Webinar: How to Grow Your Practice with Ruby

Have you ever worried that your phone experience might be letting your clients down?

Or that you’re losing cases due to missed calls? Have you wondered if you could get more done without adding headcount?

That’s where Ruby comes in. We understand the importance of establishing trust and building relationships with your clients, and we are here to help you do just that, one happy caller and live chat at a time! You get the freedom to focus on casework, court dates, and client meetings while we win you more clients.

To get the full scoop, check out our most recent “How to Grow Your Practice” webinar recording!

Get the recording

The Perks of Porting

Have you ever wished you could return customer’s calls and text messages from your cell phone without sharing your personal number?  Now, with Ruby’s Choose Your Caller ID feature, you don’t need a second device or a VoIP service with spotty quality to do just that. By porting your business number to Ruby, having a business and personal number all in one device is finally possible (and super easy)!

When we host your business number, you can make calls and text from your business number on your cell phone through Ruby’s app (available for iPhone and Android). When you dial out or send a message with this feature, your contacts will see your business number and your cell phone number will stay private.

For small business owners, there is often little to no divide between work and a personal life. With a Ruby-hosted number, you get to maintain a little separation in keeping your personal number private and driving call traffic to your company’s business line. Even when you’re out and about, calling from the app lets you maintain your professional presence from wherever you are. No need to be tied to in-office phone equipment or a second business-only cell phone. All you need to run your business is your personal device and the Ruby app!

In addition to the Choose Your Caller ID feature, having a Ruby-hosted business number empowers you to turn your Ruby service on and off with a single tap in the Ruby app. Forward and unforward your calls to align with the rhythm of your daily schedule, or quickly activate your receptionist service to accommodate life’s surprises.

Curious to learn more about the power of porting? Reach out to our Customer Success team to get all of the details at 866-611-7829 (RUBY).


Webinar: How to Grow Your Business with Ruby

Nothing sends a prospective customer into the arms of your competitor like failing to pick up when they (literally) come to call. How much revenue are you losing in missed calls?

Sure, it’s easy to see the value in providing an exceptional phone experience for your current and potential customers alike—but where do you find the time to answer every single call that comes through when you’re trying to run a business?

Enter Ruby Receptionists. More than an answering service, Ruby delights callers and helps you win business, one happy caller at a time.

We pick up when you can’t (plus a lot of other cool stuff).

Curious? Get the full scoop from our recent webinar!

Get the recording

New Ways to Stay Connected: Texting and Voicemail Transcription

When we asked our customers what features they would most like to see from Ruby, there were two very clear frontrunners—the ability to text from their business number and read their voice messages. We heard that together, these features would streamline the flow of communication and save time for our busy customers, helping them focus on growing and running their businesses. Today we couldn’t be more excited announce their release!

Texting isn’t just for friends and family anymore. It’s fast, familiar, and convenient, so it’s no surprise that today’s consumers want to do business through texting as well. With the Ruby mobile app you can use the cell phone you already have to send and receive SMS messages from your business number, giving you one more method to engage your existing customers and win new ones. The best part? You’ll never have to share your direct cell number with the outside world unless you want to, so you can keep your personal number private while you run your business. Texting is available in the Ruby mobile app to the Ruby account administrator, and it is included in all Ruby plans.

Speaking of running a business, every moment counts in the busy world of entrepreneurship. A few seconds here, a minute there. They add up! With Ruby’s Voicemail Transcription feature, you’ll be able to read your voicemails and see which ones are important before you spend time listening to them, helping you focus on the things that matter most. Voicemail Transcription is available in the Ruby app and my.callruby.com for all new voice messages.

We’re constantly building new products and features that will make your day run smoothly and help you stay connected to your customers, and we certainly aren’t done yet! Stay on the lookout for these and other exciting changes from Ruby.


What is a Virtual Receptionist?

what is a virtual receptionist

Before the dawn of the digital age, there was only one way for businesses to connect with customers over the phone—someone had to physically pick up the receiver to answer the call.

Nowadays, between phone trees and auto-attendants, employees and business owners need not worry about a ringing phone and can rest assured that callers will have the pleasure of pressing “0” until their thumb falls off.

Or, hang up the moment they hear a recording on the other end of the line. And then return to their Google search, immediately clicking to call a competitor.

Ooooh, plot twist.

