Guide your way to exceptional customer experiences.

Reading time:
Writing a note

One of the first skills we teach our virtual receptionists is how to guide callers with questions. It’s a super-simple habit to add to your repertoire, and it can help you reach your customer experience goals in just about any situation. Interested? Here are four ways to give guiding a test drive:

Guide to get from here to there. Whether you’re screening a call, solving customer’s problem, or taking a message, you probably need to gather some information. The easiest way to do it? Ask! Volley back to your customer with questions until you collect all the necessary info. When you’re in guiding mode, you automatically avoid awkward dead-ends like this:

Caller: Hi! Is Jim available?

Receptionist: He’s in a meeting.

Yeesh! Now, the makeover:

Receptionist: He’s in a meeting, but I’ll be happy to ask him to return your call. May I take down your number?

Whatever the situation, be prepared to guide your customer to a solution. Anything less would be uncivilized!

Guide to get down to business — politely. Friendly conversation is a wonderful opportunity to build rapport with your customers, but you may not always have the time for a long exchange. After engaging your customer briefly, segue out of chitchat with a guiding question:

Caller: It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?

Receptionist: Absolutely! Are you doing anything special to enjoy it?

Caller: I think I’m going to take my dog to the park. I’m teaching him how to fetch!

Receptionist: How fun! I’m sure the two of you will have a great time. How may I help you on this fine, sunny day?

Guide to deflect tricky questions. When you’re asked a question that would be better answered by a teammate, gathering your customer’s name (or other pertinent information) is a great way to set that teammate up for a great first impression:

Caller: Do you have any I-97s in stock?

Receptionist: Janet in our stock room would be happy to answer that question for you! I’ll try her line. May I have your name?

Caller: My name is Dave.

Receptionist: Thank you, Dave! One moment, please.

By simply collecting the caller’s name, you give your teammate the opportunity to begin her exchange with a friendly “Hi, Dave! I’m Janet. I’ll be happy to check on those I-97s!” instead of a plain old “Hello?”

Guide to give them what they don’t even know they want. When customers seem confused or stuck, guiding questions are a great way to suggest solutions:

We don’t carry that part, but Davidson Supply might have it in stock. Would you like me to call and check on that for you?

If you’re really in the mood to WOW, it even works with non-customers:

Caller: Oh, sorry — I think I have the wrong number. I’m trying to reach Gina’s Restaurant.

Receptionist: That’s okay! Our phone number is very similar to theirs. Would you like the number to Gina’s?

Now that’s dedication to service!

How do guiding questions help you and your business? We’d love to hear your stories — share them in our comments section!

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All

Reflections on fallout

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Small Business Tips

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Small Business Tips

Forced changes and success with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Get more clients like that one. You know the one.

Small Business Tips

Business live chat: Have your cake and eat it too.

Small Business Tips

Small business resourcefulness with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Omnichannel customer experience: what it means and how to do it right

Small Business Tips

[Infographic] The #1 secret of successful law firms.

Small Business Tips

Use Ruby to schedule appointments and save time.

Small Business Tips

Automated lead capture: Why you need it and how it works.

Small Business Tips

[Infographic] Telehealth in 2021 and beyond.

About Ruby

This Women’s History Month, #ChooseToChallenge with Ruby.

Small Business Tips

PPP loans have relaunched in 2021—with an exclusive application window for small businesses.

Small Business Tips

Too many customers? Here’s how to make a spike in demand work for you.

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 cancelled 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.