How to leave a voicemail

Ever wondered what to say in a voicemail?

Leaving a solid voicemail message seems simple enough, but when that beep goes off, it can be easy to fumble over what to say. Fear not, fair caller! The bright and savvy virtual receptionist team at Ruby® Receptionists has the solution to your voicemail woes.

In addition to answering phones cheerfully, our virtual receptionists also make calls on behalf of clients to relay information or confirm appointments. If they reach voicemail, they know that with a bit of forethought, every message can be clear, concise, and friendly. Here are three steps to a superb voicemail message:

  1. Step One: Introduction. Start with an upbeat greeting that includes the name of the person you’re calling: “Hi, Tim!” “Hello, Susan!” “Good morning, Tom!” Then, introduce yourself by giving your name, company name if applicable, and telephone number. Stating your contact information up front is an easy way to ensure that the person you’re calling knows how to get in touch with you, even if your message gets cut off: “Hi, Jim! This is Phoebe Osborn from Ruby Receptionists. I can be reached at 866-611-7829.”
  2. Step Two: Message. Keep it short and sweet. Many voicemail systems only record for a few minutes, and that time can really fly. Plan ahead, and run through the message in your mind before leaving it. If you can’t summarize your message in a sentence or two, explain generally what you’re calling about, and ask for a return call: “I have some questions about our upcoming meeting. Would you please call me when you have a chance?”
  3. Step Three: Recap and sign off. End your message by restating your name, company name, and telephone number, then wrap things up with a friendly comment: “Again, this is Phoebe Osborn from Ruby Receptionists at 866-611-7829. Have a wonderful day!”

Do you answer your phone when it rings or are your customers hitting your voicemail with every call? Discover how a virtual receptionist can help!

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Phone numbers: have to have them, hard to change them. And when it comes to business phone numbers, the same rings especially true.

We at Ruby® understand that the business phone number is often synonymous with the business itself. That’s why we make it easy to have our virtual receptionists answer your phones without ever having to change your phone number.

Forward your existing phone number to Ruby. We provide every client with a toll-free number to which you can forward your published phone number. Call forwarding is surprisingly flexible, and depending on your preferences and in-house staffing, you may have our friendly virtual receptionists answer all the time or on a back-up basis.

Publish your Ruby toll-free number. Do you have a brand new business and don’t yet have a phone number? There are lots of great inexpensive options out there, but you’re always free to publish the toll-free number we assign you. At the end of service, you can simply take it with you!

Port your existing toll-free number to Ruby. If you already have a toll-free number, you may want to have Ruby take over financial responsibility. We’ll absorb the monthly and long-distance charges while you use us, and we’ll release it back to you at the end of service. This is completely optional; remember, you can always just forward it to us!

Have additional questions about which option is best for you? Feel free to post your query in the comment section below, or simply give us a call at 866-611-RUBY (866-611-7829)!

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Ruby Founder/CEO Jill Nelson
Ruby Founder/CEO Jill Nelson accepting the award!

The Ruby® Receptionists team was out in full force to attend the Portland Business Journal‘s “100 Fastest Growing Private Companies” event last night. We were thrilled to learn that our virtual receptionist service made #38 on the list! This is our fourth consecutive year making the list, and we’ve actually jumped up seven spots since last year!

This year’s theme was outer space, and we had a blast indeed! There was astronaut ice cream, star-shaped cake pops, and inflatable space ships (one of which we were lucky enough to get as a souvenir). The night even included a raffle to win cool prizes — and our very own Director of Culture Sarah Sackett won a color nook from event sponsor Comcast Business Class!

We especially enjoyed being able to meet a few of our clients whom we answer phones for and put a face to the name! Our virtual receptionist team also got a chance to get to know some of our fellow Entrepreneurs’ Organization members. Congratulations to all of the EO and EO Accelerator members who made the list: Kinco Glove, Anvil Media, Capacity Commercial Group, Mortgage Trust, ISITE Design (who won a 5 year Lighthouse Award!), Inavero, and Spot Color Studio!

