You Had Me at Hello

Customer Service Phone Tips

Do you believe in love at first sight? I’m not talking about romantic love. I’m talking about product love. That moment you catch sight of something that you have to have?

In 2018, love at first sight is rarer than ever. Every service and product has dozens of competitors, and consumers are only getting more financially conscious—becoming smarter shoppers. They want to learn more before committing.

Now, more than ever, love starts at hello.

The age of customer service is here.

In the United States, in particular, customer service is your superpower as a company. From sales to customer retention, roofing contractors to financial professionals, it’s that moment of “hello” that makes all the difference.

At Ruby, we talk a lot about the power of first impressions. And that’s where it starts. Your first impression kicks off what could be an incredibly positive, or frustrating, relationship with a potential customer.

Of course, that’s just your first “hello.” Everything that follows is just as important. How your sales team, customer support, and receptionists interact with customers and potential customers defines your relationships.

Every interaction is a “hello”—an opportunity to blow their socks off and win them over.

Here are three reasons your “hello” is the key to the hearts of your audience.

1. Your “Hello” Shows You Care

Do you:

  • Answer the phone when potential customers call?
  • Respond to email timely and in a friendly voice?
  • Support your customers throughout their entire lifecycle—from potential customer to long-time groupie?

If your answer to any of these questions is “no,” your customers probably don’t know you care about them. When there are hundreds of lawyers, dozens of HVAC professionals, and thousands of retailers to choose from… why would they choose your business?


According to a Walker study, by the year 2020, 86% of customers will pay more for a better customer experience.
On top of that, according to Invoca, 80% of customers said a positive phone experience is likely to make them a repeat customer.


Surveys say your customers (and potential customers) care about customer service. Do you?

2. Your “Hello” Builds Trust

Once you’ve gotten past step one—earning a customer and showing you care—it’s time to start building real trust. You want your customers to be so in love with your brand that, if a cheaper option shows up knocking on their front door with roses in hand, they won’t answer.

Consumers want to work with or buy from companies they trust. It’s your responsibility, as a business trying to win their hearts, to prove to them that they can trust you with consistently excellent customer service.

3. Your “Hello” Builds Loyalty

I’m extremely loyal to my plumber. Is he the cheapest? No. Is he the fastest? Still no. But my plumber is the nicest man I’ve ever met. When I called him because my kitchen faucet (completely unrelated to my bathroom remodel project) was leaking, he sat on the phone with me and gave me advice. I love my plumber.

You win their mind with your product and their heart with your service.

Any day, a product or service just as good as yours could come around. Competition is tough, and copy-cat businesses aren’t rare. Heck, I can find dozens of plumbers near me with a simple Google search.

But if you’ve won over their hearts, your customers will stick with you!

Are you looking to win over the hearts of your customers? Check out our free ebook: Using Words to Turn Callers into Clients. In it, Ruby’s VP of Customer Success, Christina Burns discusses how to approach every communication with your customers as an opportunity to spark a connection, gain trust, and earn loyalty!

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Incent, Inspire, Empower: Practical Situational Leadership with Rosy Rocha

In a recent post for the Small Giants Community blog, Ruby® Founder and CEO, Jill Nelson underlines the value of creating a service-driven culture. “Whatever your line of work, a service-driven culture fosters happy customers and employees, and that translates to increased revenue and business growth,” she notes.

If your business is anything like Ruby, establishing a culture of service is table stakes. We take our service-delivery pretty seriously and we couldn’t offer the unparalleled level of service we’re known for without Incent, Inspire, and Empower®, our unique management philosophy.

Meet Rosy, Ruby’s first bilingual team leader

There is perhaps nothing more daunting in your career than to start a brand-new team from scratch. Not only that, but also to pioneer a first-time service offering and lead your team in meeting company-wide service standards in an entirely different language!

Bilingual Receptionist Cultivator, Rosy Rocha is the intrepid Ruby responsible for creating and maintaining Ruby’s Spanish service delivery. And she’s relied heavily on Incent, Inspire, and Empower to get her there!

“As a manager of a team and Ruby’s bilingual service, the IIE philosophy gives me the opportunity to genuinely practice situational leadership. It helps me know each team member a little better and supports me in keeping them motivated and engaged!”

Incentives in Action

At Ruby, we incent around the things that matter (i.e. the things that help us deliver on our mission and keep us living our core values). How? This question is really all about where we place our time and resources. So, on the most basic level, we are committed to compensating our staff well by offering competitive wages and top benefits.

We also recognize our employees and their accomplishments at every opportunity. And we make sure that these recognitions are directly linked to our mission, vision, and values. A great example of this recognition is Ruby’s Five-at-Five Sabbatical Program, which employees become eligible for after five years of service.

