Situated within our instant-fulfillment, 24/7 culture, attorneys report that an immediate response to clients is essential for winning and retaining cases. Ruby’s live receptionists and chat specialists communicate with your valued referrals and existing clients at their moment of need by never missing a call and reinforcing meaningful connections.

Download our tip sheet to learn 7 ways our receptionists positively impact your practice’s growth.

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Legal clients report that generic communication from an attorney is not enough. The quality, clarity, and tone they use significantly impacts a client’s likelihood to remain a client, refer others, and feel secure in the legal process.

Some commonly undervalued tools for growing your practice include: never missing a call, receiving complete intake information, and not ever leaving a client in limbo, unsure if you got their voicemail.

Download our tip sheet “Five practices for winning communication” to learn how to tip the scales in your favor.

Download

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Get efficient, boost your bottom line.

Reading time:

In 2019, American lawyers, dealing with daily distractions and competing priorities, reported billing just 2.5 hours per day, on average. Administrative work, marketing and business development efforts can eat up an attorney’s time and bottom line. Learn how simple adjustments can help you increase efficiency and profitability.

Download our tip sheet to learn how to boost your bottom line through 4 simple efficiencies!

Download

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First impressions matter in a big way, especially when 64% of legal clients make decisions based on the friendliness and likability of a lawyer’s tone. To ensure your firm is providing a consistently exceptional client experience from the very first “hello,” we’ve put together a quick list of phone etiquette tips for the solo and small-practice attorney.

Download our tip sheet to get your hands on Ruby’s four fundamentals of phone etiquette.

Download

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5 tips for a successful tax season.

Reading time:

Hey CPAs, are you tax season ready? Take a moment now to help your tax season flow more smoothly by thinking ahead to what you and your loved ones need to ride the wave of filings, returns, itemizations, and long, long, long work hours. Avoid burnout by taking care of future-you, now!

1. Block time on your calendar.

Keep yourself healthy, whether by going to the gym or scheduling time to get some fresh air or lunch with a friend. Your body and brain need the reset and your work will be better for it!

2. Make it easier on your loved ones.

Remind them that you will be heads down these next weeks. Gift them some restaurant and movie gift cards to help them get through, and schedule a getaway for after the tax season madness so you all can regroup.

3. Cook ahead!

It’s no good eating shoddy, heavy take out and last minute snacks–your brain needs fuel. Cook ahead now and freeze soups, stews, and the basics for healthy throw-it-together bowls. Or, use an all in one meal delivery kit so all you have to do is throw the ingredients in a pan and voila, healthy meal.

4. Download a meditation app.

15 minutes, headphones, and a quiet place is all you need to clear your mind, recenter, and later get back to work later, refreshed and more productive.

5. Use Ruby.

Our warm, professional receptionists are your businesses’ best ambassadors. We get you off the phone and back to your billable hours, maximizing your tax season. We never miss a call and personalize our messaging to your specifications so your clients never know they are speaking with an outside service.

We are proud of our financial customers and delighted to support their businesses and clients by communicating with empathy, friendliness, and professionalism, all the while never letting them know we are off-site.

“Ruby makes me look good and keep costs in check. You just can’t replace the value of a live, professional person to answer your calls, especially if you’re in a high-touch, service business.”

– Frank Molinar, Molinar & Co Financial Associates

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Customer service skills—every business needs them, but not every customer service professional has them. 

That’s a shame, because in this day and age, customer service skills are more important than ever. In 2020, customer service is the key differentiator for any business, regardless of size or industry. If you don’t have the skills to provide excellent customer experiences, you’re not only losing out on sales, but hurting your organization’s customer satisfaction and retention rates.It’s simple: today’s customers expect friendly, responsive, personalized service. And if they can’t get it from you, they’ll go to one of your competitors.

Fortunately, this is one area where any company or company representative can shine. With a little dedication and practice, anyone can improve their customer service skills. Here are 7 tips you can start using today:

1. Great customer service begins with understanding your customer.

The keyword for developing customer service skills is empathy. Empathy allows you to create a genuine connection with your customers. It empowers you to serve with a palpable sense of enthusiasm and dedication—an audible smile that’s infectious.

What does empathy look like? It looks a lot like the Golden Rule: treat others how you want to be treated. It means putting yourself in a customer’s shoes:

  • understanding where they’re coming from
  • being sensitive to their worries and desires
  • finding common ground
  • establishing a rapport

It’s about listening with an open heart and an open mind, and always giving the customer the benefit of the doubt.

