Ruby® Receptionists is thrilled to be attending the 2017 Independent Electrical Contractors Conference, IECCon, Oct. 26-28th.
We’ll be showcasing our mobile app, flexible call-handling solutions, and number hosting capabilities at booth 512. At Ruby, we understand that missed calls cost you money. That’s why our live, talented receptionists are dedicated giving you peace of mind—delighting your callers and managing your phone while you’re busy at work.
Ruby® Receptionists is at the R|D|J 2017 Show in Nashville, Tennessee! We’ll be showcasing our legendary services and solutions in the Remodelers Exhibit Hall on October 26th and the 27th. You can find us at booth 2027!
With a strong economy and an influx of residential projects, construction professionals are busier than ever. And at Ruby, we understand that the front line of your business is the phone call. Stop by our booth in the Remodelers Exhibit Hall to discover how Ruby’s services can win you business, competitively differentiate, and help you improve productivity!
Every small business owner understands the importance of treating their customers well—after all, there’d be no business without them! A recent Invoca study shows that for small business owners, the phone is a critical touchpoint. After a negative phone experience,
74% of people are likely to choose another business
70% are likely to complain to friends and family
30% are likely to leave a bad review
Yikes! The good news: a positive phone experience is likely to turn 80% of callers into repeat customers. So how can you create those positive experiences? Here are three ways to get started today.
Make every word count.
Depending on the situation, a phone call with a customer could last 30 minutes or 30 seconds. For briefer conversations especially, word choice matters. You may only have a few syllables to show your appreciation, so lay it on thick! Speak in a friendly, inviting tone, and aim to say “thank you” at least once. Even a quick answer-and-transfer is an opportunity to brighten a caller’s day by being warm and gracious. Can you remember a time when an upbeat exchange with a grocery clerk or a smile from a stranger snapped you out of a moment of gloom? Aim for that in every customer interaction, no matter how brief.
Create a phrasing playbook.
Your company’s telephone greeting is an important first impression, so take care to craft a good one and ensure anyone who answers the phone is on board. While you’re at it, gather your phone answering crew together and talk about ways to create a consistently positive experience for callers. Whether you have a dedicated receptionist or everyone on your team pitches in to greet customers when they call, you’ll want to ensure each caller gets the same (awesome) service, and a phrasing playbook can get you there. Draft a list of words or phrases to avoid, and brainstorm alternatives. For example, Ruby’s talented remote receptionists are encouraged to stay away from dead-end statements that include “I can’t” and “I don’t know” and swap them with helpful alternatives like “I’ll be happy to look into that” and “let me find out.” Bottom line: there’s typically always something you can do to assist a caller, even if it’s not exactly what they’re looking for, so focus their attention on your willingness to help.
Be ready for that ring.
What’s the most important element of a good phone call? An answer! If you’re letting calls roll over to voicemail during your business hours, there’s no doubt you’re missing the chance to connect with customers, and likely missing opportunities to win new business. Here’s something you don’t often hear: “Wow, I really liked that recorded message—I think I’m going to spend a lot of money with this company!” Customer relationships are built on real, meaningful connections, and without a real person to pick up the phone and make those connections when customers call, you’re bound to lose out on some opportunities. So when you and your team are on the clock, ensure someone capable (and ideally excited) is on phone duty. And if you find you need a hand, your friends at Ruby are here for you!
Katharine Nester took her first programming class in fourth grade – talk about a go-getter! Learn more about App Camp for Girls’ newest board member and her role at Ruby as Chief Product & Technology Officer!
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, marks the first day of Beaverton’s Education Foundation Phone-a-thon, an annual event benefiting Beaverton schools. Throughout the week of the phone-a-thon, 350 high school student volunteers will make calls, seeking pledges and gifts for the foundation’s efforts. By the end of the week, student volunteers will have made around 30,000 total calls!
We’re proud to share that this is Ruby’s fifth year hosting this exciting event, and we love the opportunity to create community and participate in fostering the future of education!
This article was originally published on July 14, 2017 on Manta – Small business marketing solutions helping millions of businesses get found by more customers. Original article.
Approach every communication with your customers as an opportunity to spark a connection, gain their trust and earn their loyalty.
Are you paying attention to your touchpoints? They are, after all, the biggest opportunity you have to build trust with customers. From the receptionist answering your phone, to your email correspondence, to the décor in your office, each interaction presents a chance to either delight or disappoint. But how, exactly, can touchpoints be delightful?
