WOW Story of the Month: Whipping Up Magic with Ruby

Cooking with Ruby

Rubys love to bond over food! Now all of our beloved Ruby recipes are compiled in one stylish cookbook.

The idea for Cooking with Ruby was first born over three years ago by Beaverton receptionist, Venis F. After years of planning, designing, gathering our favorite recipes, and Venis’ tireless pursuit of this ultimate dream, Cooking with Ruby is a reality!

The book includes over 100 Ruby favorite recipes. And Rubys are already sharing the cookbook and whipping up some magic with our customers. In fact, Customer Happiness team member, Gabby G. had been waiting for this book for some time.

Gabby connected with Ruby customer Gail way back in August of 2016. Gail sent Ruby some brown sugar chocolate chip cookies she made from an old family recipe. Gabby loved the cookies and sent back a thank you card complete with a Ruby photobooth pic of her enjoying the homemade treat! Gail then made sure to send Gabby the recipe, mentioning that she’s from a large Italian family that loves to cook.

Gabby knew that a Ruby cookbook was in the works and has been waiting patiently since the summer to send Gail her own copy. The time finally came, and Gail is in love! She’s even ready to send back a compilation of over 250 of her family’s favorite recipes. Talk about creating community!


OMG! Thank you sooooooooooo much for the cookbook. Totally unexpected—but will be used and treasured. My coworkers already are making copies of the recipes. When I get my Family Cookbook CD back from my coworker, I will send you a copy for you and the staff to use. Think you will enjoy it. Thank you again!


 

5 Tips for Building Long-term Customer Loyalty

Building long-term customer relationships

On Tuesday we discussed three strategies that will help you build the foundation for meaningful customer relationships. Today we’re going to take that process a step deeper!

Beauty and value are in the eyes of the beholder. That’s why they say a business is only as good as the customer says it is.

One study found that almost 70 percent of 2,000 people surveyed, and 82 percent of millennials surveyed, check online reviews before they buy a product. Another report shows that 88 percent of people trust an online review as much as a review from someone they know.

It’s not a surprise, then, that most businesses crave the kind of quality feedback that entices new shoppers to make purchases, whether that means visiting a website for a product or service or stopping into a brick-and-mortar store. Excellent customer service is vital for those reviews and recommendations, but the key to this success comes when businesses build long-term relationships that go beyond a one-time project or purchase while providing continuous benefits to their clients.

Building a loyal customer base takes time and effort, but a small investment of your resources could help you see a boost that both retains current clients and attracts new customers.

Try incrementally incorporating these 5 tips into your business routine to get started building loyalty today.

Pay Attention to Details

Once you’ve landed your customer, always keep your CRM at hand.

Use your software to keep notes every time you interact with a customer, jotting down information about their family, birthdays, and anything interesting that they might mention. Then, follow up next time to you talk to them!

Customer loyalty expert Fred Reichheld wrote about one experience where an employee at a web hosting and cloud computing firm was troubleshooting with a customer. In the background, the customer mentioned getting hungry, so the employee put them on hold and called to have a pizza delivered. By paying attention to the situation surrounding the phone call, that employee was able to go above and beyond to WOW their customer.

Go Old-School

A handwritten note, even if it’s just a few short lines, can make a world of difference in how your customer perceives you. It’s an opportunity to display your appreciation and convey a deeper investment in their happiness. A handwritten note gives them a lasting reminder that keeps your name and business in front of them, and reminds them that you care. Plus, as a bonus for you, expressions of gratitude have been shown to give the writer better health and satisfaction in life.

Treat Your Employees Well

Happy employees lead to happy customers.

When you treat employees well and earn their respect, they’re much more likely to display the positivity that wins over customers. A corporate culture that fosters loyalty is more than just fair and consistent; it demonstrates excellent customer service in each and every interaction.

Teaching and hiring for positivity and good customer service is effective, but not nearly as effective as teaching by example.

Keep Your Word

If you make a promise or guarantee, do your best to meet the deadline.

Reliability is vital to building a long-term customer base, as customers know that you not only value your service or product, but you also value their business specifically. Reliability includes getting products delivered on time, ensuring that you’ve completed the projects promised, and being honest and genuine with your customers. If something comes up that keeps you from maintaining that deadline or schedule, promptly communicate with the customer while finding a way to make the situation right.

More often than not, customers just appreciate the honesty.

Communicate Well

As you can see, all of these tips boil down to good communication. Whether you’re on the phone, sending an email, sending a thank-you note or setting up a customer rewards program, clear and compelling communication should be your priority.

