Being Human in a Technology-Driven World Featuring Guest Jill Nelson

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welcome to amazing business radio with bestselling author and customer service and business expert chef high getting up we'll talk with some of the smartest thinkers in business down make you more successful in your professional and personal life is hello ladies and gentlemen ship hiking here back on amazing business radio with another amazing episode this time very excited because in the house we have joel nelson the real deal because she is a b founder the chairman of the board the ceo de woman in charge of ruby reception us and we're gonna be talking about how she is developed a company year after year wins awards per fastest fastest growing company andy has her own brand of customer service experience but she's gonna share with us she's gonna share her wisdom i am so excited jill welcome to amazing business radio oh set thank you so i'm excited to be here as a student of areas that have have all ideas in the early years and that's what scares me is that you you know you said a student's you make me feel a little bit older than i probably am but let's talk about that because we we just before we started a you mentioned you were a member of e o v entrepreneurs organization i've been a member of ego since nineteen ninety four an love it and for those who don't know what ego is on a worldwide organization of of companies actually owners of companies entrepreneur that's an owner of a company or somebody that has really controlling management of a company they have a minimum of one million dollars in sales and own or run the company and joe you've been doing this for how long how long has ruby restructured it's been around nearly sixteen years now founded in two thousand three out of a little sculptors studio as providing live reception service and today hey we're at tech enabled product but still powered by wonderful human that deliver a personalized experience small business we have over six hundred fulltime employees at r the voice of ten thousand small businesses throughout united states while so now you said you're use a digital through using technology it's not just voice we leverage the technologies that are receptionist who are real people real people people all here all here in portland oregon are not just friendly but because of the technology we are we sound like were just part of our customers office were embedded into their jay we have really helpful information and week and change things on the fly just when when our customers with a tap of their mobile app they could change how they like they're called handled where they want them to go what they'd like it's it at their customers know and and the technology that allows us to be more help wow so i would imagine back in two thousand and three didn't have much of this a call forwarding probably that's right all right so early on we i just thinking about how they're really truly be helpful to the small business i knew that just answering the phone wouldn't be enough so we actually did have not nearly as a wonderful as a technology product back back back then but even back then we found some software that we could use it really populate with that much information about are companies that awesome all right so i wrote down something a justification started the chat in you called yourself be embassador of what was it being basser first impressions first impression ather first impression so talk talk to us a little bit about what that means who's really that's a good place to start since its first things first impression that's right that's right yeah and you know this is you know a being able passionate advocate through a business success through serving the customer 'em ruby we often talk about every touch point 'em but that phone call even if you're you know if you are someone who mostly tax or does shopping online that that all important phone call can be that there that most important touched by it because that's often the moment where truscott spelled m n so win eight potential she'll customer or consumer take the time to go off of a website or does a search for you and alexa give you a call oftentimes it's because it's a really important moment they want to make a purchase but they want to know is this a company that cares about me is a company that's gonna take her me if i buy something online in and it comes you're distracted if you're in attorney is this is this attorney actually gonna care about this very stressful time that i'm in and so that phone call really is that opportunity that set the tone an communicate that you're you're their customers h hair and that you're you're human and you're you're a person in people when they do business with people yeah you're right and i believe the first impressions sets the tone for every interaction that is to follow it's not just the first time somebody calls it could be the five hundred time but that is the set of yeah and so it just out of curiosity does does eighty eight in individual get assigned to a company or is it a group of individuals just how is that set up if i call it my only am i going to get you like for example if you're if you're assigned to my account is joel always answering the phone jill if not oh is answering the phone but there are a team ever receptionist that are generally gets in our customers the very economical solution at it they ball fraction of the price in house receptions one of our brand promises is that every single solitary call that comes injuring the business they is answered live 'em adds a ninety nine percent of those calls are answered within or rings thanks and so in order for that to happen whether you get a couple of calls per month or you know a hundred calls per day 'em it we do use groups and that's where that technology comes in and that's also where a release working hard to both higher