Compliment and Complement

Reading time:

Ruby Receptionists is in the middle of a compliment campaign. When a member of our team receives a compliment from a client or caller, we turn that compliment into a work of art and display it in the middle of the office for all to see.  From my office, I see brilliant works of art hanging above the area where our incredibly talented (and amazingly creative) receptionists work.  Simply put, it’s really cool.  As a salute to compliments, I thought I’d write a bit about the difference between the words compliment and complement.

A compliment is a statement of praise or a friendly remark.  I’m proud to say that thanks to our dedicated team, we get a lot of those at Ruby.  To be complimentary is to praise someone or something.

A complement is something that completes or perfects another thing.  When I think of two things being complementary, I think of the balance of black and white in a yin yang or an M.C. Escher print.

Red and green are complementary colors.  Her green eyes complement her red dress perfectly.

It’s uplifting to see so many complimentary remarks around the office.  If our clients could see them, I am sure they’d compliment our receptionists on their artistic ability.

When in doubt about which word to use, remember the e factor: a complement completes something.

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Writing effective messages.

Reading time:
Effective message taking

Effective message taking is key to an excellent phone call experience—whether a receptionist or business owner is answering the phone.

Here at Ruby, we do a lot of talking. We answer 5,200-5,500 calls every day. That’s a new call every nine seconds for the entire 13 hours that we’re open. Lather, rinse, and repeat 5 days a week plus Saturdays.

So we know the importance of effective message taking.

We pride ourselves for being friendly, professional, and helpful on the phone. But the other half of spoken communication is the written communication that goes with it. We send phone messages via email. We make outbound calls for our clients, and they rely on an email to know what happened. Our client services department sends a follow-up email every time they talk to a client. As the maxim goes, “If it’s not in writing, it didn’t happen.”

So what is the secret to effective message taking? The same rules apply whether you’re writing a formal business letter, a quick email, or just taking a message from a caller.

Good messages:

  • Are clear. Try to convey your meaning as simply as possible. Don’t over-write or use exorbitant language. Don’t make your readers scratch their heads and try to guess what you mean.
  • Are complete. Include all relevant information. Think about the situation from your readers’ perspective. What information might they want? What questions will they have?
  • Are correct. Always proofread before sending any message. This simple step can prevent a lot of confusion and embarrassment. Proofreading just once is acceptable for short messages, but you’ll want to proofread several times for longer and more formal writing.

Overall, a good message should save the reader time. Remember your three Cs, and you’ll be making the most of your time as well.

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*Ruby is delighted to offer a money-back guarantee to first time users of both our virtual receptionist service and our chat service. To cancel your service and obtain a full refund for the cancelled service (less any multi-service discount), please notify us of the service you wish to cancel either within 21 days of your purchase of that service or before your usage exceeds 500 receptionist minutes/50 billable chats, as applicable, whichever occurs sooner.