Did you know that since 2011, U.S. businesses have seen a 130% increase in calls from folks searching on their mobile phones? This is great news for small businesses who are often located nearby—which means it’s a great opportunity to up your customer service game and truly set your business apart! Ruby client Debbie noticed this trend and asked:

“I’m getting more calls from folks who find me using search or maps on their phone. Since they often seem to have different needs than other callers, do you have any tips on how I can create the best experience for them?”

Thanks Debbie for the question! Since these callers won’t have conducted a lot of research on your business, first impressions are especially important. To win over these callers, let’s get back to the basics, starting with your greeting. Make sure that it sets the tone for your business and welcomes callers warmly, like this:

“Thank you for calling Poseidon’s Fish Emporium. Don’t be Koi, our fish bring joy!”

Once you’ve locked down your greeting, it’s time to find out how you can best assist your caller. Since they’re calling after a quick search, they’re likely to have a lot of basic questions about your service. Having a stellar description of your company on hand and some go-to FAQs is going to be extremely useful for both you and your receptionist. It might sound like this:

Customer: “Hi, I just found you from my phone. I’ve been searching for tropical fish for an aquarium I’m building.”

Employee: “Wonderful! I’d be happy to help. Poseidon’s Fish Emporium specializes in rare tropical fish as well as the equipment needed to house them.”

Customer: “Sounds like what I’m looking for. Do you have much of a selection?”

Employee: “We do! In fact, we have more than 200 varieties of tropical fish. Are there any specific fish you were looking for?”

Once a caller knows you have the service or product they’re looking for, they’re most likely to ask next about price. Whether you have a fixed price, or it’s on a spectrum, knowing some answers ahead of time will ensure that your caller will have a great experience. For example:

Customer: “I don’t have a specific fish in mind; I was hoping to come in and look at the selection to see what catches my eye. What’s the usual range?

Employee: “That’s a fantastic question! Our prices vary from fish to fish. Some fish such as our Dwarf Spotted Cory are as low as $3.00 a fish, and others can reach into the hundreds of dollars. We also have bulk discounts available, and are happy to help you pick out fish for your aquarium based on your budget.”

In this example they went above and beyond by giving the caller what they didn’t even know they wanted with their offer of bulk discounts. Once the caller knows that you have what they want, and they know the price, it’s time to plan the next step with your caller. It may make sense to schedule a time for them to stop by your location or jot down their information. Knowing what information you need helps keep the call flowing and shows the caller that you are the best person to help them!

Employee: “If you are looking to pick out some fish today, we’d love to have you stop by! I’d even be happy to schedule a consultation for you with our tropical fish expert.”

Customer: “Gosh, that sounds fantastic! Could I stop by around 2:00 p.m. today?”

Employee: “Perfect! May I jot down your name and number for our expert?”

With a fantastic greeting, prepared answers, and enthusiasm, you will easily win over these cellphone shoppers. Just remember to have patience! Often these types of callers will have many questions about your product or services. Most importantly, always be thinking about how you can provide the best experience. Callers can tell when you’re passionate about your business. They want to buy from someone who believes in what they sell!

Well, that wraps it up for this episode of Paging Dr. Ruby. Huge thanks to Debbie for her excellent question! If you’re looking for communication advice, or tips about the Ruby Service we’re here to help. Dr. Ruby is always on the case! Send us your questions on Twitter @callruby, Facebook, or put them in the comments below!

For even more videos on small business communication tips, subscribe to your YouTube channel!

Subscribe Button

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Needs-based selling: woman using laptop in well-lit office next to large window.
Small Business Tips

Needs-based selling 101

Closeup image of a business owner texting message from smart phone in cafe
Small Business Tips

Why you should be texting from your business number—and how to get started

Title card: Craig Rashkis, Farwell Rashkis LLP, Ruby customer feature series
Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Craig Rashkis, Falwell Rashkis LLP

What you can do to support Hispanic and Latinx-owned businesses

Wall clock nearing 8:00 on pink background

Using virtual receptionists for full-time answering

How to end a phone call: person holding phone
Receptionist Tips

How to end a phone call

Virtual receptionist sitting at desk

Virtual receptionist pricing 101

Professional sitting at desk on computer, working on a law firm's website
Legal Practice Tips

What Google’s Core Web Vitals mean for your law firm’s website

A group of Ruby customers stand together, smiling and talking

Does your business need an answering service?