Let’s start by looking at what it’s like to communicate with your business. What sort of experiences do you create? Is it charming and delightful, or drab and ho-hum? Your communications with customers come in many different forms, including:
The phone. Are calls answered quickly by a human voice? Is the voice on the other end of the phone friendly and helpful?
Your website. Is your website user-friendly and simple to navigate? Is all the information a customer would expect available and easy to find?
Are you opening with a friendly greeting? Summarizing what you hope to accomplish with the correspondence? Are you clearly stating what you may need from the recipient?
Using a friendly tone—yes, even in your invoices—goes a long way in creating a positive connection.
Every communication offers an opportunity to consistently spark a connection with your customers and gain their trust.
Why? Because your customers are human, of course! We all know that humans are emotional—especially when it comes to purchasing decisions—and language has a huge effect on human emotions. “We buy the sizzle, not the bacon,” after all.
That’s exactly why even the slightest word changes can have a drastic impact on your message, and as a result, your customers’ emotions. Think about some of these examples:
Cheap … or inexpensive?
Happy … or delighted?
Yes … or absolutely?
Colorful … or vibrant?
Technically you could use either word in the above examples interchangeably, but one option carries an emotional punch that the other just doesn’t have. Want more proof? Let’s take a look at some of these examples in action.
First, a standard apology email you might receive from any old customer service outfit:
Thank you for your inquiry. Our sincere apologies for the error made on your billing account. This error has been corrected and the $50 charge is no longer being billed to your account. This will show as a credit on your next invoice.
Please give us a call at 800-555-5555 if there’s anything else you need.
Yawn! Sally may have gotten her problem solved, but I’m sure she’s not feeling any emotional connection to this company. How could she with that robotic, unfeeling language? Let’s spruce it up a bit:
Thank you for reaching out! I’m sorry there was an error made on your account. That’s a pretty embarrassing mistake on our end! The good news is that it’s been corrected, and you’ll have a $50 credit on your next invoice to show for it.
My apologies again for the error, Sally, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if I might be able to help with anything else. I’m here for you!
All the best,
You can feel the difference, right? The message is exactly the same in both emails—sorry about the error, I fixed it, let me know if I can do anything else—but one draws you in and makes you smile, while the other bores you to tears.
Let’s look at another example; this time, we’ll use a phone conversation. Tell me you haven’t had a few of these in your day:
Customer: Hi, this is Bob Smith and I’m calling to update my address.
Rep: I’d be happy to help. May I have your account number please?
Customer: Sure, it’s 12345678.
Rep: Thank you. May I please have your new address?
Customer: It’s 1234 Some Street.
Rep: Thank you. One moment.
Rep: OK sir, I’ve updated your account. Is there anything else I can help with today?
You’ll notice that the customer service rep was perfectly polite and didn’t do or say anything out of line, but boy was that tough to read! I’ll bet you’re thinking about some of your own very similar experiences right now, aren’t you?
When you reflect on that experience, does it make you feel particularly loyal to the company providing you that customer service? Probably not. But what if it looked more like this:
Customer: Hi, this is Bob Smith and I’m calling to update my address.
Rep: Hi Bob! I’d be delighted to help with that. I hope you’re loving your new place! May I start with your account number? Customer: I sure am, and it’s 12345678.
Rep: That’s great to hear, and thank you for the info. Now let’s get your address updated—where are your awesome new digs?
Customer: (chuckles) The awesome new digs are at 1234 Some Street.
Rep: Oh, that’s a great neighborhood! Congrats on the new place. I know moving can be a bit stressful, but rest assured that your new address is in our system and your account here is all set. Is there anything else I might be able to help with today?
Not only did the rep in the second example make the conversation more fun, he connected with the customer by using his name and tapping into his excitement about moving. This was an opportunity to forge a customer connection, and the rep nailed it!
Next time you’re tempted to send a boring old run-of-the-mill customer service email, or answer the phone in a no-nonsense tone, rethink it and look for opportunities to make a human connection. Every touchpoint—especially when it comes to your customers—is an opportunity to build a little trust and earn a little loyalty. You just might be surprised at the results!
“Ruby’s culture is the result of a wonderfully diverse community of employees who are unified in their commitment to making connections, and we incent, inspire, and empower them to bring their best.” – Jill Nelson
Jill Nelson, Ruby’s founder and CEO, was recently featured in a Huffington Post article titled How These 99 CEO’s Create A Great Work Culture And Maximize Employee Retention. You can find her full contribution at #37!
