Nordstrom Nails Service Recovery


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It’s no secret that Nordstrom is known for remarkable customer service. That’s why I was so surprised to find such a poor user experience while using their live chat support last week.

I wrote a quick post detailing the issue and received a response from Nordstrom via email the same day. I was pleased to receive an email from Nordstrom, but wasn’t too surprised after my experience with Gap had yielded similar results.

Adam Seede, Contact Center Director for Nordstrom, got in touch with me and sent a great email that nipped this issue in the bud. I am republishing it here with his consent.

Dear Tim,

I received a note from Tara regarding your feedback on our Live Chat entry screen. My palm print left on my forehead after reading your feedback is finally starting to fade away. I’m grateful that you pointed out our failure to communicate or note in any way the 250 character limit when entering a question in our Live Chat entry screen. I was comfortable that these things were user tested well before implementation and unfortunately this one doesn’t seem like it was. Interestingly, we’ve had this format for over a year and I think we just got lucky in that most initial questions were kept short. Either that, or impacted customers didn’t speak up. I’m glad that you did, and I’m on the fix as we speak. I’m in hopes that we can quickly implement a note after “Question” that speaks to the character limit, and I agree that a real-time character countdown while typing would be much better.

I know how instantly frustrating it is to articulate a concern only to see it either disappear due to a page time-out, or in this case, being alerted that you have to basically scrap it and start over. Thanks for not letting that be the breaking point of letting us serve you in the future. Our customers deserve a better experience than that, and I’ll see to it that we don’t overlook these details.

Let me know if I can help further; for now, I’m off to have other entry areas on our site double-checked for the same thing!

All the best,


Service Recovery Creates Loyalty

This is obviously a great response, but I wanted to take some extra time to break it down and point out several things Adam does exceedingly well in this email.

  1. He opens with humor while showing regret and embarrassment.
  2. He is thankful and grateful for the feedback.
  3. He assures me that action is already being taken.
  4. He empathizes with the situation.
  5. He thanks me again and enforces their commitment to customer experience.

It’s a great example of how service recovery can improve customer loyalty. It was so good in fact, that I bought a couple new pairs of pants from Nordstrom over the weekend to show my appreciation. Ok, they were having a sale, but still. :)

Interested in learning more about service recovery? Sign up for the VIP List and get my Angry to Evangelist ebook for free.

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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