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Skype is a telecommunications application that provides users the ability to video call and voice chat using computers, mobiles, tablets, etc. Founded in 2003, Skype is headquartered in Washington. The solution is available worldwide in over 100 languages. Skype runs on several operating systems like Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Xbox One, etc. Skype uses the user's internet to place calls, send text messages, photos, videos, etc.
While Skype-to-Skype calls are free, it charges an amount for making Skype-to-landline/mobile phone calls. Users also have the possibility of having a local number in many different countries around the world. They allow users to video conference, insert emoticons, save chat history, and edit messages within their platform.
Is Skype a VoIP provider?
Skype is a well-known video calling platform in Canada which makes use of the VoIP technology. The platform uses a type of VoIP protocol called peer-to-peer connection, which means that after a user logs into their Skype account there's no need to manage communication between the sender and the receiver of the call.
Skype has VoIP offer 2 VoIP offers: Skype to phone for outbound calls and Skype Number for incoming calls.
What is Skype to Phone?
Skype to Phone allows users to call phone numbers across the world using their Skype account. The process is quite simple:
Buy credits from your Skype account to make calls to the countries of your choice
Then, download the app on your phone and sign in
Use the dial pad of the app to dial numbers and make outbound calls.
You can also use Skype Credit (the Pay-as-you-go calling option) to call anywhere in the world.
What number is shown when I call from Skype?
If you activate the caller identification process with Skype, your name or personal phone number will show when you call a mobile or landline number from your Skype account. If you haven't activated that option, weird numbers will show that can look suspicious to people you call.
Skype to Phone Pricing
Source : Skype pricing on www.Skype.com on the 09/05/2022
Skype offers a simple Skype to phone plan but unlike other VoIP service providers, Skype prices their plans based on the country or region. A calling plan for unlimited minutes in the USA is priced at $3.59 per month while the same plan for North America is priced at $8.39 per month. A $9.59 monthly plan is inclusive of 800 minutes and the minutes exceeding this are billed at 1.2¢ per minute. Alternatively, you could use Skype credit for pay-as-you-go calling to a number anywhere in the world.
What is Skype Number? What are the main features?
Skype Number is a Skype option that allows you to get a second phone number to answer incoming calls. This is the option most used by businesses to manage their incoming calls. You can choose a number from up to 25 countries including the US, the UK, Australia, Japan, Germany, Brazil etc.
The main features are calls, voice messaging and call forwarding.
What is Skype Number pricing?
Skype Number pricing is a monthly subscription that varies according to your country. A US local phone number costs around $6-7 per month.
Why move away from Skype?
You need a more complete solution
Skype is not a very complete solution to manage business calls. They only offer secondary phone numbers without other features you need to manage your business. For example, they do not offer the ability to transfer or forward calls, automate call routing, record calls, or integrate with your CRM. These are just a few of many other capabilities that Skype is missing. There are many alternatives on the market that better fit the needs of small and medium sized businesses, especially when it comes to managing your customer calls.
Pros: Skype is an easy way to get a secondary phone number
Cons: Skype is lacking many essential features that small or medium sized businesses need including:
Lack of call transfer and call forwarding feature to manage your calls
No auto-attendant to route calls to your team
No software integration to increase work productivity
No unlimited calls plan
You need more affordable pricing
The baseline of Skype's pricing is quite affordable. However, pricing gets more expensive based on which part of the world you want to call. You also have a limited amount of calling minutes. If you call more than the given amount, you have to start paying 0.18 to 1.1 cents per minute. These charges can add up and your bill will be different each month so it can be hard to budget for.
Let's see the extra amount you will be paying at the end of the month:
Let us assume that the free minutes you are given in a month is 800, which means that you get around 26 free minutes per day. So, if you spend 2 hours on the phone every day, it's an extra 94 minutes. Do you know how much extra cost will be added to your bill? At 1.2¢ per additional minute, it is 1,12$ a day that means you end up paying an additional $30 per month.
Pros: Skype's baseline pricing seems to be affordable
Cons: Skype's extra charges can be unexpected and expensive
International calling is restricted
Skype to Skype calls are indeed free. However, it's rare that your customers would actually be using Skype. This means as a business you will have to call your customers on their phones or landlines. And Skype calls to other devices are not free. They follow a credit system and you need to purchase additional credits to call a phone or landline from Skype.
They offer three such credit systems:
World: You can purchase the below credits and call any landline or phone across the globe for:
$5.00 Up to 165 mins
$5.00 Up to 165 mins
$10.00 Up to 330 mins
Country Specific Plans: For example, if you need to call someone in France, you have to purchase credits worth $8.39 for just 400 minutes while you need to purchase credits for $7.19 to call Indonesia and you just get only 120 mins for the credit
Unlimited: They do offer an unlimited plan for $16.79. And the unlimited plan is limited to just 2000 minutes per month.
Unlimited calls to international destinations are the way to go for SMBs. Even if there is no need now, as your company grows, you might expand business outside the national territory and this can be expensive if you don't have the right phone system with unlimited outbound international calls.
Today, phone system needs to be integrated with your other business tools
Skype doesn't provide native phone system integrations. That's why it fits more personal phone needs compared to what an established business really needs.
So, what are the benefits of integrating your phone system with your existing CRM, internal messaging software (like Slack) or ecommerce software?
