Bloggy Moms

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Spreading Awareness at the Local Mall

This is how I spread awareness at my local fancy mall store.  I changed the names of all of the people and the name of our city but not the name of the store.

Sent: Monday, August 18, 2014
To: Bridgeford Store Manager

Subject: Children's Shoe Dept. Experience

Ms. Trout,
I wanted to let you know about two incidents that happened to my 10 year old daughter and I while shopping at your store on Saturday, August 16, 2014.
The first incident occurred as we were exiting the second floor elevators. My daughter was struggling to break a plastic tag from some hand sanitizer that she had purchased elsewhere a few hours previously. Gabby, who is cc'd in this email, noticed what was happening and told her to come with her so that she could cut the tag off. I followed closely behind as most moms would. What happened next was remarkable but not for a store like yours where we know you strive for excellent customer service. The department that Gabby took us to was Individualist. My daughter, Princess, wanted Gabby to try out her new hand sanitizer. Gabby agreed to try it and declared it to be the best smelling hand sanitizer ever. Then my daughter shared it with the rest of the salesladies in that department. Two things really stood out about our encounter there: 1) Not one lady turned her down. They all oohed and ahhed along with my daughter. 2) I do not shop in that department and my daughter is not old enough to but that didn't seem to matter. It was about Nordstrom customers getting the Nordstrom experience.
Before I share the next incident I wanted to share a little something about my daughter. No one can tell this because it may not seem so glaringly obvious but my daughter suffers from multiple disabilities. The three most prominent ones are Bipolar Disorder, ADHD and PDD-NOS, a mild form of Autism. Last year at this time she had four hospital stays at several area behavioral hospitals. I am happy to report that we have seen incredible stability in her since October. She still has her moments though when things become overwhelming.
After getting some lunch and trying on shoes at another store in the mall, we returned to Nordstrom to purchase shoes there for my daughter. She had asked to return to Nordstrom because, "We always find the shoes I like there." Luckily for us the children's shoe department was not as busy as it had been a few hours previously. An older lady with blond hair greeted us. She had helped us on a few occasions prior to this. She'd always been super patient with my daughter who gets easily distracted and has sensory issues which can make finding the perfect pair of comfy shoes a challenge. She could see that we were still looking so she said that she'd be back to check on us in a few minutes. When we finally chose a few pairs to try on, she was still in the back. Another young saleslady wearing a black fedora hat, came over to us and asked us if she could help us. I informed her that we were looking for the blond lady but she said it would be OK if she helped us. Well it wasn't. Shortly after my daughter started to try on the shoes, the blond saleslady came out. She came right over to me and said something like, "I thought I was going to help you. I just went in the back for a few minutes." As you can imagine I was perplexed as to how to handle this tricky situation. Since my daughter was so far having no issues and I did not want to cause a scene, we just carried on. Truthfully I almost left your store right then. I did not like being put in the position that I was in. The only reason why I did not was because Princess seemed to be doing well and appeared unaware of the whole situation. After Princess decided on a pair of shoes, we paid for them and headed straight to your customer service department to speak to someone about this.
Imagine my surprise and delight when Gabby was paged and arrived within a few minutes. During our entire encounter a few hours previous she never once told us that she was the acting store manager. It was not important to her. She just wanted to help us out. Well I told her what about what you have just read here. She apologized for my unpleasant experience. She said that I should not have been put in the middle of that situation. She informed me that she would let children's shoe department manager know about the incident.
One thing that Gabby and I chatted about was that when my daughter and I had gone to another shoe store before coming back to Nordstrom, the salespeople there were not concerned with commission. It was about customer service. If my daughter had liked the way a pair of their shoes had felt, we would have purchased from them. After my experience at your store on Saturday, I'll be hesitant to try again but I will because I know that everyone has an off day.
I have been a loyal customer for years. I remember when the Bridgeford Mall was built and I used to ride my bike to it as a young teenager. I am hopeful that you'll hire more people like Gabby and foster all the things that she is doing right and less of what we experienced in the children's shoe department.
I may be reached at the above email address if needed. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
Mrs. Princess Momma

This was the response I received no freebies or discounts but an apology nonetheless.

August 19, 2014
Good Afternoon Mrs. Princess Momma,

How awful your experience was. First, I want to extend my most sincere apologies to you. We failed miserably in not treating you with the customer service you expect and deserve while you were in our Kid's Shoes department, an experience that should be fun and welcoming from the very beginning to the end.  I offer no excuses as to why my sales associates treated you in such a manner and please know, I take this very seriously and will meet with each member working that day.  This is not acceptable and is not how we wish for anyone's experience to be while shopping in our store. For this to happen, again, I am very sorry.

I do feel very thankful for your encounter with Gabby Cool, our Jewelry Manager and Acting Store Manager.  I am happy to hear that she was able to give you and your daughter the experience you deserve while being in our store. While we would not expect anything less from any of our managers at Nordstrom, it is nice to hear the level of appreciation from you.  To further learn of the sentimental value how it made your daughter feels makes her act of genuine kindness all the more exceptional.  I will recognize Gabby for her efforts. She is certainly a shining example of what we stand for and we will recognize and thank her for her continued customer service.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your entire experience with us. While I cannot change the experience you had, I will ensure this does not happen in the future.  You could have just as easily not brought his to our attention and I would never know. Thank you for caring enough to share with me so that I can correct these behaviors.

Again, my sincere apologies to you.  My manager of Kid's Shoes is copied on this communication. I would like her to follow up with you as well in the next few days.


Katy Trout
Store Manager

 A side note-One of the main reasons we stayed is that Princess was oblivious to much of what happened. She was having a fabulous day and was super cooperative. Had we left the store without the shoes, it may have been tricky to get her to come back.  I realized a few days later that she didn’t even ask for the traditional balloon that this department hands out. Maybe she did notice I was a bit stressed and chose not to ask for it.
Side note 2- I chose to tell the manager about my daughter’s dx’s to show her and her staff that my child had hidden disabilities. They need to be aware of these so that they know the impact their store can potentially have on my daughter and I. Perhaps they’ll recognize the subtle signs and give a little extra TLC and patience to them. 
I'll post an update if I hear back from the Kids' Shoe manager. 

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