewers out of range of local over the air signals.” Mobile has conquered the world. Viewers in Bangladesh are receiving vimeo on mobiles. Fred Upton acquiesced “television providers are no longer new kids on the block. And cable operators, once the commanding presence in the pay TV sector, now face competition not just from satellite providers, but phone companies and the Internet as well.”

STELA’s Act may be up in 2014. The jig is up when it comes to Congress showing its failing in getting Legislation ahead of the next technological move, and the next after that, and so on. It doesn’t take rocket science to see solutions. It takes therapy. Congress must move past being their own Self Help group by admitting they are co-dependent on the wrong community as advisors- technology, corporate lobbyists and Congressional Research staff for advice- the people who walked Congress into getting caught with their pants down when it came to technology that is now running America, and the world, amok.

Fuggedaboudit when it comes to healthcare, NSA, etc. being the themes for Town Halls. Talk about the common thread in all of the issues making headlines- IP, Intellectual property- and in the headlines not being made, constituents ability to make their living based on their entrepreneurial skills. And intellect. 2D IP, intellectual property used in the content produced and disseminated by Satellite through Search Engines and ISPs and soon to be AEREO, the even newest kid on the block Farhad Manjoo of Pandeo calls “stupidest high-profile tech start-up ever launched.” (http://pandodaily.com/2012/07/14/dont-root-for-aereo-the-worlds-most-ridiculous-start-up/ )

Why is Congress stepping towards the AEREO light?

Deep pockets. Barry Diller and a “loophole in technology.” Manjoo wrote “I’m being harsh. But someone has to be. In the past few months, after Aereo was hit by insane lawsuits from the television industry, it has become something of a cause célèbre for people fighting for more progressive copyright laws. No doubt it was good to see Aereo win its first legal test this week, when a federal judge denied TV companies’ request to have the firm immediately shut down. But don’t mistake Aereo’s win as a sign of progress in copyright law or as a victory for consumers. If Aereo is successful, it will be only because it found a strange loophole in the legal thicket surrounding how we treat content. But as BuzzFeed’s John Herrman smartly points out, “loopholes aren’t a technology” just because a company has found a legal loophole does not make it a sound business idea, a sound technical idea, or a good deal for consumers. Read it and weep Congress. Read it and weep.

Just because Disney, WDIG (the Walt Disney Internet Group) sit at a table in front of you testy because Schurz Communications had  bigger ‘ones’ than Disney does. Marci Burdick, Senior V.P. of Broadcasting, Schurz Communications, Inc. did not let Ben Pyne, President Global Distribution, Disney Media Network get away with anything he attempted to set aside. Good reason. It’s a paycheck to Ben. It’s a family dynasty to Marci…”It all began in 1872 when Alfred B. Miller and Elmer Crockett founded the South Bend, Ind. Tribune. The Tribune is still the flag-ship property and family members have held editor and publisher positions at the newspaper for five generations. Schurz Communications newspapers have a long tradition of editorial excellence, technical innovation and a commitment to the highest standards for quality and excellence in journalism.” (http://www.schurz.com/about/history/)  

The hearing focus was wrongly on CEOs. Each individual is a CEO sometimes even only in their own mind. Companies start with Individuals who have ideas. Other witnesses at the table included Geoffrey Manne, Senior Fellow, TechFreedom; Mike Palkovic, Executive VP, DirectTV; Hal Singer, Managing Director, Navigant Economics and Amy Tykeson, CEO, Bend Broadband.

Legislators need to go back to the drawing board, first stepping on technology’s push for a free Internet where consumers are bundled and sold, spied upon and petrified that IF the Russians or terrorists attack, they will know how to find them- each and every member of their family and know how to torture them- forget about waterboarding- google has everyone’s lives in their storage centers, even yours Mr. Upton. A few months back Americans believed hackers were foreigners, now they know the people to fear are people living next door.

Let your constituents talk to you at Town Halls. Let them tell you how they feel about getting technology that takes away their rights to privacy, their rights to their Intellectual Property that will make their living for them. Ask them the questions your Research Committee isn’t giving you. Why? Partial reason. Your research is being done by the generation that is acting before they think or realized the same technology they are pushing Congress to move forward is the same technology that hacked and released Congressional staffers emails- Anonymously. Not. Aided and abetted by Congress’s decisions that got Legislators to where they sat that morning…. STELA- revise or revoke.