A sentiment to our newest core value, Grow, the program helps Rubys realize a dream they may not otherwise have the chance to realize. Given five weeks and a little seed money, our employees have lived some pretty incredible dreams.

These things are obviously company-wide, so how do you find ways to incent employees at the manger level? Give your leaders the tools to get creative!

Rosy recently found a great way to reach an employee who was struggling with their timeliness. “Using my ‘incent’ tool I promised this receptionist hand-delivered coffee for every two weeks they went without a timeliness incident. This is such a small treat, maybe $4-$5 every two weeks, but it really helps having something to look forward to.”

Bring it home: Think about your business. How do you provide company-wide incentives to keep your employees engaged with your mission? Challenge your leaders to find personal ways to incent their team members!

Inspiring by Example

Hearing about the success of others, or seeing it in action firsthand, keeps employees motivated to strive for their own success. Ruby’s dedicated compliment email inbox, werock, is inspiration central! Every compliment a Ruby receives is recorded and sent in an email to the entire company. These emails are an inspirational reminder of the direct impact our mission of creating personal connections has on the world.

But sometimes, seeing someone else succeed in the moment can bring the biggest inspirational, “ah-ha” moments. Rosy agrees. “When I find that I have a receptionist struggling with guiding callers confidently, I have them observe another person on the team who had that same challenge and is now thriving in their role. This also keeps that model receptionist inspired to be an example of what their newer teammates can strive for.”

Bring it home: Inspiration comes in many forms. Make sure to find the right storytelling or success-sharing avenues for your business and encourage your leaders to inspire by example!

Providing the Tools to Achieve

When you empower your employees to not only have big ideas but provide them with the tools to execute on them, they feel more engaged and you may just find the answer to a question you didn’t even know you had!

Ruby provides each employee with a bank of culture funds each year to make Ruby a better place and create community. The money is theirs and they can use it all at once, piece it out, or join others and contribute it to a bigger project. Employees have used these funds to contribute to Ruby’s culture with fitness equipment, kitchen gadgets, and a host of one-of-a-kind events.

Rosy recently faced a unique challenge to find resources for employees who wanted to improve their Spanish. To help with this challenge, she called on one of her employees with an extensive background as a Spanish interpreter. “I know that using this experience makes her proud and fosters her happiness at work. I empowered this employee to brainstorm a solution to help those wanting to improve their bilingual skills. She now is the proud leader of Ruby’s Spanish Club. Knowing that she is empowered at Ruby to host her meetings in our office, to set her own schedule and style; she’s been able to foster her vision of the Ruby Spanish Club. And innovated a solution to one of my biggest struggles!”

Bring it home: What tools can you provide your employees to help them execute on their big ideas? Faced with a particularly sticky challenge? Think of ways you can involve your employees in the brainstorming process!

This post appears as part of our Incent, Inspire, and Empower series, where we share personal stories from Ruby’s leaders. You can catch last month’s post, Managing Mangers, here.

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Webinar: Work Smarter, Not Harder, with a Remote Receptionist

It’s true, you’re busy. Between managing your business, developing new connections, and keeping up on the latest trends, your phone probably isn’t always top of mind. But did you know that, according to Invoca, 80% of customers say a positive phone experience is likely to make them a repeat customer?

As a small business owner, your phone means growth—and managing incoming calls can be tricky. A missed call can mean a missed opportunity.

A remote receptionist is your out-of-office employee of the month. A valuable addition to your lead development and customer service strategy, a remote receptionist ensures every call is answered promptly and professionally. It’s just like having an in-house receptionist, at a fraction of the cost.

In our free webinar you’ll learn how:

  • A remote receptionist service works
  • You can save money without sacrificing quality
  • You can gain the freedom and flexibility to work whenever and whenever you want

This webinar took place on January 24th but the knowledge lives on! Watch our recorded webinar below.

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Choose Your Caller ID

Small Business Remote Receptionist

At Ruby, we’re always looking for ways to help streamline life for small business owners. Entrepreneurs are busy people after all, so anything we can do to save you time, effort, or money is a winner. The Choose Your Caller ID feature in the Ruby mobile app does just that by letting you pick which caller ID to show when making calls from your cell phone.

So, how does this help? The ability to show your company’s caller ID on cell calls makes it possible to eliminate your traditional phone bill, helping you cut monthly costs. No need to be tied to in-office phone equipment or a second business-only cell phone. All you need is your personal device and the Ruby app!

