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.

WOW Story of the Month: A Little Comfort Goes a Long Way

Hand holding stuffed felt hearts

Ruby customer, Jonathan Whistman, received a call that you never want to get: his coworker, Kellie, had been in an accident. A major one. Miraculously she sustained only extensive bruising and discomfort.

Following the accident, Jonathan called into Ruby to ask that Kellie’s calls be rerouted while she was out recovering. What happened next, he never expected.

heated neck wrapWimberley M., the receptionist handling the call, wanted to show Kellie that we were thinking about her in this difficult time. She hoped to send something that would soothe Kellie’s pain and her spirit. Something warm. Something simple. She decided on an aromatherapy heated neck wrap that would provide some comfort to Kellie just when she needed it the most.

Kellie and Jonathan were so touched by this simple gesture, that Jonathan published it on his blog. The post featured companies who fostered a sense of human connection in the wake of this event. Sound familiar?

Since it was published, Jonathan’s post has been viewed over 700 times and has garnered a slew of likes and comments. He shared that Ruby was already doing a superb job of handling their calls before they received Wimberley’s package. But it was this connection that has created a sense of loyalty for them; that showed them that Ruby places people and values first.

“Thanks, Ruby. You made us smile in an otherwise difficult week. They also accomplished what no amount of corporate advertising could; they cemented our love for Ruby and our sense of loyalty. They’ve earned the right to get it wrong a few times, because in this moment they got it perfect.”

His hope? That sharing this story would, “inspire others to be human in their reactions to the people they do business with.” We couldn’t agree more.

WOW Customers by Delivering the Unexpected

The Ritz-Carlton is famous for anticipating the needs of their guests, winning dedicated lifelong customers in the process (and getting some pretty great press). How do their employees achieve the impressive task of providing guests with what they need before they ask for it, or even think of it? By making it a priority: “Anticipation and fulfillment of each guest’s needs” is part of their Three Steps of Service.

Although Ritz-Carlton’s legendary service certainly sets a high bar, there are many ways for businesses big and small to fulfill unexpressed customer needs, without the aid of a Ritz-Carlton-sized budget. At Ruby® Receptionists, we call it Giving Them What They Don’t Even Know They Want, and it’s the second-highest level of our Ruby Service Pyramid. (If you missed our recent blog posts detailing each level of the Ruby Service Pyramid, you can catch up by starting here.)

Just like Ritz-Carlton, surprising and delighting customers is an achievable goal for any business that makes it a priority. Here are three ways to start enriching your customer experience with the unexpected:

Pay attention to subtle clues

Listen to what your customers tell you, and what they don’t tell you. A pause, a change in tone of voice, a facial expression, a sigh, or a casual-seeming “Hmmmm” can all be signs that your customer wants something they aren’t asking for. Take hesitation as your cue to proactively offer solutions. No mind-reading necessary—if you’re not sure, take a guess!

I’d be happy to see if we can expedite your shipping time—would that be helpful?

Why don’t we finish these forms later—how does that sound?

How about I meet you before the presentation so I can answer any last-minute questions?

Even if your guess misses the mark, it’ll provide a jumping-off point for a deeper conversation, and encourage your customer to disclose a bit more.

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes

What does your typical customer journey entail? Walk yourself through it, and as you do, ask yourself what you’d like to experience if you were a customer. What could make it easier, more efficient, more pleasant? It may be as simple as providing water and coffee in your break room, including driving directions in any correspondence, or keeping tissues within customer reach during cold and flu season. Don’t underestimate the power of little niceties—the comfort they provide can make the difference in your customer’s day.

Live and learn

Use common requests as an opportunity to refine your customer experience. If there’s something new customers often ask for, start delivering it proactively. Pay attention to seasonal trends, and use them as opportunities to show customer appreciation. An uptick product sales around the holidays might prompt you to offer a discount, for example. As you develop relationships with customers and learn more about them, use that knowledge to guess their next steps, and provide them with what they’ll need before they get there.

