Our small business customers rely on Ruby to be their technology partner, and we’re passionate about using technology to simplify their day-to-day operations—giving our customers the freedom to focus on big-picture goals and plan for the future. Integrations are one of the key ways we get there. By integrating our call data with the tools our customers use daily, we help ensure that no matter where they go, our customers have everything they need to run their businesses efficiently.

Did you know more than 40% of Ruby customers are lawyers? That’s one of the big reasons our legal answering service partnered with three trusted resources for attorneys: Clio, Lexicata, and our newest addition, Rocket Matter.

  • Ruby and Rocket Matter’s cloud-based practice management software work together to streamline workflow, automatically syncing calls, voicemails, and messages with your Rocket Matter account. Plus, our call data includes the date and length of every call for easy, accurate billing.
  • Similarly, Ruby pairs with & Clio’s cloud-based practice management software to easily associate client communications with specific contacts and matters, and make billing a breeze.
  • And Ruby works with Lexicata’s all-in-one CRM and client intake solution to make client intake even quicker, track marketing efforts, and more.

These integrations are part of our ongoing effort to deliver unparalleled service that helps our customers thrive, and we look forward to integrating with more innovative tools in the future to serve both our attorney customers and all our small business customers.


Ruby understands the unique needs of solo and small-firm practitioners, and by integrating their Ruby call data with the tools they use every day, we help centralize their client communications into one system. This provides the first step in efficient and effective client billing, follow-up, and customer retention. By partnering with widely adopted industry solutions, we simplify and streamline many aspects of their practice to help them better serve their clients and grow their practices.”—Katharine Nester, Ruby Chief Product & Technology Officer

To start syncing your Ruby service with your Rocket Matter, Clio, or Lexicata account today, log in to Ruby and click our new Integrations link—and if you haven’t visited the Integrations area recently, we hope you like the new look and feel!

Not a Ruby customer yet? Learn more about our integrations here!

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International Women’s Day may have passed, but we’re still celebrating women in business. In honor of women-run businesses, Prialto Post featured four female CEOs—including Ruby’s own Jill Nelson!

See the article >>

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Rocket Matter

Ruby Receptionists and Rocket Matter announced their integration at the 2017 ABA Techshow!

Managing your case load is easier than ever with Ruby’s talented virtual receptionists and Rocket Matter’s cloud-based practice management platform. By keeping all your call data in one place, and taking advantage of Ruby’s customer-service experts, you’ll be able to streamline operations, simplify your billing process, and enrich client interactions!

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Small Business Tips

Word of mouth is among the most powerful marketing tools out there. People are, by nature, more likely to listen to the opinions of their peers, than the advertising of the company trying to sell to them.

Defined as an oral or written recommendation by a satisfied customer to the prospective customers of a good or service, word of mouth often happens organically. But your company can always benefit from actively working to develop strong brand advocacy throughout your customer base, and turning those advocates into referrers!

Here are our top 5 steps to turning your happy customers into brand advocates!

1. Provide excellent service

The first step to developing an effective referral program through brand advocacy is providing excellent service. People love supporting brands that they have strong, meaningful relationships with, so excellent customer service is key to turning your average customer into a brand advocacy dynamo.

Customers that experience high-quality service are more likely to generate organic word of mouth—making them the perfect brand advocates.

When referring a company, they’re putting their own reputation on the line. Any kind of referral or recommendation is, on some level, personal. And thus, personally risky.

So, as a company, you have to prove that you’re worthy of your customers taking that risk. You want your customers to say “I’ve personally had the best time working with this company, I would definitely recommend you try them out. And you want them to mean it. They should trust you to provide service that is worthy of their recommendation.

2. Personalize it

Now that you’re providing high-quality service, it’s time to take it a step further and personalize it.

Trust between a company and its customers is often built on a perceived personal relationship. When customers look upon a company as a cherished resource or friend, instead of just a service they require, they’re much more enthusiastic about advocating for it.

Some of our tried-and-true strategies for personalizing service:

  • Remember, and use, a customer’s name
  • Jot down their birthdays and send a note
  • Keep track of milestones in their lives and businesses (new office, marriages, babies, etc)
  • Ensure you’re providing them with service that matches their particular need

3. Build a community

People are also more likely to advocate for your company when they feel like they’re part of a community.

For example, think of the social media management tool, Buffer. Buffer is a pretty robust social media tool that is capable of scheduling and analytics. But Buffer has successfully built a huge, active, and robust community around their service.

