Ruby won the #3 Best Small Company in the U.S. award for 2013! This is our second consecutive year in the top three on this prestigious FORTUNE Magazine and the Great Place to Work Institute list, assembled using employee surveys and a substantial culture and benefit audit.

Read more on FORTUNE’s website here

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Make Call Rotations Work for You

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Call Rotations with Ruby Receptionists

Potential new clients are like blank slates – the experience of their first call to your company paints a lasting impression. Routing your first-time callers quickly to the right staff member can make them feel like a VIP. To do this, you may be considering a “call rotation”: the process in which your receptionist tries a series of staff members, one after another, until someone is available to take their call. Call rotations can either be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you implement them!

To make call rotations work for your company, first think like a first-time caller. How often are your callers being connected to the right person? How long do callers wait on hold until they are? If callers are experiencing more hold music than helpful conversation, it may be time to reinvent your process.

Here are some ways to make your call rotation stellar:

  • Keep it short. The longer your list of staff members, the more time your caller could potentially wait on hold. Placing a first-time caller on hold repeatedly may make the caller feel like their business is unimportant. Simply keep your staff list to one or two people, and have your keen receptionist make a great impression with her message-taking skills. Returning the call promptly will only solidify how wonderful your company’s customer service truly is!
  • Use technology to your advantage. Depending on your phone provider, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service can sometimes offer simultaneous ringing. With this feature, your receptionist can dial one line while it rings the line of each staff member who can help. Dialing one line reduces hold time and the first person available can quickly answer the call.
  • Update your receptionist. Letting your receptionist know who is available on which days will help her to connect your callers quickly. Are staff members on vacation? Are they in a meeting? Instead of your receptionist trying lines that will go unanswered, keep her in the loop and watch hold times diminish!

Like every great receptionist, Ruby’s remote receptionists can dial more than one person in a row, too! If you’re a current client and interested in adding call rotations, we would be delighted to help!

 

 

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 curtain

The phone rings. Is the stage set for a memorable caller experience? Here are five simple practices that will take your phone answering from ho-hum to WOW!

1. Greeting. Your phone greeting may be the first words a new client hears from your company — make ’em count! Take a breath before uttering your greeting, and speak slowly and clearly. And don’t forget to smile; it’ll add warmth to your tone of voice and boost your mood!

2. Practice great grammar. Speaking good well sets your conversation up for success. Proper elocution, diction, and grammar clarify meaning and limit misunderstandings. Correct grammar also intones a certain amount of respect. You probably speak with a bit more poise when talking to your grandmother than your buddy in a bar; proper grammar is plain ol’ polite.

3. Use enthusiastic words! Which sounds better: “Sure, no problem,” or “Absolutely! My pleasure!” The former sounds dreary while the latter is energized, upbeat, and coveys a sense of genuine helpfulness. Substitute “absolutely” and “certainly” for “yeah” and “uh-huh,” and descriptive words like “fantastic,” “wonderful,” and “gladly” for that ubiquitous adjective “good.”

4. Create a custom spelling alphabet. Nothing is too small to make an impression! Imagine you’re on a call with a potential new client. Things are going well; you’re smiling, using positive phrasing, and sharing a few laughs while you answer their questions. Then, it comes time to verify the spelling of their name: “Is that R as in Romeo, U as in Uniform, B as in Bravo, Y as in Yankee?” A bit jarring after your snappy repartee, right? Try the Ruby Spelling Alphabet instead, or create your own based on your company’s unique brand!

5. Don’t leave callers hanging. When you don’t know the answer to a caller’s query, try this helpful phrase: “I’d be happy to….” There are limitless applications:

“Great question! I’d be happy to find out for you.”

“While our firm doesn’t focus on personal injury law, I’d be happy to give you a referral.”

“John is away from the phone at the moment, but I would be happy to let him know you called! May I take a message?”

Like magic, you’ve instantly turned a dead end into an opportunity to surprise and delight your customer.

How do you take ordinary interactions and make them extraordinary? Share in the comments below!

Photo via Flickr user Donna & Andrew

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The Ruby office is business in the front, party in the back! Our lobby features contemporary conference rooms accented with modern furniture. Further in, things get a little more casual, but what this part of the office lacks in modern décor, it makes up for with big sunglass-wearing dinosaurs and life-size Han Solo cutouts. Ruby employees are encouraged to make the space our own. You can see it manifest everywhere you look, and the result is a fun, creative, and lively workplace. At our third quarter staff meeting, we learned that Ruby was about to take it one step further. To boisterous applause, Jill Nelson, Ruby’s President and CEO, announced our latest innovation – chalkboard walls!

Ruby Chalkboard Wall

We wanted these walls to represent our culture of community and empowerment, so we handed the reins over to our Receptionist Ambassadors, who will work with the rest of the team to decide on a monthly theme. For its inauguration, they chose happiness, a subject very near and dear to Ruby’s heart. Currently, the chalkboard wall says, “I’m happiest when…”, and below are all the things that make Rubys tick, anonymously written by anyone who wants to take part. The theme has only been up for a few days, and there isn’t much room left! New additions are squeezed into the small nooks and crannies as we all try to fit a piece of ourselves onto this shared space.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We felt inspired to create the chalkboard walls after watching this heartfelt Ted Talk by Candy Chang.

Her similar project allowed neighbors to connect and share ideas, which may never have happened if not for the space she created.

Community feels good, and it’s powerful to see a visual representation of our community around an idea that’s important to us all. When I visit the kitchen to refill my coffee, I’ll wander over and see what’s new on the wall since I last looked, and usually, there are others doing the same. We’ll try to figure out who wrote what and laugh at the funny entries, of which there are many. This project has given us a whole new way to connect with each other and the space we share.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What would you write on our wall? When are you happiest?

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Photo by Rhett Maxwell

Over the past 48 years, usage of words and phrases like “personalized,” “self,” and “unique” has soared. Meanwhile, compassion words like “kindness” and “helpfulness” dropped by 56 percent. Or thus posits a study by Jean M. Twenge, W. Keith Campbell and Brittany Gentile. Is technology making us self-absorbed?

With the rise of technology, there’s more room for individuality and customization — not necessarily a bad thing! But personal service does not equal personable service. These days to be exceptional, you need both!

At Ruby, we are well-versed in the art of personable personalization. From a WOW-packed greeting till the end of your call, callers receive a unique experience that will leave them smiling! “Our state-of-the-art, intuitive software (which we created in-house), allows for that highly sought-after level of customization,” says Sales Associate Ashley Fisher. Within a few clicks we are able to see your custom greeting, navigate through all of your business’ information, even reference how each employee would like your calls handled for the day. But it’s the personable manner of the experience and the interaction with a live, caring, virtual receptionist that delivers the best of both worlds.

Many other businesses have jumped on board with this philosophy as well, harkening back to the customer service glory days. In this era riddled with such a concern with self, remember that you can have a personal connection in the business world without hurting your bottom line. Indeed, it will actually make your business stand out from the competition. Creating community and fostering personal connections promotes a healthy business, and at the end of the day you’ll feel good, too!

How are you creating personal personalization in your field?

 Photo via Flickr user Rhett Maxwell

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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.