There’s a lot of work that goes into being a contractor beyond just the craft. Luckily ever-expanding technology is here to help!

In a recent ACHRNews article they explored software platforms designed to assist in the operation of HVAC businesses including:

  • ServiceTitan
  • FIELDBOSS
  • WEBFLEET
  • Browning® Toolbox Technician
  • Ruby Receptionists
  • And more!

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Can techno-optimism really save the world? The tech industry dominated Portland’s recent Conscious Capitalism Conference, discussing ethical and sustainable business practices.

Ruby’s CEO and Founder, Jill Nelson, was among the presenters. During her talk she shared secrets to Ruby’s unique company culture.

Get the highlights

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Customer service superpower

Last month, Ruby’s VP of Customer Success, Christina Burns, visited the International Roofing Expo to talk about service as a superpower.

I know that might sound odd, focusing on customer service at a roofing event. But customer service is key—no matter your industry.

Consider this.

Jane Doe needs a new roof. She pulls up a directory, or a list of recommendations provided by friends, and starts working her way down. One business doesn’t answer the phone, one is rude, and the third business is warm and inviting.

Which one do you think she pursues? The third business of course—and she hasn’t even talked about prices or quality yet!

In her presentation, Christina talks about three important superpowers (that you already have, you just don’t know it yet.) They are:

  • First impressions
  • Productivity
  • Follow-Through

First Impressions

It takes, on average, 7 seconds for a person to form an opinion based solely on first impressions. This means your first 7 seconds of an interaction with a potential customer could win them, or lose them.

Who do your customers reach when they call you? Voicemail? A phone tree? Or a real person?

Did you know that, according to Helpscout, when people reach voicemail…

  • 67% will just hang up
  • 75% report being frustrated when they can’t just talk to someone
  • 70% of these buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are treated

The best, and easiest, way to make a great first impression is to make certain your customers always reach a real person when they call. Someone who’s friendly, helpful, and ready to kick off a great customer relationship.

The ROI of personal connections.

Discover how you can create connections with potential customers that turn them into loyal customers!

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Productivity

Did you know that it can take 23 minutes to get back “in the groove” after an interruption? When you can easily spend up to 6 hours a day managing interruptions, you can end up losing time faster than you can get things done.

Every time the phone rings and you have to be the person to answer it, you lose around 23 minutes of concentration. A dozen calls in a day, and your productive day is lost.

So, what’s the solution? You need a real person answering your phones to achieve fantastic first impressions, but if you are doing it, you don’t have time to focus on your work.

That’s where Ruby comes in.

Remote receptionists don’t just answer your phones (ticking off superpower #1), they also help you maintain momentum (superpower #2). With the Ruby mobile app, you can hold your calls at any time with the click of a button—avoiding distractions when you’re on a roll. You can review calls and messages in real time, on your schedule—allowing you to prioritize in the moment. And you can manage your day instead of your interruptions.

Follow-Through

You’ve impressed your callers. You’re more productive than ever. Now, all that’s left is the follow-through that gets you over the finish line. Remember, customer service is an ongoing adventure.

70% of consumers are willing to spend more when they receive good service. On the flip side, 60% of consumers report that they’ll switch to a competitor for a better experience, according to Helpscout.

This means that, even once you’ve gotten over that first impression hump, customer service is still key.

Luckily, Ruby can help with this step too! Ruby’s team of remote receptionist can return your calls—ensuring your callers get that friendly voice, you’re always in the know (with a summary of every call), and you can stay productive.

It’s that human touch that really matters—those small moments where you remind your customers they’re important to you. And you don’t even need to be the one to do it!

Developing these superpowers could be the difference between winning customers, or losing them before ever even making your pitch.


Christina Burns, VP of Customer Success

A Ruby since 2009 (when she started as a receptionist), Christina brings over a decade of customer service experience to our Customer Happiness and Receptionist Services team. She believes that a grassroots culture of collaboration, support, and personal growth is the key to providing world-class customer service, and she strives to foster that culture within her department every day. Using her signature humor, humility, and compassion to guide her, she leads our service superheroes as they pioneer a new frontier of WOW-worthy service!

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Katharine Nester, Ruby’s CPTO

Ruby’s Chief Product and Technology Officer, Katharine Nester, has been named a Portland Business Journal’s 2018 Women of Influence award winner. She is one of 25 local female business leaders recognized for their accomplishments, leaderships, and efforts to better the Portland community!

We couldn’t be more proud of Katharine’s impact at Ruby, as well as on the greater Portland tech community. Her dedication to encouraging women to pursue careers in technology is reflected in her support of local organizations including PDXWIT, Girls Inc. of the PNW, and her position on the board of App Camp for Girls. We can’t wait to see what she does next!

