Thursday, January 27, 2011

Handbag Blues

So I bought that purse, right? Discovered on Saturday a hole in it. It happens. Luckily, I thought to myself in the parking lot of the Fred Meyer, I bought it at Nordstrom.

Nordstrom has fantastic customer service. Anyone who lives near one and has ever shopped there knows this. They are simply perfection. Almost to a fault - a couple of Anniversary Sales ago I bought a bag, used it daily for a year, chock full of the crap I seem to need to cart around, and finally one day the strap broke. I called Nordstrom immediately to find out if I could have it repaired, and the salesperson told me to bring it in and they'd have a look. I did. It was pretty thrashed, so they said they would just refund my money. What?

I'd carried it for a YEAR. Full of CRAP. HEAVY. Purse abuse. I tried to tell them no, that I'd certainly got my money's worth, but they weren't having it. Back on to the Nordstrom card went a full credit, so I promptly took my new-found riches and bought a pair of pants.

So you can imagine my loyalty.

The thing is, customer service is a complete phantom anymore. There's no such thing. Seriously. It doesn't matter where you go, how you act, what you need, how you ask for it, how much you smile. People in the service industry today just don't give good service. Checkers are surly, telephone numbers only lead to infobots with no hope of getting a live person, live person telephone lines are fed offshore where they just read off a script and don't really get the concept. Nobody cares anymore, and nobody wants to do a good deed. Or offer a suggestion. Or apologize for your unpleasant experience with their company or product. I'm sick of it. It's a bandwagon I refuse to jump on, because I decided long ago that I will always be like Nordstrom.

Sad that we live in a society today that is genuinely surprised when someone provides them with good customer service. It's disheartening to know that when you are faced with having to call a company the odds are good you will hang up after the call defeated, frustrated and oftentimes angry. How hard is it to provide decent service? Does it take that much of an effort to put a little personality into a phone call or a sales transaction? Or to return a phone call when you say you will? I would imagine it's harder to avoid the person who needs your service.. but then again, I couldn't imagine treating my customers they way I am routinely treated.

It's kind of a bummer, this post.

I was supposed to get my replacement bag via UPS today, but the label Nordstrom put on the box ended up not showing my company name, and since I am not always in this office, they couldn't figure out where to deliver it. The UPS guy did really try to figure out how to help me, but his hands were somewhat tied. I tried to take the burden off my Bag Lady at Nordstrom by tracking it myself, but the UPS system wouldn't let me add my own suite number to the label. In the end, my Bag Lady took care of it, and the bag will arrive tomorrow.

Because Nordstrom rocks, and everyone else needs to take a lesson.


At 6:07 AM, January 29, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you shopped on Zappos? Oh my God. Shoes, bags. Be still my heart. And they should teach Customer Service to businesses around the world. They're neck and neck with Nordstrom's, and maybe out front, even. Plus free delivery and returns, and often second (or next) day delivery. Can't beat it.

I heard once that years ago a man brought a bad tire into Nordstrom's, wanting his money back. They explained they didn't sell tires. He wanted his money back. The store manager was called to talk to him. And of course, the manager refunded his money.

Did it really happen? I don't know. But I do know given their Customer Service, I wouldn't doubt that it did. And like you, I'll shop there forever.

There you go.



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