With CRM and ecommerce software integration, you benefit from features like call pop where the customer record will popup at each incoming call so you can see all the customer data and better answer the call. You also have automatic call logging: All calls, texts, voicemail messages and recordings are automatically logged in the CRM.
Integrating with messaging apps like Slack allows you to receive incoming calls in Slack channels as well as missed calls and voicemails.
You need a customer support available
The need of having a customer service that you can call and talk to is a no brainer when it comes to business phone services. At Skype, there is no such thing. Their customer service support is just a knowledge base.
On the other hand, at Quicktalk, you can call the customer support team at any time. They have a support team that works 24/7 and are always ready to answer all your questions. In this way, you truly get a service you can rely on.
Phone number portability issues are common with Skype
Porting your number to Skype won't be an easy process. They offer porting option only for landline numbers and the option is available only in certain European countries and network providers such as:
Czech Republic: BICs
Romania: GTS Romania
United Kingdom: Wavecrest
So, if your business is not based out of any of the above-mentioned countries, you won't be able to port your existing numbers to Skype. That can be a deal-breaker for many small businesses.
If you are looking for a flexible and easy number porting facility, Quicktalk is the best bet for you. Quicktalk also has a dedicated internal team for portability that you can reach out to. That way, you can have personal assistance setting up your portability if you need it.
Top 5 Alternatives to Skype
Are you looking for a better option than Skype? Compare the other solutions on the market to select the best tool for your small or medium-sized business. Below, you will find a review of the competitors in terms of price, features, and ease of use:
Alternative #1: Quicktalk
Are you looking for an affordable business communication solution that offers everything a basic phone line would along with advanced call center features? If you have answered yes to the question, Quicktalk is the solution you should go for instead of Skype.
Quicktalk is easy to install and use. It is specifically designed to meet all the business communication requirements of a small and medium size business. Unlimited domestic and international calling and a simple call management system that improves your caller experience is what Quicktalk promises and delivers.
Quicktalk comes with a unique and simple pricing plan that is tailored to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses.
Top Advantages of Quicktalk
The advantages of Quicktalk include:
Toll-free numbers: Get a toll-free number for your business and connect with your prospective customers in a hassle-free manner.
Unlimited Calling: Make and receive unlimited calls to and from 36 destinations from any device. The destinations include the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and China.
Auto-Attendant: Set up custom greetings and business hours, and intelligently distribute calls to the right person on your team. The setup just takes a few clicks!
Call-monitoring: Use call recording and live call listening to improve your customer service quality and the customer experience.
Alternative #2: Grasshopper
Grasshopper is a cloud-based service that offers one or more phone numbers along with several extensions to accommodate employees. It combines a business number with a virtual phone system that keeps these numbers private. Customized greetings can direct the caller to the right department or team member. They offer voice-mail-to-text transcription and live virtual receptionist services. Grasshopper offers three different packages ranging from $26 per month to $80 per month, each option is billed annually.
Alternative #3: Google Voice
Google Voice call management software comes with a mobile application and a desktop/tablet interface enabling users to log calls, block callers, create logs, and perform regular telephone functions. Other features like voicemail, texting, and transcribed audio voicemails can be activated by the user. They offer three packages starting at $10 per user/per month for up to 10 users with limited features (no auto-attendant and call distribution options), $20 per user/per month for unlimited domestic locations, and $30 per user/per month for unlimited domestic and international calling.
Alternative #4: Spoke Phone
Spoke Phone is a VoIP platform designed for various sized businesses. Spoke Phone can be accessed on Windows, iOS, Android, Cloud, or SaaS based software systems. Some features include call routing, voicemail, conference calls, and call recording. Spoke Phone starts at $99.00 per month for up to 4 users. Additional users cost $25 and additional numbers cost $2. No free version is available, but they do offer a free trial.
Alternative #5: magicJack
MagicJack uses VoIP technology to allow users to make local or long-distance calls to the US and Canada with an internet connection. They offer conference calls, call transfers, eFax, DND, etc. Users have the option of keeping their current number and getting it ported or acquiring a new number. magicJack costs $39 for one year, but only provides one phone number. You must purchase magicJack prepaid calling credits to make international calls, unless you are calling magicJack to magicJack, which are free minutes.
Skype Alternatives FAQs
How much does Skype cost?
Skype offers country-based limited and unlimited calling plans with prices based on the country or region. The subscription plan for the USA users is $3.53 per month. Skype lets you use credit for pay-as-you-go calling. When you use Skype credit, calls are billed at different rates based on whether you're calling a landline or mobile and the region being called.
Who are the top Skype competitors?
Skype has many other U.S. based competitors that offer cloud communication solutions like business phone systems, call center solutions, video calling, etc. Skype is generally compared to Quicktalk, Google Voice or magicJack that provide similar features.
Top 5 Skype competitors
3: Google Voice
4: Spoke Phone
What is the best alternative to Skype?
Skype is probably not the best for small businesses. This is why you need to look at alternative options like Quicktalk. An easy-to-set-up solution that will improve the calling experience both for you and your customers.
Paul is a tech and business phone system enthusiast always open to discuss ideas. If you’re interested in collaborating on content projects or getting a product listed on our blog, don’t hesitate and reach out to us: [email protected].