When Talk is Really Cheap

It has for some time been technically possible to talk over the Internet for “free” as marketers might say or for “no additional cost” as students of marketing might observe. This so called IP telephony used to come with many restrictions and inconveniences, ranging from poor sound quality to the need to call from one computer to another. These barriers have fallen dramatically.

Recently Skype, www.skype.com, the Internet telephony company now owned by eBay, has changed the game by offering free calls to regular phones throughout the US and Canada. You can also use Skype for international calls, but they might set you back $0.02 a minute. The quality of the call has also improved – in our experience it’s usually better than a calling on a mobile phone.

The technology aside, what does it mean to your business when talk is as cheap as email?

To us it makes it that much easier to do what marketing should be about – having a conversation with customers. This does mean yakking because you can. With cost no longer a factor even for the smallest business.

A) Manage your contacts
B) Establishing trust: remember why there is a do not call list
C) Keep it touch
D) View conversations as opportunities to get closer to your customers not just expenses avoid or reasons to move your call center to India.
E) Refining your message – what are you going to say after you say hello?
F) KISS (keep it simple stupid, as well as short) As with email, post, or any other medium; don’t try to bore your customers into submission.
G) Be available – how many businesses go to great lengths to hide phone numbers from customers.

When’s the last time you had a real conversation with a customer?