When it comes to the average guy’s VoIP, Skype is one of the brands that comes to mind. But when that average guy becomes the a business owner, Skype’s service doesn’t exactly measure up when compared to other VoIP providers that specialize in offering business class phone service.
What do you and your customers expect from your business phone system?
Before you consider Skype for your business, think about your telecommunications needs. Whether you are a small one-person firm or a large enterprise, there are three requirements that are an absolute must for your business:
#1. A high quality voice connection
Skype’s “standard” voice quality (available on their free and standard paid business package) is of a lower quality than most business customers require. There is also a High Definition (HD) quality voice option available for $5.50 per month per user, but even that does not match the quality provided by premium telecom providers. This alone might be enough of a reason for you to drop Skype as a viable option for your business.
#2. Keep your existing local phone numbers
You have spent money and time building equity in your business, getting your name (and phone number) familiar with your customers and industry. Can you imagine if you had to change your phone number? How much business would you lose? How many customer complaints would you receive? Having to change your phone number could be a disaster.
With Skype, you cannot transfer (known in VoIP as “port”) your existing phone number. This is a deal breaker for most (if not all) businesses.
#3. Toll Free Calling
Your customers expect to be able to call you on a toll free number like an 800, 888 or 877 number. From time to time, you may need additional toll free numbers; but with Skype, you cannot get them. This makes it tough for growing businesses that are trying to compete in today’s market place. However, most paid VoIP providers offer additional toll free numbers for a nominal fee, and can be added to your VoIP system immediately.
It seems clear that a business should not use Skype as their phone service provider simply based upon the reasons above. These are only three of the most basic ways in which Skype falls short of providing a quality and dependable phone system for your business.
Does Skype have any place in my business?
Skype does not meet the basic requirements a small business needs. Instead, it seems to fill more of a collaboration role for businesses, and falls short as far as business basics go. Paid VoIP providers, however, offer bundles of free features and extra add-ons (like toll free numbers, number porting, extra extensions, etc.) that can help any business be more efficient.
In the end, what you need for your business is a high quality phone system to handle your inbound and outbound calls, coupled with professional call handling and enterprise features. And Skype cannot compete with the value proposition offered by today’s Hosted VoIP providers.