7 Things Every Business Should Automate

Heart on smartphone screen.

What if you could save time, improve efficiency, and provide your customers with a better experience, all while actually taking work off your plate?

Automation is the tool of the innovative business. When you use automation tools, you’re enabling your team to work more efficiently, as well as providing your customers with a better experience. These tools, combined with a talented team, can streamline everything from marketing to customer relations and internal processes. Save yourself time and precious energy with our suggested list of automation tools for small businesses!

1) Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Efficiently managing a lead pipeline can be difficult, but customer relationship management software can make the process much easier to manage. With the right tools, you can better target your leads, improve customer experience, and manage your sales process. For example, imagine being able to delight your customers with anniversary emails and product updates, automatically. Implementing a CRM allows you to provide your customers with a premium experience, without the extra work.

Examples:

  • Infusionsoft is a CRM specially tailored for small businesses. Their tool helps small business owners reach the right customers at the right time and provides insights into who customers are and what they’re doing.
  • Clio is designed to help solo or small firm employees build a better practice with case, client, document, bill, and time tracking capabilities. If you’re looking to improve your practice’s efficiency, Clio can help.

2) Invoicing

As a small business, it’s vital you stay on top of your accounting and invoicing. With the help of automation you can streamline recurring invoices, centralize timesheets, and automatically track what’s been paid, and what hasn’t. Put your customers at ease with proper, reliable, and consistent invoicing.

Examples:

  • Freshbooks is easy to use accounting software that streamlines creating professional looking invoices, capturing expense reports, tracking billable moments, and collaborating with others.
  • Harvest empowers you to focus on doing your work, not tracking it. With a straightforward design and all the tools you need to organize your books, Harvest makes wasting hours on invoicing a thing of the past.

3) Social Media Scheduling and Management

In this day and age, social media is a vital part of every business’ marketing efforts—no matter how big or small. Scheduling tools allow you to manage your social media presence across platforms, maintain a personal connection with your customers, and stay organized. Share a product update across your social networks and update your customers about special events automatically. Making a personal connection has never been so easy!

Examples:

  • Buffer and Hootsuite each offer unique platforms that help you to streamline your social media efforts by scheduling posts at the optimum time, posting across social networks, uploading custom photos and videos, and centralizing all of your social efforts.
  • IFTTT is an innovative tool that allows you to work more efficiently by helping you with social sharing, productivity, web alerts, and more. Save time and keep up with industry news with IFTTT.

4) Customer support

Quality customer support automation allows you to provide a personal touch, while also making it easy to quickly view, catalog and reference customer requests. By building out processes through automation, your employees can focus on providing the highest quality of customer care.

Example:

  • Zapier is the tool you want at your side to centralize workflow. By connecting all your apps, automating routine tasks, and building processes, Zapier ensures that everything you need to support your customers is always at your fingertips.

5) Appointment and Meeting Scheduling

Scheduling meetings and appointments can be bothersome with variable schedules and busy customers, and nobody enjoys a missed or rescheduled meeting. An efficient scheduling software simplifies managing your day, while also helps you build trust with your customer base, and makes your company feel more approachable and accessible.

Example:

  • AppointmentCore is a fantastic tool that integrates with major calendar and meeting apps. This innovative software creates timeslots for your customers, update internal schedules, and displays easy to navigate calendars. You’ll never double book an appointment again.

6) Collecting Feedback from Customers

Customer feedback helps your company grow. Unfortunately collecting customer feedback can be, you guessed it, time-consuming. As your customer base grows, it gets harder and harder to reach out to each individual and request personalized feedback. Luckily there are tools to help!

Examples:

  • Mailchimp’s tagline is “send better email, sell more stuff.” It allows you to skip the process of selecting who to email, what to say, and when to send it by automating the whole process. Want to send a follow-up email right after a customer makes a purchase? No problem. Email is powerful, and Mailchimp puts this power at your fingertips.
  • SurveyMonkey enables you to make, deliver, and record the results of surveys, quickly and easily. Send your survey via mobile, web, or social media in an accessible format that clients can fill out effortlessly. Plus, it integrates with Mailchimp!

7) Office Supplies – Amazon Dash & Subscribe & Save

Shorten your work week and save time by automating your office supply orders. Avoid submitting the same supply order manually every month and have your orders sent out automatically, without a  second thought.

