Is Skype or Other Instant Messaging Software Really Necessary for My Business?

Today we answer Janice’s question…Is Skype or other Instant Messaging software really necessary for my business?

Resources:
Skype
Google Talk
Yahoo
MSN Messenger

About Candy

My name is Candy and I own OffAssist. I've been a VA since February 2002 and work full time with my husband at it. We have been very successful and I am always being asked for just 2 minutes of my time. This is my way of giving everyone... "just 2 minutes of my time". Enjoy and please ask away!

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4 Responses to Is Skype or Other Instant Messaging Software Really Necessary for My Business?

  1. Diane June 15, 2009 at 10:29 am #

    Great answer Candi. I might add that I have used Skype now for 3 years. I “rely” on that program for all the options it offers. I have Unlimited Skype Long Distance Plan for 1 year for approx. $30.00. Since I have clients all through US and Canada it is a great cost-effective way of doing all my long distance. As well, I “IM” clients and associates alike and it allows us to communicate “live” over small issues, saving time in telephone conversations and countless back and forth emails. ALSO, other clients/associates who have friends with Skype can communicate “free”. And Skype also offers free conference calls between Skype users which is also very cost effective – however, it works better when there are small #’s involved – 3 or 4 people as opposed to 20 or 30, etc. In 3 years of usage, I have found Skype invaluable in the operation of my business.

  2. Sandra June 16, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    Hi Candy – You make an excellent point – if a client insists on using an IM program, you still can manage it and respond to messages as appropriate. For the most part, clients just want to be heard and know that they delivered their message and now they can get on with the next thing on their To-Do List.

    It’s also important to recognize that when you allow yourself to be interrupted by IM’s then you are less efficient – and that’s not good for you or your clients. It’s important that you make this clear to them. If a discussion is necessary, schedule an IM appointment. As Diane said, it’s more efficient than a telephone conversation. You eliminate the “small talk”.
    I think the biggest issue here is that clients have trouble getting past the “employee mindset” and need to learn how to work with a VA. Sometimes they need a little “training.”

    I stumbled on your blog at Technorati and I’m really enjoying it. I love how you put a “face” to our industry and how simple and realistic your answers are.

    Much Success to you!
    Sandra

  3. Angela Green June 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    You make some very good points! As a WAHM I can’t be reachable at every minute of the day (nor do I want to!), but I know that clients rely on the fact that they can reach their VA easily.

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  1. Virtual Assistant 3.0 | Virtual Assistant 3.0 - June 16, 2009

    […] Link Love: What Virtual Assistants Are Talking About 2009/06/16link loveTags: information product, marketing, Skype, twitter Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet BoxDo you have to be reachable all the time?  Candy Beauchamp of “2 Minutes with a VA” answers the question Is Skype (or other instant messaging software) really necessary for my VA business? […]

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