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to our clients for supporting us and being such outspoken evangelists for our virtual receptionist service! And we’d also like to thank our virtual receptionist team for providing such exceptional service and Creating Community wherever you go!

Here are a few photos from the night:

Here we are with our souvenir spaceship!
Here we are with our souvenir spaceship!

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Shawn Busse, Partner and Creative Director of Kinesis
Shawn Busse, Partner and Creative Director of Kinesis

Today we’re continuing with our Client Spotlight series where we feature some of the superb people and companies that our virtual receptionists get to work with every day. I got together with Shawn Busse, co-founder (with Wendy Maynard) of Kinesis, a Portland marketing and design firm, to chat about his area of expertise, entrepreneurship, and all that goes with it.

Tell us about Kinesis

Kinesis is the “marketing department” for professional services firms between $1 and $10 million in revenue. We do all of this, typically, for less than the cost of one full time employee.

What advice do you have for small businesses who want to get their names out there?

I can sum it up in one word: differentiation. While most businesses focus on getting the word out, it’s far more important for them to first define what makes them remarkably better than their competitors. Once you’ve nailed down how you’re different, letting people know about your business becomes much, much easier.

Are there any campaigns that you’ve worked on that you’re particularly fond of?

We’ve got such a great roster of clients, that it’s hard to pick just one. In the last few months, we’ve launched several major rebranding efforts and even one completely fresh, from-the-ground-up medical practice, Reflex. Other examples: Clarum, specializing in green homebuilding in Palo Alto, and Portland-based Fluence, consultants for the medical and dental industry.

What are the top three things a small business with limited marketing dollars can do to maximize their internet marketing efforts?

Marketing a small business is tough! Money is always tight, and few businesses have the kinds of funds it takes to do a comprehensive marketing campaign. That said, the internet is one of the best, lowest cost options for a small business owner. My suggestion would be to 1) define your BEST customer 2) research where your customers congregate and 3) participate in the online spaces that foster your customer-communities. This won’t work for all businesses all the time, but it’s a great starting point.

Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?

Great question! I blame my dad and his serial entrepreneurism. But, in all seriousness, it was really about seeing an opportunity and going for it. You see, the problem with marketing – like many fields – is that it’s gotten incredibly complex. Just think about it for a moment – you’ve got online marketing, social media marketing, search engines, referral marketing, event marketing, trade shows, and on and on. For businesses under $10 million in revenue, it’s overwhelming. Hiring one person as a marketing director to do it all is nearly impossible, and employing an entire in-house team is financially untenable. Kinesis was set up to answer this problem for owners who want to grow their business.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love helping owners advance their businesses. Fostering the growth of my team and clients is hand-down the best part of my job.

How has having Ruby’s virtual receptionist service affected your business?

Working with Ruby was a great decision in so many ways – their virtual receptionists eliminated the telemarketers while providing a high-level of service to clients and prospects. It frees up my staff to do what they do best – marketing and design – at a price that can’t be beat.

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Our team of virtual receptionists answers phones for a variety of businesses every day, from companies with full-time receptionists to solo entrepreneurs. Though all of our clients are welcome to publish their Ruby toll-free number as their own, many simply forward their existing number to us. And depending on their needs, they may do so differently.

There are several ways to forward to Ruby, and each has its benefits:

All the time

Our bright team of virtual receptionists are the primary phone answerers for many businesses. Since we sound like we’re right in your office (even if you don’t have one!), Ruby provides a cheerful, unifying voice for your company.