Screenshot of a YouTube channel's live videos

How to use YouTube Live to engage your clients & audience

Smiling woman standing in a bicycle workshop with a mobile device in her hands
Small Business Tips

3 ways virtual receptionists elevate customer experience (while making your life easier)

Circular cutout of Rebecca Grimes, Ruby's Chief Revenue Officer

A conversation with Ruby’s Chief Revenue Officer, Rebecca Grimes

Woman in yellow sweater working in front of open laptop, sitting in home office interior, drinking coffee
Small Business Tips

Happy customers, efficient businesses: How to supercharge growth with virtual receptionists 

Help wanted sign hung in reflective window
Small Business Tips

Using online presence platforms for recruitment

A man in silhouette looks out over a foggy mountain range
Small Business Tips

How to communicate with employees during times of tension

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

I think we can all agree customer service is important. Statistic after statistic has shown consumers are willing to spend more on a service or product if they believe it will result in a better overall experience. Yet, there seems to be a key component of the customer experience movement being missed in the discussion—the importance of delivering consistently great service.

The Tale of Two Receptionists

First off, let me state I’m a terrible patient. I had been experiencing a pain in my knee for several months, but waited until it had become debilitating before scheduling an appointment with a doctor. Naturally, I wanted to get in as soon as possible as I was in a great deal of pain and was having trouble walking. I explained my situation to Receptionist #1 over the phone, hoping my positive tone would endear her to me and result in an early appointment. Receptionist #1 spent several minutes going through the schedules of all her doctors, but was unable to find anything earlier than a few weeks. I thanked her, took the later appointment and hung up.

15 minutes later, Receptionist #1 called back and said she’d had an appointment cancellation for the next day, but it couldn’t be reserved ahead of time as they hold cancelled slots for “day of” calls. She explained I’d have a good chance of securing the appointment if I called right at 7:00am the next day. I thanked her profusely and set a reminder. It was a wonderful example of an employee going above and beyond to help a patient in need.

Sure enough, I was Receptionist #2’s first call the next day. I shared my story and let her know I had an appointment in a few weeks, but was hoping to get in sooner. She mentioned the cancelled appointment, at which point I exclaimed my thanks to Receptionist #1 for sharing the information with me.

Her tone immediately changed.

Receptionist #2 became very upset with me, explaining her colleague wasn’t supposed to give out that information and I really shouldn’t be allowed to take the appointment. After apologizing for several minutes and promising I would never do it again, Receptionist #2 allowed me to schedule the appointment.

Consistency is Key

More disappointing than having a poor experience with Receptionist #2 was that it had immediately followed a fantastic interaction with Receptionist #1. I had begun to build trust in the practice, started making connections with the staff—yet, now I felt awkward even walking into the building. All it took was one bad call to immediately throw me back to square one in the customer-provider relationship.

Committing to delivering great customer experience means making sure you can live up to what you promise every day, in every interaction. You don’t have to go above and beyond every single time—as that in itself often creates inconsistent expectations. Instead, always do you what you say you’ll do. Being consistent in your tone and interactions establishes a baseline for the relationship and helps clients feel comfortable. Plus, it lets you learn about your customers so you begin to discover what they need even before they know it themselves.

If you’re truly committed to delivering great customer experiences and developing a culture of service, consider these tips for creating consistency:

1. Develop a “Service Pyramid.” Service fundamentals are at the bottom, with the finer customer service practices at the top. Only when the bottom levels are mastered can the higher needs come into play. Feel free to use Ruby’s own Service Pyramid as an example!

