Small business service pyramid

If you’ve checked out recent episodes of Paging Dr. Ruby, you’re already familiar with the Ruby Service Pyramid®—our roadmap for success at Ruby® Receptionists. If you’re looking to create a service pyramid for your business, a solid foundation is the perfect start. For Ruby, that foundation is Be Prepared With the Right Infrastructure, and here are some of our infrastructure’s key elements:

Ruby Service Pyramid

Purpose

As Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras put it, “Companies that enjoy enduring success have core values and a core purpose that remain fixed while their business strategies and practices endlessly adapt to a changing world.” Their article, Building Your Company’s Vision, is a favorite of Ruby Founder and CEO Jill Nelson, and played an important role in the development of Ruby’s mission, vision, and core values. To build a thriving business, it’s essential to understand what your business stands for. Change is inevitable—staff members will come and go, the economy will fluctuate, some ventures will prove successful, others will fail. Through it all, what are the fundamental ideals you never want to stray from? What can’t you live without?

A devoted team

Once you know what your business stands for, use that purpose to drive your hiring practices. Employee buy-in is critical. Growing a business is hard work, and in order to succeed, your team members need to be as inspired to do that hard work as you are. Look for people who are truly moved by your mission and vision, and aligned with your values. As much as you might like to, a small business owner can’t be everywhere at once, so you need a staff that can be trusted to make value-driven decisions on their own. Finding the right team members may not be easy, but it’s well worth it—they’re the ones who will stick around for the long-run, helping you build the business of your dreams.

Tools to bring ideas to life

So you have a purpose and vision, and a team dedicated to seeing it through. Now, it’s time to equip your team with the tools to make it happen. For Ruby, that includes our proprietary call-handling software and mobile apps.

Our call-handling software gives our receptionists the information they need to handle calls according to the individually-tailored instructions of our many customers. We designed the software in an effort to present instructions in a clear, easy-to-follow manner, so our talented receptionists can focus on what they do best: creating meaningful connections with callers. Our mobile apps sync with that software, enabling customers to update call-handling instructions on the fly, review messages and voicemails, analyze call data, and generally manage their Ruby service wherever they go.

These tools weren’t developed overnight, of course, and we’re constantly working to improve and refine them for a more streamlined customer and employee experience. The aim of our software is to enable our receptionists to delight callers—and help our customers to grow their businesses—without ever worrying about the technology that makes it possible. It’s a journey, and we’re always striving to make our tools better.

Freedom and motivation to innovate

Here’s where “endlessly adapting to a changing world” really comes into play. Giving your team (and yourself) room to make mistakes and try new things often leads to innovation. Sure, you have mountains of ideas for your business—but you haven’t thought of everything, and incenting, inspiring, and empowering your team to contribute to the evolution of your business will only make it stronger. Carve out space for your team to share their ideas, give feedback, and explore new ways of expressing your values—and encourage them to do so. You may be pleasantly surprised at what results. Ruby certainly has been!

Click here for the next post in our Ruby Service Pyramid® series.

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Digital timer counter on tablet
Small Business Tips

How website speed impacts your leads and conversions

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: New ways of legal work with Ashton Taylor

A smiling young woman looks at her computer with one hand on the keyboard and the other holding a paper cup
Small Business Tips

Chat creates human connection and improves efficiency. What’s not to love?

Hands use a VoIP device
Small Business Tips

Making the connection: VoIP, your customers, and you.

Small Business Tips

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

A young woman sitting at a desk looks annoyed at her phone, with one hand thrown up in frustration. Daylight streams in through an adjacent window.

Stop robocalls for good.

A close-up of peanut butter cups (candy), some stacked, some with bites taken out, on a dark gray background
Small Business Tips

Mashups & peanut butter cups: how to bridge the paid/organic data divide to spend smarter search ad dollars

Small Business Tips

Which chat service is right for your business?

Small Business Tips

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Arizona landscape
About Ruby

Arizona, here we come!

Reflections on fallout

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Small Business Tips

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Small Business Tips

Forced changes and success with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Get more clients like that one. You know the one.

Try Ruby Risk Free

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

Call Ruby Sign Up

Customers have many options when choosing a product or service so why not set yourself apart with personal connections? Ruby client Pete recently asked:

“I loved your advice for creating the best experience for first time callers. I’m wondering what advice you have for helping customers after the initial call?”

That’s a superb question! Once you’ve spoken with your new customer, and the ball is rolling, you have an excellent opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition. Keeping it personal inn the virtual world is the crucial first step. In a world of text messages, emails, and quick phone conversations, a note card goes a long way. Taking the time to welcome a new customer with a handwritten note shows them you care by taking some time out of your day just to thank them. Keeping it personal also means not getting stuck in verbal ruts. It’s easy to use the same “How are you?” type phrase with every caller, but what is that saying to your caller? Do you really care? Of course you do! So why not show it? Try mixing things up! Try something like…

Employee

“Hey Steve! What’s new in your world?”

Steve

“Still recovering from Gold State’s championship loss. But I’m hanging in there. That LeBron though man…”

Mixing up your phrasing in a world of monotonous phone speak is unexpected and will garner a real answer from your customers. It’s a great way to make connections and foster real conversations.

Speaking of real connections—consider subscribing to your customer’s blogs, social networks, or stop by their websites from time to time. Acknowledging your customers successes, new hires, or struggles gives you the opportunity to really WOW them. They are investing in your company, so why not take some time to invest in theirs?

Employee

“Janet! Wonderful to finally have a chance to catch up. I saw that you scored a new Paralegal, congratulations!”

