The Top 10 Ways to Destroy Customer Retention

Getting to know your customers

Customer retention is the fine art of keeping your customer base delighted by your service and loyal to your product. While customer retention is on the radar for most business owners, it may get lost amidst the day-to-day tasks that keep a business moving. Taking existing customer relationships for granted is rarely intentional, but it can feel surprisingly natural to ease off courting your customers once you get them through the door.

Continuing to charm buyers long after that first sale does require a plan and commitment, but the benefits of keeping them around are well worth the effort.

We’ve put together a list of 10 common mistakes businesses make that wind up losing them their most valuable asset: their customers. 

10. Under-Educating Your Base

Many companies overlook one of the best possible outcomes of doing business: the empowerment and gratitude people feel when you open their eyes to all the ways you can make their lives easier.

When it comes to your product or service, don’t be tempted to leave education up to “the Internet.” Take time to help them understand your product benefits; make sure they understand the latest features and updates. Highlight the differences among various product options, so they can easily and confidently make the best choice. They’ll appreciate the saved time, frustration, confusion, and the valuable decision-making power you’re providing them.

As you educate the customer about your products, take time to educate them about your company and your brand, as well. What’s your company’s story? Your values? Specialities or expertise that lend credibility to both you and your products? Make sure your customers know.

Establish yourself as the trusted go-to expert in your field, with just the tools they need, and customers will keep coming back for more.

9. Breaking Promises

The crutch of exceptional customer service is doing what you say you’ll do.  Failure to deliver on the promise of your good is a recipe for dissatisfaction, prompting your customers to walk away with the impression that you cannot meet their needs.

Yikes.

Take time to review the performance or quality claims touted in your marketing materials.  Are they accurate? Do you deliver? Think also about the kind of expectations your customers have about the experience they want when they buy from you.

Here’s your opportunity to take the lead: Set expectations from your side–then meet or exceed them. Be crystal clear about deadlines, the time required to rectify issues, the potential add-on-costs, and similar factors. Being up-front can help you better understand the needs of your customer and reduce the risk of mutual frustration.

8. Failing to Follow Up

One common misstep is not following up with your customers. Is your product hitting the mark for them? Did your project perform as expected?  Even if the answer is no, you’ve opened the door for a new conversation and an opportunity to learn how to improve your offering.

Following up can be as simple as an automated email or as personal as a call from the business owner. Find the practice that works best for you and your customers, and you may be surprised to see a spike in retention and active brand evangelists alike!

7. Forgetting to Ask for Repeat Business

A slight variation on the follow-up is the direct ask. Chances are, if your customers have a good experience, they’ll purchase from you again.

Or perhaps they’ll point you in the direction of another prospective customer.

Consider offering your first-time clients a next-purchase or next-project discount. If you’re completing a big project, be proactive about a follow-up proposal that showcases your abilities as an ongoing strategic partner.


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6. Failing to Reward Loyalty

Customer loyalty can be recognized financially, such as offering “frequent-flier”-type rewards. Or, you can opt for something a little more thoughtful, like sending a unique gift or hand-written notecard for an added personal touch.

Loyalty can be built or broken at every touchpoint in the customer lifecycle. Does your customer-facing staff greet repeat customers in a warm, professional way? Does your team retain knowledge about your client over time so that working with you never feels like a “do over”?

Customers like doing business with companies that make them feel like they’re more than just a number. Explore new ways of thanking customers for their business and acknowledging where you’ve been together and where you’re going.

5. Being (Only) a Commodity

If you don’t add value to your customers—or fail to create a personal rapport for that matter, you risk being seen as a commodity. Your offering becomes a service chosen based on price and features, making you an easily-replaceable part of the pack.

So how do you avoid being seen as a commodity? Demonstrate your value by creating meaningful connections.

Get to know your client’s favorite sports team or reach out when you hear about a big accomplishment in their professional or personal life. Connecting with your customer base humanizes your company, making customers more “sticky” and can validate their decision to buy from you – even at a premium price point.

