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Tru Blue: How one employee makes the customer experience memorable

I am always on the lookout for great customer experiences. Whether in a restaurant, my bank, or any retail environment, I look for individuals who make a difference. A new Mariano’s grocery store moved into my neighborhood in April of 2014. I like Mariano’s. It is where Whole Foods meets Jewel. The one near my house features fresh produce, delicious prepared foods and even boasts a wine, oyster and sushi bar. Oh yes, and there’s fresh flowers and a gelato bar downstairs. Pretty fancy stuff.

Trooper Tru McCray

Trooper Tru McCray

While all of these delights are great, what stands out most to me about my trips to Mariano’s is Trooper Tru McCray. Tru, as he goes by, is a lot captain, which means he manages the parking lot and makes sure grocery carts are organized and customers get assistance to their cars if they need it. 90% of the time I visit Mariano’s I run into Tru in the parking lot. No matter what the weather – rain, snow or sunshine – he warmly greets me as I enter the store, and when returning to my car he cheerfully asks if I need help. While I don’t think Tru necessarily recognizes me (he sees hundreds of customers every day) he makes me feel like I am a family member he hasn’t seen in a while. He is genuine, and that sticks with me.

Recently I stopped and introduced myself and complimented him on always having a great service attitude. Appreciative, he simply shared that his attitude is to always find a way to say “yes” to the customer and to keep an eye open for anyone who might need help. Tru said his goal is to make sure customers leave happy. Og Mandino once said, “Always render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.” From my view, Tru honors that perspective.

Tru has a background experience as an actor and musician and yet when he is at work he channels that same level of discipline and passion to his role as lot captain. I can’t say that I have seen that same level of consistent service ethic in all employees at Mariano’s, but Tru makes up for what may be lacking at other communication touch points.

When companies hire employees like Tru they are getting so much more than the skills necessary to manage the requirements of the job. They are getting someone with:

  • Commitment to the role
  • Personality and people skills
  • Great work ethic
  • Personal pride in what they do

W. Edwards Deming said, “Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your product or service, and that bring friends with them.” Today, I boast about the Tru Blue customer experience. Visit Mariano’s on Lawrence Ave. in Chicago and say hello to Tru! I promise, he’ll make it memorable.