Last week we teamed up with Rocket Matter to sponsor the 2nd annual ABA Techshow 5k!

This year’s run took place on a beautiful, but cold, day. Participants were from all over the US—representing Seattle, San Francisco, Oklahoma, Cleveland, and Miami!


I was scared leading up to the run, not because of the distance, but because of how cold it was suppose to be! I layered up, thankfully the wind was pretty mild, so it wasn’t too bad. The group tried to stay together and ran at a much faster pace then I usually do, so that was a great opportunity for me to push myself. When it was over, I thought, well that really wasn’t too bad and what a great way to see a bit of the city instead of being in a hotel for so many hours straight. It was fun and I absolutely plan to run in the 3rd annual ABA Tech 5 k again next year!

-Emiley Oster, Ruby Receptionists Sales Director


 

We had a great time and we’re already looking forward to next year’s 5k!


Emiley Oster has over 15 years’ experience in working with technology companies and has held multiple senior leadership roles in Sales and Customer Success. As Ruby Receptionists’ Director of Sales, Emiley finds passion in building and leading teams to do meaningful work and create lasting impact. Emiley holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Administration from the University of Oregon. Outside of Ruby, Emiley aims to create connections by volunteering and serves as the Produce for People coordinator for her local community garden, helping to coordinate the harvesting and delivery of produce to neighboring food distribution centers. In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking and enjoying the outdoors with her friends and family.

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International happiness day

With titles like “Problem Solver & Happiness Maker,” “Service Kickstarter & Happiness Builder,” and “Happiness Cultivator,” International Day of Happiness is one of our Customer Happiness team’s favorite holidays!

While the Customer Happiness team goes through rigorous and continual training to ensure we’re prepared to support our customers and program beautiful instructions, a desire to fulfill our core value of Foster Happiness is something that can’t be taught. Here’s our manifesto:

We are a league of superheroes. We are leaders, advocates, and friends, who are masters of sharing Ruby® magic. We believe in simple and creative solutions. We embrace change and celebrate innovation, teamwork, and tacos. We act with integrity and assume charitable intentions. Together, we define, embody, and elevate the standards of world-class service.

Ruby Receptionists Service Pyramid

Each of us is here because we have a calling to make people happy—and that extends to our customers, callers, and colleagues. We do this with help from the Ruby Service Pyramid®.
The base of the pyramid is Be Prepared with the Right Infrastructure. Our Kickstarter team works hard to ensure that our new accounts start off on the right foot by programming beautiful instructions for receptionists and providing new customers with everything they need to know about getting started with Ruby.

Next up, Do What We Say We’ll Do. Problem Solvers & Happiness Makers own the customer experience once they’re all signed up. If a customer needs us to start handling a new type of call, we’re there to program those instructions in a way that will remain consistent for our receptionists. If there’s ever a mistake or a misunderstanding, we’re there to ensure that those are corrected, and the root of the concern is resolved.

Foster Happiness is so important to us that it’s both a core value and a level of the Service Pyramid!

Customer Happiness is also there to Create Experiences. Receptionists reach out to Customer Happiness every day, to connect customer calls our way and to alert us of any updates that might need to be made. While Customer Happiness is located in a separate office, we make it our mission to connect with receptionists to create one large community as a company. This might be as simple as including a cute cat photo in my email reply, or sending a handwritten notecard to let that one receptionist who always makes me smile know that I’m thinking of them.

Moving our way up the pyramid, we find Give Them What They Don’t Even Know They Want. Let’s say we just added a new instruction to ask callers a few new questions when taking a message. Rather than adding the instruction and leaving it at that, our customer might get a call from the Problem Solver they worked with a few weeks later, just to check in and see how those changes are working out. It’s more than a passive exchange, it’s a full-circle conversation that the customer didn’t see coming.

If we’ve fostered happiness by mastering the Service Pyramid, then we reach the very top—Make Meaningful Connections. This is my favorite piece. There’s a customer I sent a handwritten notecard to as a receptionist back in 2016, just thanking them for making my day. This customer not only reached out through work channels to thank me, but stayed in touch personally after learning we had a few friends in common. To this day, we write each other now and then just to check in. He sends me articles that he knows I’ll be interested in, and I share pictures of events I attend with our mutual friends.

Now, this won’t happen on every call, every email, or even every face-to-face meeting. But the relationship and friendship I’ve built with this customer is the Customer Happiness special sauce—we foster happiness by taking a genuine interest in the lives of our customers and each other.

So, on this International Day of Happiness, I ask you to not only think of something that makes you happy, but take that and share it with someone else.

Learn More About the Ruby Service PYRAMID

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The 2017 Tax Act made major changes to the US tax system, and as a result, many business owners are wondering whether they should structure their businesses as C corporations or S corporations. Which choice makes the most sense for your business? We sat down with CPA Bob Russell, who files between 900 and 1000 tax returns a year, for his input.

In your opinion, what are the important differences between C and S, and what should business owners know if they are going to reorganize themselves as C corps?
There are two important factors when considering reorganizing from an S corp to a C corp. The first and most important is the double taxation issue. The corporate tax rate was changed to a flat 21% under the new tax reform, changing from the graduated rates experienced by C corps prior to 2018. So in the simplest scenario, if a C corp has a net income of $100,000, the corporation will pay $21,000 in federal income tax. Now, when the corporation declares a dividend and passes that same $100,000 to the underlying shareholders, they will be taxed again on the same income at their personal income tax rates. Dividends are not considered operating expenses of C corps, so they get no deduction against future income for payment of dividends. Even at the lowest personal rates, this results in a total tax rate of 31% taxation on the same $100.000.

