The Key Element That Will Make or Break Your Business

Written by Marc Goldman

Continued from page 1

To implement a basic support program, you should have an email address devoted solely to support requests. This will allow you to set priority for these requests so they do not slip throughrepparttar cracks.

Moreover, your customers, like you, expect to receive a timely response to their questions. If it's impossible to respond within minutes of receiving an email, at least get it done some time that same day. Your customer will not hesitate to take his/her business elsewhere.

If you know what ICQ is, I highly suggest that you implement it so as to enable your customers to access your support person when they are online so that requests can be handled instantly. If you do not have ICQ and need to learn more about it, visit Mirabilis to download it free.

In addition to ICQ, your support program should include new web based tools that can help you to manage and fulfill customer support requests.

One of these web based tools that we highly recommend you implement is Humanclick. This tool allows you to interact live with your customers on your web site. If you are not available your customers can use Humanclick's convenient "leave a message" function to do just that, leave you a message.

Due torepparttar 117590 number of technical support issues that may crop up when operating an e-business you can become overwhelmed if you do not have a well trained, technical staff. If you are fortunate enough to have a technically sound staff you can offer support on your own site.

If you are not technical and do not have a staff, have no fear, now you can utilize an awesome service from Expertcity. Expertcity is a company that offers free and low cost technical support for anyone right overrepparttar 117591 web. The service is great andrepparttar 117592 people there know what they are doing. Many companies are now outsourcing their technical support issues to them.

Once you have these mechanisms in place, you should then set up a call tracking program that you can use to keep track of your support requests and their status. This can easily be set up using a spreadsheet or database program.

Many programs may even have templates that you can use to set up a customized call tracking manager. This is important as it will save you time and also let you trackrepparttar 117593 progress of requests until they are completely resolved. The goal is always to strive for complete customer satisfaction.

If you can develop a reputation as a company that supports its customers, you will be well on your way to developing a successful Internet business. The web offers many free and low cost options that can be easily set up to allow you or your staffrepparttar 117594 ability to excel at this very important and integral part of your business.

Marc Goldman - Since 1999, The Ultimate Marketers Resource has been the only system enabling you to manage EVERY aspect of your business from Autoresponder services, Mailing List services and management, Lead Generation, and Ad Tracking, to Viral Marketing and much, much more remotely from anywhere in the world, anytime, from any computer for a low monthly fee. Click here to learn more before your competitors do:


Written by John Bubula

Continued from page 1

Another decision that must be made is if you are going to take credit cards on your web site. A starting point would be to ask your bank who they would recommend. Our web site designer has a company they work with or you can look on-line and find a number of companies. We looked on-line and asked our bank. Be aware that some banks do not support some of these credit card clearing house software programs. The company we use is Retriever andrepparttar credit card processor (clearing house) is Authorize.Net. A couple of things you will learn as you investigate these companies arerepparttar 117589 fees that are levied. With ours there was a one time application fee, fixed monthly charges of about $40.00, and a per transaction charge. I approached dealing with these companies like I do buying a car. I laid all my facts out for each ofrepparttar 117590 companies I was looking at and haggled withrepparttar 117591 price, but remember you don't have that much leverage so be reasonable with what you are asking for as a reduction. Also, American Express has a higher fee then VISA/MC and with Discover Card you deal directly with Discover Card.

The last decision to get your web site onrepparttar 117592 Internet is hosting. You can either hostrepparttar 117593 site yourself with a server, some software, a DSL line, and some technical know how forrepparttar 117594 set up and maintenance. The other option is to have someone host your site for you, which means you rent space on someone's server and they promise to have your site up onrepparttar 117595 Internet. They dorepparttar 117596 maintenance onrepparttar 117597 server, but probably not onrepparttar 117598 web site. You can find hundreds of companies by searching onrepparttar 117599 Internet that offers this service. Originally, we signed up with AT&T, but when our friend didn't come through with repparttar 117600 web site we dropped that service. That mistake cost us about $200.00. We looked at other companies onrepparttar 117601 Internet, as well as, our web designer's service. We decided to go with our web designer,, services because their rates are competitive and their service is excellent.

Once all ofrepparttar 117602 above was completed, we went live with our web site. I would love to tell you that as soon as we flippedrepparttar 117603 switch on our web site we were inundated with orders, but that would be a little bit of a stretch. We were just one of many web sites floating around in cyber space. Marketing isrepparttar 117604 name ofrepparttar 117605 game, but if you're like us you have big plans and a little bankroll. My suggestion is to take it slow inrepparttar 117606 beginning. One ofrepparttar 117607 first things you should do is submit your site to search engines. This service was included in our web site design. You should also resubmit your site every twelve weeks or so to make sure it is not dropped fromrepparttar 117608 search engines. You can either do this yourself or you can pay a company onrepparttar 117609 Internet to do it for you. Doing it yourself is time consuming but I'm told search engine programs are more receptive to this thenrepparttar 117610 mass submissions from companies. We have done both. After that is done, it will take a couple of weeks for those submissions to take hold. Another option is to issue a press release. Search on-line using "press release" and many companies will come up. We used Majon International. I looked at samples of press releases out there and wrote my own, then submitted it to them and signed up for one of their release packages. Our results varied. We saw some increase in traffic on our web site. We received numerous e-mails and calls from Internet Shopping Malls, and Newspapers to advertise. We received a call from a home shopping network company, which was very interesting, but would have cost us $14,000.00 for a four minute test commercial. But best of all we received a call from The Northwest Herald newspaper that did an article on our business. It was half a page in size and when it came out on 4/18/02, we saw a tremendous increase in traffic on our web site. Another thing we have tried was to use a company called I-web-marketing, which guarantees traffic to your site. You selectrepparttar 117611 number of hits to your site for a prescribed dollar amount and submit your information with them. Our experience with this is that we are seeing an increase in site traffic, but notrepparttar 117612 corresponding increase in sales. Our next avenue is to put advertisements in selected print publications.

Some ofrepparttar 117613 marketing avenues we haven't tried are reciprocal advertising, which means you put a link to another web site on your web site and they put your link on their web site. We have not tried banners or pop up windows because they are pay per click advertisements and could get really expensive. Not to mentionrepparttar 117614 pop up windows are incredibly irritating.

It has been a fun, sometimes strenuous learning experience launching our web site business. I hope some of our experiences can benefit you as you plan your own web site. Although has only been up for a short time, we are encouraged byrepparttar 117615 response and will continue with this journey. Remember to take things slow, have a plan, and surround yourself with positive, capable people.

John Bubula CFO 12 Pack Gym, Inc.

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