When people inside a company are kind to each other, they will be kind to the customers.
The entirety of the Nordstrom Employee Handbook fits on a single 5×8 card and involves exactly one rule. Here is Rule #1: “Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.”
No wonder Nordstrom’s image and brand is built on heroic stories of above-and-beyond service and problem solving. Sometimes those stories even involve the airlines. In one case, an employee discovered that a customer had left her luggage (along with her flight itinerary) in the parking lot of a Nordstrom store in Connecticut. So he hopped in his car, drove her luggage to JFK, and reached her before the flight left. There’s no rule that can foresee that kind of problem or response!
Truth be told, life inside most giant organizations is much closer to the rules-obsessed culture of the big airline than the common-sense freedoms of a high-end retailer. Have you ever tried to explain your special family circumstances to a health insurance provider?