2. Become a customer! Sometimes the best way to determine if your company is set-up to provide great service is to experience it yourself! Walk through your client onboarding process, review your website, audit your email templates and make sure all these pieces together are creating a consistent experience that sets your clients up for success.

3. Focus on your strengths. It can be tough to be upbeat and patient with customers when you’re running a million miles a minute trying to build your business. Acknowledging your strengths are in tasks like completing orders, writing briefs, or designing websites (to name a few!), versus talking to customers, is the first step to delivering great service. Consider hiring a virtual receptionist to handle incoming calls or investing in a lightweight marketing automation platform to create and deliver eye-catching, simple customers emails. Then, you are freed up to focus on delivering consistency with your strengths.

There will always be a hard times that come along with the good. However, it’s only when you’ve put in the time and delivered consistent service that customers will understand a bad experience isn’t the norm.

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Needs-based selling: woman using laptop in well-lit office next to large window.
Small Business Tips

Needs-based selling 101

Closeup image of a business owner texting message from smart phone in cafe
Small Business Tips

Why you should be texting from your business number—and how to get started

Title card: Craig Rashkis, Farwell Rashkis LLP, Ruby customer feature series
Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Craig Rashkis, Falwell Rashkis LLP

What you can do to support Hispanic and Latinx-owned businesses

Wall clock nearing 8:00 on pink background

Using virtual receptionists for full-time answering

How to end a phone call: person holding phone
Receptionist Tips

How to end a phone call

Virtual receptionist sitting at desk

Virtual receptionist pricing 101

Professional sitting at desk on computer, working on a law firm's website
Legal Practice Tips

What Google’s Core Web Vitals mean for your law firm’s website

A group of Ruby customers stand together, smiling and talking

Does your business need an answering service?

Screenshot of a YouTube channel's live videos

How to use YouTube Live to engage your clients & audience

Smiling woman standing in a bicycle workshop with a mobile device in her hands
Small Business Tips

3 ways virtual receptionists elevate customer experience (while making your life easier)

Circular cutout of Rebecca Grimes, Ruby's Chief Revenue Officer

A conversation with Ruby’s Chief Revenue Officer, Rebecca Grimes

Woman in yellow sweater working in front of open laptop, sitting in home office interior, drinking coffee
Small Business Tips

Happy customers, efficient businesses: How to supercharge growth with virtual receptionists 

Help wanted sign hung in reflective window
Small Business Tips

Using online presence platforms for recruitment

A man in silhouette looks out over a foggy mountain range
Small Business Tips

How to communicate with employees during times of tension

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

5 meeting tips guaranteed to WOW.

Reading time:
office collage

Let’s face it—meetings are not everyone’s cup of tea. We all have our own hang ups and frustrations but the major complaint I’ve heard most often is meetings don’t always feel productive. This could be for a variety of reasons, but I suspect many of the complications that arise in these less productive meetings stem from a lack of proper preparation.

What if you could walk into a meeting that was scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. and actually sit down and begin meeting at 2:00 p.m.? It sounds simple enough, but it seems more often the first 2, 5 or even 10 minutes of a meeting are spent syncing technology, waiting for attendees to refresh their coffee or grabbing more chairs. Not to mention the time lost when someone needs to run back to their desk for a new pen or the notepad they forgot.

These little annoyances are easily avoidable if you’re prepared with the right infrastructure from the get-go. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you hit the ground running in your next meeting!

1. Create a clear system for meeting scheduling and conference room reservation.

Having a defined system for scheduling and viewing meetings can cut down on confusion and frustration and create clear lines of communication. There are many options for making your office’s meeting schedule transparent. Consider using a shared Google calendar, the company Intranet or even a physical meeting calendar hung in a convenient place.

In your office, you may be responsible for setting up your own meetings or there may be a person designated to assist in these situations. Either way, the more information that is able to be included and planned for ahead of time, the better. Consider noting information like number of attendees, food or beverage requests and technology assistance in a calendar posting.