but a train but also intent inspire empower a workforce that could use the technology to be able to be helpful even if it's the first time they've ever taken a call for that company but they sound consistent they deliver a consistent essentially oh wow experience but still taps into a what humans do best which is be themselves and make a connection so it's really are technology in are training and processes that create that consistent experience even if it's a different person answering a an m is that person in going to take a message going to give the give me information if i'm the customer or trans for the transformation to someplace where someone that can help me above and it's completely customize an absolutely how a are customers wish their calls to be set up in in through the mobile app for example we have one touch that date or you could integrate with their calendar calendar you could say hey if if it's a potential new customer please try to find me but the call through otherwise take a message in or vice versa 'em or you know if i'm available but the calls through but if i'm in a meeting don't it's completely cuts by my well now that that we have taken over fifty million phone calls we have a point of view about a about why essay wonderful call experience this dan billion alone call where they don't even get that's a few more than i ever had everyday what we go wait what's the secret you taken so many calls what makes really good phone call i mean look at that you know going back to being the embassador first impression weeden say were the gatekeeper 'em which is one of the things we do we help small business owners stay focused and eliminate distractions by filtering out a spam calls and you know robo calls and the like but really are job is to create a great impression in make their customers feel like we care 'em an that really needs to be top of mind so some temptation sometimes are customers they you know where we are integrated wisdom software so so when we take information i go right into their software so the temptation might be well when someone calls me for you transfer to me ask these questions and we may say you know i recognize how much that information is valuable but the important thing persistent make a great impression and people don't like to be asked me questions before we transfer the call so well well coach him since they have about three things and then or maybe will try you first ad if you're not available states called and i am things like that awesome awesome so what we're gonna do is take a real quick break and when we come back i wanna ask you how do you train these people to be amazing job that they do so we're gonna jack talk with jill nelson she is d i would just say founder president's chief of embassador of first impressions of a ruby recession as everybody don't go away will be right back if you like what you're hearing on amazing business radio and i know you do then you could get much more of this information all you have to do is go to my website hiking dot com that's www dot h y t e n dot com fill out these subscribe subscribe to the shepherd letter form an each week you will get an article they contain a business tip stories and much more all about customer service inexperienced delivered straight to your inbox thanks for listening and don't forget always be amazing amazing amazing business radio with bestselling author and customer service and business expert chef again were back on amazing business radio talking with jill nelson jill there's a stat that i have here that you sent over i'm kim i it intrigues me more consumers are calling businesses than ever before studies show that sixty five percent of potential customers want to reach a business by phone in twenty twenty nine percent of these calls leads to a purchase now some of his stature showing no phones going away but i think in certain businesses phone is really important so assuming they were one of those businesses by the way every business the phone is important because you should have away fear customer to connect with you but let's talk about this that and give me what the real r a y as in these personal connections you're making you're you're ruby reception yeah yeah i mean i think i was surprised to to hear this to in this day and age that phone calls not only are are going away but they're actually on the rise 'em but you know it's actually driven by are little computers that we hold in are hand the mobile phones 'em an when customers do a quick search and they're looking a little tiny screen they don't wanna fill out forms they wanna do that click the column that actually with the phone in the hand and then i think there's actually some generational expectation around instant instant answer you're also 'em wanting to just push click the call in and get someone who can help you include though maybe just making sure you're number on your website on the mobile version is when you touch it it dials that's right that's right 'em an you know so in this day and age when we we think about customer experience oftentimes it's really convenient because there is an expectation of instant answers instant availability small businesses says are competing against you know the amazons of the world ad and really what they have to do is is that they have this a personal connection to the customer in this this willingness to do you know to deliver great customer experience but but really really the customer you also have to be able to be there everywhere for the customer as well but when you when you think about whether or not it's worth it to make that investment make sure that no matter how you're customer wants to reach you they're going to get a great experience 'em the are why there is this tremendous you you actually mentioned is that that twenty nine percent of all phone call actually leads to a sailor all consumer phone calls leader real felt that is the