The universe works in mysterious ways. Have you ever had a song stuck in your head only to turn on the radio and hear that exact song? This month’s featured WOW story demonstrates the uncanny ability Rubys have to read a situation more perfectly than they even meant to.

Pearl receptionist Fletcher connected a call through to Jason. Jason had some choice words about the particular caller Fletcher had on the line. He joked that it’s difficult to step in when this caller is on a roll and he just didn’t have the hour her call would inevitably take.

Clearly Jason was busy and perhaps even a bit stressed. Fletcher knew he could help out!

He cruised over to Amazon and found just what the doctor ordered—a wacky desk toy to help Jason fidget through his next hour-long call with grace.

The timing of Fletcher’s gift could not have been better—Jason received the desk toy just as his mother was undergoing a difficult medical procedure.


Thank you. I talk to and work with quite a few people on a daily basis and they aren’t always pleasant. In the end, I think it’s really great that someone takes the time to do something nice just for that sake of being nice. Our world would be a kinder place with more thoughtful people and Fletcher should be recognized for his actions. I truly appreciate it.

Just so everyone knows, the day I received the gift from Fletcher, my mother was undergoing a procedure and so the gesture was appreciated even more and distracted me from the difficult day. It’s funny how the little things can make such a big difference. Thank you again.


Nice just for the sake of being nice…precisely! Kindness perpetuates kindness and while it might come naturally to you, it could mean the world to someone else.

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Great customer service creates repeat customers and spreads positive word of mouth, two invaluable revenue channels for small businesses. A study by the Harvard Business Review shows that increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits by anywhere from 25% to 95%, while a study conducted by Ogilvy, Google, and TNS indicates that 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key consideration.

The numbers are in and they all say the same thing—customer service is as important as ever.

There’s no shortcut to making stellar customer service the focal point of your business. But we’re happy to share a few concrete techniques you can use to improve your customer service experience right out the gate.

1. Start with a Smile

Any receptionist at Ruby can tell you that smiling is important, even over the phone! A smile infuses your voice with warmth that your customer will immediately respond to. Studies have shown that smiling can create a more positive mood from within—improving your own day and spreading the joy. So, start your customer service off with a smile to set your business up for success.

2. Say Their Name

Be personal. Be relatable. Connect with your customer by using their name! You might recognize this tip from the charisma handbook, How to Win Friends and Influence People, and it’s just as applicable in customer service as it is at a dinner party.

Be sure to ask for the customer’s name at the beginning of your interaction. Then, integrate that name into your dialogue with phrases like “Of course, Barbara,” “Is there anything else I can do for you, Andrew?”, and “I’d be happy to help you with that, Susan.” You’ll instantly create a more natural conversational rapport.

3. Empathize

Show that you care by empathizing with your customer’s concerns and communicating that empathy verbally. Be sure to use phrases like “I understand that…” to repeat your customer’s concerns in your own words.

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey identifies rephrasing as one of the key components of empathetic listening. Rephrasing your customer’s comments demonstrates that you are listening closely and that you’re addressing their unique needs. Practice empathetic listening to turn natural rapport into personal connections. It’s a key element of emotional intelligence.

By paying attention, and showing your customers that you care with a few small tricks, you can make any conversation into a great one!

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Are you paying attention to your touchpoints?

If not, you should be.

74% of callers are likely to choose another business after they have a bad experience—indicating that customer service is as important as ever. It’s time to approach every communication with your customers as an opportunity to spark a connection, gain their trust, and earn their loyalty!

If that sounds easier said than done, don’t stress. We’ve put together a guide of customer service solutions you can put to work right away.

In our free Using Language to Turn Callers into Customers ebook you’ll learn:

  • Tips and tricks to improve caller trust and turn callers into clients
  • The power of emotional language
  • Action items you can put into place today

Download your copy and discover the power of customer service!


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We’re excited to share that Ruby® has made the Inc. Magazine 5000 List for 2017! The Inc. 5000 is an annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America. This year Ruby was also among the top 25 telecommunication companies and recognized as a five-time Inc. 5000 honoree.

See Ruby’s Rankings

Explore the Full List

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How to make your apology count.

Reading time:

Everyone makes mistakes. But not everyone knows how to apologize like they mean it. At Ruby Receptionists, we know that the right apology can turn a tough moment around. It’s important to understand the difference between the apology you want to give and the apology you want to receive—they’re not always the same thing!

Have you ever received a “bad” apology? One that didn’t make you feel any better?