4. Ignoring the Chatter 

There are many platforms today where customers can tell others about their good and bad experiences. It pays to monitor review sites on an ongoing basis and really listen to what people say, the bad and the good.

Negative reviews pose an opportunity for you to make things right with disgruntled customers in a public forum—flex your customer service muscles here and let people see you for the customer-centric business that you are.

3. Being Non-Analytical

It can be tempting to rely on anecdotes or “gut sense” when evaluating your product and customer service experience. But doing so opens you up to missing some truly valuable information and insight. Back up that intuition with a little hard data and you’re off to the races.

Make sure your data analysis extends beyond measuring operational expenses and ROI. Ask questions to gain insights, such as:

What percentage of your current customers are first-timers? How many have been with you for a year or more? Is there something bringing your customers back? And how can you create an even more effective strategy based on the customer lifecycle?

Evaluate the data and share the insights with your customer service reps, sales, and marketing teams to create content, experiences, and product enhancements that will further benefit your current customers.

2. Missing the Heart Connection

It’s easy to assume that people make business decisions based on rational criteria, yet studies show quite the opposite. Some 90% of customer decision-making is emotional, regardless of your industry. That’s why world-leading brands like Coca Cola, Apple, Nike and others spend millions of marketing and advertising dollars annually. They’re investing in emotional connections to draw like-minded (or like-hearted) people to their brands.

You have an opportunity to stand for something that your customers care about. Whether that’s a social cause, a set of beliefs or even a shared sense of humor—take the time to understand the connection between you, your product or service, and your ideal customers.

1. Not Having a Plan

The absolute fastest way to destroy customer retention is to leave it to chance. If you want to keep your customers coming back time and again, you need a plan. Make it simple. Include some measurable data-points, so you know what success looks like. Put it in action, then watch your sales and customer retention metrics blossom.

 

Looking for ways to satisfy your customers? We’ve got an ebook for that.

Learn how language can turn your callers into clients.

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Why You Should be Measuring Customer Satisfaction


There’s a familiar saying about assumptions. It’s not one we’re going to repeat here verbatim, but we’ll paraphrase the takeaway: Assumptions are guesswork.

Customer satisfaction is one of the most critical aspects of running a profitable and successful business. Yet, many companies lack a process for measuring customers’ perception of their brand and service. It’s easy to assume you and your staff are taking great care of your customers. But if there are flaws in the system, you may not know there’s a problem until it’s too late.

Luckily, the power is in your hands. Implementing one or more of the following strategies helps you to be proactive in creating happy customers.

Conduct a Survey


The survey is an obvious go-to strategy for measuring customer service success–and with good reason. There are many tried-and-true methodologies you can leverage to test your customer touch points.

You may think “big money” when you consider doing a survey, but it’s easier than ever for a small business to develop a do-it-yourself poll. Write up a small handful of key questions, then use a free or low-cost resource such as Survey Monkey to send it out to your email list. The set-up is a breeze, and dynamite analytics are built right into the software.

You don’t need a huge customer list for your survey project to be a home run. Qualitative surveys can flood you with useful insight about your customers’ experience and attitudes.

Pro Tip:

There’s a wealth of information online about popular customer satisfaction surveys, how to structure them, and what questions to ask. You may want to consider:

  • The CSAT (to measure overall customer satisfaction)
  • The Net Promoter Score (NPS) (to gauge how likely customers are to recommend your brand to others)
  • The Customer Effort Score (to assess customer ease-of-use with your product or service)

Worried customers won’t take the time to fill out your survey? Offer an incentive. The information they’ll provide is pure gold and well worth a small gift or discount.


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Be an Active Listener


Another massive advantage to being in business for yourself these days is the ability to hear the unvarnished truth from customers in the form of reviews and social media sites. It’s taken the business world a while to get comfortable with this reality. After all, these forums allow your customers to rave about the good but also shout about the bad.

But guess what? You can work both scenarios to your advantage.

