Customer service tips and more from Ruby + SmallBizLady

“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.

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.