Virtual Receptionist Mobile App

If you’re not ready to cut the cord just yet, this feature can still make your life easier. For small business owners, there is often little to no divide between work and personal life. With the Choose Your Caller ID feature, you get to maintain a little separation in keeping your personal number private and driving call traffic to your company’s business line instead of your cell. Even when you’re out and about, calling from the app lets you have that business presence from wherever you are.

If you’ve ever made a WiFi call, you’re probably familiar with the spotty connections and dropped interactions that are associated with them. We built the Choose Your Caller ID feature to send calls over the traditional cell carrier network, not WiFi, which translates to the best possible connection and sound quality.

Save the extra phone bill, keep your cell number private, and make business calls from anywhere using the latest Ruby mobile technology! Choose Your Caller ID is included in the standard Ruby service offering and available to all Ruby customers by installing our Android or iPhone app. Every Ruby customer automatically gets a business number to call from, but we’re happy to host any number you like. Just give us a call at 866-611-7829 or email staff@callruby.com to get set up!

 

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5 Ways Ruby Can Lend a Hand This Holiday Season

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is in full swing, and with a little help from Ruby® Receptionists, you can accomplish a heck of a lot before ringing in 2018! In addition to answering calls live in English or Spanish, creating meaningful connections, and helping you build a reputation for stellar customer service, our charming receptionists are delighted to:

  • Make outbound calls. Why not check a few items off your to-do list? We’ll gladly make calls to inform your clients you’ll be out of town, reschedule appointments, confirm appointments, or even make dinner reservations! Ruby empowers you to delegate the busy work, so you can focus on what matters most.
  • Switch gears at a moment’s notice. Headed to a long lunch? Leaving early for the day? Update your status to enjoy some uninterrupted free time—all while knowing your callers are in good hands. Create temporary instructions on the go with our mobile app, or email us or give us a ring!
  • Relay details, so your callers are always informed. Closing your office for a well-deserved holiday break? We’ll be sure to let callers know: “The office is closed, but Ms. Entrepreneur will be happy to return your call on January 3!”
  • Ensure urgent info gets to you right away, even during vacation. Want to enjoy some R&R, but need to be reached when that important client calls? Just let us know and our talented team will make it happen.
  • Add a little holiday cheer to your caller experience. If you’re feeling especially festive, say the word and we’ll be happy to welcome your callers with “Season’s Greetings!” or “Happy New Year!” in place of your usual greeting. And if you’d like to update your voicemail greeting to include your best rendition of Jingle Bells, just log in to make a change—or let us know and we’ll be happy to record a new message for you.

And if you’re not a Ruby customer yet, now’s the perfect time to get started and set your business up for a stress-free holiday season and a successful 2018!

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Incent, Inspire, Empower: Managing Managers with Desi Vigil

Ruby® Founder and CEO Jill Nelson recently wrote a piece for the Small Giants Community blog sharing how Ruby has built a culture of service over the years. The key to doing the same in your business? Your leadership style.

Incent, Inspire, and Empower® is Ruby Receptionists’ management philosophy. It’s how we create true commitment and ensure each employee is poised to succeed by delivering on our mission to preserve and perpetuate real, meaningful connections in our increasingly technology-focused virtual world.

This philosophy ensures that our employees own their personal service delivery and are encouraged to think outside the box. There’s no idea too big, no risk too daring. Sounds great in theory. What about in practice? Ruby’s employee engagement score from spring of 2017 shows the proof is in the pudding. The results indicated that over 90% of Ruby’s employees were highly engaged and engaged.

So, how do you encourage your leaders to inspire with this mindset?

The Most Crucial Employee Touchpoint

A Gallup study from a few years ago notes that “managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units.” If you’re unfamiliar with Gallup, they are a research-based consulting company whose bread and butter is measuring trends in employee behavior and attitudes. They also publish the State of the American Workplace report. This crucial manager-employee relationship is the driving force behind Incent, Inspire, Empower.

Management Styles at Ruby Receptionists
Desi Vigil, Ruby Cultivator Coach

“To me, it means encouraging our leaders to go above and beyond regularly for their receptionists because they want to, not because they have to,” says Ruby Cultivator Coach, Desi Vigil. (Cultivator is the title for our receptionist team managers.) “We’ve created a culture here at Ruby where every individual is caring, supportive, and willing to push themselves to think outside the box when it comes to going above and beyond for their team.”

Incenting Around the Stuff that Matters

It all starts with providing your managers a solid foundation to support their own service delivery when it comes to their teams. In the case of incenting employees, Ruby makes sure to incent around the things that really matter to us.

A great example is Ruby’s Core Value in Action Awards. These awards celebrate those Rubys who are living our core values in exceptional ways. Why is this important? Our core values make us who we are. They are what drive us. That’s why we incent our employees with company-wide recognition for truly remarkable examples of our core values in action.

