Are you getting the right value out of customer communication?

Virtual receptionist wearing headset stands in a white room as two people have a conversation in the background

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

The list of common customer service offenses is (unfortunately) long and filled with frustration. Murky return policies, broken website features, a conspicuous lack of milk alternatives… all the stuff of nightmares.

However, one practice stands apart as being particularly egregious:

Hiding additional fees behind a confusing pricing structure.

Every industry is filled with shady players guilty of this unpardonable offense—even answering services.

At Ruby, we’re committed to transparent pricing. We want you to know exactly what you’re paying for, so you can make informed decisions about your business. In this article, we’ll also offer tips on how to customize our solutions to ensure you’re saving money while getting the most value from our service.

Let’s see how it works.

Virtual receptionist pricing: What providers charge

Most virtual receptionist providers charge their customers per-minute or per-call. Here’s how it’s supposed to work:

A customer calls in, a virtual receptionist answers, and your business is charged according to your preferred billing structure.

Unfortunately, many providers out there charge multiple fees on top of their base per-minute or per-call rates. These providers often market themselves as low-cost “answering services” and saddle customers with separate costs for basic capabilities such as call transfers.

Additional and hidden fees that many providers charge include:

  • Setup or activation fees for new customers
  • Holiday fees, which raise prices for service on holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Service fees, which can cover many different aspects of a receptionist’s work

Bait-and-switch billing pervades our personal lives, whether we’re trying to change mobile carriers or signing up for a gym membership. However, when it comes to your bottom line, deceptive practices like these quickly go from minor headache to massive expense.

How Ruby compares​

Ruby’s pricing includes all our major features. Here’s what you can expect when you sign up:

  • Straightforward per-minute rates in 30-second increments
  • We only charge for the time from when a receptionist answers until a receptionist transfers the call to you or your voicemail, or the call ends (rounded up in 30-second increments)
  • No hidden fees—pay only for your base monthly plan rate, any overage minutes, and optional features such as custom hold music and additional phone lines.

4 ways to make the most of your Ruby service

Every business is different—which is why, in addition to transparent pricing, we also provide our customers with the ability to customize their service to fit their needs. Here are four ways to ensure you’re only paying for what you need each month with Ruby:

1. Use call forwarding.​

You can choose to forward (or un-forward… that’s a word, right?) your line from us as little or as often as you’d like. By monitoring your usage online or in our app, you can choose to un-forward your line from us once you get close to the number of receptionist minutes left in your plan.

2. Use delayed forwarding.

In addition to full-time and part-time answering, Ruby also gives your business the option to use us for delayed forwarding. This allows you to route calls after a certain number of rings (we typically suggest two) over to Ruby if there is no one available on your end to take the call. This is an effective way to reduce the number of calls Ruby is handling while still having us as a backup option when you’re busiest.

3. Use Ruby’s voicemail option.​

There are certainly benefits that come with having detailed messages written and down and sent to you (like our virtual receptionists do!), but opting for voicemail can help trim your overall usage. We don’t charge for the time people take to leave voicemail messages for you.

4. Adjust your schedule.​

Our virtual receptionists are available 24/7/365 to take your calls. However, the option is also available to limit your live answering hours in order to decrease your usage. You’re never billed for any calls that go to your after-hours voicemail, and of course, you’re still welcome to forward and un-forward your lines at any time.

Getting the most value out of Ruby

Streamlining efficiency, improving customer experiences, and capturing more opportunities—these are all things Ruby does to help you grow your business.

Ensuring you’re getting the most value out of your service is part of that. We don’t just keep you connected with your customers. You also have access to:

  • Business number hosting: Eliminate your phone bill and port your published number to Ruby to host for free. In addition to saving you money, this gives you access to a whole host of extra features, including caller ID spoofing and the ability to engage in text conversations with customers directly from your business number.
  • Outbound calling: Ruby is happy to place calls on your behalf! This feature is useful for confirming appointments, relaying information, and touching base with customers and clients.
  • Intake: Ruby’s friendly virtual receptionists can onboard new clients, customers, or patients for your organization—collecting important details according to your instructions and helping develop additional workflows.
  • Scheduling: We work with your preferred calendaring system available on your website so you’re never double-booked. 
  • And much more, including bilingual services, lead qualification, robocall filtering, and others!

Best of all, our dedicated Customer Happiness team is here to help and will help you decide whether Ruby is the right fit for your business and budget.

In the meantime, check out these stories from other small businesses that have used Ruby to meet their goals. When you’re ready, shoot us a call or chat to get started!