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This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Jill Nelson. She is the creator and CEO of Ruby Receptionists, an organization she started back in 2003 and has seen dual-digit growth every year since it’s inception. Jill, thanks a lot for joining me. Jill Nelson: John, many thanks so much for having me on your show. I’m a huge fan.
John Jantsch: Well, I love speaking with entrepreneurs and I really love speaking with entrepreneurs that have just blown up. Tell me how Ruby got started. Jill Nelson: Yeah. Well, you understand, like lots of the listeners out there I just had this notion that I was just identified to get out there but the original idea was different things than what Ruby is today.
Yeah. It had been in an integral part of Portland that was becoming more popular and I always treasured offering smaller businesses. It was a thing I grew up with just. I didn’t have hardly any money and I didn’t have any business experience therefore I couldn’t find a landlord willing to create out class A work place on my behalf.
Just required that and noodled on, “Well, if I can’t do this what may I do with the tiny resources that I’ve?” Just really got captivated by that important phone piece and began thinking about how exactly I could still deliver receptionist service to small businesses even if they weren’t sitting right next to us.
Went searching for an off-the-shelf software solution and hodge-podged a telephone system collectively that worked with it and in 2003 launched. John Jantsch: Fast forward to today, After all, 500 employees, thousands, and thousands of customers, all sorts of accolades but it’s interesting since when you began this even in 2003 … I’ve been in the business much longer than that.
Answering services have been around effectively forever however they were always fairly cruddy. What do you are thought by you did that transformed the overall game? Jill Nelson: Yeah. Well, first, I actually never even considered Ruby as an answering service from day one. From day one, I was really thinking about how to solve a problem for small business. In my own mind back then I presumed, “Obviously everyone would answer the phone. I must say I from day one was considering about how may I really be of service to small businesses each day? Ruby was intended to be a backup service never.
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It was never intended to be considered a catchall messaging thing. It had been to be a part of that small businesses’ team and so understanding what smaller businesses needed in order to win business in the day just … It had been there from day one. The program was different. I had been a receptionist. I knew how calls proceeded to go. From day one, we intended to sound exactly like we were inside our small businesses’ office.
John Jantsch: I’d say the really key ingredient there was the whole different perspective. You weren’t just offering some service to fill up a gap. John Jantsch: That’s a different game really. Jill Nelson: It really is. Sometimes that’s really all it takes because your competition isn’t doing that. Also, we heard, “Gosh, I really value my customers. I believe the pride of customer support is pretty prevalent among small business owners. We really understood very early on from what they told us that that’s what we should be helping them with, not just a catchall as if you would think folks as a backup overnight answering service.