There Will Be No Goodbye Ruby Tuesday (Customer Service Win!)

31 Mar
March 31, 2012

So my business partner has been doing his weekly management lunches at the local Ruby Tuesday for years.  He even drags me there from time to time.  Best attraction is the salad bar which feels free when you combine it with one of those mini-burger combos.  Of course the fries defeat the low-cal purpose.  Overall it’s been a reliable lunch place for the industrial park logo shirt crowd and he eats it up, so to speak.

Anyway, somebody must have decided to conduct employee training at Ruby Tuesday recently.  The staff was already pretty friendly, but obviously the new training department folks decided that names must be important.  So last week for lunch something new; the hostess introduces herself by name.  He’s seen her forever and never knew she actually had a name.  Then she asks for my partner’s first name and his guest’s and writes them on the ticket.  Smart.  She seats him and tells him that Sam will be the waiter.  Cue Sam.  Surprisingly, Sam isn’t some burly steelworker, she’s a petite and well informed server that greets the guests at the table by name.  Very nice.  She runs through the specials, though my partner already knows he wants the veggie pasta, which weighs in at an unbelievable 175 calories (how is that possible).  That’s how he says he keeps his butt skinny, Ruby’s pasta.  Seems to work.

Nice lunch.  Reasonable check.  And names.  What a concept.  Without being smarmy or pandering, Ruby’s little change to incorporate the use of names has my partner feeling that their customer service is worth commenting on to me, and I’m pretty sure he’s scared of me.  I’d say that he’s a pretty simple guy and he has no idea what customer service really is, but if you greet him by his name (Kent) you’ll have a raving fan.

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The Service Witch roams around with hidden cameras, and captures the good, bad and ugly of customer service. Then she discusses it. She also has minions out there doing the same thing. All over. You never know what they will catch. (@theservicewitch, @measurecp)

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2 replies
  1. Kimberley says:

    Years ago, when I worked at a Caribou Coffee, I had an awesome manager. Under her leadership, we strove to learn our customers’ names. We began making our regulars’ drinks when we saw their cars pull into the parking lot. By the time Gary walked in, his cappuccino was almost ready in its mug. Scott’s caramel highrise (with its two shots of caramel and six sugars!) was already underway by the time the drive-thru speaker beeped in our headsets. That service kept our customers coming back. It was that service that kept me coming back when I was a customer, and that service that made me want to work for this manager. It created a wonderful atmosphere!


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