Consider a customer’s mindset when they’re dialing the phone, visiting your location, or sending a message via your website. They may feel trepidatious, even defensive. People with great customer service skills don’t pretend these feelings don’t exist, but rather find ways to relate to and overcome them.

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Think about your own experiences. Have you ever had to wait on hold forever? Or stand in line for what felt like hours, ultimately feeling twice as impatient about your issue as when you arrived? Probably. You can draw on this awareness to relate to your customer’s frustration and better position yourself as their advocate.

A solid understanding of your company’s offerings also helps you better empathize with customers’ needs. You can better speak their language—and ultimately problem-solve—at a deeper level. That’s the power of empathy—it drives business results (more sales, more leads) while at the same time creating meaningful connections (memorable calls, fun conversations). At Ruby, we’ve built our business with this as our number one guiding principle.

2. To deepen your customer service skills, continually expand your toolbox.

Great customer service professionals never stop learning. They continue practicing their listening skills, frequently add new conversation starters to their repertoires, and regularly develop strategies for turning tough calls around.

To keep your skills fresh and your energy creative, you need to make time to learn.

There are hundreds of resources on customer service topics that can open you up to new ways of doing things. Many of those resources are totally free. YouTube, Udemy, Lynda, or your local library are just a few places to start.

Before you begin your customer service skills development journey, ask yourself: 

  1. In what areas of my work or role would I like to grow?
  2. What are situations that challenge me or expose my opportunities for growth?

Take 15 minutes or so to write down your thoughts—list your goals, fears, questions, and so on. Once you’re clear on your objectives, the perfect resources are practically guaranteed to jump in your lap. You may find a book about active listening, for instance, or a video offering tips for dealing with angry customers.

What’s nice about continual learning is that it keeps your customer service passion ignited while improving your performance. At the same time as you’re finding fresh ways to surprise, delight, and support your customers, you’re keeping your mind active with insights you can use beyond the context of work—for instance, at your next dinner date or cocktail party.

3. The best customer service skills are found outside the office—and outside your comfort zone.

Humans are creatures of habit. But while routine is comfortable, it often blocks one’s creativity and critical thinking ability. 

To truly transform your customer service skills, you need to expose yourself to new sights, sounds, people, places, ideas, beliefs, and sources of inspiration. 

Start by thinking about your work environment—which is a major component of your mood and mindset. A small change to your surroundings can make a big impact. 

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Change up the scenery during your workday—rearrange or reposition your workstation.
  • Enjoy lunch away from your desk.
  • Take a walk outside.
  • Check out a midday yoga class.

Trying new things in your personal life can also yield transformative results in your customer service work. When we expand beyond our routines, we’re challenged to get over fears, drop bad habits, let go of limiting beliefs, and tap into our potential. By rediscovering your abilities, you bring a fuller self into your customer service skills.

Consider: When was the last time you did something for the first time?

Challenge yourself with a new experience over the next month. It can be anything—an improv or dance class, rehabbing a vintage guitar, getting artistic with a pottery project, cooking an unfamiliar recipe. Living on the edge of your comfort zone helps you to think on your feet in the often unpredictable world of customer service. 

Plus, new experiences are usually fun experiences—and they definitely make you a better conversationalist. However your adventure goes, you’ll certainly have a story to tell.

4. Discover tools and skills to keep your cool during customer conversations.

Customer service professionals are expected to remain calm and collected in every interaction. 

This is tough if you’re not in the flow—if you’re having a bad day or an off week. But even on the best of days, it’s challenging to be that rock for every customer who needs your support—to stay positive when your work consists of dealing with person after person, problem after problem.

How can a customer service professional retain a positive, responsive mindset?

One solution is to find tools that help you stay calm and manage difficult emotions. Examples of these tools include… 

  • breath exercises
  • five-minute meditation practices
  • quick bursts of exercise, such as a brisk jaunt up and down the stairs
  • relaxation apps and games

Find the thing or things that work for you. Make sure they’re specific—“meditation” doesn’t work unless you’re well-trained in doing it, so find a particular video, app, or audio series. Whatever tools you use, practice them—daily—until they become a habit. It may surprise you how these rituals support your customer service skills, helping you regain your calm and re-energize your workday.

5. Find a customer service mentor and expand your network.

A mentor can be a game-changer in terms of opening you up to new ideas and possibilities for customer service skills. Every successful customer service professional has someone in their life they’ve looked up to and modeled themselves after. 