Congratulations to the other 24 Portland women recognized. We can’t wait to celebrate with you at the awards ceremony in April!

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best lead generation for contractors

In 2018, 97.3% of all leads for contractors were driven using this single marketing method…

If only it were that easy.

That said, there are four marketing concepts that nearly guarantee lead-gen success.

And that’s incredibly important, because like all of us, you have competitors who are working night and day to snatch your company growth and pocket it.

Now, there’s a small galaxy of tactics you can use to follow through on the following concepts — marketing can get stupid-complicated, really fast.

So we’re going to keep it smart and simple.

If you use these proven lead generation habits in pursuit of the subsequent methods, you’ll successfully generate leads a solid 8 out of 10 times. (You’ll see what I mean. By the way, when I say leads for contractors, I’m talking about home service companies like plumbing, HVAC, electrical, roofing, landscaping, etc.)

The Foundation: Up Your Lead-Gen Chances by Over 500%

  • Lead Generation Strategy

Company owners who document their lead-gen strategy are 538% more likely to successfully generate leads than owners who don’t. But that’s just the bird’s eye view. Let’s get on the front lines on a more tactical level.

  • Lead Generation Tactics

Company owners who document their lead-gen processes are 466% more likely to successfully generate leads than those who do not. That’s really good. But we still need to dig deeper.

  • Lead Generation Objectives

Finally, owners who set lead generation objectives — smart goals — for their company are 429% more likely to successfully generate leads than those who don’t. And lastly, 81% of the people who set specific objectives also achieved them.*

Now, let’s jump straight into the top 4 ways to generate more leads for contractors:

The Hub: Turn Your Website Into a Contractor Lead Machine

Your website is the hub of all your online lead-gen efforts.

It’s 2018. Newspapers, commercials, and outdated websites are heading in the direction of Alexander Graham Bell and dubstep (they’re either dead or dying).

Your customers are all online, and most of them will find and research you online. That is, on their phones. Tablets. Watches. Crazy times. Having an outdated website in this market is like hiring a sales rep who can’t count to ten without taking off his shoes.

Your website should be your digital CSR.

It should be prepped and ready to serve every visitor that steps through it’s programmable doors.

Not only that, it should be able to a) reach out to pull in new customers (by sending blog posts to your marketing list for example) and b) convert them instantly, in real time once they get there (see below).

This is how.

  • Build a regular blog and email list. First, the numbers. B2C companies that published 16+ blog posts each month pulled in 4.5X more leads than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.*

Your blog is one of your best excuses to reach out to your customers and potential customers every week. Think about it. If you texted them every week, or randomly called, they’d get mad, right? But with a blog post, you’re giving them something valuable.

This does two things. First, it reminds them that you exist, keeping your company at the top of their minds. Second, with each new post – if they’re good posts – your reputation as a leader in the industry grows, and the goodwill they have toward you grows as well.

  • 24/7 live chat. How much traffic does your site get each month? If live chat can book even 1% more of your website traffic (when realistically, it’s closer to 15%) think about the revenue your company could generate.

I like using every tool in the toolbox, as long as it’s profitable. Live chat is a very profitable tool and there’s no two ways about it. Whether you do it in-house or hire a live chat team, you should be using it.

Amp Up Your Google My Business & Facebook Pages

As a rule, sales friction is your most bitter enemy. Wherever you see it, you need to squash it like the parasitical bug it is.

Sales friction is simply whatever makes it harder for your customer to do business with your company. (Slow response times, bad website user experience, slow pages, no “click to call” buttons, no instant chat service, etc.)

Now, I’m going to tell you something important. Most companies are behind the learning curve when it comes to their online platforms. This represents a massive opportunity for your company.

The key is to cut the sales friction from your online platforms, and the best way to do that is to man those platforms with 24/7 live chat. That way, instead of having to visit multiple sites before finding a way to communicate with you (most customers will start their research on Google and find your Google my Business page), the moment they land on your Google my Business or Facebook page and read your reviews, is the same moment they can talk with your company to learn more and book an appointment. (If you have any questions about online chat and want an answer NOW, chat with my team in the chat box below — they’ll take good care of you.)

To convert your leads immediately, get those pages loaded with social proof as well. Aside from your digital CSR, that’s what convinces them to do business with you.

Reviews are little trust bombs that blow up every time someone visits one of those pages. Gets credibility and social proof all over the place. It’s glorious. But you won’t generate many new reviews without asking for them. Make sure you have a smart system in place that incentivizes your CSRs and techs to ask for the review.

Plug Your Contractor Lead Leaks 

Depending on the company, a single lead could represent hundreds to thousands of dollars of new revenue.