Examples:

  • Amazon Dash is the new way to shop. Using a simple button or wand, you can order new supplies quickly and effortlessly. It doesn’t get much more streamlined than this.
  • Amazon Subscribe and Save is perfect if you need the same supplies on a month-to-month basis. You just select an item, schedule deliveries, and subscribe to your order. Every month you’ll get your supplies and save up to 15%.

 

Receptionist Tips for Answering the Phone: 3 Ways to Make Your Company’s Greeting Great

First impressions: you never get a second chance to make them, and at Ruby® Receptionists, we’re all about making them great.

For our virtual receptionists, answering the phone is a chance to show off our super-friendly stuff. A company’s greeting plays a key part in making an impeccable impression on a caller, and we love helping new clients craft greetings that wow!

Without further ado, here are three Ruby-approved elements to use when answering the phone:

A greeting.  

I know, you’re shocked.

But, first things first: simply stating your company name isn’t enough. Begin your company’s greeting with “Hello,” or “Thank you for calling,” or, if most of your callers are in the same time zone, try “Good morning/afternoon.” Better yet, combine two or three of these options in your greeting!

Welcome your callers with a few warm words before saying anything else. A little courtesy goes a long way!

Your company name.

Now, “Hello” is a great way to begin a greeting, but it does not a greeting make. If your business is answering the phone with “Hello” alone, call a company meeting pronto and nix that nuttiness. In fact, a plain “Hello” can be confusing to callers, and it’s likely to make them question whether they’ve dialed the correct number. Always state your company name when taking calls. You’d hate to have a potential client hang up on you because they think they’ve misdialed, right?

An offer of assistance.

“How may I help you?” Ah, what beautiful words. Let your callers know you’re raring to make their day by rounding off your greeting with a question. “How may I help you today?” and “How may I assist you?” are two rock solid options. Are you routing calls rather than addressing questions when answering the phone? Perhaps try “How may I direct your call?” Is there a question you need to ask every caller? Ask it! (“May I have your account number please?”)

Because every customer wants to feel considered, ending your greeting with a helpful question makes for an great customer experience every step of the way.

Your Gleaming Greeting:

After all’s said and done, here’s what the finished product should look like, er…sound like, rather:

“Good morning! Thank you for calling ABC Company. How may I help you today?”

I feel good just reading it. Sure beats the heck out of “Hello”!

How do you greet your callers? What works for you, and what doesn’t? Above all, remember to stay true to your company’s values, then perfect the basics for service that shines! We’d love your feedback on how your business goes about answering the phone! For now, click below for more of our carefully curated phone tips. Happy calling!

Get Our Secret Sauce to Phone Success

10 Critical Phone Tips for Construction Professionals

Between email, social media, and chat services, there are plenty of ways for your clients to reach your construction business. But it may come as a surprise that 48% of new clients prefer a phone call as the first point of contact for a local business. Though many of us may shy away from phone calls in favor of text messages in our personal lives, professional telephone etiquette remains a critical skill for all businesses.

In a recent survey, only 21% of clients reported being satisfied by phone interactions with construction professionals, making construction the sector of the survey with the most room for improvement.

It’s important to stay on top of new client relationships as well as existing projects with friendly and approachable phone etiquette. Whether you have a dedicated receptionist or answering your business phone is a shared responsibility, every time your phone rings you have an opportunity to impress (and win jobs).

From the moment a potential client decides to call your business to your parting goodbyes, there are a few simple phone tips that your construction business can make every phone call count.

Be Accessible

Rule number one to growing your business: give clients ample opportunity to connect. When someone realizes they have a problem that you can solve, picking up the phone and dialing in should be as easy as 1,2,3:

  1. Make your phone number easy to find.

    Don’t play hide-and-seek with potential clients—your phone number should be visible on every page of your website and empowered with click-to-call. In fact, wherever your business name appears (Google, Yelp, etc.) make sure your phone number is present and up-to-date!

  2. Make it memorable.

    In a time where cell phones dominate how we connect with one another, the odds of clients (potential or current) memorizing your business number are slim. Stay top of mind by creating something catchy. Think jingles and soundbites that speak to your expertise, something like 1-800-ROOFERS.

  3. Make it a point to pick up.

    What’s the point of driving traffic to your business phone if you’re just going to lose callers to an automated phone system or deflating voicemail? Missing calls is a great way to send business straight into the arms of your competitor.