Strong customer communication could mean offering loyal customers a first look at a new product or service, developing a protocol that involves prompt response, or even offering customers more in-depth how-tos or free guides. Add informative pieces to your marketing and advertising communications by sharing information that will serve your community of customers.

Ruby Receptionists caps its Ruby Service Pyramid with “making meaningful connections.” These connections developed over regular, consistent communication and a commitment to giving customers the absolute best service possible. Ruby keeps its infrastructure ready to keep its word, and put customers’ needs first.

Take a look at how your company is serving customers in both the business and non-business areas. They want to like you and be loyal, so show them why they should.

Gabe Arnold

 

Gabe Arnold is the founder of Copywriter Today where you can get unlimited fresh content for all your marketing needs. If you want 250 free headline ideas for your next marketing campaign, use their free tool here.

WOW Story of the Month: A Year in the Making

Connecting with customers via music

Ruby customer, Michael was in Portland and popped by Ruby’s HQ office to say hello. Past sales associate, Stephanie was the one that signed Michael up, so she made sure to stop by and introduce herself during his visit. Stephanie had barely finished shaking his hand when Michael began raving about his experience with Ruby.

He told Stephanie his favorite Ruby story, and it goes a little something like this:

On a pretty typical day in 2015, Michael answered a call from Ruby and chatted a bit with the receptionist, Amber. However, what was not so typical about that day was that Michael had been having a pretty tough time personally.

On top of that, he just heard that one of his favorite musical artists (Scott Weiland from the band Stone Temple Pilots) had passed away. He mentioned this to Amber, who it turns out, was also mourning Scott’s passing. She commiserated with Michael and followed up with him by sending him one of STP’s CDs and a kind note of support.

Fast forward to a year later when Michael is standing in the Ruby office telling Stephanie that he was completely blown away by Amber’s surprise gift. He had been truly upset about Scott’s passing, especially on top of his personal struggles. He told Stephanie that Amber’s gift reminded him that everything wasn’t so bad and this had really meant so much to him at the time. He was so moved remembering this connection that he was nearly brought to tears when relaying the story, a year after the fact.

Yet, the huge impact this sweet connection had on Michael is just the tip of the iceberg. Amber’s thoughtfulness made some huge ripples throughout Michael’s community over the last year. Michael said that he tells this same story to everyone he meets—he couldn’t even count the number of people who had heard about Amber, her gift, the connection…and Ruby.

This one simple act of kindness and human connection lifted the spirits of someone having a difficult time and has gained a Ruby advocate for life.

Customer Love, The Ruby Way

What does customer love mean to you?

On Valentine’s Day, Ruby Founder and CEO Jill Nelson was the speaker at an AMA PDX luncheon. Her topic: love—specifically customer love.

If you look up the definition of love, you’ll find something along the lines of “an intense feeling of deep affection,” synonymous with fondness, tenderness, warmth, and attachment.

That’s a great definition. When you strip away all the excess connotations, love is an important goal for many businesses like Ruby: showing customers the love with a great product, service, and brand.

At Ruby, our mission is to preserve and perpetuate real, meaningful connections in an increasingly technology-focused, virtual world.

What does that come down to? Real. Meaningful. Warm. Love.

Here are just a few of the ways Ruby works to show and share our customer love!

Structure: The Ruby Service Pyramid

Ruby Service Pyramid

It’s the Ruby Service Pyramid that has empowered us to build the scalable service-minded culture that we have today. Only once we’ve built the foundation, put the processes in place, and trained the right people, can we blow our customers away.

Consistency is key when it comes to customer love, and with the Ruby Service Pyramid, we create consistent experiences from the bottom up. To make meaningful connections with our customers, first we have to build the right infrastructure. Then we have to commit ourselves to meeting our promises, fostering happiness (inside and outside of our company), creating experiences, and anticipating the unexpressed needs of our customers.

The Ruby Service Pyramid

Theme: In Our Customer’s Shoes

Our theme for 2017 is “In Our Customer’s Shoes,” which aims to answer the question, “how well do you know your customers?”

You can’t love what you don’t know. While we’ve always gotten to know our customers on a one-on-one basis—one of the great perks of being a remote receptionist company—we’re striving to spend 2017 getting to know our customers better than ever.

With customers from a variety of industries—including legal, construction, marketing, real estate, and more—we recognize and embrace the need to understand the nuances of our different customers, and their differing needs.

