The tool below is available from Skype free of charge - we list a set of how to steps to help simplify this process for you.
Skype is a VoIP (Voice over IP) service to allows users to make free voice calls to each other and reduced rate calls to landlines and mobiles in many countries.
They now also have SkypeIn which allows you to register a landline phone number in many countries and calls received on that number are routed to the Skype software installed on your computer - you can answer them using a headset, or microphone and speakers connected to your desktop PC or laptop. If you are interested in any of this kind of hardware a good place to start is the Skype Store Europe.
For most Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) or Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) this could mean that you can drastically reduce telecommunications providers bills and costs - especially if you can get all staff to use Skype between your own offices. Skype do recommend a slightly more expensive version than the standard one for businesses, details of this are available at Skype for Business, this allows you to keep track of multiple Skype accounts and how much each is costing among other things.
At Techita we use Skype actively and as such want to give our customers (many of whom are Skype users already) the ability to call us free of charge from their computers.
The solution to this is to add a “Skype Me” link on our website. Our example of this on Techita’s contact us page - the button is below our email address.
Clicking on this link when we are online will allow users to place a Skype call directly to our corporate Skype account, if we are offline it will leave a missed call. We could even set it up to forward to one of our consultant’s mobiles using Skype’s call forwarding options or to divert to Skype Voicemail so that we never miss a call. We work on the basis that if you try and we arent available we have an email option instead.
There are several options for how the buttons can look and whether to display your online status or not the full list is available at http://www.skype.com/intl/en-gb/share/buttons/. So, you have seen the options available to the discerning Skype user and have decided to add the option to your website - how do you do it?
- download Skype
- Go to http://www.skype.com/intl/en-gb/share/buttons/
- Fill in your Skype user name where it says “1 Enter Your Skype Name”
- Select a button from the list of available ones - we suggest for now you use a pre-built on, although more advanced users can create their own.
- Check in step 3 that you like how the button looks.
- Copy the code that appears in the box at step 4 into one of your web pages, save it and upload it to your website.
- Make sure you are signed out of Skype
- Navigate to your website page and see the newly added button (if it indicates status it should say you are signed out)
- Sign into Skype
- Refresh the web page (if it indicates status it should say you are signed in)
And thats all there is too it, this is a wonderful addition to any contact details page on a website, myspace profile or any other social networking site that allows you to add html code. There is also an option at step 4 to select email HTML - this will allow you to add the button to your email signature if you paste the resulting code into it.
At Techita we are great believers in any tool that makes online collaboration cheaper, simlpler and more effective. It is my belief Skype and this particular option could save your web site visitors real money on their phone calls and may generate more interest in your company as a result.
This how to guide was brought to you by Dave Hodgson of Techita.com