When you grow up in Seattle, Washington like I did, you learn at a young age about Nordstrom’s superior return policy and customer care. The legend goes that a customer, dissatisfied with a set of automobile tires, returned them to Nordstrom and got a full refund. That doesn’t sound too odd until you realize that Nordstrom is a shoe and clothing store and does not sell tires.
The story has been around for years and there are varying versions of it. But regardless of how or if it happened, the story certainly helped promote their reputation for exceptional customer service.
The importance of customer service
Nordstrom originated in Seattle as a corner shoe shop in 1901. From the beginning, John Nordstrom’s business plan was to provide unprecedented attention to customer needs including quality in service and product selection. His goal was to provide value to his customers. The store’s reputation continued to grow and so did the business.
By 1960, the company had eight locations in Washington and Oregon and was the largest independent shoe chain in the country. In 1963, they ventured into providing clothing as well.
Today, Nordstrom has maintained their strong reputation for providing excellent customer service. In addition to their chain of stores in the USA, they’ve expanded into Canada. They also serve the online community where their stellar customer service continues to play an important role. They have a standing policy of no shipping or return fees anywhere in the country including Alaska and Hawaii.
I’m telling you this story to emphasize an important fact. No matter what type of business you’re in or how big or small your company may be, customer service is extremely important. It is just as important for self-employed freelance writers to go out of their way to treat their customers right as it is for a large corporation.
How can you build exemplary customer service into your freelance writing business?
You may not want to give a full refund for a set of tires, but there are some simple ways to provide good customer service to your clients. These nine ideas are a good place to start:
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