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Ruby Receptionist Rocks – My Virtual Receptionist



I first wrote about Ruby Receptionist in March of this year. I had just signed up for a free trial, and I was excited to begin using my new virtual receptionist for my solo law firm. (Here is my original post about Ruby Receptionist.)

I’ve now been with Ruby for five months. I regularly get questions from people who are looking to try out their service. So here’s an update.

I love Ruby!

In case there’s any doubt, I’m a satisfied Ruby client. They do a great job at handling my calls. They’re an asset to my law practice, and I plan to keep using their service.

If you want to skip this long post and just give Ruby a try, get yourself a 14-day free trial through this form.

What is Ruby?

Ruby is a virtual receptionist. Their awesome team answers your phone from their office in Portland, Oregon. But how does it actually work?

Basically, Ruby answers your incoming calls. You forward your current office number to your own toll-free number that Ruby gives you (you can take that number with you, if you leave Ruby). Ruby will answer the calls however you want. I have them say something like “Thank you for calling Andrew Flusche, Attorney at Law. How may I help you?”

It’s up to you how the call should be handled. For example, you could have Ruby ask the caller if they’re calling about an existing matter or a new matter. Existing clients could be transferred straight to you, and new matters could go to an assistant for intake and appointment scheduling.

When Ruby needs to transfer the caller to you or one of your staff, the caller is politely placed on hold with nice background music. Ruby calls whoever is supposed to get the call and whatever phone you want them to call, and they say something like “Hi, this is with Ruby. I have on the line…” If you want the call patched through, they’ll say ok, and the caller will be on the line with you in 1-2 seconds. If you don’t want to talk to the caller, you can ask Ruby to take a message from the caller, relay a message from you to the caller, or whatever.

Ruby emails messages to whoever you designate. When someone leaves a voicemail, the voicemail box owner gets an email notification that has a sound file of the voicemail attached. You can listen to the message right there, or you can call in and listen to it the typical way.

Likes

1. Ruby is cost effective. I get lots of phone calls. 161 in July. My Ruby bill was $446.95. That’s not dirt cheap, but it’s very reasonable when you consider what Ruby does for your practice. Before I signed up with Ruby, I was getting several calls each week where the caller didn’t leave a message or anything. I assume most of those were potential clients that I lost (after I eliminated any phone numbers that I had already called me before, etc). Now Ruby is there to answer and provide a human voice to take a message. It’s well worth the cost, in my opinion.

2. Ruby is professional. The receptionists all speak English as their first language. They all work out of the Ruby office in Oregon. I don’t mean to say anything bad about offshore outsourcing, but I don’t think that’s the image most attorneys would want for their firm’s receptionist.

3. Ruby is better than voicemail. When I just used voicemail, callers would have no idea where I was when I wasn’t answering the phone. I can now tell Ruby (via email or phone) that I’ll be in court for the day. Or I can say “I’ll be in a meeting until 2pm.” They’ll hold calls until then and tell callers something like “Andrew is in a meeting right now, can I take a message?” You can update your status whenever you want, however often you want, and you don’t get charged any extra. That’s an awesome feature!

4. Ruby screens calls for me. I gave them three quick intake questions to ask new potential clients: A. What type of matter it is. B. Where the case is pending. C. How they heard about me. The answers to those questions help me triage phone messages and decide if I should answer a call when I’m busy with something else.

Dislikes

1. I wish the voicemail system was better. The voicemail system functions well, but I’d like to see more features in the email notification. The email notification lets you listen to the voicemail, but you can’t delete it from there. So if you listen to a voicemail through the email sound attachment, you’ll still have a new voicemail when you later call into your voicemail box. I wish the email contained a link to delete the voicemail message after I’ve listened to it on the computer.

Honestly, that’s my only dislike. Ruby rocks!

Other questions

Here are some other questions people have asked me about Ruby. I’ll try to update this list as new questions arise.

Are calls transferred smoothly?

Absolutely! I don’t think the callers have a clue that the receptionist isn’t in my office. A few of my friends and local colleagues have mentioned to me that they thought I hired an assistant. I then explain about Ruby.

The only potential issue is who is answering calls in your office. As long as Ruby has clear instructions on who to transfer calls to, it will work just fine. But if your staff isn’t available to answer, obviously Ruby will have no choice but to take a message.

How is the quality of transferred calls?

I’ve never had an issue with the connection quality. I believe Ruby told me once it’s a “trunk to trunk transfer,” but I have no idea what that means. They directly transfer the call from their phone system to whatever line you want. It’s just like the caller called you directly. The quality will be as good as your phone allows.

How do you update Ruby with your status?

Status updates are really simple. You can either call Ruby, give them your name, and tell them the update (“I’ll be in court until 3pm.”, or “I’m leaving for the day.”, etc) Or you just send a quick email to staff@callruby.com with your update. My emails are generally a sentence. Ruby will then temporarily change your call handling. For example, they’ll hold your calls if you’re in a meeting, only put through an important client if you’re busy on a big matter, etc.

Can Ruby work with your calendar?

Not to my knowledge. Ruby can’t really schedule appointments or tell callers that you’re in a meeting by looking at your calendar. They don’t have any access to your calendar. I’m sure this could change in the future, but I don’t believe it’s a current feature.

30-day free trial

If you think Ruby can help your business, give them a try. There’s no reason not to.

You can get a 14-day free trial by signing up through this form.

The free trial really doesn’t cost anything. If you decide to continue with their service, you’ll pay the setup fee at the start of your first paid month. If Ruby doesn’t work out for your business, cancel before the 14 days are up and you owe nothing.

If you do give Ruby a try, please let them know that I sent you!

More questions?

Do you have any questions about using Ruby for your business? Drop a comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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Comments

4 Responses to “Ruby Receptionist Rocks – My Virtual Receptionist”

  1. Robbert
    September 5th, 2009

    Yahah it is true that the when Ruby needs to transfer the caller to you or one of your staff, the caller is politely placed on hold with nice background music.So that it is very nice post and written by the author in very efficient way.

  2. Mark - Productivity501
    September 8th, 2009

    Sounds interesting. The problem I have is that I get calls when I’m on the phone that I can’t answer. I think it would be handy if there was a service that would try to IM me with the details on who is calling so I can have them say something like “Mark is in a meeting, but he will call you back in 10 minutes” etc.

    If you don’t like the voice mail system, you might be able to use a Google Voice account setup to go straight to voice mail. That way you’d get the email transcription of the message as well as the recording.

  3. Andrew Flusche
    September 8th, 2009

    @Mark – The IM idea is very cool. Heck, there are some calls that I’d get off to take the incoming one. :) And thanks for the Google Voice suggestion. I need to check into that.

  4. fix credit
    November 18th, 2009

    fix credit…

    I have been looking through these pages and thought this site was interesting!…

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