VA Tools In The Spotlight: Skype


Skype is a great tool to use as a VA to regularly stay in touch with your clients.

What is it used for – key features

  • Meet potential clients face-to-face before starting to work with them and discuss through what you will be doing, and to ensure you’re a good match. It’s also great for training.
  • Set up regular meetings with your clients to discuss projects and discuss any issues.
  • Use instant messaging to communicate quickly with your clients. You can chat exactly how you would during a normal conversation over the phone.
  • Communicate with your clients within the agreed working hours, or send them any messages to read later on if it’s outside of that time.

Why should l recommend this tool to a client?

Adding your client as a Skype contact – at their agreement - gives you access to each other when you have a meeting and is also great when you need to touch base about any issues during the week. You can video or text chat for free.

How does it work?

It can be used for video chat, instant messaging, phone calls and voicemails, making it a perfect tool for communication. Being free, this gives you the peace of mind that you can interact with your clients no matter where they are in the world, and not have to worry about incurring any costs. Skype is also available on your mobile phone and tablets, meaning it can be used on the go. A reliable internet connection is needed for Skype.

Integrations?

You can access Skype on your phone and tablet, and if you have a Windows PC, it is available as an ‘App’ as well as the desktop version. It integrates very well with Slack.

Pricing?

Skype is completely free for video and text communication. You can also use it to call phone numbers globally, but this come at a cost. This will tell you how much it will cost to call a particular location.

Best Practices

Share Screens. Instead of sending files or trying to describe something while in a meeting, share screens instead. A really useful feature which is only for free with video calls between 2 people. View instructions for the PC and MAC.

Change fonts and sizes. If Skype's font is too small for you, it can be changed.

Rename Contacts. Know quite a few people with the same name? You can rename them in the way you know them i.e. John, Consultant Client. This make things a lot quicker when working. Simply right click on a name within the Skype interface, and select 'Rename'.

Edit your messages. See an error in a message you have just sent? You can edit it and resend. Simply right click the message and select 'Edit'.

Notifications. When you're working, you might not want to see the notifications that appear when someone comes online. The settings for these can be changed. See instructions for the PC and MAC.

Search. Trying to remember something important you discussed with a client? Use the search function and look through your conversation.

Check. Before calling or video conferencing, make sure that your client is available to talk. Many professionals will have busy days and a meeting over Skype may need to be arranged in advance.

Speakers and microphone. If you want to use voice or video calls, you will need speakers and a microphone with an optional webcam

Other Comparable Tools

Facetime (For Apple Users)

Google Hangouts

Sqwiggle

Do you use Skype? How do you find it helps your client projects? Are there any other great features you have found for either Mac or PC? Share with us below!

 

 


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