The more we understand our customers, the better we’re able to WOW them.

“In Our Customer’s Shoes.”

Process: Grow

core-values-growGrow is one of Ruby’s five core values, and we work to achieve it externally and internally by helping our customers grow, and fostering our employees’ growth.

Fostering employee growth means empowering them. Instead of managers, we have cultivators. A bad week doesn’t mean punishment. Instead, it’s an opportunity for improvement. Happy employees mean happy customers, and we try to have the happiest employees around!

We also empower our employees with the ability to send WOW gifts at their own discretion. By giving them the power to do whatever they need to do to make someone’s day, they have the opportunity to connect with our customers directly. It makes that connection meaningful, personal, and memorable—for both our customers and our employees.

When our employees grow, we grow, enabling us to better help our customer’s businesses grow.

Our Core Values

Goal: The Concept of WOW

core-values-practice-wowismAt Ruby, we’re not just about answering your phones; we’re about making your day.

And that’s exactly what WOWism is. Practice WOWism is one of our core values, and it’s the act of blowing our customers away. We don’t strive for fine, acceptable, or alright—we strive for surprised, delighted, WOWed. And what else is WOWism but Ruby’s way of showing our customers we appreciate them?

WOWism

Customer love is a movement. It’s a culture. And maybe, in the end, Ruby’s mission really is all about spreading the love.

WOW Story of the Month: Fulfilling Unexpressed Needs

Ruby Service Pyramid

Ruby is the best in the biz in a lot of ways. At the top of this list is our ability to use our best judgment to fulfill our customers’ unexpressed needs—known as “give them what they don’t even know they want” on the Ruby Service Pyramid. Ruby receptionist, Chris, read a recent situation perfectly and went above and beyond to make a customer’s day, not once but twice!

Chris announced a call to Laura that was a bit out of the ordinary. He let her know that the person on the other line was looking for some old and possibly outdated information. Laura laughed ironically and remarked, “I’m literally having the worst day.”

Fulfilling Unexpressed NeedsChris wasn’t about to let that comment go unnoticed. “You know what? This call doesn’t sound pressing, and I would be glad to take a message so that you can concentrate on your work.” Even though Laura hadn’t asked Chris to do this, it was exactly what she needed, without even knowing it. “Oh my goodness! You would be a life saver right now,” she exclaimed. Chris handled the call as promised and went about his day. But he wasn’t done lifting Laura’s spirits.

Chris sent her a thoughtful note and a Starbucks gift card to help her out of her slump. With this extra bit of care, he climbed right to the top of the pyramid, where “make meaningful connections” is key.

Laura could not have been more grateful. She immediately wrote into Ruby to thank Chris personally for his time, his thoughtfulness, and his gift.

“I wanted to personally thank you for the note and Starbucks gift card. That was SO thoughtful of you. I was actually speechless, which doesn’t happen often. People like yourself that go above and beyond are a special breed in this crazy harsh world we live in. So thank you again. You made my day, my week, and my month!”

Taking the time to connect with our customers and make sure that they’re heard, cared for, and WOWed makes all the difference. Chris’ excellent intuition and follow through were on point—a perfect example of Ruby’s Service Pyramid in action!

3 Free Ways to Show Your Customers Love

Showing Your Customers Love

Gifts can be a lovely gesture, but they’re no match for real, meaningful connections when it comes to surprising, delighting, and building trust with your customers—and sometimes the simplest and least expensive (read: free!) approaches are the most powerful. In fact, everyday tasks we often take for granted can be the perfect way to show customers you care. If you’re looking for ways to express your appreciation, don’t underestimate these standbys:

1. A notecard. If you’re a regular to the Ruby resource library or follow us on social media, you know we’re crazy about handwritten notecards. This simple gesture packs a big punch, largely because it’s a rarity. There’s nothing like finding a hand-penned envelope amid a pile of otherwise junk mail! In the few minutes it takes to jot a quick note and put it in the mail, you create a memorable experience that’s sure to brighten a favorite customer’s day.

2. An email. That’s right: email. Am I talking about a beautifully designed email template full of bright colors and captivating images? Nope. Well, sure, if you have the time for that—but it’s not the point. A simple, plain-text email can be a great connection maker with the right content and context. In those moments when you’re struck by a notion of, “Wow—that customer is really something special!” take three minutes to send a message letting them know. Something as simple as this does the trick beautifully:

It was great to chat with you the other day. I just wanted to reach out and let you know how much I appreciate your business! Thank you for being a loyal customer.

