Robert Spector Profile

Robert Spector is one of America’s leading experts on customer experience and employee experience. He is the author of the business classic The Nordstrom Way: The Inside Story of America’s Number One Customer Service Company. BusinessWeek says, “For anyone looking to understand customer service at its best, this book bubbles with insights.”

The all-new Third Edition is The Nordstrom Way to Customer Experience Excellence: Creating a Values-Driven Service Culture, which Forbes selected as the “Top Business Book of 2017.”
Robert gives entertaining keynotes to a vast array of companies, organizations, trade associations, conventions, corporate retreats, governmental agencies, non-profits, and special meetings in 27 countries.

He was recently included in the “100 Best Keynote Speakers” by DataBird Research Journal. His other books include Get Big Fast—the definitive story of the company, which has been translated into 18 languages, and The Mom & Pop Store: True Stories From the Heart of America, a memoir of practical customer service lessons learned working in his immigrant’s family’s butcher shop.

Robert contributes articles to many publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He is a frequent guest on national and local television, radio, and Internet programs, and is quoted in publications throughout the world. He is currently working on a new book, The Seattle Effect, which catalogs the customer-focus of Seattle-based icons Nordstrom, Amazon, Starbucks, Costco, Boeing, Microsoft, Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), and Pearl Jam.

Robert Spector Speaking Videos

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Robert Spector's Speech Descriptions

    The Ultimate Customer Experience Keynote Program
    Robert Spector’s dynamic and engaging keynote program explains (in story form) the principles of the world-class customer service cultures he has written about in his books, including, Starbucks, and Nordstrom. This program sets the stage for creating, encouraging, and sustaining a superior customer service experience. We will customize our program(s) to the needs and goals of your organization. We are flexible with the length of presentations and the curriculum.

    The Nordstrom Way Principles of Customer Service Excellence
    Through vivid storytelling and examples, Robert takes the audience on a tour of the 10 principles that comprise "The Nordstrom Way".

    Creating and Telling Your Company Story
    Developing a compelling narrative about who you are, how you started, what you stand for, and your purpose and vision, is the foundation for building an authentic and powerful company culture and brand. Learn how to tell your story to your employees, and infuse your culture with that story. Then discover how that story can be reflected outward to your customers in meaningful ways.

    Building a Culture of Customer Service Excellence
    World-class customer experiences are created from the inside of an organization out. Discover a wealth of ideas for creating a great customer service culture.

    Multi-Channel Touchpoints
    Today’s customers want companies to know them – their preferences, their purchases, their history, and their credit card numbers—across all channels.
    They want the same brand experience whether in store, online or on the phone. The customers who spend the most money and shop the most often tend to shop multi-channel. Learn how to create a seamless customer service experience.

    Creating Great Customer Experiences
    To create the ultimate customer experience, you
    must view your business through the eyes of your customer. Would you want to be a customer of
    your organization? Learn how to deliver a consistently inviting, helpful and easy experience
    across all touchpoints. It’s more than generating quality transactions, it’s about building lasting

What People are Saying about Seeing Robert Speak

Rating Entries

    …I wanted to personally take a moment to express my gratitude for your excellent presentation…We hope that there will be an occasion for you to join our roster of industry leaders again in the near future…
    J.D. Power III President
    J.D. Power and Associates

    … The response we′ve received from our customers to your comments regarding customer service has been overwhelming…
    Robert Lee
    Pacific Bell

    …The department heads were very impressed with the facts you presented. Many of them thanked me, afterwards, and told me how motivated they felt after listening to you…
    John P. McGee
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Solaris Health System

    …Throughout the conference numerous attendees commented on your presentation and its importance to their everyday business. Thank you for reminding them that customer service is more than just talk it is really being of service…
    C. Arlene Davis
    CASI – Convenient Automotive Services Institute

    …From the feedback we have received, the audience thoroughly enjoyed your presentation …
    Diane Donohue
    America West Show Director
    America West – Regional Newspaper Operations and Technology Conference

    … Thank you for sharing your knowledge of the Nordstrom experience at our conference.
    Mark L. Franczek
    Manager – Dealer Programs
    Cadillac Motor Car Division – General Motors Corporation

    …Every year our presentations and presenters consistently vary in style and information, but the one constant is the high quality and informative aspect of each presenter and presentation. I′m sure that most everyone who attended walked away with new ideas and eager to receive more information…
    Patti Costello
    Director of Education
    ASHE – American Society for Healthcare Engineering

    …You did an outstanding job and I know our members received valuable information from your Power Breakfast presentation. . .
    Sandy G. Hanlon, CTP
    Director of Education
    National Tour Association, Inc.

