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Things TDot Likes: Ruby Receptionists

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 28, 2014 in Things TDot Likes

You might have noticed in a couple of my old entries here and here that I’ve posted a graphic of how many phone calls have come in to my firm during the previous month.

The Activity screen from Ruby's iPhone App

The Activity screen from Ruby’s iPhone App

You may not have noticed that graphic is from the iPhone app for my receptionist :)

Ruby Receptionists is a virtual reception service based out of Portland, Oregon. Using VOIP technology, phone calls to your business line1 get routed to them, the caller talks to a live receptionist on the other end, and then if you’re available the receptionist can patch the call through to any line you choose (mine comes to my mobile phone).

If you’re not available — something you can update easily with the iPhone app or through their website — they can inform clients where you are, when you’ll be back, take a message, or forward them to your voicemail.

They send you a handy email letting you know who called and the details, and if someone left a voicemail you’ll get a separate email with a .wav audio file of the message attached.

They can also assist you by making outbound phone calls to clients2 and can also take detailed instructions on what kind of information you want collected from incoming callers (including whether or not they’re existing clients or potential new ones).

I’ve been using Ruby for almost a year now and have nothing but the highest praises for what they do. It lets me focus on my cases when I’m in court without worrying that I’m missing important calls.

Plus getting the emails with caller details and voicemail messages make it easy for me to work remotely, so if I have multiple hearings in another county — usually in Wake, 30 minutes south — I can just camp out and work in between hearings instead of burning gas and an hour of time traveling back and forth :D

My praises notwithstanding, don’t misunderstand: the service is expensive. I’m using their lowest tier of service at $239.00/mo.3 Next to office rent, that’s far and away my biggest expense.

But it’s also much much cheaper than hiring an actual person, who would likely cost me at least $2,000.00/mo plus benefits and regulatory compliance.

I’ve also found it makes clients more inclined to hire me; in terms of “conversion” (salesspeak for the proportion of folks who hire me out of all the ones who call), there was a bump when I shifted from meeting people in the library to having a dedicated office, and a bump again when I shifted from answering my own calls to having a receptionist.

This is officially the first hand-signed birthday card I have ever received from a vendor. Ever.

This is officially the first hand-signed birthday card I have ever received from a vendor. Ever.

Folks just naturally expect that in order to be a competent lawyer you need a receptionist too. So Ruby ultimately pays for itself in my case.

Plus they sent me this birthday card signed by all of their staff, which totally blew my mind :surprised:

If you’re thinking about using Ruby, you do get 14 days free so you can test out the service and see if you like it.

And I don’t typically shill referral links and such, but they also offer to waive the $95 setup fee for people who sign up through a referral — so if you want to give them a try, feel free to use this link.4

That’s my rundown on Ruby :) If you’re a new solo or hitting a point where you think you need a receptionist, I strongly suggest you give them a try before you hire an actual person!

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From the Things TDot Likes archives:

  1. (919) 998-6993 in the case of TGD Law B-) []
  2. Example: when I got my first batch of Moral Mondays clients, I was out of town in New Bern. From my phone I forwarded Ruby the spreadsheet of the contact numbers, and by the time I got back to the Bull City they’d already called everyone with the info I asked them to share :crack: []
  3. And pay for quite a few overage charges on top of that because I’m in this midrange where I go over the amount of their lowest tier but don’t use the service enough to upgrade to the next tier up :beatup: []
  4. If you don’t, that’s perfectly OK too. I’m not really concerned about whatever swag I’m supposed to get sent for referrals — I’d rather you just have a service you’re happy using, think I’m brilliant for showing it to you, and then you tell all your friends how brilliant I am ;) []

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