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The Social Playing Field: Nordstrom Takes a Swing

Marie Rose
By Marie Rose on Aug 28, 2012 3:23:00 PM

When it comes to fashion specialty retailers, Nordstrom is one of the best. But how do they measure up when delivering social customer service? 

We have previously covered the popular retail company in “A Survey of the Largest US Retailers and Their Use of Social Media” where they were found to be the second most loved brand on social media.

As this was measured based on how many positive and negative comments were sent to brands on social media, this placed very high expectations on Nordstrom to deliver exceptional social customer service. Unfortunately, when the study was conducted in November 2011, we weren’t so taken with Nordstrom. Compared to the other brands we looked at, they were far behind in terms of social customer service. However, over the course of the year they’ve change their tune and have greatly improved their efforts to deliver customer service on social media.

While most brands gravitate primarily to one social network to deliver customer service, Nordstrom uses both Facebook and Twitter in equal measure. Their Facebook page – which has over 1,600,000 likes – provides links to their website, as well as their other social channels. Nordstrom uses Facebook for marketing and promotions, but they also answer all of the comments that are left for them by their fans. The social customer service team provides responses to all of the positive and negative comments that come in, whether it be about faulty merchandise, a poor in-store experience or how much a customer loves the new items they just bought. To provide a personal touch, each member of the social media team signs their name to the responses that they provide, never forgetting to thank the customers for shopping at Nordstrom.

On Twitter, Nordstrom makes an effort to respond to every tweet that comes their way. Interestingly, they provide the phone number for the customer service call center on the page, along with a list of the names of the four agents who make up their Twitter team. The messages that they receive to their Twitter handle are basically the same as those sent in on Facebook, but as the length of messages are limited on Twitter, their replies are more concise. To keep everything consistent, Nordstrom make sure to provide the same marketing messages on both Facebook and Twitter.

In terms of social customer service, Nordstrom have significantly improved in the last year. When we first looked at the company in our survey, we noted that they had an average social media response time of 1-4 hours. Looking at their Facebook and Twitter pages now, they seem to answer their messages in a matter of minutes.

There’s always room for improvement, and Nordstrom – despite being great a social customer service – are no exception to this rule. All too often, the social media teams will refer their customers to email and call centers to clear things up. Nordstrom could strive to keep social media interactions with their customers on the platform in which they began. If an issue that is posted publicly gets moved to a private setting, other customers are unable to see if the problem ever had a resolution. If there’s ever a need for a customer service issue to be moved to a private setting, it seems a private message could work just as well as an email.

In terms of social customer service, Nordstrom are truly all-stars at what they do. They are active on both Facebook and Twitter, and they reach out to every customer that tries to contact them.

Do you think that Nordstrom is a leader in social customer service? Are there any companies that you think do a great job in this field? Or are there any you think need a push in the right direction? We’re interested to hear your opinions in the comments below.

Got any suggestions for what you’d like to hear from us? Send your thoughts tomarie@conversocial.com or @conversocial. We’re always looking for new ideas.

Topics: Customer Service

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