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At Ruby, we view every telephone call we answer as an opportunity to create a meaningful connection with another person. Most of the calls our talented receptionists handle are brief, but we’ve learned a conversation doesn’t have to be long to be impactful. A few conversational tweaks can take an everyday exchange from okay to outstanding—even if it lasts for just a matter of seconds.

To illustrate the impact even a short call can make, let’s check out the before version of this phone call:


The receptionist is professional and to-the-point, but she misses a few key opportunities to reach out to her caller. The call is short, but not exactly sweet.

Let’s try that once more, with a little warmth:


Wow—what a difference a few friendly words make! The little changes our receptionist made during the second example don’t add a lot time to the call, and enrich the caller’s experience considerably. Our receptionist comes across as bright and caring, and she makes a great impression of the firm she represents by extension. Just how does she work her magic? Here’s a rundown!

Acknowledging. Our caller has clearly been through some rough stuff. By acknowledging the caller’s personal story (“I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through—it certainly sounds frustrating!” and “It sounds like you’ve been through quite a lot!“), the receptionist shows she’s listening, and that she cares.

“Does that work for you?” Rather than assuming a 3:00 PM call-back time will work for the caller, our receptionist asks the caller—showing respect for the caller’s schedule.

Keeping the caller in the loop. Our receptionist lets the caller know she’s about to delve into questions with a friendly, “If you don’t mind, I have a few quick questions for you.”

Lots of thank-yous. Who tires of hearing “thank you”? When the caller answers our receptionist’s intake questions, she shows her appreciation.

Using the caller’s name. As soon as the caller gives his name, our receptionist builds rapport by repeating it back to him: Thank you, Mike! This simple habit creates trust and shows she’s paying attention.

Accepting an invitation to connect. When the caller mentions his accident happened on a “rainy mess of a night,” our receptionist seizes the opportunity to relate and connect: We certainly have a lot of those in Oregon!

Confirming information. By confirming the caller’s telephone number, our receptionist instills confidence in her message-taking skills, and assures the caller he’ll receive a return call at the right place.

Whether you’re chatting with potential clients over the phone, greeting customers in person, or emailing colleagues, simple courtesies like these can help you and your business stand out. Stay tuned for more conversation makeovers from the Ruby team!

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