Now, instead of just being another social media tool, users are part of a community. There’s a certain kinship that exists between Buffer users that wouldn’t exist otherwise. And it exists because Buffer has found the sweet spot between an excellent tool, personalized service, and thought leadership. This combination has proven to be lethal to the competition, turning serious social media managers into Buffer advocates with just a small push.

4. Find advocates

Okay, now you’ve set yourself up for success. So, all your customers should become brand advocacy machines. Right?

Well, not quite. There will always be disengaged customers or those who only make a purchase (or use your service) once or twice, and others have the potential to become your brand advocates. You need to look for the customers who identify and feel some affiliation with, your product.

Next step: locating those potential advocates. Here are some strategies we recommend-

  • Send out a customer survey
  • Ask for feedback using a tool like Hively
  • Ask your customer whether or not they’re interested in participating in a referral program
  • Get to know your customers, your advocates become more obvious the more you interact with them
  • Invite customers to share their experiences with you in the form of testimonials

Once you’ve found your advocates, it’s time to work with them to generate some word of mouth buzz.

5. Start generating customer-driven buzz

Your customers love you, so it’s time to get them spreading the love!

The strategy that you use to turn your happy customers into word-spreading, brand-loving advocates depends on your industry, size, and brand. Are you a small business? Realtor? Do you have personal relationships with your customers?

In general, there are two main routes you can take.

Hands On

Get your customers invested in your company through a partnership, loyalty, or referral program. Formally reach out to those happy customers you’ve discovered, and asking them to perform tasks of advocacy.

You can achieve this through a structured referral program, or you can take the “discount for them, discount for you” approach. When a happy customer gets your brand a referral, everybody gets a discount, and everybody is happy.

Hands Off

Sometimes you don’t have the customer base or funding for a big hands-on program. But there are still ways you can turn your customers into advocates!

We would recommend-

  • Asking customers for testimonials
  • Encouraging them to like and share your content on social media
  • Asking customers to visit your booth at tradeshows and events

We’re curious. How have you turned your happy customers into advocates for your brand? Tweet us @callruby and tell us about it!

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On Tuesday we discussed three strategies that will help you build the foundation for meaningful customer relationships. Today we’re going to take that process a step deeper!

Beauty and value are in the eyes of the beholder. That’s why they say a business is only as good as the customer says it is.

One study found that almost 70 percent of 2,000 people surveyed, and 82 percent of millennials surveyed, check online reviews before they buy a product. Another report shows that 88 percent of people trust an online review as much as a review from someone they know.

It’s not a surprise, then, that most businesses crave the kind of quality feedback that entices new shoppers to make purchases, whether that means visiting a website for a product or service or stopping into a brick-and-mortar store. Excellent customer service is vital for those reviews and recommendations, but the key to this success comes when businesses build long-term relationships that go beyond a one-time project or purchase while providing continuous benefits to their clients.

Building a loyal customer base takes time and effort, but a small investment of your resources could help you see a boost that both retains current clients and attracts new customers.

Try incrementally incorporating these 5 tips into your business routine to get started building loyalty today.

Pay Attention to Details

Once you’ve landed your customer, always keep your CRM at hand.

Use your software to keep notes every time you interact with a customer, jotting down information about their family, birthdays, and anything interesting that they might mention. Then, follow up next time to you talk to them!

Customer loyalty expert Fred Reichheld wrote about one experience where an employee at a web hosting and cloud computing firm was troubleshooting with a customer. In the background, the customer mentioned getting hungry, so the employee put them on hold and called to have a pizza delivered. By paying attention to the situation surrounding the phone call, that employee was able to go above and beyond to WOW their customer.

Go Old-School

A handwritten note, even if it’s just a few short lines, can make a world of difference in how your customer perceives you. It’s an opportunity to display your appreciation and convey a deeper investment in their happiness. A handwritten note gives them a lasting reminder that keeps your name and business in front of them, and reminds them that you care. Plus, as a bonus for you, expressions of gratitude have been shown to give the writer better health and satisfaction in life.

Treat Your Employees Well

Happy employees lead to happy customers.

When you treat employees well and earn their respect, they’re much more likely to display the positivity that wins over customers. A corporate culture that fosters loyalty is more than just fair and consistent; it demonstrates excellent customer service in each and every interaction.

Teaching and hiring for positivity and good customer service is effective, but not nearly as effective as teaching by example.

Keep Your Word

If you make a promise or guarantee, do your best to meet the deadline.

