A Minor Customer Experience Fail by Nordstrom


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Earlier this week my wife was trying to get some information about an online order she had placed with Nordstrom. She went to the live chat section of their site and started entering her question.

Nordstrom Live Chat

When she was finished explaining the circumstances regarding the order, she clicked the Send button and was greeted by this prompt:

Nordstrom Live Chat Message

This is User Experience 101 stuff. If you can only type a certain number of characters into a text field you have several options to help the user:

  1. Tell the user by simply stating the max number of characters somewhere on the form.
  2. Limit the number of allowable characters in the text box.
  3. Show a character counter (like twitter) to show how many characters you have left before you run out of space.
  4. Automatically truncate the field and confirm the submission with the user.

This really isn’t a big deal, except it’s Nordstrom. They pride themselves on remarkable customer service and experience. Every touchpoint matters, and it’s clear that this one hasn’t been closely examined.

It’s especially important to note that a customer is only coming here if they’re in need of assistance. That likely means there’s a problem. A bad user interface only amplifies the problem and enforces negative emotions about the brand. Shame on you Nordstrom, but I’ll let it slide just this once…especially since you were so helpful once we truncated our question to 250 characters.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tim Sanchez
ABIS Consulting Group
Tim Sanchez is dedicated to promoting remarkable customer experiences through leadership and personal development.


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