Automating your customer support...

Written by Richard Grady

Copyright 2005 Richard Grady

My regular readers will know that one ofrepparttar things I highly recommend doing with any online business is automating as many of your day to day tasks as possible.

From a personal point of view, one ofrepparttar 147958 tasks that takes up a lot of my time is answering emails. It isn't just answering email that eats uprepparttar 147959 hours - sorting through and deleting spam and junk mail absorbs a lot of time too. Inrepparttar 147960 good old days, I used to get a couple of spam emails a day. Now it is closer to 1000 a day!

In fact, when you look at it, email isn't alwaysrepparttar 147961 best form of online communication. Not only is thererepparttar 147962 junk mail issue to contend with but alsorepparttar 147963 fact that email is not 100% reliable. Emails do 'go missing' far more regularly than you might expect. Often this is simply becauserepparttar 147964 recipients email software has decided that a particular email is junk and has transferred it directly torepparttar 147965 'Delete' folder. Other times it may be becauserepparttar 147966 recipients ISP has decided thatrepparttar 147967 email is junk and deleted it BEFORE it has even been seen byrepparttar 147968 recipient! (Yes this really does happen - imagine if your postman sorted through your mail and maderepparttar 147969 decision of which letters you want and which ones he should throw away?!)

One way to help avoidrepparttar 147970 spam problem when dealing with customer support enquiries is to make use of a contact form on your website instead of posting an email address. This will certainly help to cut down on spam but it still means that you haverepparttar 147971 problem of emails not getting to their destination (and when you have a frustrated customer waiting for assistance this is not ideal).

Therefore, probablyrepparttar 147972 best option onrepparttar 147973 market presently is a full-blown helpdesk system. Setting up a dedicated helpdesk is a superb way of automating your customer support and speeding uprepparttar 147974 process of dealing with enquiries and support emails. Not only that but if you use a system that allows customers to create 'tickets', you don't have to rely on email as your customers can login to a special web page and view both their tickets and your replies online.

Another feature of many helpdesk scripts is an 'FAQ' or 'Knowledgebase' section. This is simply a collection ofrepparttar 147975 most frequently asked questions/queries/problems along with answers and solutions. This means that customers can searchrepparttar 147976 knowledgebase and hopefully findrepparttar 147977 answer to their question without having to contact Support at all.

Some ofrepparttar 147978 more advanced scripts will even scanrepparttar 147979 customers support ticket prior to submitting it and then list a few possible answers to their questions just in case they didn't read throughrepparttar 147980 knowledgebase before typingrepparttar 147981 ticket out - very clever stuff.

These scripts are also very powerful in terms of how they can benefit you. Just think how much time you could save if, say, 40% of your customer support emails just stopped coming due torepparttar 147982 fact that your customers were now able to findrepparttar 147983 answers to their questions automatically.

Basic Rules for Selling on eBay

Written by Jason James

Complete details on current ebay policies can be found on eBay's Web site, so we won't go into all of them here. However, there are some you should know about before you begin selling on eBay

Duplicate listings occur when a seller posts more than 10 listings for identical items. The best way to list identical items is through eBay's Storefront, Fixed-Price or Multiple Item listings formats. Although there are reasons to list identical items atrepparttar same time, enabling a single seller to list too many identical items at one time hurtsrepparttar 147920 buying experience.

If a seller lists in more than one category,repparttar 147921 categories must be relevant. Any additional identical listings will be ended by eBay. There are a few exceptions: Sellers who list general admission tickets inrepparttar 147922 Tickets category may list up to 20 identical listings, and sellers of vehicle light bulbs may list up to 25 listings simultaneously.

No kids allowed: eBay requires that all users be at least 18 years of age.

Unpaid items: Winning bidders or buyers who fail to follow through withrepparttar 147923 transaction face consequences. Nonpaying bidders receive two warnings from eBay before they are suspended. When a bidder doesn't pay,repparttar 147924 seller may request a credit from eBay for their Final Value Fee by filing an Unpaid Item alert.

Nonperforming seller: Significantly misrepresenting an item by not meetingrepparttar 147925 terms and item description inrepparttar 147926 listing, or failing to deliver an item for which you accepted payment, is a violation of eBay policies and may also be considered criminal fraud.

Outages: Whenrepparttar 147927 eBay system experiences service outages, there is a structure in place to compensate users with credits on listing fees and/or listing extensions, based onrepparttar 147928 type and length ofrepparttar 147929 outage.

Profanity: The use of language that is racist, hateful, sexual or obscene in nature in a public area is prohibited.

Prohibited and restricted items: As an eBay user, you are ultimately responsible for making sure thatrepparttar 147930 items you sell on eBay are legal according to all applicable jurisdictions and permitted by eBay policies.

Soliciting off-site sales: You may not circumvent eBay fees by using contact information obtained from eBay or any eBay service to complete a sale outside of eBay.

Threats: eBay policies prohibit making threats of physical harm to another user.

If you violate an eBay policy by either your action orrepparttar 147931 content of your listings, you will typically receive an informational alert explainingrepparttar 147932 violation and detailing any further action to be taken on your part. When deemed appropriate, eBay will endrepparttar 147933 listing, and your listing fee will be refunded.

For serious or repeated violations of eBay rules, a user may be indefinitely suspended. Though indefinitely suspended users may be reinstated by eBay at its discretion, eBay also hasrepparttar 147934 right to determine at any time thatrepparttar 147935 suspension is permanent.

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