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Skype Hacks by Andrew Sheppard

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Hack #54. Set Up a Call Center

A single Skype username—say, XYZCorpCustomerService—can support many simultaneous callers, therefore supporting call center functionality at a fraction of the normal cost.

Works with: Windows version of Skype.

If you have an existing call center, or are thinking of setting one up on the cheap, you might be surprised at how simple Skype makes this. Presumably, you already have the computers and network infrastructure in place, as no modern-day call center can do without those, so it's just a question of configuring Skype to connect your call center with your customers.

One particularly useful feature of Skype is its ability to run on multiple computers under the same Skype username—say, XYZCorpCustomerService. Then, when someone calls XYZCorpCustomerService, all running instances of Skype logged on under the username XYZCorpCustomerService will ring (see Figure 5-1). Whoever picks up first will take the call (see Figure 5-2).

Now, while that first call is in progress, suppose someone else calls XYZCorpCustomerService. All instances of Skype not already engaged in a call will ring (see Figure 5-3). Whoever picks up this second call first will take that call (see Figure 5-4), and so it goes, until no available instances of Skype under the username XYZCorpCustomerService are left. As calls are completed and parties hang up, running instances of Skype are returned to the pool of available phone lines for XYZCorpCustomerService. Skype's behavior in this regard ...

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