First, your customers may sing your praises in ways you didn’t imagine. This positive feedback allows you to re-evaluate your own messaging in a whole new light. It also provides insight into what your customers REALLY find important.

Second, the truth is there are no “bad” reviews. Complaints can magnify negative trends you didn’t know existed. Even better, you can engage with the customer online and work with them toward a solution.

Resolving an issue can generate greater customer loyalty than never having had a problem in the first place. Better yet, other potential customers monitoring the conversation will see you’re willing to go the extra mile to ensure customer happiness.

Pro Tip:

A listening program can be as simple as identifying a few key sites or platforms, then assigning one or more of your staff to listen in. If you want to go bigger, a variety of apps and agencies are ready to help you tap technology for robust monitoring campaigns.\

 

Just Ask


A slight riff on the survey is a brief Q&A script for your customer-facing staff. Develop a short list of queries that Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) or account managers can interject into the course of a business conversation.

Does your customer feel their issue was resolved during the call or visit? If not, were they provided with a clear plan of action? Was the process quick and easy or did the customer experience friction? What could your CSR do better next time?

Often just asking the question will put you heads-and-shoulders above your competition. Also, it eliminates guesswork about whether the customer got the help they needed.

Pro Tip:

Don’t send your people in cold. Roll out your new Q&A program as a formalized process and acknowledge you’re asking for a behavior change. Highlight that ending a call on a positive note is a benefit for your staff as well as the customer. And consider rewards you might offer for CSRs who go above and beyond.

Now, plot your course.


Once you have data in hand, it may feel like your job is done, but it’s really just begun. Now, it’s time to make your Customer Satisfaction Plan.

Initiatives can range from rolling out a new set of company values to implementing training for your customer-facing staff to introducing a gamified program that engages your team and provides incentive for top achievers. It could even include bringing in a pro to outline a formal strategy for continual improvement.

Even one exceptionally positive experience can create a customer for life.  Launch a customer success strategy to measure and improve your customer relationships, help you win new business, and retain your existing customers.

Looking for more customer experience tips?

We recommend starting from the moment you say “hello.”

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Receptionist Etiquette Tips & Tricks Presents: The Cranky Customer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the server standing table-side, pen and smile at the ready.

To a coffee-toting construction crew, rising before morning.

Across our endless sea of industry exists a single, universal challenge. One that has stood the test of time and innovation, alike.

Behold: the cranky customer.

As any rookie or seasoned vet in the vast arena of customer service can attest to, interacting with a less-than-impressed buyer can be intimidating, stressful, or even a bit scary. Especially when a customer’s frustration is a direct result of something your company did (or did not do).

Thankfully, with a little etiquette magic and wisdom from the professionals, there are ways to power through these moments with poise and empathy. Plus, as a business owner or employee on the front lines, your genuine desire to fulfill a customer’s needs is the most important asset in curing a cranky customer.

Which is great news, as your success may be hinging on it.

Enter: The Reach of the Customer

In a time not so long ago, stories of lackluster customer service traveled at word-of-mouth speed. This is meant quite literally. Information passing through the phone or in person was (and remains to be) powerful in coloring a company’s reputation.

So, what’s changed?

Two words: social media.

From websites devoted to customer evaluations to the not-so-formal but far-reaching Facebook post, the consumer soapbox has been taken to a whole new level. What’s more? Your potential new customers are paying attention.

Think about it: if you’re in the market for a product, are you more inclined to call a company with mediocre ratings and “meh” reviews, or a business boasting five-star testimonials and a trusting customer base?

In short, your customer service offering bears weight and the words of consumers have a profound impact on your business.

In failing to satisfy the needs of a reasonably grumpy guest, the opportunity to convert a non-believer into a *gasp* brand ambassador is lost.

 



 

Etiquette as a Superpower

Here at Ruby, receptionists have an eerie ability to temper the testy. We answer for over 8,000 companies and a single receptionist can take upwards of 250 calls a day. With a sample size like that, we’re bound to get some sour grapes from time to time.