While automation may be a game changer for efficiency, in today’s high-tech world, human interaction is more valuable than ever.

Which is good to know, but can you sacrifice the work you do to run your biz to answer every call that comes through?

Nope. You sure can’t.

But what if you were able to offer a customer service experience that sets you apart, while also focusing on the needs of your company?


Behold, the virtual receptionist.

What does a virtual receptionist do?

Virtual receptionists work remotely, offering callers the opportunity to connect with a real, live person that represents your business. Unlike automated phone systems, virtual receptionists delight callers and customers while performing tasks an in-house hire would do, such as:

  • answering and transfering calls
  • taking messages
  • relaying and collecting information on your behalf
  • making outbound calls
  • answering FAQs
  • scheduling appointments

So, at a fraction of the cost of an on-site employee, virtual receptionists come packing the same punch, plus a little extra. With the manpower of a full, highly trained team, 100% of your calls are answered, your receptionist is never sick, on vacation, or late, and every caller receives the same stellar service.

How do they do it?

A little bit of tech magic and loads of coffee.

While the above statement is absolutely true and I am tempted to just leave you with that, here is a quick break down of what this process looks like for you, your virtual receptionist, and your caller:

  1. Prospective (or current) Customer Calls: A caller dials your published number and the call rings through to your virtual receptionist service.
  2. Warmly Greeted by a Receptionist: Using your custom greeting, virtual receptionists pick up the phone to say hello.
  3. Receptionist Takes Action: Equipped with training and your personalized call handling instructions, receptionists will either forward the call to your preferred line, take a message, or offer the caller voicemail.
  4. You Stay Connected: Can’t take the call? A message will arrive shortly after your caller and receptionist have disconnected to fill you in on what you missed.

In addition to picking up when you can’t, look for the virtual receptionist companies that merge the advantages of technology with a human touch. From handy mobile apps that put the power of the front desk at your fingertips to hosting your business line, the best services offer a suite of comprehensive features that integrate seamlessly into your day.

Is it right for me?

Excellent question.

Let’s answer this query with…more questions.

  • What are your aspirations for your business? If you’re looking to grow, missed calls are missed opportunities. You never know when your next big customer will phone in.
  • How much potential revenue have you already lost to voicemail?
  • How do you value your customer experience? Between balancing the many duties of a business owner, are you able to pay proper attention to your touchpoints?

If you’re feeling it and plan to start scoping out your options, make sure you select the service that fits your unique needs. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of q’s to ask your top VR contenders:

  1. Will my calls be answered live? (Because what is the point, if not?)
  2. What is the average ring time per call?
  3. What services are included?
  4. How are the receptionists monitored? (Unhappy receptionists = unhappy callers.)
  5. How can I update my call preferences? (Is it easy? Or just creates more fuss?)
  6. How will I be charged? (Better to clear the air right from the start.)

With companies like Ruby® Receptionists waiting in the wings to wow your callers and empower you with the freedom to focus, there is no reason to lose out on potential work or sour your relationships with customers due to a lackluster client experience.

After all, if you’re constantly reassuring customers that their calls are important to you…are they really?



We made a little something for you. Not a super big deal, just a really useful checklist to help you evaluate virtual receptionist services.

Take Me There


Improvements to Your Ruby Call Activity

Here at Ruby, we’ve made some exciting changes based on customer feedback to bring even more call data to your fingertips.

Next time you check the app or website, you’ll see all outbound and forwarded calls right alongside your receptionist handled activity. That’s right! Every business call record in one place.

We’ve made it easier than ever to see your latest activity at a glance by showing the caller’s name, call type, and a timestamp on the Home screen of the app, as well as the site’s dashboard!

And not only that—we’ve simplified the app’s navigation and brought forward a feature that customers are using most—the dialpad. Look for it in the bottom center of your screen.

Check it out!

Of course, we couldn’t be happier to bring you these updates, but we won’t stop there! We know that for many small businesses, texting is an essential communication strategy and a growing trend. To ensure our customers have everything they need to stay connected, we’re launching the ability to text from your business number in the coming months. Stay tuned for this announcement, and much more!

Happy Calling!

