Book Category: Business, Entrepreneurial, Sales,

The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: The Handbook For Becoming the “Nordstrom” of Your Industry (book summary)

Author: Robert Spector, Patrick D. McCarthy,
Life Changing Principles
Quality of Writing
Overall Value
pros: Creative concept, solid takeaways
cons: Very specific example
overall rating

QUICK SUMMARY: The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: The Handbook For Becoming the “Nordstrom” of Your Industry is about how Nordstrom set the standard for customer service in their industry by using their own customer-minded principles. This handbook provides valuable insights to help businesses and organizations create a customer driven culture and atmosphere, along with the tools they need to provide “Nordstrom-like” service.


1. At a time when customer service has become a core competitive advantage for every business, Nordstrom is the standard against which other companies measure themselves. Businesses of every kind are striving to become “the Nordstrom” of their industry.

2. Choose employees with an entrepreneurial spirit and empower them to generate their own ideas and do everything they can to make sure the customer is satisfied, to make life easier for their customers.

3. Remember empathy. Be humble.

4. The whole point of everything a company should do is to make the customer happy for the long haul.

5. A can-do attitude, a positive personality, and a strong work ethic are the primary ingredients for success.


1. Put yourself in the shoes of your client.  Do what you can to make life easier for them.

2. Use good judgement in all situations.

3. Be approachable and accessible to your client.

4. “Ease of use” should be your mantra.

5. Create an atmosphere of helpfulness and professionalism.

6. Follow the Golden Rule: “How will it affect the customer? If I were in their shoes, how would I feel?”


We try to create an atmosphere where people feel valued, trusted and respected, and empowered, where they have a proprietary feeling and an entrepreneurial spirit.  The magic occurs when all these things come together.

Think like the customer.  This is the essence of a great customer-service company.

A funny thing happens to people when they are in the position of having to give service as opposed to getting service…..they think about the rules, the process, the manual, the bureaucracy, the way it’s always been done. That’s a recipe for terrible service……you need to be humble to do service, the moment you think you’re really good at it is when you’re really not good at it.

You can’t teach culture.  You have to live it. You have to experience it.  You have to share it.  You have to show it.

When you have your customers writing love poems to you, you know you are doing a pretty good job.

Interested? Buy the book here!