If you don’t have a mentor, now’s the time to find one. Look for someone with experience that differs from your own. Maybe they’ve achieved certain goals you aspire to, or you admire their communication skills. 

Then, invite them to coffee. You’d be surprised how many people want to help you when you’re open to asking them.

Networking is also a powerful way to elevate your customer service skills. When you engage in a community—a community within your profession or in another industry or interest group—you gain new insights and knowledge, as well as a more holistic view of the world.

6. Remember the “why” behind your customer service career.

Customer service agents who are good at what they do are propelled by a purpose—a purpose larger than making money, closing deals, or getting through 100 phone calls in a day. They’re fuelled by the pursuit of a big idea like connection, or justice, or innovation, or sustainability. For some organizations, such as healthcare providers, the prevailing mission is to literally save people’s lives. It’s why people pick up the phone.

A good practice for clarity about your relationship with work is to ask yourself:

“What’s my ‘why’?” 

What motivates you to do the work that you do?

What drives you to get out of bed every morning?

What are you bringing to the world?

What’s your superpower?

If you’re drawn to customer service because you enjoy connecting with people and making their lives better, try keeping a happiness journal, or gratitude journal. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of journaling, which range from emotional and psychological benefits (boosting memory, improving self-confidence) to physical benefits such as better sleep and accelerated healing. Really.

Journaling or another form of reflection can help you clarify your perspective on customer service. Once you move away from thinking of customer service as a chore or a transaction, you’ll tap into that place within you that innately desires positivity and meaningful purpose. Stay tuned in to that vibe, and happy and satisfied customers will be drawn to you.

Of course, not everyone can or should pursue customer service for a living. You may be better cut out for other things, such as—I don’t know—running your business. That doesn’t mean your customers need to be stuck with lackluster experiences. Ruby’s on-demand phone and chat specialists are ready to empower your business with exceptional customer service. 

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Five benefits of live call answering.

Reading time:

74% of consumers say that they’re are very likely to choose another business after a poor phone experience.

But, if you’re like most business owners, you’re likely not answering those inbound calls. You probably don’t have time to. Like most owners, you’re too busy running your business—serving customers or clients, fulfilling orders, managing employees, and getting work done.

So, what happens to those missed calls? Some companies have receptionists or customer service professionals on staff to pick up the phone (at least during business hours). But more and more small businesses are simply letting machines take care of things. Callers reach an interactive voice response system (IVR) or voicemail through which they can try to handle an issue themselves or request a call back. 

These solutions promise convenience and cost efficiency for customers and businesses alike. 

Unfortunately, they don’t really work. 

If you’re using an automated system to answer phone calls, you’re missing major opportunities to connect with customers and grow your company. In 2020, the people calling your business expect to reach a live representative. And if you can give customers the human connection they long for, you’re practically guaranteed to boost business results and your bottom line. In fact, for many small businesses, it can be the difference between barely surviving and thriving.

Consider these five business benefits of live call answering:

1. Increase customer satisfaction.

The key to customer satisfaction is human connection. More than two-thirds (67%) of customers will hang up when they can’t reach a live person. Many of those callers will then immediately write off your company and dial a competitor. This includes new and existing customers. Everyone calling your business wants (and deserves!) fast, responsive, and personalized human service. 

2. Elevate your customer service reputation.

Live call answering drives not only customer service, but word of mouth marketing as well. Approximately 72% of customers will share their positive customer service experiences with others. For every caller who reaches a friendly, capable business representative, the number of new prospects contacting your company increases

Of course, if someone has a negative experience calling your company—if they can’t get through or reach an unhelpful machine—there’s a good chance they’ll tell their friends, family, and colleagues about that, too.

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3. Collect call information.

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew everything about everyone calling your business—their names, contact information, and reason for getting in touch? With IVR, voicemail, or another automated system, you’ll never capture this information from the majority of callers. A whopping 85% of people whose calls aren’t answered by a live representative will not call back. 

By contrast, a human agent can collect all relevant information about a caller, as well as solve basic customer service issues and even harness sales opportunities in the moment.

4. Win more business opportunities.

Speaking of opportunities, there’s no fuel for customer loyalty and business growth as powerful as live call answering. Roughly four out of five (80%) of customers will become repeat buyers based on positive phone experiences.

To see what kind of impact live call answering can have for your business, use our ROI calculator.

5. Stand apart from the robo-crowd.

Here’s the kicker: despite the clear benefits of live call answering, 85% of companies are transitioning or have transitioned to automated customer service this year. They’re doubling down on systems that frustrate, inconvenience, and ultimately drive away callers.