Download our Mobile App

Download the Ruby iphone app Download the Ruby android app

Lessons Learned: Ruby’s 15 Years

Ruby Receptionists Birthday

June 2, 2018, marks 15 years in business for Ruby® Receptionists and I can hardly believe it. I’m incredibly grateful for the amazing customers and employees who brought us to this milestone! To celebrate our anniversary, I’m sharing some pivotal lessons I have learned during each of these wonderful years. Whether you’re running a business, prepping to launch a startup, or dreaming of an entrepreneurial future, I hope these reflections help you on your journey!

2003: Great service really does win business.

When I started Ruby, I really did think we were here to help small businesses by taking an essential task (answering and handling phone calls) off their plates. Having been a receptionist myself in a former career, I thought being nice, listening, and doing whatever we possibly could to provide a helpful experience was simply table stakes to answering phone calls. But our customers spoke early and often—they let us know the Ruby caller experience was making a difference in their business’ success. They stuck around and referred new business to us. Today, customer referrals remain the top source of customers for us, and it brings me great personal joy to know we are helping other businesses grow by keeping alive that personal caller experience.

Bonus lesson: Don’t put your coffee machine, your microwave, and your telecommunications server on the same circuit.

2004: Cash and financial management is a matter of survival.

As much as we were off to the races with our WOW-worthy service, those first couple of years trying to get to scale were rough, and there were a few payroll runs that left mere pennies in our checking account. Had we waited for an outside bookkeeper to finish doing the books to know where we stood each month, we might not be here today.

When it was a matter of business life and death, I practiced daily cash management. Managing the timing of our cash outlays, projecting our inflows, knowing our break-even points, and understanding the difference between income on the books and positive cash flow were all part of this rigorous, business-saving process. Ruby #2, Paddy McCaffrey-Allen, still teases me today about my passionate plea to not buy “even one pencil!” I know many of you are in that cash-critical ramp-up stage and rely on us to deliver value that exceeds our price. Our recent phone number feature additions were designed to help you eliminate a phone bill, and we are working to add more customized packages this year to more closely match your needs.

2005: Ask your employees for feedback.

You might know Ruby as an award-winning employer of choice, having been recognized nationally for years as a great place to work. I confess that wasn’t always the case. It took us until year three to conduct our first ever employee survey. I was so nervous! As a small business owner, the thought of someone not feeling valued at my company felt personal. But at the urging of an employee, I did it. And, while it was hard to read some of the comments, it served as the beginning of the journey to becoming the employer we are today.

The big takeaway from the survey was to regularly make sure each employee knew how they were making a difference—in the lives of our callers and customers, and in the success of Ruby. And the impact of employees who feel valued in the work they do? Strong employee retention and an aligned workforce fired up to deliver on the mission.

2006: Surprise! Other business owners are going through the same challenges that we are.

Being a business owner can be a lonely experience. We bear the weight of the success of our organization and the livelihood of our employees. When faced with challenges, it’s not always appropriate to confide in our staff, and our friends with stable, paying jobs don’t seem to relate. Don’t you sometimes feel that someone, somewhere, has already figured out the solution to the problem you’re facing? That was me. But in 2006, I found my peer group by joining the Entrepreneurs Organization, and it was a game-changer. They serve as an informal business advisory board, and getting an up-close look at some of the challenges other business owners face means I get to learn from their experiences.

Bonus lesson: Put your domain name on auto-renew!

2007: KPIs and company dashboards help ensure your customers, employees, and financial stakeholders are all being considered.

If you are ever in Portland and come by for the Ruby tour, ask someone to show you our performance dashboards. It surprises many that a company so focused on people and service is out front with data measurement and performance benchmarking. But here’s the thing: our dashboards are a critical tool to ensure we are delivering what we intend to our customers and our employees. In 2007, KPIs and dashboards were foreign to us. It was only after a desperate plea by our overworked receptionists that I dug into the data. There, I discovered we had grown our customer count far faster than our employees to support it, and our service and employee happiness were suffering.

Today, our dashboards are built with a “balanced scorecard” approach, measuring performance, service quality, customer happiness, and employee happiness all on the same page. When red, our KPIs aren’t meant to be punitive, but just like the warning lights on your car’s dashboard, a red KPI signals that a key function might be out of whack, and this alert can save us from a breakdown.

Bonus lesson: Mistakes are the fertile ground of innovation!

2008: Another reminder that customers and businesses alike truly value personal connection and will support businesses that make them feel heard.