When you make it a part of your standard customer experience, anticipating the needs of your customers gets easier over time—and it never gets less fun. Giving customers what they don’t even know they want is one of the most rewarding aspects of being on the Ruby team. As excited as our customers get when met with a well-designed surprise, we’re just as thrilled, if not more so. Nothing feels better than brightening someone’s day, and nothing goes farther in building a strong customer relationship. If you invest the effort to fulfill unexpressed needs, prepare to be as delighted as your customers.

WOW Story of the Month: Queen of Everything

Picture1Like most businesses, Ruby receives a huge flow of incoming emails each day. To help us manage our general inbox, we have a dedicated group to sort through each and every email—our Happiness Concierge team. With so many emails coming through, the team stumbles across a few tidbits that aren’t quite business as usual from time to time. Such was the case with an assist request sent in by Ruby customer, Hunter Lowder.

Assists are outbound calls our Rubys make on behalf of our customers. Need to confirm or cancel an appointment with a client? Want to add a bit of extra care by proactively offering driving directions to seminar participants? Our assist service is the perfect solution!

As a frequent user of Ruby’s assist service, Hunter’s request itself was nothing out of the ordinary—that was until the team noticed Hunter’s new email signature: Hunter Lowder, Queen of Everything. This opportunity to WOW could not be missed!

The entire Happiness Concierge team cooked up a plan to have a custom desk nameplate made for Hunter, showcasing her new title. Once it arrived, they also hopped in the Ruby photo booth and snapped a quick pic. The gift, the photo, and a card personally signed by the whole team flew off to Hunter post haste.

The response? Priceless. Hunter loved the gift! And it came at just the right time, in the middle of a hectic couple of months. She even shared the story with her company’s 3,275 Facebook followers on their business page!

“WOW! It’s official. Thank you so much to the wonderful people at Ruby Receptionists for this plaque! After a stressful 5 months (yes, I’m counting) it literally brought a tear to my eye that the fabulous people who help me so much by fielding our millions of phone calls (slight exaggeration) sent me a thank you. It’s really the little things that businesses can do for their clients, people who refer them, etc. that make a huge difference in loyalty. I will be with this company forever (since it doesn’t look like we’re ever going to get it together enough to answer our own calls)! Thank you all for the lovely present.”

How Consistency Carves a Pathway to Legendary Service

Abstract gears

What separates your business from the competition? What’s your differentiator? At Ruby® Receptionists, we strive to set ourselves apart by delivering legendary service. To ensure we’re always working toward that goal, we rely on Ruby Service Pyramid—our roadmap for success.

The peak of our pyramid is Make Meaningful Connections. In order to reach that peak, we need a solid infrastructure, and we need to reliably hit the second level of our pyramid: Do What We Say We’ll Do. If you missed our discussion of the first level of the pyramid, Be Prepared With the Right Infrastructure, you can find it here.

Ruby Service Pyramid

We’ve found that before we can really WOW our customers, we must establish trust by delivering on our promises. Sending a thoughtful gift to a customer can be a great way to make a meaningful connection—but if we’re failing to provide consistent service, that customer is likely to be taken aback by a gift, and may even wonder, “What am I really paying for?”

Whatever your company’s ultimate goal, making and keeping commitments is essential to building positive customer relationships. Evan H., a Problem Solver & Happiness Maker at Ruby, puts it well:

Evan HIn the virtual world, communication truly defines our relationships. When we rarely meet face-to-face, how we interact voice-to-voice (or more often email-to-email) determines how we move forward, together. In this regard, consistently setting the right expectation, and then following through on that promise, allows for the development of a deep and long-term trust. A trust that in turn, serves as the foundation for lasting partnerships.