Reliability is vital to building a long-term customer base, as customers know that you not only value your service or product, but you also value their business specifically. Reliability includes getting products delivered on time, ensuring that you’ve completed the projects promised, and being honest and genuine with your customers. If something comes up that keeps you from maintaining that deadline or schedule, promptly communicate with the customer while finding a way to make the situation right.

More often than not, customers just appreciate the honesty.

Communicate Well

As you can see, all of these tips boil down to good communication. Whether you’re on the phone, sending an email, sending a thank-you note or setting up a customer rewards program, clear and compelling communication should be your priority.

Strong customer communication could mean offering loyal customers a first look at a new product or service, developing a protocol that involves prompt response, or even offering customers more in-depth how-tos or free guides. Add informative pieces to your marketing and advertising communications by sharing information that will serve your community of customers.

Ruby Receptionists caps its Ruby Service Pyramid with “making meaningful connections.” These connections developed over regular, consistent communication and a commitment to giving customers the absolute best service possible. Ruby keeps its infrastructure ready to keep its word, and put customers’ needs first.

Take a look at how your company is serving customers in both the business and non-business areas. They want to like you and be loyal, so show them why they should.

Gabe Arnold

 

Gabe Arnold is the founder of Copywriter Today where you can get unlimited fresh content for all your marketing needs. If you want 250 free headline ideas for your next marketing campaign, use their free tool here.

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Ruby and Rocket Matter team up!

Reading time:

Rocket Matter

As your technology partner, Ruby is always working to invest in technologies and integrations to make running your business easier—and we’re thrilled to announce our new partnership with Rocket Matter!

One of an attorney’s biggest struggles is staying on top of the repetitive, daily tasks associated with having clients. Keeping track of client communications and billing can eat up a lot of an attorney’s day—leaving little time to focus on your cases.

That’s why Ruby is collaborating with Rocket Matter to make your day easier! By combining Ruby’s live, friendly virtual receptionists with Rocket Matter’s cloud-based practice management system, your information will always be organized and right where you want it.

The days of manual data entry are over. Ruby automatically syncs all your calls,
voicemails, and messages directly with Rocket Matter. Plus, with our intelligent and extensive call data, you no longer have to sift through pages of phone bills to find out how much time you spend on client calls.

With Rocket Matter and Ruby, attorneys will experience:

  • Happier callers – Ruby’s team of customer service experts are trained to build trust with potential clients from the very first interaction—setting you up for success. And, because all your messages and call data are stored in your Rocket Matter account, following up on those calls has never been so easy.
  • Quicker, easier billing – With Ruby’s sophisticated call data and Rocket Matter’s cloud-based organization, billing is a piece of cake! Say hello to freeing hours you can dedicate to billable work.
  • Faster workflow – Does anything feel better than automating your busywork? When Ruby syncs with your Rocket Matter account, all your information is automatically updated after every phone call.
  • Room to Grow – Ruby answers 100% of business hour calls live—giving you the freedom to focus.

Get the hours you dedicate to busywork back. You can count on our team of friendly, professional receptionists to provide top-notch customer service while keeping all your client details in one place!

For Rocket Matter clients interested in learning more about the Ruby/Clio integration, or how Ruby can help your practice, send us an email at hello@callruby.com.

Stop by our integrations page to learn more!

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Customer relationship building 101.

Reading time:

Building relationships doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be big gestures and pricey gifts.

The best relationships—in life and business—are built on trust. By consistently impressing your customers with your friendly employees, reliable service or product, and quality experiences, you’ll be well on your way to building relationships that really matter.

Here are our three top tips for customer relationship building without adding to your budget:

Do What You Say You’ll Do

The first step to building long-lasting customer relationships is proving that you’ll fulfill your promises.

Part of the Ruby Service Pyramid, “Do What You Say You’ll Do” means committing to timing, quality, and accuracy. This is your opportunity to make commitments you can keep, and blow their expectations out of the water.

5 Steps to Do What You Say You’ll Do:

  1. Determine what you’re capable of
  2. Structure your company in such a way that you are capable of consistently meeting those standards
  3. Understand your limitations
  4. Communicate your capabilities and limitations to customers clearly
  5. WOW ’em

The breakdown looks different for every company, so it’s important to really take your time to examine what you can do, and what your customers expect from you.

In summary, customers want to know when it will be provided, how valuable the product or service is, and how close what you promise them matches what they receive.

Train Your Employees

Developing memorable relationships with your customers requires creating consistent experiences—and that requires consistent training.

The more your company grows, the harder it is to maintain tight controls on quality. That’s why training is so important. By training your customer-facing teams to be honest, personable, and genuine with customers—and teaching them how to take effective notes—you’re setting your company up for success.