The bottom line is be sincere. If you genuinely care about your customers, they will notice and reciprocate. Every interaction is an opportunity to make your customers day. It’s the small things that count and these are the interactions that will set your business apart.

There are millions of ways to accomplish these types of connections, so to make it easy we recommend you keep these three tips in mind.

Tip #1: Share Your Passion

Share why you got into your industry on your website, and use real photos of your office. Be open and honest about your company’s mission and values. Giving customers the opportunity to get to know you, whether it’s via your website or social media, starts creating loyal fans before your first communication with them.

Tip #2: Focus on Relationships

Unlike large corporations, small businesses are better able to build one-on-one relationships with their customers. Word of mouth referrals are a huge source of growth for small businesses. When a customer feels cared for, they will tell their friends about your product or service, and this type of brand loyalty is invaluable. The easiest way to achieve this is to keep a section of your customer’s account reserved just for special information such as their birthday, or their favorite sport.

Tip #3: Pay Attention to the Details

Everything from your website, to your business cards, and even the layout of your business entrance offers a chance to set a great impression and provides a unique experience for your customers.

Well, that wraps it up for this episode of Paging Dr. Ruby. Huge thanks to Pete for his 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! And, of course, check out other episodes of Paging Dr. Ruby on our YouTube channel!

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Digital timer counter on tablet
Small Business Tips

How website speed impacts your leads and conversions

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: New ways of legal work with Ashton Taylor

A smiling young woman looks at her computer with one hand on the keyboard and the other holding a paper cup
Small Business Tips

Chat creates human connection and improves efficiency. What’s not to love?

Hands use a VoIP device
Small Business Tips

Making the connection: VoIP, your customers, and you.

Small Business Tips

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

A young woman sitting at a desk looks annoyed at her phone, with one hand thrown up in frustration. Daylight streams in through an adjacent window.

Stop robocalls for good.

A close-up of peanut butter cups (candy), some stacked, some with bites taken out, on a dark gray background
Small Business Tips

Mashups & peanut butter cups: how to bridge the paid/organic data divide to spend smarter search ad dollars

Small Business Tips

Which chat service is right for your business?

Small Business Tips

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Arizona landscape
About Ruby

Arizona, here we come!

Reflections on fallout

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Small Business Tips

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Small Business Tips

Forced changes and success with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Get more clients like that one. You know the one.

Try Ruby Risk Free

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

Call Ruby Sign Up
Telephone touchpoints

What is your caller journey like? Does your phone experience create the best impression of your business? Make the most of these 8 telephone touchpoints to delight first-time callers and returning customers alike!

1. Your telephone number. Is it easy to find? Easy to click? Be sure your number appears on every page of your website, and aim to make it clickable so mobile users can reach you with a quick tap. 

2. What happens before you pick up the phone. Answering within the first few rings is ideal. If calls ring too long, customers could feel uneasy—or worse, they might hang up.

3. Who answers. Do your customers reach an impersonal voicemail box, a confusing automated system, or a live voice? A cheerful, live person ready to help will make a fantastic impression on your callers.

4. Your greeting. These are the first words many of your customers will hear from your company. Make them count! Adding these three elements will make your greeting stand out.

5. Your tone. When in doubt, smile! Callers can hear it in your voice, and it’s a surefire way to ensure a warm, welcoming tone.

6. Your pace. Start out slow and clear, especially with your greeting—don’t mumble your way through that first impression! From there, follow your caller’s lead. Fast talkers are likely in a hurry, and seeking speedy customer service. If your caller’s pace is slower, keep your speaking pace slow as well. Either way, listening is key. Focus fully on your caller’s words, rather than half-listening and planning for your next step. You can’t give ’em what they want unless you know what that is!

7. Your word choice. Friendliness and professionalism are key here. You don’t have to be stuffy, but aim to avoid slang, and fillers such as “um” and “like.” Proper grammar sounds good on everyone, and so does politeness. Be liberal with “thank you,” and when you’re thanked, follow with a heartfelt “you’re welcome!” Using a caller’s name is also a great way to show you’re listening. If you know a caller’s name, try using it once or twice. Not sure when to name drop? Try adding your caller’s name onto a  your next “thank you.”

Thank you, Karen! 

8. Your enunciation. Pronounce words fully to ensure your callers understand you. Aim to replace mushed words with their fully-enunciated alternatives.

Skip gonna, kinda, coulda, shoulda, wanna

Stick with going to, kind of, could have, should havewant to, etc.

Bonus: quality pronunciation helps you sound professional.

But wait—there’s more! Check out 8 more telephone touchpoints for delighted callers!

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Digital timer counter on tablet
Small Business Tips

How website speed impacts your leads and conversions

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: New ways of legal work with Ashton Taylor

A smiling young woman looks at her computer with one hand on the keyboard and the other holding a paper cup
Small Business Tips

Chat creates human connection and improves efficiency. What’s not to love?

Hands use a VoIP device
Small Business Tips

Making the connection: VoIP, your customers, and you.

Small Business Tips

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

A young woman sitting at a desk looks annoyed at her phone, with one hand thrown up in frustration. Daylight streams in through an adjacent window.

Stop robocalls for good.

A close-up of peanut butter cups (candy), some stacked, some with bites taken out, on a dark gray background
Small Business Tips

Mashups & peanut butter cups: how to bridge the paid/organic data divide to spend smarter search ad dollars

Small Business Tips

Which chat service is right for your business?

Small Business Tips

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Arizona landscape
About Ruby

Arizona, here we come!

Reflections on fallout

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Small Business Tips

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Small Business Tips

Forced changes and success with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Get more clients like that one. You know the one.

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.

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 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.