The Greatest Retail Story Ever Told
A man walked into the Fairbanks, Alaska, Nordstrom department store with two snow tires. He approached the counter, put the tires down and asked for his money back. The clerk, who’d been working there for two weeks, saw the price on the side of the tires, reached into the cash register and handed the man $145.
It didn’t matter that Nordstrom sells upscale clothing and not tires. The customer wanted to return the tires. The clerk accepted the return because that is what the customer wanted.
The validity of this story has been argued for years. But it is absolutely true that Nordstrom’s has become synonymous with great customer service. No other retailer has achieved that marketing status. Whether or not the tire story is true doesn’t matter. What matters is that based on Nordstrom’s reputation of providing the best customer service people actually believe the story could be true.