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By Call Ruby, An MSBA Affinity Partner

There is no denying we have transcended into a high-touch, high-tech, digital age.

But, even in this era of automation, focusing on the human element of your practice can be your most valuable tool in impressing potential and current clients alike. In fact, by 2020, customer service will replace price as the key brand differentiator.

Surprised? Consider this: Word of mouth continues to be the most effective form of marketing in the business toolkit, and it is virtually free.

So, between meetings and paperwork, travel time, and billing—how do you also create experiences worthy of your client’s loyalty?

Enter the Ruby Service Pyramid

Inspired by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, our Service Pyramid starts with basic biz fundamentals and works up to the finer elements of our service.

We could break down the entire pyramid, step by step. However, for the sake of your time and the purpose of this blog post, we will skip straight to the heart of the matter.

Meaningful connections are the apex of client experience.

We have built our business on this idea. But, would personal connections matter to our customers if we weren’t able to pick up their calls?

Probably not.

Would it even be possible to connect with our customers if we didn’t deliver on the promise of our service?

Nope.

Investing in the proper technology, software, staffing, and metrics are essential in reaching a point where you can truly WOW your customers.

The next steps?

Well, there are a few between the bottom and the top of our Service Pyramid, but assuming you’ve gotten the hang of fostering a little happiness, anticipating your client’s needs, and doing what you say you’ll do, you’re ready to…

Reach out and go the extra mile.

One fateful morning in Ruby history, a member of our Customer Happiness team was wrapping up a call with a customer:

“Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Well, we are pretty hungry. Lunch would be great!”

After a shared laugh, the call ended and the Ruby began to wonder…

…Can I just…send them a pizza?

Voila. Just like that, our WOW program was born. We’ve been sending coffee cups with tea for a pick-me-up, sick packs, onesies, and more ever since.

But this isn’t just about the gifts. It’s about being human and engaging with our customer base in a way that matters.

So, when the time comes, how do you determine what to send a client? When to send something? How do you even make these connections in the first place?

Great questions.

How we coach around the art of personal connections at Ruby:

  • Friendliness is key. Minding your p’s and q’s goes a long way in building rapport between you and your client
  • Ask open-ended questions to spark connections.
  • Listen. Genuinely listen to your clients and you will offer something rare and invaluable in today’s world of business. Did a client mention how excited they are about the Dodgers game tonight? Are they sniffling through a cold?
  • Follow up! Sometimes a hand-written notecard is all it takes to make someone’s day.
  • If you’re sending a gift, make sure it makes sense. Keep it:
    1. Personalized. A Dodgers hat for the Dodgers fan excited for the Dodgers game.
    2. Appropriate. The items you send represent your company.
    3. Practical. The recipient should be able to use it.
    4. Timeliness. Send your gift along quickly to ensure relevance.

In taking the time to foster a connection you’re elevating not only the experience of your client but also that of your employees.

It’s all about engagement. Oh, and referrals.

Which just so happen to be the cherry on top of creating meaningful connections.

Since launching our WOW program, customers have made a point in sharing their enthusiasm for WOW gifts.

Like this super adorable cookie basket we recently received at HQ:

From Instagram and Facebook posts, to giving us a shout out in a blog about the ROI of personalized customer service, our customers have let us (and their friends) know that this way of doing business means something to them.

And ultimately, as a company that strives to preserve and perpetuate real, meaningful connections in an increasingly technology-focused, virtual world, that’s all we could hope for.

The short of it is:

  • Deliver a quality service.
  • Get to know your clients.
  • Connect and WOW.
  • Earn referrals.

Now, start WOWing your clients and watch your practice grow.

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