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The All-In-One Communication Tool Every VA Needs

The All-In-One Communication Tool Every VA Needs

The phone rings and you dash to grab it before your toddler – newly able to answer with a barely understandable “Hewo?” – can get to it. After all, it might be a client, or worse, a potential client.

Such is the peril of publishing your phone number on your website. Yet many virtual assistants find that offering a phone number increases the inquiries, and consequently, new clients, they receive. Having a separate office line would be a good solution to the toddler-as-receptionist problem, were it not for the cost.

The solution? Skype.

You’re likely used to using Skype day in and day out to chat with friends, IM with colleagues, and perhaps talk to online clients as well. But did you know you can use Skype as a phone replacement?

Skype offers two types of services: Incoming and outgoing phone calls, and you can purchase them together or separately, for maximum flexibility.

Make Phone Calls

If what you really need to do is call out to clients or others, and don’t want to eat up your cell minutes or reveal that number to the public, then Skype credit is just the answer. Purchase a monthly or annual subscription or a pay-as-you-go plan, depending on your needs.

With Skype credit you’ll have the ability to place a call to either cell phones or landlines right from your Skype app. And if you need to call internationally, options are available for a variety of countries starting as low as one cent per minute.

Accept Incoming Calls

Want to publish your number on your website and answer it at your desk? The answer is to get a Skype number. For as little as $30 per year, you get your own phone number that rings right to your Skype desktop or mobile app. You don’t have to reveal your home or cell number, and you don’t have to worry about anyone else answering your calls, taking messages, or tying up the line.

When you sign up, you’ll have your choice of available numbers, so you can choose one that’s easy to remember and that shares your area code.

Combine with Google Voice for ultimate flexibility.

Having an office number is nice, but what if you’re not in the office? A Google Voice number (available only in the United States) will allow you to control your incoming calls. You can forward your calls to your Skype number when you’re at your desk, or to your cell phone when you’re out of town. A Google Voice number also gives you the ability to block certain numbers, send others right to voice mail, or forward some to your home phone and everything else to your Skype number. You can even set a call schedule, so you only receive incoming calls during business hours.

Google Voice is free, and like Skype, you can choose your own number from the available pool. You can also use Google Voice as a stand-alone solution, and make outgoing calls right from your Gmail account.

Having a phone number on your website helps visitors feel more secure, but publishing your home phone isn’t always a good solution. With Skype and Google Voice, though, you can have the convenience of an office phone without the high costs.

 

Kathy McCabe

Kathy McCabe

Geography is no boundary... at The Hilltop Group, LLC /Secretarial
Kathy is an internationally recognized virtual assistant serving her clients for over 20 years. She was named the Thomas Leonard Virtual Assistant of Distinction for 2013; Semi-Finalist in the 2005 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® program for the Rocky Mountain Region;and has been featured in numerous publications and books. Kathy's clients range from individuals, entrepreneurs, coaches and professional organizers to large multi-national corporations, and are located around the globe.
Kathy McCabe

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Customer Comments

"To Whom It May Concern: In this day business are facing challenges from every direction, change is the only constant. Staying focused and having support of someone who anticipates, is proactive and can reach varied connections between her clients and their customers can sometimes be the critical competitive advantage necessary for a small to medium business. Kathy and her operation are more than services, individually helping and supporting a client's business. The synergy of all these services is a partner who reaches into each client and helps them get to their individual goal and to reach the next stage of their success. No matter what change in their environment, no matter what circumstances with their customers, or what challenges arise, by the very nature of business. Kathy is proactive, anticipatory, absolutely transparent, and more than that, has improved the very nature of the message and relationships I have of the business with all my clients. She, in fact, has raised the bar in my business, in my relationships, and in my growth with those customers. Her breadth of technology, her knowledge of administration, her ability to communicate, her follow through and her proactivity, all come together as I have said, to form a dynamic partnership that increases the bond between everyone of her clients and their customers. I actively recommend and recognize that she has taken the art of being a virtual assistant to the next level. If anything, she is a master. Feel free to contact me for further information. 908-771-0512."
John L. Picard, Principal, Picard & Company, Third Horizon -

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