With some careful planning, you and your team can build customer trust by consistently doing what you say you’ll do. Here are some ways to get there:

Make reasonable commitments. Before you do what you say you’ll do, you have to, well, say you’ll do something. To set yourself apart from the competition, that something has to be big, right? Not necessarily. It can be tempting to make flashy promises, but without results to back them up, they’re meaningless—and possibly detrimental to your reputation. Make commitments, but choose them wisely, especially in the beginning. What do you know you can provide to customers? Tell them about it, show them why it’s important, and then—most importantly—do it. Whatever the scope of your promises, it’s your follow-through that counts.

Set yourself up for success with systems. Do you know anyone who has all the birthdates of their friends and family members memorized? Neither do I, but I know a few impressive individuals who send birthday cards to their loved ones without fail. Their system? The good, old-fashioned calendar. Don’t rely on your memory and good intentions. Put systems in place to remind you to make that call, send that bill, or place that package in the mail.

Leave space to think big. Today’s commitments may be small, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work toward bigger, flashier ones. While you’re acting in the now, think about the future, and work to turn stretch goals into standard practices. Dedication, trial and error, and time all play a role in expanding your core offerings, so carve out room to experiment and brainstorm. When you master that next offering, add it to your list of what we say we’ll dos—but only then.

Correct big for slip-ups. If one of your commitments does fall through the cracks, do whatever you need to do to show that your mistake isn’t “business as usual.” Longtime customers may be forgiving of the occasional flub, but don’t assume so—and be sure to go all out when apologizing to newer customers. Reverse charges, offer credits, send flowers if you need to. Prove your dedication, and then, do whatever it takes to ensure the same mistake doesn’t happen again.

Glynn DDoing what we say we’ll do is fundamental to the Ruby, and to any successful business. Ruby Office Experience Manager Glynn D. captures it simply and beautifully:

When I do what I say I’ll do, I’m being responsible and accountable for someone else’s experience—something that I don’t ever want to personally disappoint.

Click here for the next post in our Ruby Service Pyramid® series.

WOW Story: A Memorable Musical Connection

A little question like “What are you up to this weekend?” can be a way to break the ice, make casual chitchat around the watercooler, or learn a bit more about an acquaintance. And as Ruby® Receptionists employee Geneva learned, it can be a jumping-off point for a WOW-worthy surprise. 

Geneva, a member of Ruby’s Client Happiness team, was chatting with client Jeff over the phone when Jeff mentioned his plans to spend the weekend listening to Bob Dylan. Ever-dedicated to going the extra mile, Geneva decided to send Jeff the perfect complement to his weekend musicfest: a book detailing the meaning behind Dylan’s songs. After wrapping the book and adding a handwritten notecard, Geneva sent it Jeff’s way.

Jeff’s gift arrived on Friday, just in time for the weekend. Not long after, an exuberant email from Jeff arrived in Geneva’s in-box, entitled “How cool are you and Ruby? (that’s a rhetorical question!)” Among other words of praise, Jeff wrote,

That book is way, way over the top and so thoughtful. Not many people in business these days that listen so closely to their customers and do something special. If Ruby ever decides they don’t want to answer calls, you can always go into the business of teaching others what customer service is about and how to build long term, steadfast relationships.

Jeff’s reaction shows just how powerful a well-timed gift can be, and how a little friendly conversation can be the first step toward an enriched customer relationship. Congratulations to Geneva on making Jeff’s weekendand making a lasting, meaningful connection!

WOW Story: May the Force Be With Steve!

Chloe W. notecard 1

This year, something incredibly exciting happened: a new Star Wars movie was released! The world celebrated, and so did Ruby employees and clients alike.

Steve A., one such Ruby client, teased receptionist Chloe W. for having waited a bit longer than most to catch the flick. Her response? A Ruby-themed Star Wars notecard. She even turned Ruby into an X-wing pilot!

Chloe W. notecard 2

Another receptionist, Nikko P., made a similar connection with Steve when he suggested Rubys must be able to use the Force. Unaware of Chloe’s card, Nikko  also made Steve a Star Wars themed notecard, which depicted Darth Vader.

Nikko P. notecard

Steve was so impressed with Chloe and Nikko’s skills that he suggested they go into the card making business. Well done, Rubys!