highest conversion rate of any type of customer contact so for anyone who spending any amount of money investing in marketing or exposure for the business if you're spending money and then someone makes that call and it's a bad experience whether it's nobody answers or a a foot automated phone tree or obviously somebody longtime put on hold are somebody who you know doesn't sound like they actually want to hear from you that's just throwing all of that many way and conversely 'em a happy customer who gets a a an unexpected service or felt like wow this person really gonna take care of me were busy were gonna give you as much business as we can and not only that we're gonna talk about that and those very same marketing dollars that you spend to get that exposure now instead of being thrown away not only are they working you know in the short term their their perpetuating rating and turn it into more i mean there's it's just exponential really 'em both opportunity costs if not i'm writing sure you're taking care of you're an end and actually delivering a great experience so you said two things there 'em and let's see a one of them while you talked about the friction and i had a one of the basically encapsulate that it's gotta be easy to get to you can spend all the money in the world getting people excited about your product marketing of them giving them there and then the blast step is they're gonna talk to somebody in that person blows it all the money is spent it's it's it's a shame that's happened in the end that's unfortunately what some companies do they spend spend all this time and effort and getting people to the door and once the door opens and they communicate with somebody that person hasn't been properly trained they're not properly equipped a game over you've you've blown it the other thing you said this is really important you said many of these businesses are competing against amazon so i'm gonna give you my take on this every business every business doesn't necessarily compete with amazon but they're being compared to amazon businesses they are no longer compared to the direct competitor when it comes to customer service experience there compared to the best service they receive from any company an there's an amazon effect there's a and that's what i i guess i don't know if i came up that phrase is it just seems natural it's defected amazon has had we know they're open twenty four hours a day they give us total control the technology is great if i've got a customer service issue they have a great foreign per cell service but when i am finding i'm not getting anywhere i push a button they called me it's it's it's pretty amazing they deliver they deliver fast they keep me up the date they created a lot of confidence and by the way that's what i think a lot of people do is they create confidence your with the customers or clients all right i wanna know how you properly trained people start about how you hire the people and then let's talk about how you train right but i'd say end the big the big big the big secret is to not end train them a month or perhaps a de motivate them to do the very things that you hired the bar because of their great personalities so 'em 'em are leadership philosophy is really insane inspire empower 'em in jersey service permitted hopefully we can provide that to your audience at some point 'em but we we start training 'em a fulltime but we never stopped training in anderson technical training on how to use a soccer and how the how the talk and how to how to use words that really invite trust in happiness and what matters to are small business so a lot of are training we have this sort of a customer shoes training where we actually make are receptionist take a play this video game that makes them make choices as a small business owner like joy joy go to the business in get the you know do do this lawn care business or do i go to my kids we seidel 'em making these choices do i buy advertising dry invested in a new piece of equipment 'em a basically tried to help are a receptions really understand who are customers are and what how would it help them i mean it's really you know that's more important than most and just you know handling of phone calls and then also a lot of empathy around what is the callers one of the callers feeling so you know other than the usual how do you come to work and clock an end user a software there's there's some of the special things i think are unique about ruby but were really what we're trying to inspire fire are a receptionist is to hey follow the rules of the experience is very consistent and are customers could trust us that every call will be answered will sound generally the same so it has that ruby feel at the end of the day you're you're you're on the you're on the phone 'cause you're human so we want you to use your humanness in step outside of the box and actually break the rules when the important so even if a customer has said hey joe biden me i'm in a meeting but it their kids school calling in the nursing their child is in the in the office go ahead and break those roads you know if you hear about 'em if someone's won a big case like get one minute video maybe send a card you know i'm a pizza and we have all kinds of things in our in our office that a sort of empower receptionist able to do that on their own in an m which is a whole nother conversation 'em but when you're when you're hiring the right to begin with is that we are hiring the right to begin with but it's a it's a waste if we don't also gives them the freedom in this space in the ability to really be human and do great things that are not just going there all right so you know a couple of ideas thoughts coming to mind the nordstrom handbook one one comment this is the legend just do what's right for the customer something to that effect in the sense that what you're doing so and i've talked about this on the show a