Type, send, impress!

3. A phone call. In a world of text messages, tweets, Facebook posts and the like, a live phone call has the potential to stand out, especially when your intention is to express gratitude. It can also seem a bit daunting. Here’s the trick: don’t overthink it. If you’re prepping for an important conference call, by all means, fret, plan, practice—but when you’re calling a customer to say “I appreciate you,” it’s best to just pick up the phone and go for it. A sincere expression of thanks beats a script any day.

Bonus! 4. Video email. Services like BombBomb make it easy to record and send short videos to customers using your computer’s webcam or your smartphone—a great way to introduce yourself, thank a customer, or just say hi. While not all video email services are free, a creative video message can be a unique way to really make an impression, as evidenced by this WOW story.

However you choose to connect with your customers, the point is to do it. To set yourself up for success, carve out time each week (or each day) to write a notecard or two, send a friendly email, make a call. Stock your office with stamps, cards, and envelopes; keep a stack of sticky notes handy so you can jot down the names of any customers you want to follow up with—whatever works for you. Making customer connections a priority is a great way to earn loyalty, and it’s a fun and rewarding pursuit.

WOW Story of the Month: To the Left, To the Left

Ruby customers have a diverse taste in music—from jazz to hip-hop, country to classical. Yet, no matter your preference, unless you’ve avoided the Internet for the past 10 years, chances are you’ve heard of Beyoncé. Former member of 90’s girl group, Destiny’s Child? Top-selling recording artist? Rival of Becky? (You know, the one with the good hair?)

Ruby customer, Valerie has definitely heard of Beyoncé. In fact, as Ruby Problem Solver & Happiness Maker, Tim learned, Valerie recently attended one of Bey’s concerts. Tim knew how excited Valerie must have been and what an epic experience she probably had. So he decided to get his team together to bring a bit of Beyoncé flair to Valerie—Ruby style!

Tim enlisted the help of his fellow Rubys, Chloe and Renata, to create a Customer Happiness team trifecta. They sang, they danced, they even played a ukulele. Choosing one of Beyoncé’s throwback hits, “Irreplaceable”, they delivered Valerie (aka, Valeroncé) the concert encore of a lifetime.

Valerie was tickled pink! How could she not be?

“YAASSS! This made me smile so big!! Y’all know this is fair game for social media, right?!?!”

This crew truly put it all out on the line to make a customer smile. They weren’t afraid to get a little goofy, have some fun, and share their unique talents and personalities. Chances are, whenever Valerie has the opportunity to chat with any of these three, she’s going to remember their video and that smile will return to her face.

WOW Story of the Month: Perfect Prom Connection

Bow Tie on a shiny gold background with stars shape

It’s homecoming season! In the spirit and tradition of this nostalgic time of year—and the school dances high school students everywhere are inevitably preparing for—this month’s WOW Story goes all the way back to last spring and another dance tradition: prom!

Ah, prom. Tuxedos and cummerbunds, tulle and tiaras, limos, sparkles, corsages, and teenagers dancing the night away. But what about the parents? These events are often just as meaningful for proud moms and dads.

Ruby customer, Angela, happened to mention to receptionist Caitlin how busy her son was preparing for his very first junior prom. Upon learning about this momentous occasion, Caitlin decided to make sure this was a night his mom would always remember!

Caitlin picked out the perfect prom photo frame for Angela, knowing these are the moments parents treasure forever. Angela’s response? Nothing short of touching.

Angela gushed about Caitlin, about the gift, and about Ruby. She shared that her son and his girlfriend discovered one of their best friends wasn’t planning on attending because she didn’t have a date. They insisted that she come along with them. Angela’s son even bought both dates a corsage! With her mother in the hospital, this invitation meant more to the couple’s friend than they had even imagined. Her grandmother did her hair and her father was there to see her whisked off for a magical night.

The group had a terrific time and Caitlin’s gift is a forever reminder, not only of a simple school dance but of the kind gesture Angela’s son made at his first Junior Prom.

You made me cry (good cry). Your gift was something unexpected and to see such kindness and thoughtfulness made me cry.

 

Thank you for the note on my son’s Prom. Thank you for the frame for his picture.  Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for being such an important part of our extended office. I am so very grateful for finding your company.  All of you guys have been nothing less than the perfect company and I am truly thankful for having you.

Angela’s quip about Ruby being a part of their extended office is exactly why we’re here. It is in these moments when we become part of our customers’ teams that we know we are delivering on our mission of creating real, meaningful connections.