5 service power phrases you should steal.

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Power phrases

Words are powerful. They can create connections or put distance between folks; they can result in appreciation or frustration. Service power phrases are a way your business can make them work for you. It might sound simple, but a little intentionality goes a long way. At Ruby®, we’ve found careful and positive phrasing leads to quality customer experiences that build meaningful relationships with our clients, and in the long-term—loyal clients (and we have the stats to prove it).

If you’re looking to beef up your customer service vocabulary on a call or in person, read on!

Five service power phrases for delivering exceptional caller experience:

1. Absolutely! Certainly! I’m glad to!

Simply saying, “okay” or “sure,” to a request is bland. Convey enthusiasm and energy by dressing up your affirmations so it’s clear you’re excited to honor your customer’s request!

Positive language creates meaningful connections as you demonstrate how deeply you care for them and their needs.

2. In our experience, typically…

On the flip side, sometimes we find it’s best to say no to a customer request. What if they are asking for something outside of the scope of the service you offer? Perhaps they’re asking to implement something you can do, however, you know from experience it isn’t the best way to go.

Above is an example of how service power phrases are a great way to reference your experience without discounting their own or making them feel silly about their request. It provides insight into the reasoning behind your “no” so that clients truly understand why something won’t work well. To really WOW your client, immediately segue into the options that do work so you can collaborate together toward a solution.

We’ve got our power phrases down!

Discover how Ruby’s virtual receptionists use customer service best practices to impress your callers.

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3. If I don’t hear from you by…. I’d be happy to follow up with you on….

Have you ever needed to follow up with one of your clients for extra information? If so, has your client ever said something like, “I’ll let you know when I have it,” with no clear timeframe? The key to making follow-ups a breeze is to be upfront about your timeline so expectations are clearly set for everyone.

This phrase provides you with a solid date to reach out, and your client knows they can rely on your doing what you say you will if they haven’t quite gotten around to giving you a ring. Everyone is busy—if you can set the stage so your clients feel comfortable relying on you to help them get things done, they’ll surely appreciate it!

4. The best person to speak with is…

Picture it—you’ve answered a call and a current customer dives into their billing questions the moment you greet them. What your customer doesn’t realize is you’re a sales representative and not the company billing specialist. Have no fear! The above phrase allows you to defer to the right person politely—saving your customer time better spent chatting with the person who can help.

5. I’m happy to help! I’m here for you!

You may find yourself offering a customer further assistance at the end of a call or email exchange. To make this offer impactful, be expressive! Warm and welcoming language like the phrases noted above demonstrates your genuine sincerity in wanting to help. You care for your customers, and they’ll be inspired to reach back out to you because they know it.

Warm, friendly customer service is key—and it’s more than just knowing the right power phrases. Discover the ROI of personal connections in our free guide!

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WOW story: tackling the midweek slump.

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This WOW story begins, as many at Ruby do, with a phone call.

It was a typical Wednesday when receptionist Peggy received a call for Ruby client Pam. Before taking the call, Pam asked Peggy how she was doing today. Excited by the opportunity to chat, Peggy responded enthusiastically with, “I’m great!” A bit taken back by the spark of excitement in her voice, Pam commented on how impressed she was by Peggy’s energy and cheeriness, particularly for a Wednesday. Peggy responded that she wouldn’t have it any other way, especially on Hump Day! They shared a laugh chatted about the popular Geico commercial featuring a camel walking around the office asking people what day it is. (Spoiler alert: It was Hump Day.) As the conversation wrapped up, Pam said, “Well my goodness! I’ll tell you this—you know I’m going to be seeing that camel walking around the office all day long now!” They wished each other well and the conversation ended as Peggy transferred the caller.

The connection, however, didn’t stop there. Pam’s last comment sparked an idea in Peggy’s head. What if she could actually make Pam’s vision a reality and could somehow get a camel to walk through her office? Then it hit her—a full suit camel costume! Peggy ordered one and shipped it to Ruby right away. She then personalized the gift with a notecard, including a hand-drawn camel, before sending it over to Pam.

A few weeks later, Peggy transferred a call to someone else in Pam’s office. After her initial greeting, “This is Peggy with Ruby, I have a call for you.” The woman asked, “Is this the Peggy that sent Pam the camel costume?” The woman went on to tell her the costume was a hit and how everyone in their office thought the camel costume was hilarious. Thrilled to have made a meaningful connection, Peggy took to her team chat room to share the story with fellow Rubys. She sent them a link to the costume and had her team cracking up.

Envious perhaps of Pam’s cool gift, Ruby purchased a camel costume for each of our two locations not long after Peggy shared her story. Each Wednesday, one person in each location wears the costume and dances around the office, bringing on many smiles, chuckles, and re-energizing our team for the week. The Ruby then selects who wears the costume for the following week.

Ruby Camel Collage

Peggy took this new Ruby tradition as a chance to show Pam the impact she has made on our office and sent over a video of a fellow Ruby dancing around as the camel. She was sure to tell Pam just how much she, and everyone at Ruby, appreciated Pam taking a moment to share a laugh. It just goes to show never underestimate what may seem a typical call—it can transform into something much more!

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How to Overcome Your To-Do List Anxiety

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One of the great ironies of the modern workplace is how much time we spend trying to make our systems work for us rather than against us. So often, the systems meant to help us instead leave us feeling there is more to do than there is time to do it, which can be unsettling, unwelcome and downright stressful.

While discussing this conundrum with a colleague, she recommended productivity guru, David Allen, and his book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. While he does outline specific processes and systems to help you organize your daily workflow, I found the biggest impact came not from the how, but his discussion of the why. After all, understanding where these feelings are coming from is often the first step in conquering them.