What have we learned over the years? A sincere desire to turn someone’s day around (and leading with a little empathy) can have tremendous results. In showing customers that their experience matters and working to remedy the situation, you’re strengthening the foundation of their trust in your brand.

Big time brownie points.

And potentially a few future referrals.

So how do we do it?

The next time you set out to improve a customer’s mood, give these tips a try:

  • Listen. Customers want to tell you what’s wrong and are, in turn, giving you the chance to fix a problem before they walk away from your business. Give them room to explain, complain, and tell you what’s bothering them. Refrain from interrupting, and when it’s your turn to speak…
  • Acknowledge frustration. A little empathy goes a long way and ultimately, we all just want to be heard. Slip in phrases like, “I can certainly see why you’re upset! I’m going to do everything I can to help get this resolved.”
  • Let them know what you can do. We can’t emphasize this enough. In any situation, speaking to what you’re able to do for a customer is infinitely more helpful than breaking down what you cannot. However, if you are being asked to do something that lies outside of your realm, we recommend you…
  • Frame your role. If you’re not the expert your customer is looking for, briefly explain what you actions you can take, and assure them you’re doing everything in your power to help.
  • Apologize, and make it count. A simple “I’m sorry” isn’t enough. There’s a whoooole post dedicated to apologies here.
  • Offer a solution and stick to it. With the exception of losing your cool, failing to do what you say you’ll do—especially when tensions are already high—is a surefire way to obliterate any chance you had at repairing a damaged relationship. 
  • Follow up! Even if a customer leaves your office or ends a phone call singing your praises, seal the deal after the tides have calmed with a hand-written note. Never underestimate the power of a proper WOW.

Ruby to the Woo-scue

You know tending to the needs of your customers is key to a successful relationship. And that sometimes, you’ll be wooing your way back into good graces.

But, how do you manage this while running your business?

Are unanswered phone calls the root of your customer’s frustrations? Or are you losing the opportunity to right a wrong to an impersonal voicemail box?

How many customers are calling your competitors when they don’t feel taken care of?

Fortunately, there’s a solution.

With our small business roots, Ruby understands the plight of the entrepreneur. When you’re wearing a thousand different hats and dealing with everything from billing to process improvement to delivering your actual product or service, making time to pick up the phone and connect with your customers can be tough.

That’s where we come in. Delighting callers and preserving connections while building up your reputation for a stand-alone customer service experience is what we’re here to do. Our mission is to help you grow, one happy caller at a time.

 

Curious about how we turn rings into relationships? We’ve whipped up a resource that is sure to help you turn callers into clients.

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Exceeding Customer Expectations in the Digital Age

Guest Post by FieldPulse CEO and Founder, Gabriel Pinchev

Building your contracting business takes a tremendous amount of effort. It requires three things: finding and selling to new customers, delivering great service, and managing everything behind the scenes. For each area, focusing on the customer experience throughout their lifecycle (or customer journey) can bring significant returns.

The customer lifecycle is the journey a customer goes through in deciding to buy a product or service. For example, if Sally needs her home painted, she starts with an idea of what she wants. She’ll spend some time on the internet researching then talk with friends. She finds Professional Painting Co. and contacts them for a quote, either on the phone or a contact form on the company’s website. Sally accepts the quote and the service is rendered. Afterward, she has an opinion on the service and shares her perspective with a friend and posts an online review. All of this is the customer lifecycle.

In a Forbes article on revisiting the customer journey, the author points out that there are many points where the company has little control. Instead, the company’s job is to satisfy the customer to the point that they become an advocate. In a world of social media, having digital advocates help spread the word about your company is priceless.

The key to growing a business in the digital age is exceeding customer expectations.

But what are those expectations, and how can you use technology to achieve this?

First Contact

Before your future customer even reaches out, they’ve spent time learning about you. Today, that usually means an online search or asking friends and social media groups for a recommendation. Because of this, you want customers that are not only happy with you, but that are willing to promote you. All of this starts at the first point of contact.