Be Impressive

Remember that daunting stat we gave you at the beginning of this blog post? While a 79% dissatisfaction rate is pretty alarming, the good news is: you’re doing more than most contractors can by simply picking up the receiver. While this is a great first step, failing to impress while actually speaking with a client can be just as harmful as an impersonal phone tree. Woo your callers into clients with these little bits of Ruby magic:

1. Create a great greeting.


We’ve written a handy how-to for great greetings here, but in summary, your business’s standard telephone greeting should sound something like this:

“Good afternoon! ABC Construction. How may I help you today?” or “Thank you for calling ABC Construction. How may I assist you?”

2. Use hold wisely.

The location of the hold button is one of the first things you learn on your business’s phone system. But how do you communicate your rationale for putting a customer on hold? When it comes to putting a customer on hold, it’s better to ask than tell. Ask your customer’s permission to press the hold button with a simple “May I put you on hold?” Of course, your caller may prefer to stay on the line. If that’s the case, stay on the phone and communicate how it is you’re addressing their question or ask how their day is. A hold button is a valuable tool for your business, but wield it’s power wisely.

3. Be polite.

Incorporate politeness into your client service strategy with a few key phrases. While there’s no shortcut for great phone etiquette, saying “please” and “you’re welcome” will go a long way. Phrases like “my pleasure,” “may I,” and “I’d be happy to…” make a conversation feel balanced, pleasant, and natural—especially when it’s your client’s first point of contact with your business.

4. Smile!

Be sure to smile. You may have heard this piece of advice before, but did you know that you can hear a smile over the phone? Callers will be able to hear the warmth in your voice, and you may find yourself feeling more positive. No one can truly anticipate all of a client’s unique needs, but a smile is an important first step to keeping the conversation upbeat.

5. End the call in style.

When the conversation is winding down, reverse our three-stage greeting for a professional sign off. Be sure that you’ve addressed your customer’s reason for calling by asking if there’s anything else they may need help with. Once the conversation is at a close, thank your caller for reaching out! They’re expressing an interest in your business, so regardless of how the call ends, be sure to thank them for their time. Your final exchange for every call will sound something like:

Is there anything else I can help you with today? Thank you for calling ABC Construction. Have a great day!

 

Looking for a full breakdown of how to turn callers into clients? We’ve got an entire ebook dedicated to just that.

Check it out

 

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?

 

P.S.

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

 

Solopreneur: Customer Service and the New Way to Start-Up

 

Life as a solopreneur can be a breeze!

Your phone alarm beeps and you wake up at the crack of dawn.

You head to the kitchen to put a pot of coffee on to brew. Surveying the fridge, you wish you had just a bit more time to catch some zzz’s.

Breakfast in tow, you sit down to check your schedule for the day: Industry research, appointments, meetings with investors… (and at this point in the process for a solopreneur, everything feels like it’s live or die!)

You ask yourself: How do you build a brand with the prowess of a successful company when you’re starting out as one-person show?

And what does it take to harness the customer service to make your name stick, all while attending to the many needs of an up and coming company? It’s not easy to be superhuman, with only so many hours in the day!

Here’s the truth: You love your business, but the endless to-do lists sometimes make your head spin.

That’s okay. Another cup of coffee might help you. But maybe, just maybe, there’s another way.

After all, polishing your presentation to get in league with the big dogs as a solopreneur takes work.

Fear not! We’ve got a few insights that can give you a running start.

Use Tools and Tech to Work Smarter

Though your company might seem incomparable to bigger businesses, your technology helps level the playing field.

But how?

Well, it’s all about the infrastructure. After all, you’ve already got the goods (a great product or service). As a solopreneur, your offering might even be yourself! The next step is building processes to serve as the foundation of your customer service.

Ask yourself:

  1. Are your customers able to get in touch?
  2. Does a friendly voice answer your phone?
  3. How quickly and efficiently are you meeting their needs?

During our time as a start up, Ruby quickly learned that we cannot deliver on the apex of customer service (making personal connections) without mastering the basics. In response, we developed The Ruby Service Pyramid as a road map to striking the delicate balance between people and process.

Proper infrastructure creates better experiences. Even as a solopreneur, by investing in tools that enable you to work better and faster, you’re well on your way to fostering a little happiness.

And giving that coveted above-and-beyond customer service (that leads to referrals!), puts your business a cut above the rest.

Mastering Your Touch Points

Just like an interview or a first date, your potential customers are sizing you up from the moment you meet. From the tone in your voicemail to the look of your website, your customers get to know you from the way you present or display your business. Each touch point counts!

More than anything, the phone call is what wins business. So when a customer calls, giving them an exceptional experience starting from the first “hello” can keep them calling…and buying!