When you decide

Many businesses like the flexibility of choosing when to forward to Ruby and when to unforward their lines. Perhaps you have a part-time employee who’s able to answer phones when they’re in the office. Or maybe you like answering calls yourself when you can, but you’d like us to answer when you have to step into a meeting. Ruby’s virtual receptionists happily answer your calls when it’s convenient for you—whether that’s a couple days a week or a few hours a day!

ringing phone

On a delayed basis

Other Ruby customers have phone calls ring in their office a few times before rolling over to our team of virtual receptionists. Recognize an important caller ID? Feel free to grab it! Is someone at the door? Take your time greeting, seating, and treating your guest, with the peace of mind that Ruby will answer any calls with care. This is also a fabulous option if your in-house staff needs additional help with overflow!

Which method works best for your company? If you’d like to talk things over, give Ruby a call at 844-311-7829!

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In this week’s “Ask a Virtual Receptionist!” I ask virtual receptionist Sara-Lee B. what she would tell callers who ask, “Is she in today?” Since Ruby® Receptionists provides receptionist services for clients remotely, unless they have let us know, we may not be certain whether someone is physically in the office or not.

Virtual Receptionist Sara-Lee B.
Virtual Receptionist Sara-Lee B.

However, most of the time callers are simply inquiring whether the person is available to speak with them or not — which we are happy to find out!

So, Sara-Lee, how would you handle the question, “Is she in today?”

Sara-Lee: I shake it up all the time, but sometimes I say, “I would be happy to try her line and see if she’s available. May I say who is calling?”

By offering assistance instead of a dead end like “I don’t know,” she’s able to keep the call moving and help the caller without revealing that she’s not in the same office!

Have a question for one of our virtual receptionists? Post your query below!

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If you’re answering phones for a new employer, the virtual receptionist crew at Ruby® has a few tips that we hope will make your job a breeze on day one and beyond. Here are three questions to ask a new employer about telephone answering:

  • “How would you like me to greet callers?” This may seem like a frivolous question, but our remote receptionists know that a great greeting is key to making a solid first impression. Your greeting sets the tone for an entire call, so make those first words count! If your employer is indifferent about the greeting, check out these guidelines and craft a great greeting on your own, then run it by the boss for approval.
  • “Is there any specific information you’d like me to gather before transferring calls?” Most Ruby clients like the old screening question standby, “May I ask who is calling?” Others like to know what a call is regarding each time or for us to gather a telephone number or email address before transferring a call. Chances are your employer hasn’t even considered how a specific question or two during call screening might make the workday easier — perhaps there’s an account number or other helpful info you could collect that would more fully prepare them to take the call. Broach the topic and show how helpful you are!
  • “How would you like me to handle soliciation calls?” Some folks avoid sales calls like the plague, while others see them as a helpful opportunity, so take a moment to clarify your boss’s preference. If your employer asks you to screen out sales calls, do so gracefully — treat every caller with kindness and respect. Telemarketing is a tough job, and sales callers will likely be very appreciative of your friendliness, even if you’re not interested in what they’re selling.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post with more helpful questions that you can ask a new employer to knock their socks off!

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Ruby® Receptionists has been delighting callers for eight whole years! Over the years, under Founder/CEO Jill Nelson’s optimistic and caring direction, our top-notch virtual receptionist team has grown quite a bit and honed their craft to become the phone answering experts they are today!

In honor of this special occasion, our virtual receptionists held a bake-off and gift exchange. What better way to celebrate an eighth birthday than with cake, presents, and most of all, friends?! Turns out our virtual receptionist crew’s skills span more than just friendly, professional phone answering — they’re quite the gourmets as well! Check out the spoils of our celebratory feast:

Some of our Rubys enjoying the sweet treats!
Some of our Rubys enjoying the sweet treats!

Amanda, Jennifer, and Sara Lee checking our the gift exchange
Amanda, Jennifer, and Sara Lee checking our the gift exchange

Kendra is pleased as punch with her gift from the exchange!
Kendra is pleased as punch with her gift from the exchange! A little lion crocheted by Holly T!

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Missed connections translate to lost revenue. With Ruby, you have a partner in gaining and retaining customers. Plus, we’re so confident you’ll love our service, we offer a 21 day money-back guarantee*.

*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 canceled 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. Some restrictions may apply.