On Friday evening, around 8:30, I received an email from the VP of Customer Experience at Nordstrom. The email read:
My name is Fanya Chandler and I wanted to introduce myself. I work at Nordstrom and I support a team of people who work hard to help make customers like you feel your best every time you visit our stores.
I read your blog post and wanted to reach out because the things you bring up about our fitting rooms and how they can be better really resonated with our team here at Nordstrom. I’m sorry we’ve disappointed you.
We realize that our fitting rooms are, as I like to say, where magic happens. It’s pretty simple — when you’ve got on great-fitting clothes, you feel good. At the same time, we know that our fitting rooms can also be a place of vulnerability for many people. We’ve all experienced walking into a fitting room with clothes that look great on a hanger but just don’t work and we all know that not everything looks great on everyone. But in reading your thoughts, that’s not really the issue here. As a retailer, we’ve got a responsibility to offer you the best possible environment that will in turn give you the best possible opportunity to look and feel your best. If clothes don’t fit right it’s one thing. But if bad lighting or a terrible mirror is what’s hindering your chance to feel beautiful, comfortable and confident in what you are trying on, we’ve let you down. Seems as though we have and we apologize for that.
We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about our fitting rooms and over the past few years have made a lot of improvements. Admittedly, it’s still a work in progress to get just the right combination that meets the needs of all our customers. But we’ve made a lot of changes that we feel good about already. In all of our Wedding Suites, for example, we’ve been testing a completely new fitting room environment with updated lighting, mirrors and fabrics. All of our new stores that open in 2014 will have what we hope is the best (and most flattering) lighting possible. We’re also focusing our efforts on improving all of our other existing stores and non-Wedding Suite departments. Some have had some lighting upgrades, but we still have a lot more work to do in this regard. Getting better here is high on our radar.
Thanks for sharing your concerns. We always appreciate hearing from customers so we can understand where we need to make improvements. We hope you’ll give us the opportunity to be better so you can always leave our store feeling great.
You know what this said to me? That Nordstrom is undoubtedly the best department store in America. Although my open letter was meant to be just like everything else I post (a funny, entertaining piece of word vomit from my brain), it ended up going viral via Thought Catalog. And, in result, caught the attention of Nordstrom itself, which then led to Fanya reaching out to me.
Just this morning, I wrote Fanya back and I wanted to share my response with everyone so no one is having sleepless nights, wondering how this epic story ends:
So, basically, Nordstrom has proven yet again that it’s the best department store in the world.
I am floored that you reached out to me. It speaks volumes about the way you and your company conduct business when it comes to customers. I actually worked for Nordstrom as my very first job, back when I was 16. I was just a lowly cashier girl at the time in BP, but it made an impact on my overall work ethic and ability to deliver great customer service throughout the years, no matter the job.
I want you to know that my blog post, although very truthful to my feelings, was mainly meant to be a funny, entertaining piece for the masses to read. I have had issues with the dressing room situation for years, but not to the point of banning Nordstrom from my shopping repertoire – no, no. I still absolutely love Nordstrom and shop there regularly. I just have to give myself a “it’s not you – it’s them” pep talk before entering the dressing rooms. It’s true – the dressing room situation isn’t ideal. I am well aware of my flaws and how my body looks, but seeing all that in florescent lighting makes it that much worse. That’s really my only gripe, and it’s very exciting and uplifting to hear renovations are in the works to better this.
Seriously, thank you so much again for reaching out to me. I am undoubtedly a customer for life – just had a moment and needed to vent it out for all to read.
And there you have it, folks. Trying to better the dressing room situations in department stores across the Americas is just a day in life, I guess. You’re welcome.