I didn’t have time to jet Down Under to interview Peter Miller, Director of WeddingMC.com.au, so we connected over Skype instead. He told me about the exciting ways he uses Skype to get things done.
Mike Michalowicz: Tell me a little about your business – two sentences on what services you provide.
Peter Miller: We provide a video selection of multilingual, entertaining and professional wedding emcees. The bride and groom can view each emcee at their convenience, check their availability, fees, and book online – saving telephone tag and time-consuming meetups.
MM: Where you are located and how far has your service reached?
PM: Currently we provide professional wedding emcees to the east coast of Australia; Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, The Gold Coast and are looking to expand internationally.
MM: How does Skype help you compete with bigger businesses?
PM: Skype is a perfect example of the Internet as a fair playing field. Access to international contacts used to cost a fortune, but now thanks to Skype, it’s been free for more than ten years.
MM: How have you been able to use Skype to increase your sales?
PM: We have a Skype call and Chat button on our Contact Us page.
MM: Do you have an example of how Skype has helped you provide better service?
PM: They say most of the emcee’s work is done before the wedding. Even though we provide the bride and groom with extensive wedding planning tools, the 90-minute meeting together with the emcee ten days before the wedding is crucial for a successful reception.
However, many weddings are organized away from the brides’ and grooms’ homeland – for instance, if they are working overseas. This is where Skype has been an amazing resource since it’s enabled me to conduct a lot of important consultations online.
For instance, one couple was in the Armed Forces and were flying in just a few days before the reception, and then immediately driving many miles out to the country where their event was being held. Naturally, with all their military training, they had organized their reception with pinpoint precision! Without Skype helping me to prepare, there is no way I could’ve performed my wedding emcee role properly.
MM: Any tips for other businesses – maybe a new way they can use Skype?
PM: As you know Mike, profit comes from how much is sold and how much is saved. My low-cost strategy tip? With a local Skype number and message-bank, any business can be truly international.
MM: Your favorite feature(s) of Skype?
PM: The above is a cracker. Plus the Facebook message service saves switching browsers if you have enabled it for Skype. I’ve also used the call to mobiles feature a lot because I always run out of my monthly mobile plan. And the ability to type in an SMS from my laptop instead of using my clunky fingers on a phone saves a lot of time. I can cut and paste from a template and my VA can open the account and send the same message to my clients – even though they are on different continents.
MM: Any funny Skype tales you’re willing to share?
PM: I was overseas in a very hot Asian country for Christmas and I just had a pair of shorts on when I video-called my family to say ‘Merry Christmas.’ I found out later that my father had refused to come and say hi because he thought I was naked!
MM: Does your father come from a land down under? Where women glow and men plunder?
(Peter just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich).
Peter’s business is connecting his talented emcees with brides and grooms for their special days. Clearly, always-on communication is essential to making a wedding go off without a hitch, and Skype is helping him do just that.
I wrote this blog post on behalf of Skype and received compensation for my time and research required to create this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Skype’s. For additional information about Skype’s small business solutions, follow @skype4biz and visit http://www.skype.com/en/business/.