Skype has been part of my business since its inception and I’ve been a big Skype fan since installing it more than 8 years ago. When it was still very much in its infancy! My early use was mostly for contact with friends in Europe, however that all changed when this virtual assistant business started in 2005.
Skype is now used on a daily basis for both cheap, if not free, phone calls and instant messaging (IM), however with its screen sharing feature, I’m also able to conduct coaching sessions with clients who are in far-away places. This makes Skype an extremely valuable business tool.
Over the years I have been very active in the social media space and many clients and business contacts I met on either Facebook or Twitter are now Skype contacts. What I’ve found is that I rarely chat to these people in the social media space but makes me extremely available on Skype (which allows for easier communication) but both sides must engage. Skype can cause big interruptions if a few simple suggested etiquette rules aren’t applied.
These are my suggestions to ensure your contacts don’t see you as a Skype pest!
Don’t phone out of the blue
A simple, polite message along the lines of ‘Are you free?’ can allow your contact to decide if the phone call is not going to be a big interruption. Just because they might be online and easily available via Skype, does not mean they are available to drop everything then and there. I don’t know about you but when I am focused on a job and a Skype call comes in, I nearly hit the roof with fright! I guess I could turn the volume down! I know Skype is used liked a phone but it’s not really a phone as it’s ‘within’ the workspace of many.
Hold off hitting the enter button
Think about your communication style and try to turn the many sentences or phrases into a paragraph, reducing the need to hit the enter button. Every time the enter button is hit, it sounds an annoying notification and in quick succession, giving the receiver a sense of urgency – which is often not the case.
Respect the Skype status chosen
If someone has their status marked as Do Not Disturb, this has been set for a reason. Respect it.
I tend to mark my status on Skype as ‘away’ most of the time now. I have too many connections and what I’ve found, is that people are more likely to drop a simple message to check my availability because of it!
Do you have any suggestions you could add to this list?