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September 2008
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Skype is an Inexpensive Way to Improve Customer Service

Skype - call the world at rock bottom pricesGreat customer service drives business, and Skype-enabled call centers make great customer service affordable. With no hardware, software or installation, you can be a mouse-click away from advanced call center capabilities that give your customers options, such as live business chat, email, toll-free support, interactive voice response, and click-to-call web integration.

Skype’s service is an exceptional tool for small businesses since it allows you to work smarter, get more done, talk more to your clients and customers and cut your phone bill all at the same time. Businesses can use Skype to make and take regular phone calls, cell phone calls, video calls, conference calls, and it can be used on portable devices, for instant messaging and to take customer service requests from websites.

It is free and easy to download Skype, and you don’t need an IT professionl to set it up. Although no additional hardware or software is required, there are a number of different types of equipment and software plugins that you can purchase to make even better use of the service, such as Skype enabled cordless phones, desk phones, headsets and web cams. Compatible equipment can be found online or at local retail stores such as WalMart and Office Depot, starting at about $20 and up. Just look for the Skype logo on the box to make sure it is compatible.

Due to the popularity of the Skype service, many developers have created software plugins to increase the functionality of the service – the cost of these plugins ranges from free to $500 (most are in the $25 range) and they allow for advanced conference calling, desktop sharing, integration with Outlook and Microsoft Office, or you can setup your own call center, PBX system, and even send faxes.

Many of the Skype services are free, such as Skype-to-Skype calls around the world, video calls, instant messaging, group chat, and conference calls. Other services are available for a fee, like calling phones and mobile phones (from $0.021/minute), receiving calls (about $6/month), call forwards, transfers, text messaging and Skype-To-Go are all available on a subscription basis. Check it out for yourself to see how your business could benefit through enhanced customer service, better communications, and substantial cost savings.

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