number of times before but if you've got a choice to hire somebody who has a great what i would call call centre experience you know ruby receptionist type experience in a corporate call center or you had somebody was a with virtually no experience but maybe worked in a hotel for the last ten years at the front desk who do you think's gonna be better qualified m i i honestly don't know but i'm guessing that either one of them could be a we've hired by friday no no no i was just wondering if you so jim bush senior vp at the time executive senior vp worldwide customer service that if he had the choice between call centre experience and hospitality experience you would hire hats out experience supports because you could teach somebody the the technical aspects of going from screen raining so i think but your point is yes somebody with great call centre experience might have that hospitality background in the hospitality mentality if they don't have the background to deliver i think that's the most important thing you start off with the right behavior style and then you say okay you set i wrote it down you in sent you inspire you empower okay and you empower them to act as if they owned the place what would you do if this was you're out of her themselves yeah so that's great it's a it's a cycle to if you if you if that person out the company knows they're completely empowered if we did wrong by a customer of just given their money like if they absolutely hundred percent support the company did you ever it is that they did it to make the customer it makes them happy that makes them very very proud and it makes them want to be successful for the company and so it's just this ecosystem that that works together and it does you have to hire well you have to have that i am you obviously at random properly and knowing what they can and can't do which is what we're gonna talk about as soon as we get back from this nuts break all right we've been talking with jill nelson over ruby receptionist and they were gonna be right back don't go away good customer service is now an expectation don't provide it you'll be disrupted by competitor he got so what can you do the standout well that's the focus of my latest book the convenience revolution how great customer service experience that disrupts the competition and create fierce loyalty the goal is to reduce friction in be convenient customer so if you're ready to take your customer service to the next level in and disrupt their competitors well this is the book for you in the order the book go to www dot b convenience dot com be convenient dot com it's time to join the revolution the convenience revolution mediterranean which again or back width jill jill you're gonna talk to us about how you train your people so we hire the right people we understand the philosophy behind her company had some great stat on facts max made some really good points how do you train these people how do you how do you get them where you can empower them comfortably to do the job to try and i just you know that it's a concept balance so are training on foundational things i'm give someone a comfort level that they are able to be successful in how to follow the basic instructions are service pyramid that is on one of the a one of the links that were providing to this audience today it is it is sort of are foundation of how we train as well as the operating model of which we provide service and we give this model to archery are new employees when they start to say hey we're gonna focus at the base of are service pyramid this is all about foundational stuff like how do you they be software but it's really really important that you understand that were aspiring to be being were going is about making these personal connections are service permitted very mezzo hierarchy in need it starts with foundational things and these are the things that we do have very specific training on a and those were the things that provide consistency an accuracy i mean obviously we have to spell name correctly or are a small business customers and every one of those ten thousand customers had different sets of instruction that that they rely missed a follow up and there's there's word choice that we make people happy and we were we know there's word choice that actually just then conversations in the wrong way those are very very consistent training that allow a receptionist all that you know to give consistent experience a reliable one 'em why in that is delivers on what we say were going to do but the training on how do you train someone to go above and beyond 'em it's really about setting up a system so one of the things that we have you know we talked about amazon before but we actually have a prepaid amazon account in it's a component of are wow station that all of are employees are able to access that account by anything they want any type of any customer arauz station is stocked with things that we know come up in conversation so when we train for 'em so for example if someone is like oh my gosh i need another cup of coffee we might send them some portland coffee with the ruby coffee mug or will well here people calling in sick in anyhow will get well you know t and you know the tissues and and chapstick you know you know little gift bag that will send to our customers is like hey i hope you feel better 'em but you know this is all were training for what to listen to the that that are employees can make those connections aunt and then what are some ideas on how to make those connections so were not telling someone if someone sneezes santa gift you know gift but we are saying hey we know these things people care about we we know people care about their family we know the people care about their business success they like sports teams in hobbies and and when you're able to make those connections those opportunities and take it to the next level and then enter then we provide