Satellite companies are here today and hair brained schemed replaced tomorrow. AEREO? Really. Customers. Customer service and where Congressman Barton got the conversation heading- customers and corporations being forced to take what they don’t want to get what they want at prices and with disclosures that change without constituents not being told about technological wizadry provided to Satellite companies in order to predict what Customers want and THEN, withholding that programming from them unless Cable packages are bought. If paying customers are the lab rats being tracked at home for Search Engines and ISPs to sell data on, the PAY THEM by bringing Google billions back from offshore and reduce customer monthly costs.

Chairman Walden said, “We have a year and a half before we must decide what action to take.” No sir. Deadline passed. E&C has no time to clawback latitudes given to the tech companies and the Behemoths in industries that are pushing competitors out of business.

In 1988, some rocket scientist put Satellite under the Judiciary because of a link being drawn IP. Remove Satellite from Maria Pallente’s jurisdiction and put it under the FTC’s Julie Brill where it belongs.  In the eye of the Search Engine and ISP content- Google model, everything is content. In the eye of the consumer, the consumer has become Search Engine and ISP content. In the eye of the realist, CONTENT is king. The consumer has lost. Especially this secretly recorded wife now, Content’ http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/07/22/man-uploads-wifes-explosive-temper-tantrum-on-youtube-one-of-them-has-reportedly-moved-out-and-filed-a-restraining-order/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=Share+Buttons. Content has been evolved from Google Glass being worn into a Strip Club by a non frequent visitor Patrick Hill. Hill posted hi Google Glass content to youtube where it was picked up by CNET writer Chris Matyszck who then posted the link to his page and so on and son on in the evolution of Content then dispersing it http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57594982-71/get-em-off-man-gets-into-a-strip-club-wearing-google-glass/

The push for mobile was orchestrated years back. “ITS” no longer just about TV. “ITS” being sold as Freedom. The new Freedom bandwagon is mobile. Advertising was predicting mobile as the way to go. Ask Ted Leonsis of Monumental Sports. 3x more money comes from an online targeted ad then online broadcast ad traditional shotgun ad.

Mobile is a parents nightmare. Mobile devices are tricky for parents to monitor. It is a stalkers paradise. It is a Satellite consumers fear. Yes, there are stories of “call centers” overseas taking Satellite consumers Intellectual Property. Better yet, the IP and personal data thievery Congress always dumps on China is a helluva lot closer to home Fort Lauderdale Florida (www.dmnews.com/former-call-center-workers-accused-of-stealing-consumer-information/article/72133/). Facebook has been compared t oa Walled Garden. Google has been compared to a digital nudist colony. No one can cover up their nibbles & bits anymore. Kids and teens are about to learn the choices in their Internet life, they didn’t make. They were groomed- a slap in the face to the hard work former Congressman Ed Markey and Joe Barton have done to protect children’s privacy. The technological foot print children are making is being shaped by their online interacting being stalked by technology. Remember the Jim Carey movie? Where a crew behind the scene made his choices happen based upon decisions the crew notated he did before? Who would have thought we are in Jim Carey’s mind.

The problem is definitions. The problem is there are none. The problem is technology’s pot bangers are telling Congress how amazing the Emperor is looking. NSA’s data theft and teenagers making content of gang rapes of drunk teenagers should be telling Congress the Emperor has no clothes on. Dudes. Cover up.

The STELA conversation is not about looking back at “cable regulations, such as the must carry, basic tier, buy through, program carriage, program access, and set top box rules….The video market is changing rapidly. Phone companies are in the video business now, both over wires and wirelessly. Netflix is offering original programming over the Internet. And Aereo, for better or for worse, could turn everything upside down” as co-Chairman Walden said. The STELA conversation had to be about setting up a Ten Commandments that protects what made America great- Consumers rights to their Property promised by the Founding Fathers- their rights to privacy, their rights to owning their Intellectual Property OR getting paid for it, sharing in the profits Search Engines and ISPs are making from consumers while charging more and providing less in a push to prop up corporate profits. 

Congressman Murphy said these conversations never quite reach the level of the Artist who designs the logo or the website or even the uniforms and office and equipment for the doctor or professional addressed in these hearings. Michael Burgess talked about doctors and dentists offices and patient IP. Dr. Burgess- doctor-patient privacy? Used to be scotched the second your staff hits ‘Send.’ Now, the ISPs are entering computers constantly taking data, even when offline- all communities. Simplify the protection needed- everyone’s 2D IP, ID and Commerce. The worry isnt that the theft goes on but how the Internet has expedited the speed thefts are taking place. 