    … Your very down to earth presentation of Nordstrom′s extremely successful strategy helps your audience to feel like they too can accomplish this high standard of customer service… You definitely ′walk the talk′ when it comes to your Customer Service philosophy! …
    Susan S. Wiggins
    Vice President, Stakeholder Relations
    W. C. Bradley Co.

    … Your presentation made a major impact, and we know your contribution was a significant reason why so many of our members said this was the best annual meeting ever. Good luck to you in your endeavors and your outstanding work. Your words will not be easily forgotten.
    Kathy A. Marshall
    Associate Executive Director
    WAHA – WA Association of Homes for the Aging

    … You are a true professional and your knowledge about customer service is something that every industry should attain…
    Kim Edmondson
    Account Executive
    Turner Broadcasting

    …I enjoyed your presentation very much and, judging from the discussions and feedback I heard from others who attended, I think you made a great impression on this savvy group of marketers…
    Alan D. Lambert
    Director of Marketing
    (SMPS/Region V Director)
    Wood / Harbinger, Inc.
    Consulting Engineers

    …Anyone with a customer or client can learn from Nordstrom′s philosophy and practices. Your research into the who, why, and how that make it work is fascinating. It is gratifying to know there is an expert on the subject who can share the magic with the rest of us…You are an ideal way to access “The Nordstrom Way”
    Rich Jernstedt
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Golin/Harris Communications, Inc.

    …Thank you for being with us at our Seminar in Tahoe. Many, many people commented on the insightfulness of your presentation… . . Thanks for helping kickoff what was our best seminar in the history of our Association.
    Doug Ross
    President ECPA – Evangelical Christian Publishers Association

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Books by Robert Spector:

    The Nordstrom Way to Customer Experience Excellence: Creating a Values-Driven Service Culture
    The fully revised and updated edition of the classic book about Nordstrom’s extraordinary customer service

    In this new edition of the management classic, the authors explore in-depth the core values of the culture that have made Nordstrom synonymous with legendary customer service. These essential values have enabled Nordstrom to survive and adapt to dramatic market shifts regularly since 1901, and the new edition explains how the Nordstrom approach can be emulated by any organization—in any industry—in every corner of the world. This is not a book about selling shoes or clothes or cosmetics or jewelry. It is a book about how underlying values such as respect, trust, compensation and, even fun, are the building blocks of a culture where employees are empowered to consistently deliver a world-class experience to customers.

    Nordstrom believes that the employee experience determines the customer experience, and that when you attract and reward people who are comfortable in a service-oriented culture, then everyone succeeds—both individually and collectively. No wonder Nordstrom is one of only five companies to make Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” and “Most Admired” lists every year since those surveys have been taken.

    With new interviews from senior Nordstrom executives and family members, the book explains how to successfully respond to today’s tech-savvy, time-crunched customers who demand a convenient, seamless, painless, personal experience across all channels. Nordstrom gives its frontline people all the digital tools necessary to satisfy the customer—and your organization must do the same, if it wants to adapt.

    The authors show what it takes to earn brand loyalty, lead through change and uncertainty, and combine extraordinary brick-and-mortar with online experiences.

    ‘The single most important reason we try to provide great service is this: It enables us to sell more,’ says co-president Blake Nordstrom, great-grandson of the founder. ‘The best way for our company to achieve results is to do what’s best for the customer.’

    The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: The Handbook For Becoming the “Nordstrom” of Your Industry

    Virtually every company wants to be the Nordstrom of their industry. Nordstrom is one of only five companies to make Fortune′s “best companies to work for” and “most admired” list every year the surveys have been taken. Despite its position in the hard-hit retail sector, Nordstrom, with 193 stores in 28 states, never experienced a quarterly loss during the recent economic downturn. The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service, Second Edition explains what every business can learn from the world′s most famous customer-service-driven company.

    “The Nordstrom Way shows the direct link between empowering your employees and creating a long-term relationship with your customers. More businesses should follow Nordstrom′s example.”
    Howard Schultz, Chairman, Starbucks Coffee

    Order Here Get Big Fast
    Inside The Revolutionary Business Model That Changed The World

    by Robert Spector

    The growth of has become a symbol of the vast possibilities of Internet commerce – a business story replete with leadership lessons.