training on what does that look like is it looked like a note card as it looked like a one minute video does it look like i something firm are while station that we might and i'm so we have these that's their training that title leave that crank and i love that and so you start with the foundation i believe i'm looking at the pyramid which the base has got to be prepared with the right infrastructure is that's at the nexus do what we say will do anything i mean if you wanna erode the confidence of a of a customer quickly just simply don't do what you promised you would do i'll get this idea end of the day and two days later i'm wondering winter they really going to get it to me foster happiness now you're talking about fostering happening internally or for the customer or boat we are you know like that's still not very far up the just making a customer happy even halfway up the service airmen no no but really so really it's just not just doing what we say but you know use the kind of language that make somebody a seal 'em that makes them happy you know or deliver on your promises that makes them happy and you know a junior bassett try to make the customer happy i mean that's what offing happiness and by the way that's not because they call when they were upset it's just a it could be a call because i wanna see if i could talk to push up well shops not in today and the way it set in the way it's handled in the way of take the message on i love it when somebody calls are office and they talked to somebody on her team and they the complement is while you're people are so friendly and you know what i wanna hear i went there always friendly always helpful almost knowledgeable those of the word you wanna hear always followed by something positive all right the next going up the chain here quickly is you create experiences which is part of the whole you know any it'd be experience of being entire conversation is what referring to is right at right and a give them what they don't even know they want now that's an interesting one go with me they're telling me you could take a minute and explain what that is and you think about like we all get that figuring out how to train for that is really isn't but it's cute and it's really at the foundation about listening so one of those things that we we know when when one of our customers we have someone on the line for them and i bought one the talk to you and you hit us and then if that's you know that's the arcus rondo and you know giving the cue that he doesn't wanna talk bob he tells his obligation to take it at the arcade it'd be like you know what why don't we let you know all that bob though that you're busy and you know and and take a message for you that sort of the proactive you know offering of help 'em but there are things that we just here we just here like for example you know someone 'em you know i i can't find my headset you know wait the whole that call before you put it through i need to find my head that you know we might we might send them a little headset 'cause you know that there at the ruby track but i yeah but it's guys dilemma that just really training come at a really lift enver what what is it that customer what right i like that they are asking my experience give them what they don't even though they one part of that might be be a asking the right questions if they don't even know they should've asked all right and then finally it at the top of the pyramid at the point of the pyramid a is make meaningful connections try and i would like a cabbie that were that that is are mission and i think it's really really appropriate for what it is we are doing i don't think that that's appropriate for all businesses that when we deliver great customer experience i think there are more example like it when i'm in france that's actually likes to shirley wouldn't make friends with someone that you're doing business whether there's an arm's length transaction forum at the very helpful but the expectation is very different i think in you know in the medical field i think there's some businesses where where you're job is not to get personal you're job is to make someone feel like they're taking care of an end not do this i think there's a there's a service formula for every business at unique to them that is a mixed like how far do you thought in the personal i well i think you've defined would have meaningful connection is i think every company regardless of whether you're in france when you're not supposed we post they have you're just inside i was in singapore and i could've put my american express card or any credit card plastered on my forehead and walked in and nobody would approach me because that's just not what you do however when you finally do in gauge what do you do to create that meaningful connection that gets you connected to make sure the customer much about all right where they were out of time which i could talk to you for hours because you sent me a list of questions and you know what we haven't even gotten the question number one because we started talking about many other they i'm sure a lot of it's in here but if you if you could share with this one thing i call it the one thing question what one thing you wanna be high on my a wet one thing be reminded us of what's really important if you wanna this on his if there's one thing i wanna make sure these people you're in a what would it be 'em the best way to help a customer and kept great customer service if the help that customer be successful what is it that you're there to help them accomplish yeah so it's not about my my needs it's all about your needs it's all about what you want and making use successful well this is why we call this amazing business radio jill you have been awesome that we've been talking about joe nelson if you wanna learn more about it i believe it's called ruby dot

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