If you are hiring an independent agent (or team of agents) for a calling campaign there are several ways you can go for phone systems. In some cases the agents will provide their own phone costs included in the hourly rate. In all likelihood this will be a Skype license. If you aren’t familiar with Skype its a VoIP (voice over IP) phone service that also integrates instant messaging and video conferencing functionality. Skype is for the most part free, but if you want to call into phone lines there is a flat monthly fees, likewise if you want to have a phone number where people can reach you.
Skype recently overhauled their business control panel and adding some new functionality making them an ideal solutions for anyone managing a remote team in certain situations.
What Skype Business is good for
Small managed teams that are making calls on business to business campaigns or anything else where a multi line dialer isn’t needed. It’s good because as an admin you can monitor calls made by each agent (helpful if you are paying hourly). You can also control inbound phone numbers and allocate subscriptions (ability to call phone lines) for each account and country.
When Skype isn’t good
If you are running high volume calling campaign Skype isn’t well suited. It does not offer multi line dialing capability (yet, hopefully), and it doesn’t offer the opportunity to feed leads in to be automatically dialed. Another drawback is each subscription can only make a set number of calls per day (between 50-100 in my observations) so if you are going to be making more calls then that each agent will need multiple accounts. This increase the cost (5.99 Euros/month each subscription) and makes it tricky to have inbound calls routed to the correct agent since the inbound phone number needs to be reassigned when they switch accounts.
Overall Skype is a good choice in some situations, but if volume calling is what your project needs you’ll want to try a hosted dialer solution. Again, these are only issues you need to consider if you are hiring an agent directly, any call center or BPO will take care of all the hardware/software set up and maintenance for your account (hence the increase in price).