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Skype Blogs To Create Community

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Skype has started a blog – and it looks very good indeed. This could be a great example of how a blog can play a key role in building and cementing positive relationships with customers.

One of the ongoing criticisms of Skype has been the way in which the company really hasn’t engaged well with customers who have issues (real or perceived, but what’s the difference from the customer’s viewpoint?) of one type or another in using the service. Many people give Skype high marks for the technology, and low marks for customer relations and customer satisfaction (in early March, I asked whether Skype is approaching a crossroads in this regard).

This new blog could play a key role in reversing that situation. Skype certainly seems to be highly focused on doing that if the welcoming post on Thursday is a guide:

[...] We know some people have reservations about Skype for various reasons. We often get questions on our history, motives and network architecture, as well as the longevity and sustainability of our business model. On this site, we intend to provide our own view on all these issues, and more. While the Skype forums continue to be open user-driven discussion areas, we will use share.skype.com to spotlight the issues that are interesting to us at Skype at the time. Hopefully, you will learn who we are, what we do, why we do those things, how we think things should work and be done, and where is the whole thing heading – where “thing” can be Skype, the Internet or telecom industry, or the next gadget or Skype feature, or just something that caught our eye.

Indeed, this blog is well integrated into the overall Skype offering, with links to the Skype website, the forums and other resources. If you’re a Skype user, you can log in (that worked perfectly when I tried it) and create a profile of yourself. You have to log in if you want to leave comments – participate, in other words.

And check out some interesting new things – how to earn cash or points, for instance, through referring people to Skype (which looks similar in broad concept to Amazon Associates). I like this new one: in the Facts & Figures category on the blog, there’s an RSS feed you can subscribe to that brings you stats on how many users are online at any one time, amongst other info.

So how does all this now fit with what I said in March that Skype isn’t yet ready for a blog?

If the blog has been developed as part of an overall plan that supports Skype’s strategic business goals – of which building and developing relationships with customers is one element – then I’d be very happy indeed to be able to say: it looks they are now ready. I wonder if ex-Microsoft Lenn Pryor has any fingers in this pie?

(Hat tip: Skype Journal)

Reader Comments

Neville Hobson is the author of the popular NevilleHobson.com blog which focuses on business communication and technology.

Neville is currentlly the VP of New Marketing at Crayon. Visit Neville Hobson’s blog: NevilleHobson.com.

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  • p sleightholme

    In June I used a credit card to add credits. There was a problem with Skye saying it had failed and no credits were added. When I checked the credit card statement Skype had taken $70 Cdn. I contacted Skype but got no explanation. I DO NOT TRUST SKYPE AND I URGE OTHERS TOP BE VERY CAREFUL BUYING CREDITS THIS WAY. I WILL NOT USE SKYPE AGAIN.

  • daryl

    I bought a SKYPE subscription, thay said I can call any landline phone in the usa for free, what they DIDN’T tell me is YOU CAN NOT CALL AN ORDINARY PHONE, with out credits, so my subscription is worthless. I have no idea what a landline phone is…. and I assume all  ordinary phones must not be landline…. further I also got the message that they could not process my credit card.. I was stupid enough to try again.. same message , I tried one more time and low and behold it went though, now I’m getting charged 3 times for a worthless , and I mean worthless, service.

  • karen howell (kshdzines)

    I have to jump in here and tell of my nerve wracking, excruciating experience with Skype Customer Support.
    To begin with, I received a notice on February 24th my online number was about to expire on March 2nd. I immediately went to my account because I knew I had a $30 discount/credit off an online number. I tried to use my discount and it kept taking me to payment options. There was no option to use my credit.

    I wrote customer service and explained what I was trying to do. Here is their reply:

    “Hello Karen,

    Thank you for contacting Skype Support.

    We understand your concern.

    The discount from your subscription will automatically be deducted from the sum for the extension of your online number.”

    I went back and tried it again; it still would not let me use the “promised” discount stated right in my account. I then wrote Alec, the representative, back and explained again it would not work. I soon got this reply:

    “Hello Karen,

    Thank you for contacting Skype Support.

    The reason for that is because you have to pay for this number. This is why you are redirected to Paypal. ”

    (remember, I already have paid for my online number that is about to expire)

    Do you see where he totally changed his story around?

    The next thing I know, 5 minutes later, I get a notice from my PayPal account that I had sent $7.95 to skype!??? (by the way, my auto pay was disabled, but they took it anyway)What???? Now I am really furious. I write back and get NO answer in 3 days.

    I go back and submit another ticket hoping I will get a different representative. I explained I wanted my $7.95 returned unless they can give me my $30 discount for my online number, and I also send copies of all correspondence between me and “Alec”.

    Now I get a response from another representative who returns my $7.95 and ends my service!??? I go back to my account and guess what?? They also removed my $30 discount I never got to use and had been trying to use for the last 10 days.

    I just wrote them back and told them how WRONG they are and how BADLY they have done me. I can not believe they get away with this. I had that $30 discount in my account for 2 months and planned on using to to renew my online number, but not one representative could help me with this issue; not one of them. They all avoided me for 10 days. I just wrote them my last letter before I came here to post this.

    I do NOT recommend Skype service to anyone. Aside from the customer support, I lost connection many, many times while in the middle of a conversation. The service all the way around stinks!

    Is it any surprise as to why they do not have a customer support phone number, or email addresses to the owner?

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