When a prospective customer reaches out to you, they’ve already made up their mind that you’re worth spending time talking to. They’ve done their research. So now it’s important to give them the exact experience they’re seeking.

Whether your first point of contact is from your website “Contact Us” form or a phone call, this is your chance to make the right first impression. According to Consumer Reports, 72% of callers who reach an automated answer will hang up without leaving a message – and potentially call a competitor. If you don’t respond quickly, you lose the opportunity. Today, people are looking for instant gratification. Answering the call or responding to the email right away is the first step.

Build Rapport from the Start

Throughout the sales process, it’s important to build a real relationship with your customer. Remember the Golden Rule – treating customers like you would want to be treated goes a long way.

Even when you find ways to specialize your business and stand out from the crowd, your customer will almost always have another option. Keeping updated information about your customer in CRM (customer relationship management) software is a good place to start. FieldPulse is a CRM solution built specifically for contractors. With CRM software you can keep contact information together with appointments, past work records, photos/documents, and more.

By keeping track of your customer, and having quick access to all of their details, you’ll be able to provide better service. Having a team that’s connected to that information at all times will take you even further. The level of service you can provide will set you apart and help you win more business.

Wow Them While Delivering the Work

Your reputation is built on the quality of your work. Beyond the quality of the work, your customer has high expectations around communication. Keeping customers in the loop during every step is important. This means sending confirmations when booking, a reminder before the appointment, day of notifications, and follow up after the job is done.

 

Customer Communication

 

Being consistent is key. You’ll want to make sure you have a system in place to manage communications. That system can be contractor software (and that’s definitely recommended), but a standardized process that everyone on the team follows is a great place to start. Make sure that you’re staying in touch with your customers at every step.

Build an Ongoing Relationship

Once the work is complete, it’s time to build onto the relationship you’ve started. This part is so important because it’s what takes a happy customer and turns them into a promoter for your business.

Word of mouth, social media mentions, and reviews will bring you more business. Unfortunately, a happy customer doesn’t always volunteer to spread the word. Instead, you’ll want to follow up with them. Keep them on an email list. Call them two weeks later and ask them about the work that was done.

Tell your customers that you appreciate referrals and online reviews. They need to know how they can help you. When they do, you’d be amazed at how many more reviews and referrals you’ll get.

Parting Thoughts

Everyone has service expectations, and your customers are no different. By using the right kinds of technology and services to support how you do business, you’ll be able to exceed those expectations. Having someone answer the phone every time and having the tools to track and communicate with your customers (and your team!) are two great ways to exceed customer expectations.

 

About Gabriel Pinchev:

Gabriel is the founder and CEO of FieldPulse, a field service software that lets you run your entire contracting business from a single app. FieldPulse helps contractors go digital with tools to handle everything from customer management (CRM) and estimates/invoices, to scheduling and dispatching, team timesheets (and GPS location), and much more – available in the office or on-the-go.

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!

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Is Your Customer Service WOW-Worthy?

There is no denying we have transcended into a high-touch, high-tech, digital age.

But, even in this era of automation, focusing on the human element of your business can be your most valuable tool in impressing potential and current customers alike.

In fact, by 2020, customer service will replace price as the key brand differentiator.

Surprised?

Consider this: Word of mouth continues to be the most effective form of marketing in the business toolkit, and it is virtually free.

So, between meetings and fumbling through things like Google Analytics, how to design print ads, and donning every other hat of a business owner—how do you also create experiences worthy of your customer’s loyalty?

Enter the Ruby Service Pyramid.

Inspired by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, our Service Pyramid starts with basic biz fundamentals and works up to the finer elements of our service.

Ruby's Customer Service Pyramid

We could break down the entire pyramid, step by step. However, for the sake of your time and the purpose of this blog post, we will skip straight to the heart of the matter:

Meaningful connections are the apex of customer service.

