Skype is a very useful tool for conducting online business. These 10 tips will help you connect on a new level and improve your online interactions.
VOIP News have a post on 25 tips to improve your Skype experience. I have taken out the 10 tips that I think will be useful for you and your online business.
- Multiple logins
This has been the best tip for me. Up until now, I have always wanted a personal and business Skype account. I want to be able to field calls from business or personal and be able to turn on or the other off at any time. With this hack, it is now possible.
This post describes how to enable to two accounts (Note: This hack is for Windows XP). I’ll summarise it here.
- Create a new user in Windows XP and call it Skype and give it a password.
- Copy your Skype shortcut from your Start Menu to your desktop.
- Right click on the new shortcut and click Properties
- Replace the Target text with C:\WINDOWS\system32\runas.exe /profile “/usr:skype” /savecred “C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe”
- Click on the new shortcut. A command window will appear asking for a password. Enter the password for the Skype account you created earlier. (This is the only time you will need to do this)
- Skype will start and you can create a new account.
- You can now chat between the two accounts but I doubt it will be able to deal with two calls at the same time.
- Enhanced Voicemail
If you use your Skype phone for more than just the occasional long-distance call, you should enhance your voicemail setup beyond the basic Skype standard. Pamela offers (automatic) call recording, an answering machine for voice and video, automated chat reply if you’re away, Skype VoiceMail management, and email forwarding of audio files. In addition, Pamela will let you setup a separate greeting or voicemail message for different users, so that your business and personal calls won’t hear the same message. And best of all, Pamela allows for remote control, meaning that if you forget to change one of the voicemail settings before you go on vacation, you can make the changes via any computer anywhere.
- Collaboration system
There are two systems which allow collaboration over Skype, Unyte andTalkandWrite.
Unyte lets you choose which applications or documents to share with the other people on your conference call. Then everyone can be looking at the same documents at the same time, and when changes are made they appear on everyone’s screen so that there is no confusion. Pricing depends on the number of people you want to bring in on the conference, but you can give two-person collaboration a try for free.
TalkandWrite will give you video and voice conferencing as well as handle real-time collaborative document editing. That means, that not only will the changes you make be reflected on the other person’s screen, but you’ll also be able to see and talk with the other person about those changes as you make them. This easy Skype add-on can be a real time-saver for anyone who spends time working with a small team preparing for a project.
- Recording calls
There are a lot of add-on options for recording Skype calls, including the free Audacity audio editor. But Audacity has to be triggered manually, and since you don’t always know beforehand when a call should be recorded, the fact that Audacity is manual is a serious limitation. By contrast, there are a number of Skype recorders that start up automatically.HotRecorder is arguably among the best. HotRecorder allows searchable Meta text to be added to each recording, and works with Google Talk and other IM clients. For aspiring Howard Sterns, there’s a selection of Emotisounds such as laughs, claps, etc., that can be inserted into the conversation for later podcasting.
- Providing customer support
Use Skype to provide customer service or sales assistance directly from your website. Create a SkypeMe button and place it on your website. You will need to enable “Allow my status to be shown on the web”. To do this, go to Options > Privacy and check “Allow my status to be shown on the web”
We have a SkypeMe button on our right navigation, so you can Skype me now!
- Sell your services
Using a system like BitWine, you can sell consulting time over Skype. I haven’t used this but it looks like an interesting opportunity for consulting services.
- Call forwarding
If you are using Skype for business, you do not want to miss those important calls. You can forward calls to voicemail, another Skype account, a cellphone or a land line.
To forward a call click on the “Tools” menu and select “Options.” From there set the forwarding number in the “Call Forwarding & Voicemail” section.
- Filtering and blocking users
Vishing is a new VoIP targeted scam in which cyber-criminals use a VoIP client such as Skype to call people and attempt to trick them into revealing important financial details such as credit card numbers or online passwords. But you can limit these attacks by simply blocking unwanted callers.
To block unknown or unwanted callers, simply click on “Tools” and select “Options.” From there, select “Privacy” and choose the level of security that works best for you. When it comes to individual attacks, you can avoid repeat vishing calls by blocking the spammer by clicking on “Manage Blocked Users” in the “Options” dialog.
- Chat and language translation
It’s a global world out there, so whether you’re conducting business or pleasure with Skype, you are likely communicating with people around the world and may occasionally encounter language barriers. Thankfully, by using the quick add-onUniversal Chat Translator you can communicate with anyone no matter what language they speak. The software only produces text translations, so you may feel like you’re watching a foreign film with subtitles, but the fact that the Universal Translator can read text in 11 languages and understand spoken text in 50 means that you’ll at least be able to get your point across.
- Lie detector
This seems like a little fun-type plugin but could be useful if used carefully.
KishKish detects the stress level of the person you are talking with over Skype, and it uses that information to detect when they are lying.
I haven’t used it but the idea is interesting. I wouldn’t trust it for any decisions but it might help you to explore some information further.
Read the rest of the 25 tips to improve your Skype experience for other tips that are not necessarily related to business.
I hope that this post has provided you with some interested ways to extend your use of Skype in your business. If you have any other tips, let me know.