My experience is that very few people who have money to invest in the stock of a C corp fall in the lowest tax brackets, so a more realistic expectation is that the total tax would be closer to 43% for federal income tax purposes. With an S corp, the $100,000 of net income under our example has no tax at the corporate level, and flows directly to the underlying shareholders and is taxed at their individual rate. In addition, under the new tax reform, this will be considered qualified business income, subject to 20% reduction mentioned later in our discussion.

The second consideration is once you have revoked your Sub S status with the IRS, you cannot reapply for five years. That means you should carefully consider the future of the corporation and determine if revoking your S election is the best long-term strategy.

Do you anticipate that you will be filing more C corporations now that people are reacting to the tax reform?
I don’t anticipate that. The issue with C corporations is still double taxation. Even with the reduced tax rates that C corps are going to benefit from under tax reform, the total tax burden can still exceed the tax burden of the underlying shareholders if the income was passed directly through to them and taxed at the individual rates, as is the case in an S corp.

Would you say there are positive aspects of this tax law for small business? If so, what are they?
There are definitely some positive changes for small businesses. The most impactful change is the 20% reduction of qualified business income. This reduction is going to apply to all business entities including sole proprietors, partnerships, LLC’s and S corps. This reduction is an attempt to compensate non-C corp entities for the reduction in the corporate tax rate under the new tax reform act.

What do you think are key things small business owners should keep in mind during this time?
Above all else, don’t panic and make a change based on emotion. It is easy to listen to the soundbites and think that C corps are the best answer for everyone. However, they should carefully consult their tax advisor to fully understand all the implications that impact their particular situation before making any changes.

Secondly, some changes that have taken effect may affect their operating strategies. Meals and entertainment are no longer deductible unless for the benefit of employees, i.e. Christmas parties. Also, unreimbursed expenses that their employees incur are no longer deductible by those employees. Consider implementing an accountable plan and making those expenses business expenses, and therefore fully deductible. Be creative with your employees in determining their overall compensation plan.

We hope this gives some insight into what these changes mean! When choosing your business entity or correctly structuring your company, talking to an accountant or business lawyer is a great idea. Here’s to your success!


Bob Russell is a self-employed certified public accountant practicing in Oregon since 1982, focusing on individual and small business taxation. Currently our practice services approximately 900 individual, partnership, and corporate accounts. Areas of emphasis in our current practice include manufacturing and construction industries. Bob graduated cum laude from Southern Oregon State College with a Bachelors of Accounting and a minor in Economics. Bob resides with his wife of 34 years on seven acres in the Beavercreek area, and enjoys hunting and golf in his spare time.

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The Ruby® Receptionists team has partnered up with the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) to bring support to the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professionals community! We’re excited to work with FPA to create exceptional client experiences that earn trust and grow wallet share!

“This relationship will enable FPA members to take back valuable time so they focus on their clients’ needs. We are pleased to partner with Ruby Receptionists to help financial planners build stronger client relationships, which may lead to an elevated level of business success.”

-FPA Executive Director/CEO Lauren M. Schadle, CAE.

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WOW story: cold hands, warm heart.

Reading time:

At the beginning of winter, we are often more likely to welcome the crisp air, pulling our coziest sweaters and softest mittens from the depths of our closets. By February we start dreaming of a little more sun and a lot more warmth.

Ruby customer, Gwendolyn was stuck with a bad case of the winter blues. Who could blame her? She woke up one morning to a 31-degree day in North Carolina, a state with a typically temperate climate.

On this particularly frigid morning, she spoke with receptionist, Tyzoe. Gwendolyn mentioned that she was feeling pretty chilly and was finding it hard to be her natural, positive, upbeat self. Tyzoe asked Gwendolyn to do her best to stay warm and wished her well.

Of course, Tyzoe being a Ruby, this wasn’t the end of the story. Tyzoe jumped on Amazon and picked out a super-soft Snuggie to keep Gwendolyn toasty until spring.

Gwendolyn was truly touched by Tyzoe’s thoughtfulness and she reached out to show her appreciation. Her words speak not only to how amazing Tyzoe is but what an impact Ruby has had on Gwendolyn and her law practice.


A Warm Hello Tyzoe,

I arrived at my office to see a gift waiting for me. Now, who doesn’t love gifts? I am absolutely overcome with gratitude and joy. Thank you for the Snuggie. I love it, love it, love it. I have known from day one that I struck gold with Ruby Receptionists. My one wish in life is that I live my life in such a way that I am found worthy. I see in you the character that I behold. Being a lawyer isn’t what I do, it’s who I am. You too, are much more than your role at Ruby. I carry your kindness with me always.

And yes…

It is still cold. I know this beautiful Snuggie will not leave my side. ❤

Sincerely,
Gwendolyn


Fantastic work, Tyzoe! Your story has warmed my heart. (Pun totally intended!)

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“With organizations focusing on one-off customer experience “projects” or “initiatives,” they’re likely going to miss a significant, long-term critical success factor: consistency.”

Are you growing a business and want to provide excellent customer service? Learn how in this article by Ruby’s VP of Customer Success, Christina Burns, A Blueprint for Customer Experiences.

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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.