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Why I stopped using Skype

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Conor, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. Conor

    Conor Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I'll occasionally have a client asking for a "quick chat over Skype", or a potential customer requesting we go through their requirements over Skype. The freelancer section on BHW often has people wanting to do this.

    And I politely refuse.

    Skype is an unproductive waste of time in my opinion. To be more blunt: "time is money". Skype encourages a whole host of time wasting with it's instant messaging nonsense and and often crappy call quality (in my part of the world).

    My reasoning is this: In my line of work, I like to have a specific list of things to do. I request that all clients email me instead of Skyping me. I don't want to have to scroll through lines and lines of chat, or encourage a "by the way, can you quickly do this extra thing" opportunity, which will present itself as often as possible.

    I want to have a clear understanding between the client and myself that I'm charging for A, B and C, and nothing more. In this case, Skype could fall into the "more" category, as I could be spending this time working, instead of taking double the amount of time waiting for the client to think of little extra jobs that will "only take a minute".

    Skype also encourages a sort of "standby butler" type of environment, myself being the butler in this case. As soon as my status shows "Online", it means I'm free to chat, in the clients eyes. Obviously I don't have any other clients, and obviously my time should be devoted solely to talking to this particular client about my week, in an attempt to make the clients next request seem like a friendly little favour that I don't need to charge for.

    tl;dr:
    1. Skype is a waste of time.
    2. Remember to charge for all out of scope work, no matter how minor.
    3. South African internet sucks.
     
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  2. goodperson

    goodperson Elite Member

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    I think skype is good, not waste time, because I can support my customers easily. They will trust you and they will buy products from you. With good customer service you will have lots of loyal customers.
     
  3. dandan594594

    dandan594594 Power Member

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    I'm exactly the same OP. Skype is super annoying!

    Email is much better when working with clients, being able to provide screen shots, mind maps and in depth information at your own pace, but in a timely manner, can only help both parties.
     
  4. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I always prefer email as well. I agree with what you are saying about scoping a project and charging for anything outside of that scope - that's super important.

    I do think that Skype has its uses though / in a support role it provides more real time communication than email and if you have stable internet then it's a great way of getting face to face with clients when working remotely.
     
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  5. Ste Fishkin

    Ste Fishkin Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    So you don't use skype because its a waste of time, but you posted this thread to tell us you think skype is a waste of time.

    Please review your thought process here.
     
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  6. T0NYS

    T0NYS Supreme Member

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    #Shqipo
    wasnt your account banned ?
     
  7. qrazy

    qrazy Senior Member

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    Yeah he's banned, he uses black magic to make his posts visible to a select few.
     
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  8. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    These are not the droids you are looking for.

    I will use Skype if I feel I have to, but I prefer email too. It's just less of a hassle. You can instantly communicate through email too.
     
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  9. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Charge extra, problem solved. Doing things for free and resorting to hiding from them is rather weird. Don't be afraid of charging for everything, if the thing you're selling is so low worth that you can't charge for it, time to change what you're selling.

    So do you clearly communicate this to your clients in every occasion?

    Use the "Away" status as default. Respond whenever you like.
     
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  10. clevelandslim

    clevelandslim Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I use both skype and email. I use skype to get orders from my client and use email to get their requirements.
     
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  11. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    My Skype, when I am logged in, typically says I am away. And I am away, I'm somewhere else on my computer involved in something else.

    Even though the majority of my clients are brick and mortar, non-techie types, like most in our industry I get the client that wants to chat about things on Skype and I "take that call". I think to do otherwise would be a little bit cold on my end.

    What I do though is try and direct the conversation so it is not a lot of talk about the weather but rather what the client needs and what I can do to fulfill those needs.

    The other thing I do with every one of those convos is to say at the end, "Looks like we have things in order here, I'll send you an email to bullet point {the changes|those new processes|whatever we are going to do additionally/differently} so that we are on the same page and also include a link to get the payment process in place. Do you still want to use your credit card or do you want me to send you a link to pay a different way?"

    That memorializes the new business arrangements and gets you paid for the additional work so there is nothing left in the gray areas.
     
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  12. Ste Fishkin

    Ste Fishkin Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I think you're confusing me with Not Ste Hughes.
     
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  13. wizard04

    wizard04 Elite Member

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    I also hate when sellers request to talk more on skype. I am not fucking stupid I know the reason why.
    Usually they spam my skype with automated offers or change they B-days constantly so you can notice them.

    Only in rare occasions I accept people on skype for business purposes and I don't use it that often.
     
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  14. anafsp1

    anafsp1 Junior Member

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    Why not use the best of two worlds? Skype and email. Skype is a "live" chat, email is a sharper tool. Use both
     
  15. Conor

    Conor Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I get paid to post on BHW.
     
  16. johndefoe

    johndefoe Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Think Skype is much easier and faster way to communicate than via email, although we use both of those ways, and a chat plugin on our site. You can "get to the point" way faster via Skype.
     
  17. Duffers5000

    Duffers5000 Elite Member

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    I would also add that Skype is free. Therefore it encourages the financially challenged.

    Email is the easiest way to keep a strong record of agreed terms and if a client needs to contact you urgently they should be able to spring for a phone call.
     
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  18. ghackseo

    ghackseo Regular Member

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    @Treeofl1, totally agree with you. Especially in an agency environment where you have a few clients. Having each of them on a Skype chat window will be a nightmare.

    Something I've always done is, even when they phone to tell you to "quickly make that button do this", I always tell them from the start of the phone call to please e-mail me all their requirements as I need it to log to my boss for what I do with my hours and he needs to bill for everything that's not included in the scope of work, little do they know, I am the boss :p

    Oh and South African internet is the worst. I'm moving next month and thinking of getting an LTE solution, like 35mb dl and 20mb up :)
     
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  19. Conor

    Conor Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Lol, I don't give clients any reason to doubt that they're going to be charged for any out of scope work. I wouldn't ever let them think I'm not in charge though.

    After getting rid of Skype, this became much easier to enforce, with a disclaimer and an expiry date on all quotations that I send out. If it's not in the quote, it goes to the "hourly rate" department.
     
  20. quietlearner

    quietlearner Junior Member

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    It sounds like your frustration stems from not managing your clients' expectations and Skype for you has become the representation of that. I understand how you feel, some suggestions that helped me in the past:

    1) Have a 2-3 hour "In Office" window when you're available for chat or phone calls. All other times you can only be contacted via email.

    2) Consider your current Skype username your public username and create a new private one that you use with service providers only. Clients should never know about your private username.

    3) Invest in a trouble ticket system to handle customer emails with an autoresponder so that they know that their email was received.

    4) Use project management software that has a client facing front and instruct clients to submit all change requests and bug reports through that interface only. You can keep all requests organized and they will be able to see what actions you took (or didn't take).
     
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