At Ruby® Receptionists, we understand the unique needs of estate and elder law professionals—competitive differentiation and trust are key. That’s why we’re excited to be showcasing our legendary legal answering service and solutions during the ElderCounsel and WealthCounsel’s Hollywood Symposium 2017. Taking place Oct 3-6 in Hollywood California, you can find Ruby at booth 227!
The market is primed and ready for your new products and services. The possibilities are endless. The team is excited and ready to go. There’s no better time than the present to take the steps to scaling your small business.
What’s the secret to your success?
It’s pretty simple: people. Your customers, and the way you acquire and retain them, are the secret sauce for a successful business. Learn how to care for your prospective and current customers alike, and you’ll overcome the biggest barrier to scaling: finding the fans to support your growth.
Put People First: Focus on Current Customers
If you’re like most small business owners, you’re looking for a larger target audience. The wider the net, the more fish you’ll catch, right?
Truth be told, acquiring new customers is hard work. Studies have shown that the cost of acquisition is anywhere from three to seven times greater than the cost of retaining an existing customer. That’s why the first step is to take care of your current customers.
1. Build a relationship with your customers
When it comes to your current customer base, it’s wise to deepen the net. A tall customer base is made up of your faithful followers and friends; the people who know you, know your company, and know that you’re the go-to resource for purchases in your niche. These are the customers that come back to your business time and again. If you’re a car dealer, they are the ones that return to you for every vehicle purchase, while also recommending you to their family and friends.
Get to know them. Learn about customer likes and dislikes. Consider a brief survey, or take time to reach out and discover why they’re so loyal. As you grow, you’ll better understand their needs and how you can meet—and exceed—them.
2. Solve your customers’ problems
When customers are delighted, they’re likely to come back to your business again and again. Learn about their problems and challenges, ask them for honest feedback, and inquire about other problems they may be facing unrelated to your business.
Then, look for a solution. Whether it’s your product that solves their problem or you point your customers towards an existing solution, the support and care you’re showing your customers improves their lives. And customers will remember that. It builds loyalty in a way that feels authentic.
3. Add value to your customers’ lives
It’s not always about driving your customers to their next purchase. Don’t overlook the importance of utilizing digital resources.
I’m not talking about making a few posts on social media to sustain your growth. I’m talking about a coordinated content marketing plan that provides blog posts, emails, white papers, instructional videos and more, all with your customers’ lives in mind. Every resource, every communication, should be focused on your customers and their specific needs.
Some examples include:
Show how to tackle a challenge with a step-by-step instructional video
Create an email series that addresses issues your customers might be facing in their businesses
Present your customers with information on industry trends that they may find valuable
Content ideas are around every corner. Start with your conversations with your customers and address the topics they’re talking about, their concerns. This establishes your business as a valuable source of truth in their lives, keeping you top of mind when it’s time for their next purchase.
Widening the Net: Focus on Future Customers
Of course, holding on to customers is only half the battle. Focus #2 is attracting new customers. That’s when all of your research and work comes into play.
What have you learned about your current customers? Use that information to build a buyer persona. Who is your average customer? What does this person like? Where do you find this person? Apply the lessons you’ve learned from current customers to the customers you’re hoping to acquire.
You’ve already learned how to build and maintain a relationship with your current customers. Now, apply those same principles to your prospective customers. Open up several lines of communication and be responsive on each of your different platforms.
Give them great (and consistent) content that adds value to their lives. Unlike current customers who already have you at the forefront of their minds, prospective customers are just learning about your business. Give them content that informs and engages, and is highly shareable. As they start to see your name more and more often, you have a much greater chance of moving them along your funnel, converting them to faithful, paying customers and growing your business.
People are your business’ greatest asset. A fact which becomes crystal clear when remembering that the vast majority of Americans seek a personal recommendation when on the market for a new product or service.
Looking to grow your business? Make sure that your customers would recommend your company when the opportunity arises. Find new and innovative ways to connect with your current customers and add value to their lives. Apply the same concepts to your potential new customers, and you’ll create raving fans for life.
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.
Ruby allows financial advisors to focus on client work and competitively differentiate their business to be more effective, efficient, and successful. Stop by our booth to explore Ruby’s legendary service and solutions—including 100% live answering, bilingual remote receptionists, and our full-service mobile app.
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.