Ahhhhh, 2008. I’m guessing many of you have your own make-or-break stories of the great economic downturn of our lifetime. And since this is a 15-year celebration piece, you can guess how it turned out for us.

But back then, I truly didn’t know if Ruby was going to survive. The Dow was on its crazy decline towards a loss in value of 65%, and our economic outlook was downright scary. The question I ended up asking was not, “how are we going to survive,” but, “If we’re going down, how do we want to be remembered?” Turns out, the answer to both questions was the same: that in this intensely stressful time for business owners and employees alike, in an era where cost-cutting measures all but eliminated good customer service in other companies, we lived to make a difference in the lives of others through kind, caring, personal interactions. Our employees rallied, and we stepped up our service to find ways to show our customers that we were on their team, that their success was our success, and that there would always be a friendly voice on the other end of the line to help them get through the day.

2009: Know what you stand for and surround yourself with people who are aligned with that mission.

The strategy of 2008 serves as the pivotal lesson of our 15-year life. We grew our customer count 30% in 2009. We took those lessons, and from them, built our formal mission, vision, and values. You can read them here. Today, those guiding principles help us attract and retain employees. They help us make business decisions. And they help us stay focused on delivering our customers the service they expect and deserve.

2010: Every touchpoint matters.

One day, as I was deeply engaged with whatever was on my computer screen, I was interrupted by a knock on my open office door. I looked up to find not a fellow Ruby, but an acquaintance and potential customer standing in the doorway. “Funny,” he said. “The receptionist company has no receptionist. I wandered around your office to eventually find you without so much as a ‘hello!’”

Ouch! That day, I realized your brand and your vision don’t just show up in the service you provide. It shows up everywhere: how you greet people in your office, how your website looks, how your physical office looks, and even how you and your employees show up in the community. Longtime Ruby and customer experience evangelist Christina Burns, our VP of Customer Success, wrote an awesome e-book on how to ensure every communication across many of your touchpoints are delivering a great experience. You can find that here.

2011: Investing in technology is critical to delivering service at scale.

In 2011, we launched ROS, the software that allows our Ruby receptionists to deliver our uniquely personal caller experience. Back in the day, we had to rely on our fading memories and charming personalities to deliver great service. But we all know that has limits. ROS enables us greet callers with the right time of day no matter the time zone of our customers, and whispers in our receptionists’ ears to ensure we are pronouncing your company names properly. Today, it’s integrated with your calendars and contact lists through our mobile app, so we know just how to treat your callers, when and where to transfer callers, and what information to gather when you’re not taking calls.

Bonus lesson: Switching your entire tech platform and physically moving your business all in three weeks’ time can wreak havoc on employee morale.

2012: Incent, Inspire, and Empower your employees to deliver your mission at scale.

This blog post sums up our employee engagement philosophy perfectly!

2013: The achievement of a long-term goal can be accomplished with clear metrics, a path, and a team who is aligned and focused.

Back in 2008, our team did a vision exercise: What would Ruby look like at 10x our current size? What would our culture look like? Our offering? How many employees would we have? Customers? What would our jobs look like? Our benefits? The vision exercise was followed by another exercise to explore what it might take to achieve that vision. Those two exercises created an excitement towards achieving the vision of growing 10x, and the strategy and execution path to get there. Then, we worked the plan and achieved a goal that five years earlier felt like a fantasy. For those of you who like the sounds of this, Verne Harnish’s Mastering the Rockefeller Habits remains my favorite small business strategic planning resource book.

2014: Choose your investors wisely.

In 2014, I decided to explore selling part of the company to an outside fund. While we had many suitors, I was uber-paranoid about what might happen to our culture, our customers, and our people. So, I resisted my natural full-speed-ahead entrepreneurial tendencies and took the time to really get to know the interested parties and how they operated. In the end, the decision was much more than financial. It hinged on the belief that the future of Ruby—its customers, its services, and its employees—was in better hands with the right financial partner (Updata) than if we had continued to go it alone.

2015: The right investor can provide WAAAAY more than capital.

Wow. A whole new world opens up when you have the backing of a reputable investment firm. Connections with other CEOs. Access to data benchmarking. Generous access to expertise. The ability to attract senior talent. Even an ear to listen to your biggest challenges. I took a bet that Ruby would be in better hands with UpData than if we had continued to go it alone, but I really didn’t know the extent of it. Taken with the lesson of 2014, the right investor can bring far more than just growth capital.