2. Follow a checklist to ensure nothing is missed.

Every office is different but generally, it’s helpful to answer the following questions:

  • How many people will be attending this meeting? Do I have enough seats, supplies and documents?
  • How long is the meeting? Will attendees benefit from snacks or beverages? (Pro tip: The answer to this one is nearly always “yes”)
  • How is information going to be presented? Will we be using a projector or other technology that may require additional time to set up?

3. Allow plenty of time for set-up.

It’s important to plan out time to prepare for a meeting so you and your team are set up for success. Don’t underestimate the amount of time you might need to accomplish your prep work. Always give yourself more time than you think you’ll need to have everything in place. If it’s ready early, fantastic! By planning ahead, you’re giving yourself more time in the actual meeting for, well, doing meeting things!

4. Keep conference rooms fully stocked with anything and everything you might need in a meeting.

Beyond the specific items necessary for each meeting, it’s helpful to keep an area in the room stocked with all of the little “maybe” and “whoops” items someone could need. This way, no one needs to leave the room to find it! These items range from basic office supplies like extra pens, notepads and tape to more specific items like to-go boxes, laptop power cords and lens cleaner. You can even include informational cards for easy technology access. Wi-fi credentials, projector instructions and even a guide to the features of the conference room can help to make meeting set-ups a breeze!

5. Create a welcoming, creative environment.

For the most part, meetings are set to facilitate innovative new ideas and cultivate teamwork. If your meeting rooms make guests feel comfortable, welcome and special, you’re more likely to have an energized meeting that supports these types of goals. Consider adding greenery with fresh flowers or potted plants. Take time to choose conference chairs that are not only comfortable but up the style factor in the room. Even adding throw pillows, tabletop décor and wall art can help the conference room feel less sterile and more inviting.

By taking time outside of your meeting to follow these few simple tricks, you allow yourself the time during your meeting to be more productive, more efficient and less frustrated, all while creating a WOW-worthy experience for your team. And honestly, couldn’t we all use a bit of WOW in our lives?

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Needs-based selling: woman using laptop in well-lit office next to large window.
Small Business Tips

Needs-based selling 101

Closeup image of a business owner texting message from smart phone in cafe
Small Business Tips

Why you should be texting from your business number—and how to get started

Title card: Craig Rashkis, Farwell Rashkis LLP, Ruby customer feature series
Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Craig Rashkis, Falwell Rashkis LLP

What you can do to support Hispanic and Latinx-owned businesses

Wall clock nearing 8:00 on pink background

Using virtual receptionists for full-time answering

How to end a phone call: person holding phone
Receptionist Tips

How to end a phone call

Virtual receptionist sitting at desk

Virtual receptionist pricing 101

Professional sitting at desk on computer, working on a law firm's website
Legal Practice Tips

What Google’s Core Web Vitals mean for your law firm’s website

A group of Ruby customers stand together, smiling and talking

Does your business need an answering service?

Screenshot of a YouTube channel's live videos

How to use YouTube Live to engage your clients & audience

Smiling woman standing in a bicycle workshop with a mobile device in her hands
Small Business Tips

3 ways virtual receptionists elevate customer experience (while making your life easier)

Circular cutout of Rebecca Grimes, Ruby's Chief Revenue Officer

A conversation with Ruby’s Chief Revenue Officer, Rebecca Grimes

Woman in yellow sweater working in front of open laptop, sitting in home office interior, drinking coffee
Small Business Tips

Happy customers, efficient businesses: How to supercharge growth with virtual receptionists 

Help wanted sign hung in reflective window
Small Business Tips

Using online presence platforms for recruitment

A man in silhouette looks out over a foggy mountain range
Small Business Tips

How to communicate with employees during times of tension

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up
Sales Support
Legal_Final

The Secret to Successful Law Firms

The inside scoop on Clio’s latest legal trends report.

Phone Thumbnail 2

10 Questions to Ask a Virtual Reception Provider

Ask the right questions and rate virtual reception services with our handy guide and scorecard!

Already a Ruby customer?

Let’s get started.

Ready to turn more callers into customers?

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.