I'm starting up my business. I'll be offering services to website owners, such as: finding broken links, making 3D covers for ebooks & DVDs from images they provide, maintaining their website, installing server scripts, migrating hand made site to CMS,finding stock images for them, submitting to search engines and converting sites to HTML5.
One of the questions I must answer is how will my customers want to contact me regarding the services I offer them, will email be enough? or they'll want chat? perhaps (Skype) calls? or even videoconferencing?
This is a one man company for international customers. Personally I'm fine with email only and eventually chat to quickly define what the customer wants. Spending time on a call or on webcam would take time away from other tasks (and time means money). But I was told that some customers would want "to see who they are dealing with".
So what means of contact should I offer?
As you are providing a business service you need to provide as many possible way for your customers to contact you as possible. That means email, chat & phone.
I can understand the worry about time spend on phone calls but I promise you that if you don't have phone support you will loose customers.
In my previous position I was in charge of a full datacenter for a company. It was company policy that we do not do any business with service providers if there was not a phone contact available that connected to a live person. The reasoning was very simple. If we were ever issues with the service being provided the bosses wanted to be able to have me sit down in their office so we could dial a phone and talk to a person to deal with the issue right then and there.
If you're trying to make sales, you want as many customers as possible to contact you in whichever way they prefer. Each customer has different preferences, so you should make as many communication avenues as possible available. That means publishing a phone number, skype number, email address, physical address, as well as putting a chat mechanism on your website.
You don't want your normal work interrupted by customer communications (phone calls etc), but if you want customers to contact you you'll need to find a balance.
Don't even consider charging a support fee just for new customers to get in touch with you - you won't get any new customers.
Have a "contact us" form on your site. That will allow for inital contact at your pace. After that I would recomend email and calls (your skype to their phyisical phone). Basically go with what the customer is used to and normally uses.