Here are a few flawless phone answering tips that you’ll be wanting up your sleeves…

  1. Greet your callers graciously
  2. Mind your manners (your p’s and q’s)
  3. Deflect with style
  4. Avoid dead ends
  5. Keep calm and carry on!

Curious? Get the full scoop here.

So, whether it means starting a blog, personalizing your invoices, or sending a handwritten note, take the time to make the extra effort. No opportunity to impress is too small or insignificant. Every step along the buyer journey is a chance for your customers to fall in (or out of) love with your business. Be sure to keep them swooning.

Hint: maximize your impact through accessibility. When your website shows up on the first search, and your emails include a click-to-call phone number, they don’t have to take that extra step to get in touch. Make it easy to connect!

Grow In Grace

Once you’ve got the building blocks lined up and business begins to flourish, don’t lose momentum.

More business=busyness—and when calls are coming in and you’ve got work to be done, the growing pains can be real.

Kind of like where you are, right this moment: schedule jam-packed, to-do list ever-long, still waiting for the coffee to kick in.

The good news? You don’t have to go it alone. If you have the cash flow, bringing on an employee can be a great way to increase productivity, as well as your customer service offering.

But…that isn’t your only option. If you don’t have the extra wiggle room in your budget for a full or part-time hire (or simply don’t want to complicate your business by adding another person to payroll), going virtual is an excellent solution.

What does it mean?

A (good) virtual receptionist service fills the customer experience gap that so often gets missed by a hustling business owner. There to answer your phones when you can’t, a team of live, remote professionals gives your company a polished, established appearance, while building trust with every answered call. At Ruby, we take messages, answer and transfer, make outbound calls, collect intake, and more (just like an in-house hire, but like…waaaaay less expensive).

Our mobile app is pretty cool, too. You can change your call-handling instructions on the fly, view messages, and all call activity. We can *also* give you a local number so you can choose to use your personal or local business number when making a call. BOOM. Two lines, one phone. No more giving out your personal phone number to customers or juggling two separate devices.

Whether you’re just starting out or find yourself uncomfortable in the midst of a growth spurt, Ruby can help. With our small business roots, we know what it can take to ramp up business, and keep it booming. From the solopreneur still working a day job, trying to get their dreams to take flight to the more established, tenured business owner needing just a little extra help, we see you. Ruby’s got you covered.

Plus, we grow (and go) with you.

 

Happy callers turn into customers, and happy customers bring in referrals. With the proper tools, a little mindfulness, and some customer service skills, you’ll be bringing in steady business in no time.

You’ve got what it takes to bring your vision to life, but if you need it, we are…

Here to help!

 

 

 

 

 

Your Complete Guide to the Virtual Office

You know how I like to spend a day at the office?

Sipping on a cappuccino at my favorite coffee shop.

Or perhaps, looking out over the ocean from a sea-side cafe. Maybe with my cats, wrapped up in blankets, and drinking ever more coffee.

Like many other business professionals, the virtual office has become my office of choice.

What is a virtual office?

Remember the days of being shackled to a desk by a landline and typewriter?

Me either.

But, what I do remember is needing to be in the same place as my team to accomplish 90% of my work. Now, with a little tech magic, this isn’t always necessary.

In all of its on-the-go, work-from-wherever glory, the virtual office is the modern-day business solution to the traditional bricks and mortar.

According to our friends at Wikipedia, a virtual office is

 “the operational domain of any business or organization whose workforce includes a significant proportion of workers using technology to perform their work at home.”

To put it plainly, a virtual office primarily exists in cyberspace and without a designated physical location. In opting for a virtual office, employees can work from virtually (heh) anywhere with an internet connection.

Who does a virtual office work for?

Working remotely requires a particular kind of culture. You need go get ’em employees, highly motivated, self-directed, and equipped with the proper tools for success.

The advantages in running a virtual office are especially beneficial for the solo-practice or small business owner. With a small number of employees, or none at all, this can be good for your budget and optimal for growth. After all, moving your team from the internet to a shiny new HQ is much less work (and way less expensive) than hopping from office to office.

The Perks:

  • No commute! Unless, of course, you want one.
  • Employees are able to work when they work best
  • Employees are able to work where they work best
  • Access to talent isn’t limited to a geographic location
  • Lower overhead costs
  • Reduced turnover
  • Assist in the growth of your company

When does it work?

Creating your ideal work environment day to day, hour to hour, is a freedom. This, however, might not work well for everyone.