Footnote, Congress. On the heels of Snowden and the NSA? Stop blaming China for stealing American IP. Take a lesson from China’s example of IPR, Intellectual Property Rights courts instead of Maria’s solicitation of Small Claims as a forum to resolve IP theft. Ask which search engine gave their encryption codes away to access THAT market. Hopefully China doesn’t clue in and sue America yet for stealing Chinese Food….. And one day, may I’ll write about Bulova Watch Company IP theft from a half a decade ago or how “Tuesday is Russian Day at the USPTO. Congress, every day is Russian Day…

Congressman Horton said put one office in charge of Satellite and IP. No. Two. And they exist. The FTC and Register of Copyrights. Re-divy Satellite back to the FTC . Create IPR courts along the lines of China’s and India’s. NOW. Enforce Economic Espionage Act, Computer Hacking laws. Don’t depend on the Direct Marketing Alliance. What part of Digital and Marketing and Alliance is Congress not getting. There is no silver bullet to Media Literacy and Public citizenship.

Where did Congress get the misdirection that consumers and Moms & Pops are worth less than Mega-Witnesses like Disney who was at the table. The answer is really quite truthful- college, it seems, and from the DAA Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising (www.aboutads.info/participating) College professors created a theory that companies worth is justified by its returns to investors, obliterating the old school way of Customer Service and, most likely, the push for global expansion. Guess, most of the legislators aren’t old enough to recall the Nordstrom Model of Business. Well worth repeating. Will save the story for last.

Congressman Barton started down the conversation addressing cable subscribers paying through the nose for services they don’t want to get the one or two channels they want. Legislators must keep an eye on news back home while they are away on Capitol Hill. Options? Buy the package the satellite carrier  is selling or, as Mr. Barton said, go back to free TV.  $600 a month out of  legislators’ pockets while facing a $2000 per staffer healthcare Obama tax looming has legislators weighing their running, again.

Undiscussed during the hearing was the games cable companies play with customers beyond Program Packaging Options. Satellite companies fail to advise customers of new promotions that might drop a high bill to $89.99, with no cost for the package switch. Companies like Comcast don’t tell relocating customers their monthly fee might be changed by the satellite company without the customer being told. Customers are not advised $20 credits are available if techs are late or fail to show. Customers are not told when Plans expire the company picks the Plan customers are renewed in to, without notice or permission. Nor are customers told they are subsidizing cable for people who live in rural America IN AN INTERNET/VIMEO/AERO/SEARCH ENGINE/ISP world.

What are the norms going to be. Google Glass, a transmitter/ streamer Bathroom two men standing in one says are you ok if I wink your winkie? Democrats signaled they would prefer to reauthorize the act rather than bog it down with other issues. As it is, the Judiciary committee has to be involved in the legislation because of the interlocking copyright provision in the law.

Mobile has changed the ecosystem. Legislators, maybe it is time to say no to Hollywood. They are no longer King of Content.  Now, if someone wants to be a star, they just have to turn their flip phone on themselves in the bathroom mirror and Click. CONTENT. As legislators are learning, Gotcha moments are a reality TV show waiting to happen…

Walden is wrong. Its not about “respecting the investments of the networks that create it and the broadcasters and Pay TV companies that deliver it? “ Its about protecting the consumer who has unknowingly paid for this with the greatest price of all, loss of privacy. The chairman said “million viewers write and call Congress reminding Congress of that clause in the Constitution “about the right of Americans to watch whatever they want, whenever they want, wherever and however they want.” GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT!

The key is to learn from the twenty five year old STELA Act. Keep its best as framework. It isnt the satellite industry that needs addressing. New industries continue to emerge. It is the model- Consumers and their entertainment consumption. The model has been thought through. Simple, CONSUMER v BUSINESS ENTITY. This is where the Nordstrom’s Business Model comes in to play.

And the Ten Commandments of Consumer Consumption, that Congressman Barton called a Consumers Protection of Intellectual Property Rights, well, he said “Bill of Rights For Consumers.” Hint.   No don’t do as Michael Palkovic, DirecTV’s svp of services and operations, said “make the laws smarter to reflect the 21st century video marketplace.” Do the American thing, create the Bible that stands the test of time, the framework of the country. KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid- Ten Points that will protect Tablet One (Constituents) Privacy, Customers, Innovators, Data, ________, from Tablet Two (Corporate) Open Data, Notice, Simplified Contracts and Terms of Service, Algorithms, ________.

For whatever it is worth, E&C, the anagram of STELA is STEAL…