In her study of apologies, Stanford psychologist Karina Schumann writes that insincere apologies happen because “people are highly motivated to maintain their sense of self-worth and integrity.” It can be hard to own our faults and promise change, but that’s what effective apologies do.

Sincere apologies are an asset in any professional relationship. You can set yourself apart by asking yourself what you want to hear in any apology, rather than what you want to say in an apology.

To give an apology you would be happy to receive, adhere to a few simple principles:

  • Take responsibility. Simply saying “I’m sorry” or better yet “Please accept my apologies” acknowledges your mistake and expresses your regrets. Keep it short and sweet instead of justifying or minimizing the mistake.
  • Offer a solution. The hard part is over, but don’t forget to follow through. Demonstrate that your apology is genuine by offering a thoughtful solution.
  • Move forward. In Karina Schumann’s study of apologies, adults who affirmed their own values and worth were able to make more effective, solution-oriented apologies. So, move forward with the knowledge that your apology reflects your values and strengthens your relationships.

With a little sincerity, and thoughtfulness, an apology can turn a difficult moment into a meaningful connection. Demonstrate your values and your problem-solving skills by making an apology you would be happy to receive.

What makes for an effective, sincere apology to you? Tweet us @callruby with your favorite apology tip!

Learn More: Fess Up to Your Mess Up

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Establishing a local, solo, or niche business—even in the age of the internet—is easiest when you generate real word of mouth.

Easier said than done, right? But it is possible. Creating a genuine brand story and embodying that story throughout your customer touchpoints will set you on the right path!

Here’s a great example for you. I recently bought an old house that needed some plumbing work. After asking around, I got a recommendation for a plumber known for his work on old homes. He was described as genuine, honest, and kind. He doesn’t advertise and doesn’t have a website. His business is run on satisfied clients spreading the word.

How does he do it?

He obviously didn’t sit down and build out a 12-step plan for establishing a brand. Instead, he decided what values are important to him, and consistently acted according to them. He’s not the cheapest plumber. He’s not the fastest. But he’s honest, reliable, and knows old homes and their challenges. Clients who are looking for someone fitting this description, know that they can turn to him.

Now, how can you take his strategy and apply it to your business? Here are three steps that can help you define your brand story —and use that story to grow your business!

Ask the question: who do I want to be?

establishing your brandNo brand is everything to everyone. You can’t be both a high-end expensive furniture store, and sell cheap and attainable couches.

So, when you’re establishing your product, service, and brand voice, it’s important that you know who you want your client to be. Even more importantly, you need to establish who you are.

If you’re an attorney, do you sell yourself on price? Approachability? Your ability to win the case?

As a contractor, a realtor, or candlestick maker, you have to answer questions about your methods, specialties, and motivations. The more you’ve formulated your identity, the more authentic you can be—and the value of what you have to offer will shine through.
A good practice is to list out how you would like people to talk about your business. Spend an hour writing down words like affordable, reliable, transparent, passionate… whatever your phrases may be. Then figure out how you can apply these principles to your business.

Spread the word

Spread the wordIf you’re branding yourself in a certain niche, with certain qualities, you’ll want to share these differentiators when spreading the word. Add your keywords to your website. Tell your story to customers and potential customers. Be honest about who you are.

Include your brand story on your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles, your website, your customer communications. The more you self-define, the more likely people will align your business and the value you deliver according to that definition.

In fact, it’s amazing how people love to share positive experiences! If you make a promise and fulfill that promise meeting or exceeding their expectations, your clients will share their experiences. If you want to provide excellent customer experiences, and you deliver those experiences, your customers will tell their friends, write reviews, and the word will spread.

Be consistent

Creating consistent customer experiencesIf you say you’re the friendliest roofer in town, it’s important to make sure you’re always friendly—holding up your promise. If you say you’re the cheapest, you need to be the cheapest.

Consistency is key.

Any inconsistency, any failure to deliver what you promise your clients, runs the risk of damaging your reputation. Unsatisfied customers will go on Yelp, Facebook, and other review sites to call you out onsub-par service or broken promises… Your self-definition, your brand story, has to be honest. It has to be true.

Want to learn more about branding your business? Learn 5 steps to establishing your brand story!

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Jill Nelson Featured on the Growing with Purpose PodcastDid you hear the news? Jill Nelson was a featured business leader on the Growing with Purpose Podcast. Hosted by Small Giants Community Founder Paul Spiegelman, this podcast features discussions with business leaders about what shaped their business and life. In episode 7 Jill discusses her involvement in local business, management philosophy, and her vision for Ruby®. Tune in—it’s a great episode!