Following this example, our leadership team is empowered to incent their employees, both as a team and on an individual basis. Desi recalls a particular situation where a Cultivator came to her for advice on ways to incent a team member for going the extra mile to work on accuracy goals.

“My Cultivator had great ideas, but they were all around food, treats, gift cards, etc. Those things are great (and necessary at times), but I encouraged them to think of other ways they could incent this individual.”

To Desi’s point, it’s tempting to assume that incentives always include food, money, or other tangible rewards. Yet, some of the most impactful incentives have nothing to do with “stuff.”

Your Turn: What matters most to your company? Provide your leaders with the tools to incent their employees on the things that lead back to your mission, your vision, and your values.

Finding Inspiration

We’ve learned (and the research shows) that employees want to feel a sense of purpose and understand the difference they make. Sharing stories of our success and demonstrating Ruby’s sweeping impact are how we aim to inspire.

On a foundational level, Ruby has several storytelling platforms that we support internally to inspire our employees. From a dedicated email inbox for compliments to an internal blog featuring stories of employee success, storytelling is a huge part of Ruby’s culture.

For Desi, an inspired employee “shares their stories of triumph with their peers and congratulates others on their successes.” This creates a culture where employees build each other up and become their own biggest champions.

Your Turn: Are your leaders modeling the behavior you hope to see in your employees? Encourage your team to lead by example and find ways to share the stories of employees who are getting it right.

Empowered to Forge Your Own Path

Empowering your employees is all about getting out of the way and letting them work their magic. At Ruby, we use well-made processes to create reliability, efficiency, consistency, scalability, and accountability. These foundations are the nuts and bolts that keep the company running smoothly.

But Ruby wouldn’t be Ruby without our amazing people! Empowering our people to break the rules and use their unique personalities and talents to deliver on our mission is what sets us apart.

Desi’s job is to empower our leaders to empower their team members, encouraging them to find unique ways to deliver on our mission. At the end of the day, it’s all about trust. Empowered employees feel trusted to make decisions and are given the tools and resources to execute. These tools include everything from the technology they use to our feedback processes.

A little trust goes a long way! The last thing you want to do is constrict your staff with policies, procedures, and scripts they must follow. Take a step back, empower your employees to succeed, and encourage them to make their own mark on your company’s culture.

Your Turn: At Ruby, we use systems and standards to create a foundation that incents, inspires, and empowers Ruby employees to use their own personalities to live out our mission. What will you do next to improve your own management style?

This post appears as part of our Incent, Inspire, Empower series, where we share personal stories from Ruby’s leaders.

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You Asked, We Listened: Introducing the New Ruby Mobile App Home Screen

At Ruby, we’re passionate about continuously delivering enhancements and new features that are important to our customers. So when we hear customer feedback, we perk up! Today we’re excited to introduce a redesigned home screen for the Ruby mobile app based on input from you, our customers. When you update to the latest version of the Ruby iOS or Android app, you’ll find exciting changes that make it easier to update your status and check your missed calls, all from the Home screen.

Ruby Receptionists Mobile AppWe heard that you want a quick and easy way to change your status at the drop of a hat. Say hello to the Hold Calls button! Tap it once to hold your calls until further notice, and receptionists will take messages or offer voicemail until we hear from you again. Tap Clear to go back to your regular call handling instructions at any time. Don’t worry, you can still include additional status details, just like before. Tap on your current status to add any details you’d like. The Hold Calls button is our first step in making status simple enough that you can change it while walking down the street.

Next, we updated the buttons for unread messages and unread voicemails. Having two buttons just created an extra step, so we combined the buttons into one. Now, one tap shows you a list of unread messages and voicemails.

And there you have it—same Ruby app, only better, all thanks to you! If you’ve never tried the Ruby app, it is available for your iPhone and Android devices on the App Store and Google Play.

Do you have an idea for a new app feature? Tweet us @callruby and let us know!

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Free eBook: What is a Virtual Receptionist?

What is a virtual receptionist?

Ruby® Receptionists is a virtual receptionist service. But what exactly does that mean?

Are virtual receptionists robots? Aliens? Real people? No, no, and yes.

When does a remote receptionist service answer calls? How does it work? What do you get? How do different services compare?

Whether the concept is entirely new to you, or you’ve used remote receptionist services in the past, our new ebook will ensure you have everything you need to know to find the right phone answering service for you!

In our What is a Virtual Receptionist ebook we explore all your burning questions, including:

  • How a virtual receptionist service works
  • The features available in a typical remote receptionist service, and with Ruby
  • How using a virtual receptionist service benefits your business

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