And don’t forget ongoing training and innovation! As your product or service develops, aim to develop your team along with it. The more effective your internal systems, the better equipped your team will be to build memorable relationships with your customers.

Imagine a situation where you called a company about a problem with their product or service. When you got that customer service rep on the phone, they didn’t seem to understand your question. They didn’t seem to understand their product.

How would you feel about your experience?

Now imagine calling a company about that same problem. You’re met with a friendly voice on the other end of the line who comes across and sympathetic and caring. They understand your problem and seem to genuinely care.

Now how would you feel?

The product or service you provide should impress your customers, but they’ll remember their interactions with your team. Training helps you make them good ones.

Personalize Each Customer Experience

Personalization is when customer relationship management system really comes in handy. People love personalized experiences because they love feeling remembered. In this increasingly virtual world, meaningful connections are more, well, meaningful than ever before.

Some top personalization strategies:

  • Use your customer’s name
  • Remember their birthdays
  • Celebrate their successes
  • Most importantly, be sincere

Make it memorable, make it personal.

Bonus

At Ruby, we use a lot of tools to show our customers how much we appreciate them. Here are some bonus resources that will help you blow your customers away!

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At the 2017 ABA Techshow Ruby will be showcasing integrations with legal case management and CRM solution providers Clio, Lexicata, and Rocket Matter. We’ll be at booth 607 from March 15 – 18th.

Stop by to learn about our bi-directional integrations with legal practice management systems Clio and Rocket Matter and our sync with Lexicata’s CRM. With our live remote receptionists, proprietary mobile technology, and sophisticated integrations, managing your clients and calls has never been easier.

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Have you ever wondered who you were talking to on the other side of the computer screen?

Outstanding customer service representatives make you feel like they, and the companies that employ them, value you. As a result, customers are eager to get to know the faces behind the logo.

Why?

As soon as a customer starts a conversation with a leader, employee, or representative of the company, their perspective changes. It goes from a faceless entity to real people that care about the individual needs of each customer.

According to some studies, meeting those needs is all it takes to build long-term customer relationships—but going the extra mile to satisfy needs can, to borrow from Ruby Receptionist’s goals, WOW customers and build the kind of relationship that fosters long-term loyalty.

Why Building Long-Term Customer Relationships Matters

  • Customer loyalty saves you time, money, and effort in the long run. Customer acquisitions comes with a hefty price tag—especially if your company experiences a higher-than-average customer churn rate. Building relationships with customers means they’ll stick around for the long haul, and you can save the money you would have spent to replace their business. If your customer base sticks around, you can focus on growth.
  • Long-term customers are also powerful brand advocates. Word of mouth marketing is an extremely effective way to generate new customers, especially when your loyal customers are the ones bringing them in.
  • Additionally, long-term customers provide a solid base for business growth. These are the individuals who will be the first to step up to use and even review your new products, give you honest feedback, and provide you with a consistent income.

Customer loyalty doesn’t have to be formed with big, over-the-top, gestures. While all customers appreciate a small touch that shows you value them, the first step to building long-lasting customers comes from your core business model: meeting their needs.

Step 1: Meet Customer Needs

One Harvard Business Review report found that most customer loyalty can be summed up in three words: make it easy. The study, which came out before the rise of tech-enabled personalization, raises an interesting point about the basics of the customer-company relationship.

In this case, make it easy means doing a few basic things to get the relationship started.

how to build a loyal following

  • Take away any barriers between you and your customers. Make it easy for customers to reach out to your company by having clear phone numbers (to a phone that gets answered), email addresses, and contact forms.
  • Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Look at what customers are truly trying to express. Are they satisfied or dissatisfied with your product? Are they angry? Enthusiastic? Anger is a secondary emotion, so what’s the root cause? Understanding your customers makes it much easier to build real relationships with them. It’s true what they say, empathy goes a long way.
  • Anticipate needs. Think of all the resources a customer may ask for, and make them available. Whether this takes the form of a mini-tutorial on a product or offering genuine suggestions for the next step, a company that thinks about its customers helps keep them engaged and active.

In some cases, a simple shift in language can be all it takes to improve customer relationships. Shifting away from negativity, and towards positive language, can help build the foundational trust that leads to long-term, long-lasting relationships.

Step 2: Going the Extra Mile

Like Rome, relationships aren’t built in a day, and long-term relationships mean more than just satisfying customer needs; they mean exceeding them. Loyalty is built on a perceived personal relationship with the brand. And you can’t build a great relationship without providing a great product, excellent service, and open communications. Every interaction provides you with another opportunity to blow them away.