This presents your company with a once-in-a-lifetime moment to truly stand out. Don’t be like most small businesses. Don’t settle for the average. Focus on delivering extraordinary customer experiences over the phone and you’ll delight callers, improve your reputation, and win more opportunities.

The best part? You don’t have to do it yourself or manage calls entirely in-house. With Ruby’s live answering services, you get a top-rated team of customer service professionals ready to represent your business over the phone—at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee.

For even more business benefits of virtual receptionists, check out our blog post on the topic.


Afraid you’ll forget the benefits? Download our tip sheet, tape it to your wall, and pass it around!

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Here we grow again! We are so excited to have Rebecca Grimes joining Ruby as Chief Marketing Officer, leading our marketing and sales teams. With more than 20 years of experience in B2B SaaS-based technology companies, Rebecca is an expert in building and leading teams through unparalleled growth.

“Rebecca’s experience both in building and optimizing go-to-market strategies for technology and services companies will be instrumental as we continue to deliver value to our 10,000+ customers and identify growth markets for our products and services,” said Ruby CEO, Kate Winkler. “Her leadership and values mirror the foundational mission and values at Ruby, and she has a proven track record of experience needed to drive this next chapter of growth.”

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For lawyers, billable hours—and therefore growth—are a constant struggle to maximize, with the national average sitting at just 2.5 hours per day. Everybody wants a fully billable day but, let’s face it, it’s unrealistic for the modern attorney. There is simply too much to do. Of course, that doesn’t mean billable hours can’t be increased. By capitalizing on every opportunity to increase efficiency and productivity, implementing logical small improvements add up to more workable, billable hours.

With the ever-increasing demand for rapid responses, how can attorneys balance client service with regular case work, marketing needs, client retention efforts, and administrative demands ⁠—you know, all the work required to run a successful firm and focus on casework?

We’re here to tell you that it can happen. And it happens by re-arranging as much as possible to better handle your non-billable workload.

Non-billable work typically falls into three major buckets:

  • Administrative tasks
  • Marketing
  • Business development

Solo, small, and even mid-sized firms are particularly prone to competing priorities and significant distractions. That is, of course, because you’re both an attorney and a business owner.

Clio reports that 25% of legal professionals are interrupted more than ten times per day, and 30% are interrupted between six and ten times per day. Getting back to work after being interrupted by another task takes an average of 23 minutes.

Even if you experience only 6 interruptions a day, that still adds up to more than a two-hour productivity loss. That’s why the logical combination of tools that reduce distractions and new processes will help you increase revenue, without sacrificing responsive and helpful client service!

Many attorneys have discovered that front-line communications via quality, highly-trained receptionist services (such as Ruby) increases client satisfaction, captures each potential client as they arrive, provides intake that can be prioritized, significantly reduces interruptions, and polishes their practice’s presentation.

Attorney marketing efforts are vital, but if the call is going to voicemail, those efforts are often empty. Live virtual receptionists like Ruby are the best solution, offering friendly, professional, and personalized service that represents your practice and provides your clients with the connection, responsiveness, and validation they expect.

The Ruby solution.

Ruby receptionists operate as your team members, making sure your clients  are responded to and heard. Ruby’s live virtual receptionists can also screen calls based on your specifications, set expectations with clients about your availability, and conduct client intake, making your job easier.

Ruby’s receptionists are specifically trained to lead with empathy, take cues from your clients, and respond appropriately, helping them through the stress and anxiety that often accompanies legal issues.

How to win clients.

While you’re juggling casework, communications, and business development, let Ruby take the call. Learn more!

GET THE TIP SHEET

Now that your phone is covered, you can step away to refocus on your billable client work, avoid those pesky interruptions, and still capture every incoming call, referral, or potential new client.

Ruby customers gain significant efficiency—helping them beat the national average of 2.5 hours billable hours per day. When surveyed, 46% of Ruby’s customers reported billing between three and five hours per day, with 44% billing more than five hours!

Give us a try.

From answering your calls while you’re in court to transferring high-priority callers and capturing lead data while you’re with your family or doing what you love outside the office, Ruby provides genuine, professional service that sets your practice apart from the competition. Ruby even offers a convenient mobile app you can use to update your availability, check messages and more while you’re on the go! See why we’ve received an average of 5/5 stars in over 400 reviews on Trustpilot.

Discover Ruby’s call handling services for yourself.

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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.