Photo by timofeia
Photo by timofeia

Facebook, my dear Watson!

The pinnacle of Ruby service (and customer service in general) is making meaningful connections with clients, but actually getting to that point can be a little tricky. That’s where social media can help! In addition to listening for cues and asking questions, social media can help you get to know your clients and even WOW them!

Play detective! Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn…it’s enough to make your head spin. Not to mention that as of this writing, we have 1,406 Twitter followers and 1,332 Facebook “likes.” That’s a lot of folks to keep straight!

When a new client signs up, I do a quick search for their business on Facebook and Twitter and segment them with streams in Hootsuite. At a glance, I can see what our clients are talking about and what interests them, and depending on the info, we might reply via social media or add it to their account so that the rest of our virtual receptionist team can get to know them, too!

Don’t just listen, jump into the fray! Even the term, “lurker,” seems dubious; a friendly conversation always has two sides! We try to share others’ helpful articles and add a bit of commentary whenever possible, and we always reply to folks who mention us on Twitter or post on our Facebook page. When our clients see that we’re just as real and friendly as we are over the phone, they keep coming back!

Know when to have an aside. When I post to the Ruby Facebook page or tweet from @callruby, most of the time, I’m speaking as Ruby (you know, the royal “we,” the editorial…). However, if I ever see anything that strikes a chord with me personally, it’s “Quick! To the notecard cabinet!” And of course, a little context never hurts (Saw your tweet the other day that your daughter was ill. I hope she’s feeling better!).

We’d love to connect with you, too! Find us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and strike up a conversation!

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If you’re seeking an easy way to learn more about your clients, you may need to look no further than your telephone’s display screen! Caller ID can be a helpful sales and customer service tool, and using it wisely can help set your company apart from the competition. Here are three ways caller ID can help your business thrive:

Caller ID can help you make a personal connection.

Having great answers to a potential client’s questions is very important, but for a standout sales call, connecting on a personal level is key. Caller ID can be a great jumping-off point. As you’re chatting with a prospect, glance at caller ID and do a quick Internet search for their area code. Now you have a conversation starter! “I see you have a 312 area code—are you calling from Chicago? I love Chicago! Have you been to any Cubs games this season?” You don’t have to be familiar with your potential client’s neck of the woods to start a friendly chat. “I notice you have 416 area code — that’s Toronto, right? What’s the weather like today?” Expressing an interest in your caller’s life will make them feel special, and show that you and your company care.

Caller ID might help you save a sale.

You may be taking sales calls from your trusty desk phone, but there’s no guarantee that your caller has a great connection. Make a habit of jotting down caller ID when you receive a call, and you’ll be ready get in touch with that potential client even if her phone cuts out. Imagine you’re on a call with the power company when your cell phone flakes — wouldn’t you be impressed if the power company rep you were chatting with called you back? Recording and using caller ID might just secure you a new customer, and will certainly help you make a good impression in the case of an occasional technical glitch!

Caller ID can help ensure fantastic follow-ups.

If you haven’t yet had the chance to make a personal connection with a client or potential client, do an area code search and prep potential conversation topics before making your follow-up call. Check out current events, landmarks, sports teams, or random factoids associated with the region, and have them at the ready when you pick up the phone. An area code search can keep your professionalism in check, too. Always know what time zone you are calling before you make a follow-up call — You’d hate to be bothered by a pesky salesperson at 9 p.m., right? A quick area code search will help you find the ideal time to follow up.

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How to Create a WOW Conference Room

Reading time:
CEO Jill Nelson in Ruby's WOW conference room
CEO Jill Nelson in Ruby’s WOW conference room, named after our Core Value of Practicing WOWism

Your office and conference room(s) can say a lot about your business without you ever uttering a word. When you host meetings in your office, what does your conference room say about your company? Does it show your prospective clients that you’ll be an easy company to do business with? Does it express to your current clients that you care about them?

Set a precedent of exceptional customer service, starting with your conference room; think about everything your visitors might need from the moment they walk in – and then offer it to them before they even ask.

Try these four small ways to anticipate your guests’ needs. They’re sure to pack a big WOW factor!

  • Public wifi — that’s easy to access. It’s a fantastic start to set up public wireless, but you know your guest’s first question will be, “What’s the password?” Why not take it one step further, and clearly post login information to make it fast and easy for guests to get online. We post our login info in a free-standing picture frame; being helpful can be adorable, too!
  • Notepad and pens at the ready. It happens to all of us at one time or another: you arrive at your meeting and realize you forgot your pen. Keep a stack of notepads and pens close by so folks can grab what they need. As a bonus, if your paper and pens are branded, your guests can keep them as a word-of-mouth promoting souvenir!
  • A projector adapter for Macs. It’s no secret Apple users fanatically love their Macs, and you can woo your Apple-using guests simply by having an adapter for your projector on-hand. It can be a little tricky to transition back and forth between PCs and Macs: keyboard shortcuts are slightly off, not to mention the hassle of moving your files over to a guest PC. An adapter is an easy way to anticipate their needs and recognize their brand loyalty at the same time.
  • Treats! Have a cold pitcher of water, a carafe of fresh coffee, and a few glasses waiting in the conference room for your guests. For longer meetings, some fresh fruit and/or pastries can add another touch of thoughtfulness. It shows you’ve prepared for your meeting, and if your visitor declines the treat part of Greet, Seat, and Treat and later reconsiders, they don’t have to ask!

For more details, check out our recent update and three more easy-to-implement conference room ideas!

These simple steps can WOW your clients and make a great first impression for your company!

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customer follow up

I love giving gifts — and getting them, of course — but there’s something even more rewarding about receiving a warm thank-you in return. An honest expression of gratitude is an instant mood booster! What’s more, showing gratitude to your customers can make your company stand out — when it comes time to buy again, your customers will remember your thoughtfulness, and they’ll have a greater connection to you and your brand.

After interacting with clients and associates, take a minute to thank them for their time. It’s quick and easy to do, and might turn a potential customer into a raving fan! Here are three simple, thoughtful ways to follow up:

Follow up with an email.

After chatting with clients and potential clients, send a quick email to thank them, recap your conversation, and point them in the right direction. If you relayed a telephone number, web address, email address, driving directions, or, well, just about anything during your conversation, include that info in your follow up for easy reference. A post-conversation email is a great way to confirm an important date or meeting, and if you forgot to mention a helpful tidbit during your conversation, a friendly follow-up is the perfect place to include it.

Follow up on social media.

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are ideal places to acknowledge a great exchange. As a bonus, your online shoutouts may be a boon to an associate’s business. Posting a positive comment about a colleague on your company’s Facebook or Twitter account might draw your readers to that colleague’s business, and that makes for a powerful thank-you!

Follow up with a notecard.

Want to make a huge impact without a lot of effort? Keep notecards, envelopes, and stamps at your desk, and use ’em. It takes just a moment to pen a few thoughtful lines and drop a card in the mail, and when you consider the amazing impact this little gesture can make, notecards are a no-brainer. Don’t fret over crafting perfect prose – kind words and a personal touch are all you need to show a client you care:

I had a great time chatting with you today. Thank you! I hope you have a wonderful time at your daughter’s graduation! If you have questions or need anything, please give me a ring anytime.

Considering the piles of junk mail we’re all used to getting, a handwritten notecard is a powerful gesture, guaranteed to make your client’s day and show them your company cares!

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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 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.