The Challenges:

  • Seeking out locations to meet with clients
  • A lack of face-to-face interaction can stifle a developing company culture
  • Coordinating meetings and projects with employees in different time zones
  • When you work where you live, “clocking out” and maintaining a separation between work and home can prove problematic
  • Two words: technical difficulties

These drawbacks can pose a real pickle for small businesses. However, if you have big dreams of working from a virtual office, fear not:

There are tools to help you move past these challenges.

Shall we?

Tell me more.

Ruby’s virtual receptionist service + your virtual office = Virtual Love.

We are in the business of virtual, of working remotely, of maintaining a relationship with our customers despite the miles and time zones that separate us.

So, I suppose you could say it takes one to know one.

Here is how we can help:

  • Present a professional, unified front. And look bigger while you do it. Your callers will think Ruby’s receptionists work in your office—even if you don’t actually have one. From answering and transferring calls to you and/or your team, taking messages, making outbound calls, scheduling, and more, you receive all of the skills you’d want from an “in-house” receptionist without having to actually hire one.
  • One number to rule them all. *Cue Lord of the Rings puns.*  Are you running your business from your cell phone? Yikes. How does the idea of being able to choose between a business or a personal number from one phone sound? Yup. Two lines, one phone. We can give you a local or toll free number to grant you a little separation between church and state. It’s really that easy. Plus, regardless if you are a one man show or a team of ten, having one central number makes your business look less piecemeal, and more established, to your customers.
  •  Focus on what you need to accomplish while Ruby takes care of your calls. Take some extra time to do some virtual team building or call a meeting with your employee four hours ahead. Rest assured knowing your callers are receiving a memorable customer experience.

Whether you’re looking for a better way to run your business or simply needing a little extra wiggle room in how you work, going virtual is probably a lot more viable than you would have thought.

Where would you go if there was no office-bound desk to hold you back?

Dream big.

 

Interested in learning more about a virtual receptionist? Check out our What is a Virtual Receptionist eBook!

Let’s Go

Five Easy Ways to Stand Out From the Robo-Advisor Crowd

In a world of technology investment apps, the human touch is a critical differentiator for financial advisors seeking to keep current clients happy and earn new business. Research proves clients want real, person-to-person  communication that apps can’t provide. The Spectrem Group reports that 57% of Millennials and GenXers say it’s important that their advisor calls them regularly, and 87% of Gen Xers expect advisors to respond promptly to inquiries and questions, as do 58% of millennials.

And yet, robo-advisors remain a real threat, especially when it comes to next-generation investors. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates $30 trillion will be passed down to new wealth inheritors by 2020, the vast majority of whom won’t stick with their parents’ advisors. According to wealth management strategist April Rudin of The Rudin Group, a whopping 98% of heirs change advisors soon after receiving their inheritance.

Whether next-gen investors are tempted by cost-effective robo-advisors or good old-fashioned human competition, the risk of losing new inheritors is real. So, how do you separate yourself from the pack and keep the clients you’ve worked so hard to earn? By building trust—and luckily, little everyday actions can help create meaningful connections and show clients the value of your service. Here are five you can implement today!

Communicate with gratitude.

Whether in person or over the phone, make the most of every exchange by using appreciative language, listening, and getting to know your clients. Follow your client’s lead: If they’re up for a little friendly chitchat, engage them and take advantage of the opportunity to build rapport, and if they’re more down-to-business, use the opportunity to showcase your expertise. Regardless of where your conversations take you, aim to express gratitude. The words “thank you” never go out of style!

Build a repeatable process.

After a phone call or meeting with a client, a follow-up email is a good opportunity to reiterate information and make sure your client is heading in the right direction. Forget to mention a bit of helpful info during your conversation? Include it in your follow-up. Don’t have anything specific to relay? Send a thank-you email anyway—or even a personal card! A simple “It was great to talk to you” goes a long way.

Customize and connect.

When’s the last time you received a handwritten note in the mail? It’s rare these days—and that’s what makes it so special. Mailing personalized messages to clients is an easy and inexpensive way to show you care. Try sending a card to commemorate a client’s service anniversary or birthday, or simply to say, “Thank you for your partnership.” Try keeping a stack of cards and stamps handy and set aside time to pen a few notes each week.

Create an exceptional experience.

