If you are not already using Skype in your international office or in your day to day communications – you should be! Skype will not only allow you to call other Skype contacts for free, but it can also offer excellent, low per minute rates if you want to “Skype Out” and call a landline or mobile phone anywhere around the world. You will also find that the usage of Skype around the world is growing, in 2009 it accounted for 12% of the worlds international calls – which was up over 50% from the previous year, and we are still waiting for the 2010 data to come through but expectations are that it will grow again.
I am sure there are some schools that are not interested in Skype, their phone system it taken care of for them, they do not need to budget for international calls, etc… So why would they need to use Skype? One of the main reasons is from a marketing standpoint. If you want to make your office reachable from all around the world – Skype will offer this and at no cost to you!
How to set this up?
The best way to set this up is to download the free Skype software – once you have done this, you can power up the application and it will ask you if you want to login or create a new profile. If you have an account already, you can login with that, or simply setup a new account. Once logged into that account under preferences, set your call forwarding to your office mainline (we have found this works only with toll free numbers, not local numbers so make sure you forward to your main toll free telephone number).
What you have basically done now is to forward all your calls for that Skype username to your office main line for free. It does not cost you anything extra and you will not have to bother with loading up the application – but you can still promote your skype username for people to contact you!
Website Skype Buttons
To get the most out of this, you should put a Skype “Call Me” button on your website. Those using Skype will be able to click on the button and the call will automatically come through to your office regardless of whether you are online and logged into your account! Visit the “Get a Skype button” (don’t use the status buttons) page to get the code to set this up on your website.
Skype is changing the way people communicate and call internationally, and with this simple trick you can reach out to students from all corners of the world without extra expenditure – so why not do it?!