We have built our business on this idea. But, would personal connections matter to our customers if we weren’t able to pick up their calls?

Probably not.

Would it even be possible to connect with our customers if we didn’t deliver on the promise of our service?

Nope.

Investing in the proper technology, software, staffing, and metrics are essential in reaching a point where you can truly WOW your customers.

The next steps?

Well, there are a few between the bottom and the top of our Service Pyramid, but assuming you’ve gotten the hang of fostering a little happiness, anticipating your customer’s needs, and doing what you say you’ll do, you’re ready to…

Reach out and go the extra mile.

One fateful morning in Ruby history, a member of our Customer Happiness team was wrapping up a call with a customer:

“Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Well, we are pretty hungry. Lunch would be great!”

After a shared laugh, the call ended and the Ruby began to wonder…

…Can I just…send them a pizza?

Voila. Just like that, our WOW program was born. We’ve been sending coffee cups with tea for a pick-me-up, sick packs, onesies, and more ever since.


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But this isn’t just about the gifts. It’s about being human and engaging with our customer base in a way that matters.

So, when the time comes, how do you determine what to send a customer? When to send something? How do you even make these connections in the first place?

Great questions.

The art of personal connections:

  • Friendliness is key. Minding your p’s and q’s goes a long way in building rapport between you and your customer
  • Ask open-ended questions to spark connections.
  • Listen. Genuinely listen to your customers and you will offer something rare and invaluable in today’s world of business. Did a customer mention how excited they are about the Dodgers game tonight? Are they sniffling through a cold?
  • Follow up! Sometimes a hand-written notecard is all it takes to make someone’s day.
  • If you’re sending a gift, make sure it makes sense. Keep it:
    1. Personalized. A Dodgers hat for the Dodgers fan excited for the Dodgers game.
    2. Appropriate. The items you send represent your company.
    3. Practical. The recipient should be able to use it.
    4. Timeliness. Send your gift along quickly to ensure relevance.

In taking the time to foster a connection, you’re elevating not only the experience of your customer but also that of your employees.

It’s all about engagement. Oh, and referrals.

Which just so happen to be the cherry on top of creating meaningful connections.

Since launching our WOW program, customers have made a point in sharing their enthusiasm for WOW gifts.

Like this super adorable cookie basket we recently received at HQ:

Cookies received from a customer as a 'thank you' for great customer service.

From Instagram and Facebook posts, to giving us a shout out in a blog about the ROI of personalized customer service, our customers have let us (and their friends) know that this way of doing business means something to them.

And ultimately, as a company that strives to preserve and perpetuate real, meaningful connections in an increasingly technology-focused, virtual world, that’s all we could hope for.

The short of it is:

  • Deliver a quality service or product.
  • Get to know your customers.
  • Connect and WOW.
  • Earn referrals.

Now, start WOWing your customers and watch your business grow.

 

Interested in more tips on creating exceptional customer experiences?

Check out our ebook to learn how you can use language to turn more callers into clients.

 

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WOW Story: Nobody Here but Us Chickens

Customer Service Chickens

Picture this: It’s Friday afternoon. Your co-workers have all slowly trickled out of the office, the closed sign is on the door, and the weekend is within your grasp. You’re just packing up for two days of fun when your desk phone rings. What do you do?

You could easily ignore the call, leaving the message until Monday. Or you could answer and see who Ruby has for you—just in case it’s important. If you’re Ruby customer Natasza, you definitely take the high road…with a big smile, to boot!

Ruby receptionist Rachel recently reached Natasza two Fridays in a row. These calls were Rachel’s last of the day in both instances and, in both instances, Natasza’s office was technically closed. But Natasza took Rachel’s call anyway and Rachel was struck by how chipper and cheerful Natasza always seemed to be, especially late in the afternoon on a Friday.

Rachel took the time to create a beautiful, hand-drawn, personalized notecard and share her delight with her favorite Friday customer. And she couldn’t have done it any better!

