Customer service tips and more from Ruby + SmallBizLady

Reading time:

“Ending small business failure.” That’s what Melinda F. Emerson—AKA SmallBizLady, America’s #1 small business expert—is all about.

Cutout of Melinda Emerson, AKA SmallBizLady

A renowned speaker, author, consultant, and media personality, Melinda has empowered countless entrepreneurs to follow their dreams and succeed as their own bosses. For over 20 years, she’s coached all kinds of leaders—from small business founders to Fortune 500 CEOs—on business growth. She’s written for and been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Black Enterprise. She’s also published tons of articles, podcasts, videos, books, and more. Did I mention she runs her own online school?

Many of us at Ruby have been avid fans of Melinda for years. So, we leapt at the opportunity (okay, maybe not literally leapt, although I did bounce up and down in my chair) to work together. Melinda not only invited us to contribute a couple posts to her blog, but brought one of our customers, Sharie Hendricks, along with our CEO, Kate, onto the #SmallBizChat podcast!

Check out the articles and podcast episode below:

Learn 101 ways to improve customer experience.

What does it take to bring your customer service to the next level? There’s no single, all-encompassing answer. Companies that provide genuinely exceptional customer service focus on their customers in every action, decision, and moment of connection. Take it from one of our customers—Barbara Davis, owner of BADDogs Inc: “If we demonstrate concern and care for our clients, they do notice and appreciate us.”

We know perfecting the customer’s experience is all about the little things—smiling when we pick up the phone, pronouncing someone’s name correctly, making a person’s day with a kind word or gesture. With that in mind, let’s look at 101 small ways your business can improve experiences for the people you serve.

Read more.

Discover dos & and don'ts for responding to online reviews.

If you’ve ever looked up a business on Yelp, Facebook, Google My Business, or another review site, you’ve no doubt come across sentiments like “absolutely terrible” or “worst company ever!” Maybe you’ve laughed or gasped at a couple. Perhaps you’ve even doled out a one-star review yourself after an exceptionally bad experience.

But while critical reviews can be fun to read—and cathartic to write—they feel different on the receiving end. They hurt. They can feel like personal attacks, like someone is trying to embarrass you or sabotage your business. And thus, your first instinct after getting a negative review may be to ignore it or find a way to have it taken down… which is exactly the opposite of what you should do.

Read more.

Watch or listen to Ruby CEO Kate Winkler and Ruby customer Sharie Hendricks on the #SmallBizChat podcast.

Sharie Hendricks is the founder and owner of Laguna Candles, an award-winning manufacturer of sustainable, luxury candles. We’re honored to count Laguna Candles among our customers, helping Sharie grow the business, gain time back in her day, and delight the people who contact her company.

In a two-part podcast (also available in video form) with Melinda Emerson, Sharie and Ruby’s CEO, Kate Winkler, share their stories, tips, and experiences leading businesses during a pandemic. They also explore how a solution like Ruby makes it easy to adapt to changes in demand while boosting efficiency and bottom-line growth.

Listen to part 1 with Sharie and part 2 with Kate, or watch the full video.

Bonus: read Kate and Sharie's interview on leveraging customer service as a value proposition.

Quote from Sharie Hendricks, entrepreneur and CEO of Laguna Candles: "The biggest lesson I learned during the pandemic was how important it is to willingly help others when there is a need. We kept our staff and even hired some more folks who just needed an opportunity."
Quote from Kate Winkler, CEO of Ruby: "Trust is fundamental to business success. It’s the key factor in not only generating opportunities, but also converting people into customers and maximizing loyalty."

In a bonus interview, Sharie, Kate, and Melinda discuss the following questions:

  • Why is trust so important when building relationships, especially for service businesses?
  • What was the biggest lesson you learned during the pandemic?  
  • How have you grown your business online? 
  • What are the things that keep small business owners from achieving their business goals?
  • What is the best business advice you ever got?

Read the interview.

For more insights, interviews, and customer stories, check out our blog.

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Virtual receptionist sitting at desk

Virtual receptionist pricing 101

Professional sitting at desk on computer, working on a law firm's website
Legal Practice Tips

What Google’s Core Web Vitals mean for your law firm’s website

A group of Ruby customers stand together, smiling and talking

Does your business need an answering service?

Screenshot of a YouTube channel's live videos

How to use YouTube Live to engage your clients & audience

Smiling woman standing in a bicycle workshop with a mobile device in her hands
Small Business Tips

3 ways virtual receptionists elevate customer experience (while making your life easier)

Circular cutout of Rebecca Grimes, Ruby's Chief Revenue Officer

A conversation with Ruby’s Chief Revenue Officer, Rebecca Grimes

Woman in yellow sweater working in front of open laptop, sitting in home office interior, drinking coffee
Small Business Tips

Happy customers, efficient businesses: How to supercharge growth with virtual receptionists 

Help wanted sign hung in reflective window
Small Business Tips

Using online presence platforms for recruitment

A man in silhouette looks out over a foggy mountain range
Small Business Tips

How to communicate with employees during times of tension

Close-up: professional with blonde pompadour has a conversation over the phone in a co-working space with red walls
Receptionist Tips

How to keep a conversation going

Title card: Leveraging Customer Service as a Value Proposition, with Melinda Emerson, Kate Winkler, and Sharie Hendricks
Small Business Tips

Customer service tips and more from Ruby + SmallBizLady

A white-bearded man looks beyond the frame with a happily surprised expression on his face
Small Business Tips

This is what wow-worthy customer service looks like.

A woman in yellow overalls sits on a hardwood floor among houseplants with a closed laptop, her hands behind her head
Small Business Tips

Achieve remote work bliss with Ruby.

Title card with Sam's headshot: Ruby customer feature series, Sam Hainey, Hilltop Law Firm
Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Sam Hainey, Hilltop Law Firm

A man in a blue and white-striped shirt looks through binoculars at the open sea
Small Business Tips

Sick of losing sales? How to find the perfect leads for your business

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up
Sales Support

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 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.


The Secret to Successful Law Firms

The inside scoop on Clio’s latest legal trends report.

Phone Thumbnail 2

10 Questions to Ask a Virtual Reception Provider

Ask the right questions and rate virtual reception services with our handy guide and scorecard!