    It is universally acknowledged that set the standards for buying, selling, bidding and trading on the Internet. takes readers inside the process, explaining how the company tailored existing technology to suit its needs and developed its own software when “off-the-shelf” products wouldn′t do. Robert Spector examines the life of′s overachieving founder, Jeff Bezos. Going beyond the media hype, Spector introduces a man ho not only has a grand plan, but the skills and imagination to implement it.

    The story becomes more compelling as the company finds itself under attach by formerly Internet-challenged retailers, online startups, and by impatient investors waiting for the company to turn a profit. Based on exclusive interviews with investors and former employees who were there at the creation and development of the company, provides readers an invaluable look into what Bezos and his team have accomplished and what the future holds for the online giant. Most importantly, however, it tells readers how they cans tart right now to “get big fast.”

    Professor Philip Kotler of Northwestern University called the book “a business history classic”, and Patricia Seybold, author of CUSTOMERS.COM said, “This is a must read for any serious player in the Internet Economy. Jeff Bezos′s fanatical focus on the total customer experience is the key takeaway.”

    Click here to learn more about this book and to order it securely online from When the screen comes up, simply click “add it to your shopping cart” to order.

    The Nordstrom Way : The Inside Story of America′s # 1 Customer Service Company
    by Robert Spector

    THE NORDSTROM WAY: The Inside Story of America′s #1 Customer Service Company is the first and only up-close and personal look at how this company became the national standard of customer service. Written with the input of top Nordstrom management and sales personnel, the book spent 17 weeks on the Business Week Bestseller List, and was nominated for the Booz Allen Hamilton/Financial Times Global Business Award. It has been translated into Japanese, Korean and Mandarin Chinese.

    Click here to learn more about this book and to order it securely online from When the screen comes up, simply click “add it to your shopping cart” to order.

    Praise for THE NORDSTROM WAY

    “Nobody does it better than Nordstrom. And this is the first thorough, close-up look at its service secrets. A real winner!”
    Tom Peters

    “Nordstrom is legendary for the way they take care of the people who walk through their doors. Spector has made The Nordstrom Way available for everyone to turn their ducks into eagles.”
    Ken Blanchard, co-author, The One Minute Manager

    “Outstanding customer service and Nordstrom are synonymous. Their innovative approach has allowed them to find out what the customers want and then do it. Their standards of service are what we all shoot for.”
    David Glass, CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc

    “Nordstrom is a national model for outstanding customer service. American business should use this book as a primer to learn how to make and keep happy, satisfied customers.”
    J. Willard Marriott, Jr., Chairman and President, Marriott International, Inc.

    “When you run a family business that includes your customers as extended family, you′re unbeatable. This book outlines an American family saga that has become the admiration of the world.”
    Leonard A. Lauder, President and CEO, Estee Lauder Companies

    “Nordstrom′s business is built on one-to-one communication with the customer. Their professional salespeople bridge the gap between the designer and the consumer.”
    Donna Karan, Design and Chief Executive Officer, Donna Karan Company

    “This book documents in rich detail the marvelous ingredients in the stew that makes The Nordstrom Way so outstandingly successful. It hammers home the underlying truth: You must make the decision to trust people as customers and as employees. This pervades every aspect of Nordstrom described in this very readable book.”
    Donald Petersen, retired chairman, Ford Motor Company

    The Nordstrom Waytakes an unusual look at the direct link between empowering your employees and creating a long-term sustainable relationship with your customers. More businesses should follow this example.”
    Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO, Starbucks Coffee Company

    “…for anyone looking to understand customer service at its best, this book bubbles with customer service insights.”
    Business Week

    “…shows how Nordstrom provides a culture that empowers employees and gives them the flexibility to be a ′company of entrepreneurs.”

    “You don′t have to be a department store operator to be inspired by and pick up ideas from The Nordstrom Way. The approach has relevance to any kind of company for whom complete customer satisfaction is important.”
    MaxiMarketing Insights

    “If you′ve ever been a customer, you′ve probably experienced poor service. Robert Spector has written a book to help with this problem.”
    Memphis Business Journal

    “Highly recommended for any business collection.”
    Library Journal

    “The authors vividly illustrate the fine points of the customer-service strategy that has made Nordstrom one of the most respected and feared retail powerhouses in the United States.”
    Training & Development Magazine

    “The secrets of the Nordstroms′ success are spelled out in The Nordstrom Way.”
    Sales & Marketing Management

    “Laced with anecdotes…the voices of the salespeople speak clearly through the pages…. Shows how American business change in order to succeed in the ′90s.”
    Positive Impact

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