It’s no surprise that technology improvements have created an environment where customers expect real-time communication. Customers want to talk to a real person, not a robot. And they can reach out to you through social media, timely emails, and via phone calls. In the age of technology, customer loyalty is won on all fronts.

Your next phone call with a customer is your opportunity to go the extra mile! When the opportunity arises, try taking notes about a customer’s needs, putting your active listening skills to use, and providing a solution—or clear next steps when possible. Sometimes this means listening to complaints and providing the right services. And in other cases, it means sending a thoughtful gift, handwritten note, or even offering a follow-up call.

The more personal and direct you can be, the better.

Gabe Arnold

 

Gabe Arnold is the founder of Copywriter Today where you can get unlimited fresh content for all your marketing needs. If you want 250 free headline ideas for your next marketing campaign, use their free tool here.

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Jill Nelson HeadshotWe’re thrilled to announce that Ruby Founder and CEO, Jill Nelson, has been honored as the 2017 Oregon Technology Executive of the Year! This is the first time in its 33 years of history that this award has gone to a female executive. Awarded by the Technology Association of Oregon, and part of the Oregon Technology Awards, this recognition celebrates excellence and achievement within the region’s vibrant technology community.

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Read the Oregon Live Coverage >>

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How do you get to know your customers? Did you do some demographic research? Market research? Really really good guesstimating?

While alternative strategies have merit, nothing is quite as powerful as asking your customers directly. After all, nobody knows them better than they know themselves!

When it comes to customer happiness, surveys are your secret weapon. If you don’t have time, or can’t afford to sit down with your customers and have a one-on-one conversation, sending a thoughtful, well-written survey can be key to understanding their needs.

Interested in sending your customers a survey? Here are our seven steps to survey success:

1. Set a Goal

Surveys measure satisfaction, dissatisfaction, wants, needs, desired features, and more. You can use a survey to discover all kinds of interesting information about your customers and how they feel about your product.

When designing your survey, deciding who to distribute it to, and selecting questions, it’s important to have a single, specific goal in mind.

Before you start, write a two to three sentence description of your goal. Are you trying to develop new features for your product? Interested in exploring app satisfaction? Looking for website feedback?

2. Decide Who You Want to Hear From

Surveying your entire customer base can be expensive, but studying only segments of the market can cause you to miss out on valuable insights. The most effective survey takes a slice right out of the middle of your audience, getting information from a substantial subsection of your market. It’s also important to survey only relevant people. You don’t want to accidentally send a survey about your mobile app to customers who don’t use it!

3. Select a Distribution Method

Once you’ve chosen your goal and audience, it’s time to choose the method of delivery. It’s important to keep in mind the fact that people love short, easy surveys—and nobody likes it when their workflow is interrupted.

Surveys can be included on landing pages, in emails, or even included in website popups (but  be very careful when using popups—users and Google don’t always like it). Select the method that makes the most sense for your audience.

4. Draft your Questions

Keep your goal in mind when choosing your survey questions. You want questions to be short, sweet, and as relevant as possible.

Some tips to writing the perfect questions:Asking the right questions in a customer survey

  • Keep ’em brief, keep ’em simple
  • Only ask questions you need the answer to
  • Avoid biased language and leading questions
  • Keep survey design and rating scales consistent
  • Try to frame questions as a yes/no option whenever possible
  • Ensure your questions are as specific as possible

5. Review and Send

Once you’ve set a goal, selected a method for distribution, put together your list, and written out your questions, it might feel like it’s time to hit send. But before jumping into action, take a moment to examine your survey altogether.

Do all the elements of your survey make sense? Does it look right? Is it going to reach the right people at the right time and in a way that makes sense?

If you’re sending your survey in an email, does it have a strong call-to-action and headline? Is the survey properly branded?

When you’re happy with how everything looks, it’s time to send it out into the world!

6. Collect and Review Responses

Once you’ve collected all your responses, you can put that information to work! Take the insights from your data and use them to improve your services, website, product, and more. If you asked the right questions to the right people, their answers could make a huge difference in your business.

7. Improve Your Surveys for Next Time

Once you’ve collected and interpreted your data, there’s one last step—improving your survey for the future. Did people open your email? Are you losing them before they click the call-to-action? Are they finishing the survey?

Take a look at your open rate, click-through-rate, and completion rate, and use this data to improve your survey for next time. Nothing is ever perfect on the first attempt, but with some practice, you can start developing and distributing impactful customer surveys that will help you better WOW your customers!

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