Listen to the Podcast 

 

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No one wants to hear “no.” And when you’re looking to grow your business, the last thing you want to say to a potential new customer is “No,” as in “No, we don’t do that…”! When a prospect makes the effort to contact you, you naturally want to WOW them with a “You bet we can!” or “Certainly — we’re great at that!” But if you don’t have what a potential client needs, such ebullient responses may seem inappropriate. However, you don’t have to say “Yes!” to impress customers.

Here are three ways “No” can be a positive thing:

“No” can be an opportunity to help a customer work through a problem.

OK, straight talk: your business won’t always offer the specific services a potential client is requesting. But perhaps you can provide something similar, or even more impressive! What result does your prospect need—can you help them arrive at that? Share an anecdote about how your business has made a positive impact on current customers, or mention the creative ways you’ve helped your clients. Saying “No” is also an opportunity to showcase your what your business does well: “We don’t do that specifically, and here’s why…Instead, we offer something better! Let me tell you about it!”

“No” is an opportunity to refer customers to fellow businesses.

Maybe your company doesn’t offer an ideal solution for a potential client, but do you know someone who might be able to help? If so, name drop — you’ll be glad you did! Everyone loves a referral, and when you send business to another company, they’re likely to return the favor. Who doesn’t like having friends?

A thoughtful “No” might mean a future customer.

Never pass up an opportunity for a friendly chat — show an interest in every potential customer’s needs, even if your business isn’t the best fit. If you’re helpful to a potential client who is seeking something you don’t offer, chances are they’ll return to you in the future when they do need your help or when a friend of theirs could use your services. Chatting with potential clients can also be a great way to make decisions about future business choices.

Are lots of potential customers clamoring for something in particular? If so, maybe it’s time to expand your services! Customer feedback comes in all shapes and sizes, and the data you collect from people who WANT to be customers can be helpful. If you get the same requests often enough, it’s clear there’s a gap in the market—which is an opportunity for you!

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You are your brand—and your story is your brand’s story. Crafting an appealing brand story is the act of sharing your history in a way that customers can relate to.

What, exactly, is a Brand Story?

Unlike a mission statement or factual summary, your brand story is a narrative that inspires an emotional response. A brand story forms the foundation your brand is built on. It encompasses your business’ voice, experience, and personality.

Your brand story should bring you and your audience together.

So why does having a story matter so much?

  • It lends your brand credibility, everybody loves working with companies that they relate to
  • Powerful stories create trust
  • Authentic stories inspire loyalty

Remember, your story should be authentic, but we have some tips that will help you articulate it!

5 Steps to Create a Powerful Branding Story

1. Use your history

Start at the beginning. What was your goal when you launched your business? How has it changed? Why did it change? Share your history authentically and with real emotions—highs, lows, and everything in between.

The story you convey in all your advertising, communications, and branding should share:

  • The problem your brand wants to solve, your reason for existing
  • How you created a solution to that problem
  • Why that problem is important and why they should care
  • How successful your solution has been
  • What kind of customers find value in your services

Check out Ruby’s blog post: How Ruby Became Ruby: Our Small to Big Story to see one of the ways Ruby shares their story.

2. Start writing

Your brand story doesn’t have to be fancy; it just has to be authentic. The way you tell it should reflect who your brand is.

Writing forces you to think critically about your brand. How did you get started on financial law? Is construction your passion? Are you family-run business? Jot it all down and then figure out how to craft it into something that evokes emotions.

As you start writing, certain themes will rise above others. These themes are the ones which resonate with you—and by extension your brand—the most. Hone in on them.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Keep it simple and easy to understand
  • Be direct
  • Again, be authentic, don’t edit out the rough edges

3. Understand your audience

Before solidifying your brand story and turning it into assets to share, make sure you know your audience.

  • Who is your target market?
  • How do they understand and interact with your brand?
  • How do they describe your business?
  • What problems do your customers face and why do they choose you to help solve them?
  • Will your story connect with your audience?
  • Will your customers buy into your story?

Now, look at what you’ve written and compare it to how your audience feels. If your story will inspire them, it’s time to share it with the world.

4. Write your story (round 2.0)

Take everything you’ve learned so far, and start piecing together the story you want to tell—and deciding where you want to share it.

Make it feel real, flow well, and mean something.

5. Share your story

The worst brand story is the one that never gets shared.

Share it on your website, in a blog post, and in your Facebook “about” section. Make sure that everybody in your company knows your story so well that their actions and words will reflect it.

If you took the time to create a story, it’s important that it’s easy for your audience to find.

Stories are powerful. They move and inspire you—and it’s time to add your story to the conversation.

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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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.