In true Natasza style, she responded with a notecard of her own, one-upping the original connection by adding a fun pencil and chicken flingers to the mix. (What are chicken flingers? Apparently, you stretch them on your finger and fling them across the room for endless office fun!)

Thank you so much for your kind words as well as your fantastic decorative card. It’s hanging in my cubicle. It’s a pleasure speaking with you when you call in. Thank you again for taking the time to spread cheer to me. I appreciate you taking the time. You’re the best.
Natasza

Clearly, Rachel’s kind words made quite the impact on Natasza. It just goes to show that you can never underestimate the power of a handwritten note. Now just watch where you’re flingin’ them chickens, Rach!

Discover WOWism

Don’t Worry, Be Happy on International Happiness Day

Ruby Receptionists Service Pyramid

With titles like “Problem Solver & Happiness Maker,” “Service Kickstarter & Happiness Builder,” and “Happiness Cultivator,” International Day of Happiness is one of our Customer Happiness team’s favorite holidays!

While the Customer Happiness team goes through rigorous and continual training to ensure we’re prepared to support our customers and program beautiful instructions, a desire to fulfill our core value of Foster Happiness is something that can’t be taught. Here’s our manifesto:

We are a league of superheroes. We are leaders, advocates, and friends, who are masters of sharing Ruby® magic. We believe in simple and creative solutions. We embrace change and celebrate innovation, teamwork, and tacos. We act with integrity and assume charitable intentions. Together, we define, embody, and elevate the standards of world-class service.

Each of us is here because we have a calling to make people happy—and that extends to our customers, callers, and colleagues. We do this with help from the Ruby Service Pyramid®.
The base of the pyramid is Be Prepared with the Right Infrastructure. Our Kickstarter team works hard to ensure that our new accounts start off on the right foot by programming beautiful instructions for receptionists and providing new customers with everything they need to know about getting started with Ruby.

Next up, Do What We Say We’ll Do. Problem Solvers & Happiness Makers own the customer experience once they’re all signed up. If a customer needs us to start handling a new type of call, we’re there to program those instructions in a way that will remain consistent for our receptionists. If there’s ever a mistake or a misunderstanding, we’re there to ensure that those are corrected, and the root of the concern is resolved.

Foster Happiness is so important to us that it’s both a core value and a level of the Service Pyramid!

Customer Happiness is also there to Create Experiences. Receptionists reach out to Customer Happiness every day, to connect customer calls our way and to alert us of any updates that might need to be made. While Customer Happiness is located in a separate office, we make it our mission to connect with receptionists to create one large community as a company. This might be as simple as including a cute cat photo in my email reply, or sending a handwritten notecard to let that one receptionist who always makes me smile know that I’m thinking of them.

Moving our way up the pyramid, we find Give Them What They Don’t Even Know They Want. Let’s say we just added a new instruction to ask callers a few new questions when taking a message. Rather than adding the instruction and leaving it at that, our customer might get a call from the Problem Solver they worked with a few weeks later, just to check in and see how those changes are working out. It’s more than a passive exchange, it’s a full-circle conversation that the customer didn’t see coming.

If we’ve fostered happiness by mastering the Service Pyramid, then we reach the very top—Make Meaningful Connections. This is my favorite piece. There’s a customer I sent a handwritten notecard to as a receptionist back in 2016, just thanking them for making my day. This customer not only reached out through work channels to thank me, but stayed in touch personally after learning we had a few friends in common. To this day, we write each other now and then just to check in. He sends me articles that he knows I’ll be interested in, and I share pictures of events I attend with our mutual friends.

Now, this won’t happen on every call, every email, or even every face-to-face meeting. But the relationship and friendship I’ve built with this customer is the Customer Happiness special sauce—we foster happiness by taking a genuine interest in the lives of our customers and each other.

So, on this International Day of Happiness, I ask you to not only think of something that makes you happy, but take that and share it with someone else.

Learn More About the Ruby Service PYRAMID

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