A bad lead conversion strategy (or not having one at all), will result in a lead “leak,” where many of those leads fall through the cracks. (They aren’t followed up on, or are kept waiting for hours and even days too long, etc.) That could easily be thousands upon thousands of dollars down the drain every month.

Here’s a simple way to fix that problem:

1. Call your leads immediately.

2. Text your leads immediately.

3. Email your leads immediately.

4. Call your leads every day for 10 days.

5. Email/text your leads twice in addition.

6. Establish monthly long-term follow-up for unscheduled leads.

The Email Campaign

Email marketing ROI is incredible. But you have to go about it in the right way, and it’s not always easy.

This is what we did. We created a newsletter. In this newsletter, we gave away things we knew our customers valued. Things they really wanted. (The giveaway should match the audience you’re giving to.)

In the middle of each of our branded newsletters, we planted the giveaway, followed by our promotional material.

We created the giveaway link with Survey Monkey.

The form was very simple:

Name, phone, and email.

One question. (How old is your heater? For example.)

And this is key.

We encouraged them to share the giveaway on social media. And they did.

Every time they shared, our email opt-ins increased. That’s one simple way to grow your newsletter/email list.

We spent $12k per year on the giveaways, to give you an idea. It was more than worth it.

Discover how Ruby helps contractors grow their business!

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You had me at hello.

Reading time:
Customer service love

Do you believe in love at first sight? I’m not talking about romantic love. I’m talking about product love. That moment you catch sight of something that you have to have?

In 2018, love at first sight is rarer than ever. Every service and product has dozens of competitors, and consumers are only getting more financially conscious—becoming smarter shoppers. They want to learn more before committing.

Now, more than ever, love starts at hello.

The age of customer service is here.

In the United States, in particular, customer service is your superpower as a company. From sales to customer retention, roofing contractors to financial professionals, it’s that moment of “hello” that makes all the difference.

At Ruby, we talk a lot about the power of first impressions. And that’s where it starts. Your first impression kicks off what could be an incredibly positive, or frustrating, relationship with a potential customer. (Don’t believe us? See the stats!)

Of course, that’s just your first “hello.” Everything that follows is just as important. How your sales team, customer support, and receptionists interact with customers and potential customers defines your relationships.

Every interaction is a “hello”—an opportunity to blow their socks off and win them over.

Here are three reasons your “hello” is the key to the hearts of your audience.

The ROI of Customer Service.

Customer service is more than making your customers happy. It’s helping you build your business. Find out how!

DOWNLOAD

1. Your “Hello” shows you care.

Do you:

  • Answer the phone when potential customers call?
  • Respond to email timely and in a friendly voice?
  • Support your customers throughout their entire lifecycle—from potential customer to long-time groupie?

If your answer to any of these questions is “no,” your customers probably don’t know you care about them. When there are hundreds of lawyers, dozens of HVAC professionals, and thousands of retailers to choose from… why would they choose your business?


According to a Walker study, by the year 2020, 86% of customers will pay more for a better customer experience.
On top of that, according to Invoca, 80% of customers said a positive phone experience is likely to make them a repeat customer.


Surveys say your customers (and potential customers) care about customer service. Do you?

2. Your “Hello” builds trust.

Once you’ve gotten past step one—earning a customer and showing you care—it’s time to start building real trust. You want your customers to be so in love with your brand that, if a cheaper option shows up knocking on their front door with roses in hand, they won’t answer.

Consumers want to work with or buy from companies they trust. It’s your responsibility, as a business trying to win their hearts, to prove to them that they can trust you with consistently excellent customer service.

3. Your “Hello” builds loyalty.

I’m extremely loyal to my plumber. Is he the cheapest? No. Is he the fastest? Still no. But my plumber is the nicest man I’ve ever met. When I called him because my kitchen faucet (completely unrelated to my bathroom remodel project) was leaking, he sat on the phone with me and gave me advice. I love my plumber.

You win their mind with your product and their heart with your service.

Any day, a product or service just as good as yours could come around. Competition is tough, and copy-cat businesses aren’t rare. Heck, I can find dozens of plumbers near me with a simple Google search.

But if you’ve won over their hearts, your customers will stick with you!

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In an interview with Paul Spiegelman, Ruby CEO and Founder, Jill Nelson, shares her inspirational journey as a leader and the lessons she’s learned along the way.


“I feel that the whole experience has given me strength and the ability to thrive on my own,” says Jill. “ I have the confidence and willingness to live in chaos and the unknown — and I’m very thankful for it.”


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Service Provider Client Donna Cutting, Donna Cutting Presents - Ruby ReceptionistsRuby was recently featured in a article by our friend, and Ruby customer, Donna Cutting, founder and CEO of www.RedCarpetLearning.com.

Tune in to see how you can provide your customers with memorable red-carpet experiences.

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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.