Error: memory card full.

Our brains are not as good at organizing incoming information as we think they are. In fact, our memory tends to work against us when it comes to recalling important action items, calendar entries and productivity markers. For example, you may be good at remembering tasks you need to complete, but always at an inconvenient time or place.

This is a result of our memory not working in a logically concrete way. As Allen explains, when you don’t record your tasks in a reliable place, your brain thinks you should be doing that particular task all the time. Multiply this something by the multitude of other somethings that cross your mind each day and it’s no wonder we all tend to feel a bit anxious.

The key to overcoming the faults in your memory is to get these items out of your mind and into your external processes. While Allen provides suggestions on how best to organize your tasks, the important takeaway is to get them out of your brain. By doing so, you free up valuable space for more meaningful information and gain peace of mind knowing everything you need to remember has been recorded.

Being present.

Once you’re able to put the right system in place (I’ve been trying Allen’s system, but I suggest finding what works best for you), the goal is to be present in the moment. When you’re able to live moment to moment, both in your everyday life and your work life, any anxious feelings begin to melt away. You’re able to focus on the current task without worrying about the 900 other tasks you could be completing.

This all sounds marvelous, but how do you get there? You must feel assured what you’re doing is exactly what you should be doing in that moment. You must also be comfortable with the idea that it is okay to not be doing what you’re not doing in each moment. This idea was incredibly eye-opening for me; a concept I wasn’t even aware was important to me until someone else put it into words.

Allen lays out a system for arriving at this state of presence that allows you to prioritize your work in a manner that makes sense to you. It’s important to spend a bit of time defining the work you will be doing so you’re able to be present and productive without feeling overwhelmed.

Of course, all the planning in the world won’t save you from those urgent tasks that are bound to arise every now and then. How do you allow yourself to remain present in those moments?

Don’t Be Surprised by Surprises

All the work you do falls into one of three categories, defined by Allen as:

  1. Doing predefined work
  2. Doing work as it shows up
  3. Defining your work

One and two seem simple enough; after all, once you define your work, it seems natural you would then complete predefined work. As Allen points out, however, it’s number two that most often throws a monkey wrench in the whole system. I, for one, tend to get a bit bent out of shape when I’ve meticulously planned out my day, only to have one too many urgent projects arise that cause all of my plans to go awry.

Use calendars only for date/time specific appointments (a great pro-tip from Allen), and understand your work should be defined by a more general, organizational system that could be done in any given free time. This way, when last minute urgencies arise, those projects are still on the list—waiting for you when you return. As Allen says, “Surprises are just another opportunity to be flexible and creative, and to excel.” Changing this way of thinking, in addition to implementing some of the other tips in Allen’s book, has really helped to turn some of my most stressful moments into positive experiences.

All in all, my big takeaways is it’s possible to be both present and productive without being stressed. Of course, that doesn’t mean you’ll never experience stress again. Life happens and there may be no way to be prepared for what you’re handed. When it comes to your everyday workflow and career, however, putting yourself in charge of your work (rather than your work being in charge of you) is key.


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5 hacks to start your day off right.

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Writing a note

The way your morning goes can have a real impact on your day—and your productivity. These five simple habits will kick start your day:

1. Put things in their place.

What’s the saying? “Clean house, clean mind”? Your desk is no different. Make yourself a clean, ergonomic, cheerful environment to spend your days and set yourself up to do your best work. A few minimalist changes I’ve adopted this year:

  • Spending a few minutes each day clearing off old paperwork
  • Stowing office supplies I don’t use on the daily
  • Getting a taller monitor stand so I don’t slouch
  • Curating my photo display to a few choice family pics so that their faces stand out and catch my gaze more easily

2. Skip the snooze.

You’ll find article after article expounding the benefits of skipping the snooze button in the morning. And reluctantly, this post is no different. This has been the hardest part for me; I know going back to sleep resets your sleep cycle, making the morning that much more irksome. However, I love the feeling of waking up, looking at my clock, and getting a momentary sense of glee: I don’t have to get up for ten more minutes! When my real alarm goes off, the sourness of having to be awake is only mitigated by another 30 minutes of a comedic podcast. On the mornings when I get up the first time, not only am I ultimately happier, I actually believe I think better. Take it from me, a die-hard sleep fanatic, the snooze is just not worth a place in your routine.

3. Map out your day.

Whether you like writing out your to-do lists the night before, first thing in the morning, or are in favor of more constant tools like Trello, it’s a good idea to have a game plan to focus your energy. Lacking an approach to managing your tasks? We’ve got an overview of a few of the more common types of task management tools to get you started.

4. Avoid morning interruptions.

Research suggests it can take more than 20 minutes to get back into a task after an interruption. Arrange with your receptionist (or Ruby if you’re a current client) to take messages during the first few hours of the day so you can harness that time for projects. For a top-notch customer experience, inform callers when they can expect return calls.

5. Don’t delay the important stuff.

Many people like to check email first thing in the morning. But once you start, it’s hard to stop! Before you know it, it’s lunchtime and it feels like you haven’t crossed one thing off your list. Instead, use your morning to begin your biggest projects (Stephen Covey calls these “big rocks”), especially if they require creativity. You’ll gain a sense of accomplishment and responding to emails will feel like a breeze. (And for folks like me who just can’t resist a quick peek…at least set aside the non-urgent emails till later in the day after your big-brain tasks are complete.)

What are your tricks to shaking off the morning slump? Share your secret below!

Image Credit: Alex via Flickr Creative Commons License

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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 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.