+=+=+=+= SIM's INSIDER REPORT =+=+=+=+
June 3, 2003
SIM's INSIDER REPORT is a free bi-monthly newsletter dedicated to helping readers succeed online while saving both time and money with cutting-edge tools, tips and strategies for internet marketing, online advertising and website promotion.
IN THIS ISSUE
==> Tip of the Week
==> Tips, Tools & Resources
==> SIM's Weekly Reports
==> Feedback & Contributions
==> Food for Thought
A warm WELCOME! to all new subscribers!
TIP OF THE WEEK
5 Tips for Automating your Customer Service
We all know that superior customer service is the best way to retain customers and increase profits. Happy customers mean more business. But the question is, how do you provide great customer service on a limited budget? Here are a few tips to help out.
1) Provide a search engine for your web site
Often, the information the customer is looking for is already on your web site, especially if you have built a F.A.Q. system. Adding a simple search functionality to your web site allows your customers to self help themselves.
2) Create a list of Frequently Asked Questions for your site
Most people would rather find the answers themselves, rather than wait for a response. This information should be easily found, and organized logically. A simple F.A.Q page is a good place to start.
3) Create an "expert" help system
Even better is an automated system that allows you to create a series of questions and answers, which when laid out properly, allow your customers to find the exact solutions they need for tech support or product questions. This is exactly the same technique Ebay and other large sites use.
4) Have a web help desk system
A tracking and ticketing system for handling customer support issues is critical. It should support both email and web based questions. Any system you implement should understand the concept of "tickets" and should keep all correspondence related to a specific "ticket number" together, both incoming and outgoing, so you can track the status of each request.
5) Make sure you have the answers
Once your customer contacts you, you need to provide answers to their questions quickly and efficiently. Your customer database is your most powerful asset. If you can keep all your information in one searchable database, you will then be able quickly to find the information required. Has this customer had a similar problem before? Do they have additional issues that need to be resolved? What is their account status? All this information should be immediately available to your staff.
There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than having their questions or concerns fall through the cracks. By building even one of the tips above, you can reduce support costs and increase customer satisfaction. Your customer then becomes your best service representative
. . .
Nick Temple is a free-lance software developer who was recently given the rare distinction as a Certified Developer for the Mark Joyner Farewell Package. If you're not familiar with the package, it includes source code to automate every item mentioned in this article and much more. It's only available to the first 2,000 people who respond, so be sure to get your copy today: http://tgl.net/mjs
SIM's "Tip of the Week" back issues available at... http://www.startupinternetmarketing.com/ezines
TIPS, TOOLS & RESOURCES
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This online keyword density & prominence analyzer will research your keywords and general page properties from the viewpoint of a search engine spider. It shows your keyword density and placement (prominence). The tools features options to show the page's headers, page elements, outgoing links and more. It's great for analyzing the top ranking sites for a particular keyword and then comparing your site against them.
* For more great tips and tools, visit our website:
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UPDATED Affiliate Masters Course
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* Check out SIM's Top "10" Affiliate Review at
SIM's WEEKLY REPORTS
How To Make A Promotional Postcard
An SEO Copywriting Makeover - Turning "Not" Into "Hot" Part 2
Write A Personal Letter
Customizing Your Lists
An Attachment Mailer
FEEDBACK & CONTRIBUTIONS
Uncle Sam Cracks Down Online!
(c) Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved
In a recent move that rocked the online world and left many Internet marketers shaking in their boots, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) initiated a sweeping crackdown on what they termed "Internet Scammers" and "Deceptive Spammers."
The FTC, along with state and federal officials, filed 45 criminal and civil law enforcement actions and froze the corporate and personal assets of some defendants.
According to the FTC, they went after a wide array of deceptive schemes and illegal scams including auction fraud, illegal sale of controlled substances, bogus business opportunities, deceptive money-making scams, illegal advance-fee credit card offers, and identity theft.
In other words, Uncle Sam gave notice that people can no longer treat the Internet like the Wild, Wild West!
I welcome this long overdue crackdown on real Internet evildoers. For years, honest business owners suffered because Internet scammers caused consumer fear and reluctance to conduct business online. As the government cleans up the back alleys of the Internet, consumer confidence will rise and sales will increase.
However, as with any crusade to bring about law and order, innocent and honest businesses stand a REAL chance of getting caught in the crossfire.
Let's face it, if you get named in a lawsuit by the government - even though you may be innocent - you'll still lose a lot of time, energy, emotion, and money defending yourself.
If you operate any business online, or plan to set one up, the following guidelines should help you avoid problems.
** Always Tell The Truth **
Actually, this basic lesson from your Mom ranks the best way to avoid all kinds of trouble! "The truth shall set you free" ranks just as appropriate in the online world as in the offline world.
In fact, in the light of recent events, the truth might actually keep you out of jail!
** Avoid Outrageous Claims **
Don't make outrageous claims you can't substantiate. A big difference exists between good copywriting (salesmanship in print) and making claims that no sane person, or at least the average person, could ever achieve.
It's one thing to tell people you can show them "how to get thousands of hits to their website." It's quite another to say you will "show them how to get 10,000 hits to their website by tomorrow and make $15,000 this weekend."
** Get The Correct Legal Documents **
Every website should maintain certain legal documents in order to operate within the guidelines set forth by the FTC. As with any law, ignorance of the law does not excuse disobeying the rules!
You must know whether your business needs a disclaimer, terms of service, privacy notice and other legal documents. And, by the way, the time to find out you should have posted them on your site is NOT after you've been served with legal papers by the government!
** Turn the Tables **
Look at what your business promises and actually delivers from the standpoint of a consumer.
Would you feel happy or sad once you did business with yourself?
Would you feel like you got your money's worth, or would you feel like you'd been held up at gunpoint in the middle of the night in the mini-mart parking lot?
Your gut answer to that question will go a long way toward keeping you out of trouble with the government.
Sort of funny how the "Golden Rule" of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" keeps cropping up in life as a way to consistently avoid trouble and heartache.
. . .
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co- author of an amazing new ebook, "Turn Words Into Traffic," that will teach you how to use free articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted visitors to your website or affiliate link! ==> http://hop.clickbank.net/?danp16/ezarticles
If you have a promotion tip to share (or an affiliate program that would be of interest to the rest of us) or if you have a web design tip, or a specific question, please feel free to post all tips, questions, or answers to posted questions here and I will add your email or URL with it. It's FREE promotion!
Send your tips, questions or answers to:
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
With the FTC's recent series of law enforcement initiatives targeting Internet fraud, you best be advised to get your house in order...
What constitutes internet fraud?
That's for the Government to decide, not you and I. And Ignorance of the Law is no excuse, in the courtroom! So, it's absolutely imperative that we protect our rights and businesses by using the proper documentation where necessary.
4) You need to have an iron clad 'Purchasers Agreement' when selling your customers ANYTHING!
5) You NEED to have proof that they agreed to your terms by using a legal Electronic Signature Script (A Check box that won't let them go any further until they agree).
6) And all of these documents NEED to be well crafted by a qualified attorney, to make darn sure you've covered all the bases!
These few documents, at the very least, should be a part of every website you create, and every business venture you undertake.
. . .
*An excerpt from a recent report by Len Thurmond, Editor of The Affiliate Review and Co-Author of AutoWebLaw Pro. http://MakeBuyingEasy.com
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