Every time a client calls, you have the opportunity to enrich a relationship. And for potential clients, that first call is critical: According to Invoca’s report, The State of the Mobile Experience, 74% of callers will move on to another business after one bad phone experience. With all the time you spend networking and all the money you invest in marketing to get your name out there, you surely don’t want to make a poor impression when an important client calls. Next-gen investors are looking for responsiveness that your trusty voicemail can’t deliver—but, of course, you can’t always be available to pick up the phone. A virtual receptionist service is an affordable solution that ensures every call is answered by a friendly professional. Even if you have a dedicated in-house receptionist, a virtual receptionist service can be a great safety net, providing overflow phone coverage as well as coverage during breaks, vacations, emergencies—whenever you need a hand!

Set yourself apart with a virtual receptionist.

Financial advisors often find that leveraging a virtual receptionist helps give that human touch clients are looking for. For Bob Pedrick, Executive Vice President at Chartered Advisory Group, virtual reception has proven an invaluable asset. Pedrick says his virtual receptionist service “brings extraordinary value and efficiency to our practice. When our clients call, a super nice person—not a machine—answers the phone and is able to connect that client to us no matter where we are.”

Set yourself apart from the robots of the world and have a real person answer your phone. Test our service and experience the Ruby difference for yourself!

Experience Ruby

How Financial Professionals Turn on a Dime, Save Time, and Serve Clients with a Remote Receptionist

Financial and Insurance Answering Service - Ruby Receptionists

Remote Receptionists for Better Control, Productivity, and Service

The landscape for financial service professionals has been shifting over the years. The adoption of smartphones and the use of social outlets has impacted the ways advisors connect with their clients. Most people are digging for details about businesses by using their hand-held mobile devices, which puts the capacity for making a phone call merely a click or tap away.

Mobile search will drive more than 73 billion inbound sales calls to small and large businesses in 2018. Looking ahead, it’s predicted that a whopping 162 billion calls will be made to businesses in 2019. Phones will be ringing off the hook!

Potential clients are calling for something they can’t obtain in a web/mobile search alone. Popular reasons people are calling include: quickly getting an answer (59%), talking to a real person (57%), and getting more information (54%)—plus many find it’s convenient to call (42%).

They call because they want to know they’ve been heard and are kept up-to-date on important portfolio items. This is especially relevant as the financial market is unpredictable; when shifts happen, clients are looking for answers—from a real person. Fostering those personal relationships can reduce the risk of clients moving to another advisor.

How can all this dialing drive better results for financial services professionals? First, let’s explore expectations of these callers.

Aligning Customer Experiences with Expectations

Ruby Receptionist for Finance Professionals

While call volume is growing, there is increased expectation for quality customer service. The Spectrem Group reports that 57% of Millennials and Gen Xers say it’s important that their advisor calls them regularly. 87% of Gen Xers expect advisors to respond promptly to inquiries and questions, as do 58% of Millennials.

It’s critical to ensure a good experience that meets or exceeds caller expectations. Understand that they want to speak with a live person—they don’t want to reach voicemail or an automated system. They are calling to talk to someone who can help them.

When to Connect and When to Stay on Task

Should you answer the calls yourself? Between client meetings, creating new investment plans, and personal appointments, sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day. How can you handle incoming calls personally without compromising your productivity, flexibility, and focus? Do you interrupt a client meeting to answer a call? Do you let it go to voicemail? Consider how those behaviors are perceived by your clients and callers, and if you are missing out on connections.

Can You Share the Incoming Calls with Your Team?

You must be confident that team members are equipped and have the bandwidth to help callers or route them properly. Keep in mind the costs associated with having your team answer phone calls versus focusing on higher value-added tasks. It can work if you and your team are ready to make this part of everyday practices.

Should You Hire an In-House Receptionist?

Take the insights of Wheelhouse Wealth Advisors, for example. “We realized the importance of having a live person answering our calls,” says John Postizzi Jr., Branch Manager, Financial Advisor at Wheelhouse. “We knew we didn’t want to hire an in-house receptionist because in this line of business that’s no small undertaking. It would require a thorough screening process and fingerprinting in order to deal with all of the sensitive information related to this line of work.”

Designed to help you best serve your clients, a remote receptionist gives financial service professionals the flexibility to run your business in a way that best meets your needs and your clients’ needs. That real, human touch helps you create meaningful connections with callers. Plus, you gain the freedom to work the way you want—in the office, on the road, wherever!

What’s a Ruby Receptionist?

If you’re interested in experiencing the difference a quality remote receptionist service can make for your financial services business, Ruby® Receptionists is here for you! We serve many financial service professionals from small boutique brokerages to LPL and our partners NAPFA and FPA. We’re the front-line voice for more than 7,000 businesses in the U.S. and Canada, and passionate about helping small businesses grow and keeping those essential human interactions alive.

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