By Brooke Chaplan

Do you remember the first time you walked into a Nordstrom? In addition to being greeted by friendly salespeople, you probably noticed sparkling clean, marble floors, and boutique displays, all while you were serenaded with live, classical piano music. Nordstrom sets the gold standard as far as department stores are concerned, offering an unparalleled level of excellence for years. Here are three lessons small businesses can learn from Nordstrom, so you can transform your company into something beautiful.

The Importance of Customer Service

Nordstrom has long been prized for their impeccable customer service, but why? Although you might assume that the successful company simply stresses friendliness or asks employees to help customers walk their bags out to their cars, Nordstrom takes the customer experience to a whole other level. In addition to training their employees to focus on one-on-one experiences with visitors, the store also asks workers to walk your bagged purchases around the counter, instead of sliding your merchandise across a tabletop.

As a business you and your employees should always be focused on improving customer satisfaction. Talk to your workers and make sure they know the best ways of approaching new people, striking up meaningful conversations, and handling tricky situations.

Offering a Quality Product

Unlike other department stores, you won’t be able to find many shoddy products hanging on the racks of your local Nordstrom. This department store is notorious for providing high-quality, boutique products from great designers, and their employees take product issues seriously. Returns are promptly completed without question, and apologies are offered in the most sensitive and caring manner. These practices help customers to feel comfortable and valued, instead of defensive and angry.

Before you bring any product into your store, think carefully about whether or not you would actually use it yourself. Listen to the feedback your customers offer. If products aren’t up to par, change them. Taking care of your customers instead of accusing them of wrongdoing will help to build loyalty.


Nordstrom is also known for giving out great deals and discounts on their high-end and designer products. They often work with online coupon services like discountrue to give customers promotional codes and Nordstrom coupons for 20 percent off online. Their stores are great at offering exclusive sales and deals to loyal customers which brings them back to the brand again and again.

Make up a program that can serve and reward your biggest client base, and make sure they know they are appreciated. From exclusive sales, to a monthly newsletter, keep them up to date and in the loop with where your brand is headed.

Taking Care of Employees

In addition to offering high-end products and an unparalleled level of service, Nordstrom also focuses on taking good care of their employees. In addition to earning an average hourly wage of around $19 an hour, employees can earn benefits like life insurance, health insurance, and even retirement plans. This tender loving care creates employees that are happy to report to work, excited to do their jobs, and generous with customers.

Have a plan for your employees, whether it’s a better benefits package, a bonus structure, or free gifts and merchandise, making sure your workers are valued will decrease employee turnover and give you a little edge over the competition.

By paying attention to the litany of things that Nordstrom does right, you might be able to improve your brand, keep customers happy, and take care of your employees. Even as a small business just starting out, these tips can help take your brand to the next level.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.


Image courtesy of Nordstrom, Inc.