2016 Just when you thought you had it all figured all out, you find yourself at the beginning of a learning curve.

Some lessons are more humbling than others. 2016’s lesson was one of those. I had to learn how to lead all over again. Ruby had grown and changed, and I was still leading like the scrappy entrepreneur that got us through the early years—namely by being in everyone’s business. But as you grow, and you are lucky enough to hire people that are smarter than you in their respective disciplines, that’s a recipe for watching talent walk out the door. One of the great thought leaders on culture-powered businesses, Paul Spiegelman, nudged me to tell this story on a pretty big platform. You can read the story here.

Bonus Lesson: That’s OK.

2017: The business phone call is more important than ever.

I’ve been asked more than once if I ever imagined running a business with hundreds of employees back when I started Ruby. And truthfully, back in 2003, I wasn’t even sure the phone call would be a means of communication 15 years later. But here we sit, with business phone calls not on the decline, but on a rapid ascent—driven by the rise in mobile search and an “instant answer” culture. And phone calls aren’t just on the rise; they’re more important than ever. One study reported that 80% of callers are likely to become repeat customers after a positive phone experience. With phone calls having the best success rate for converting leads into customers, I can say with confidence that the phone call is the most important touchpoint of the buyer customer journey.

2018: We’re just getting started.

Through the ups and downs, the millions of phone calls, and the thousands of businesses served, my passion for helping small business succeed through meaningful human interaction is as strong as ever. You are the driver of job growth and the backbone of the American economy. You’re where we go when we want to do business with someone who cares. Thank you for your business. Here’s to the next 15!

Ruby Corps: Philanthropy at Ruby Receptionists

Philanthropy at Ruby Receptionists

Here at Ruby®, our mission is to preserve and perpetuate real, meaningful connections in an increasingly technology-focused, virtual world. Creating Community lies at the heart of the matter, and we strive to connect Rubys to one another, and Ruby to the world.

Philanthropy is a natural extension of what it means to be connected. With a true desire to see our community flourish, we launched Ruby Corps.

A program designed to provide Rubys with an opportunity to volunteer their time, Ruby Corps is a people-powered initiative currently partnering with three local nonprofits. Our partners were selected based on an employee survey, and the question posed was simple, “What nonprofit or cause resonates with you?”. The responses illuminated hunger, education, and homelessness as our collective focus. With this, we set to work finding nonprofits that align with our purpose.

Our Partner Charities

  • Oregon Food Bank collects food from farmers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, individuals and government sources. They distribute food through a statewide network of 21 Regional Food Banks and approximately 970 partner agencies serving all of Oregon and Clark County, Washington.
  • REAP Since 2001, REAP has emerged as one of the stellar youth development program models in the State of Oregon. Commonly known for its ability to engage students and develop their leadership potential, REAP has become an essential resource to many business leaders, educators, elected officials, community advocates, and parents in preparing students for college and the workforce.
  • Portland Homeless Family Solutions empowers homeless families with children to secure housing and stay there long-term. They envision a community where no family experiences homelessness and receives the support and compassion necessary to thrive. Each year, they help 150 families with children find permanent housing.

How It Works

While Ruby is no stranger to philanthropic endeavors, the creation of Ruby Corps called for some serious goal-setting.

This year, our sights are set completing 500 volunteer hours. How will we do this? Through our people-powered culture, of course! Along with Ruby Corps, we have introduced a new employee benefit including eight hours of paid volunteer-time each year. With over 400 employees, we know we’ll knock this goal right out of the park!

Coupled with our willingness to dive in and get our hands dirty, Ruby offers financial support to our nonprofit partners. And in addition to our corporate donations, Ruby empowers employee giving with our matching program; we match all 501c3 employee donations up to $100 per year!

While we work with our partnered nonprofits, Ruby continues to support other causes close to our hearts. Each year we participate in the Adopt-A-Family program and host the Beaverton Education Foundation Phone Drive. In the event of natural or community disasters, we mobilize our efforts for donations and support.

Ruby takes pride in making personal connections and working a little magic to inspire and wow. Whether with our voices, hands, or time—working together to strengthen our community is central to Ruby’s mission.

Learn More About Working at Ruby

Give us a call!