A Guide To Complete Freedom

Vol. II Issue IV

Contents:

Mission

Greetings

Report: How NOT To Perform Customer Service

Report: Does Your Site Have Stopping Power? By Jim Daniels

Report: Slow Traffic? Save These 40 URLs by Jim Daniels

Developing A Positive Attitude:

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Contact Information

Mission: This e-zine is designed to help new web-entrepreneurs locate free and inexpensive resources to help them start their own home business. Our goal is to help everyone understand that freedom is earned, not made. This e-zine will hopefully guide those who wish to earn money do so. We cannot guarantee any of the information in these e-zines, and only offer them as a guide to help you gain success.

Greetings Welcome to another Guide To Complete Freedom. If this is your first time reading the guide, you can always find the back issues at http://completefreedom.tripod.com/cfezine/ .

By the way, even after our little fiasco from the last issue, where hundreds of you unsubscribed, we are now back over the 500 mark once again. (Yes, I know, I could have been more diligent and kept a listing of all of you and contacted you as to why you unsubscribed. And yes, I know that there were technical difficulties with my mail list, but here at the Complete Freedom Company, I do not want anyone to think that they are being spammed. So, if you unsubscribe, I won't bother you about it. Of course, I would prefer you continued using the guide on your journey of success. And since it's currently free and not supported by any advertisement, save our own, why wouldn't you listen to the ramblings of a middle-aged man who is just trying to help you anyhow.)

It has been a hectic week, but as always, a fulfilling week. Hopefully, your week was also fulfilling, (but not necessarily hectic).

In this issue of the guide we are going to cover a variety of topics. Again we will have two fabulous reprinted articles by my good friend Jim Daniels. (One of them is the most useful resource related articles I have ever seen.) I am going to provide you a prime example of how not to perform customer service, (that actually happened to me. Although I generally try not to be negative about any topic, in this case, I will change the name of the particpant to protect the guilty.) Plus, I will share with you some of the ideas that crawl around my head that promote wealth.

Report: How NOT To Perform Customer Service

You have all seen them. The wonderful tapes that your regular job company shows you on Customer Service. They include tips on answering the phone, listening to the customer, bending over backwards if there is the slightest hint that the customer might be right, and being polite to the customer. These tapes can be witty, dry, or just flat out boring. But, I believe that I have found the perfect example about how to give your customers true customer service. And the example I am about to relate to you best shows how to perform customer service by showing you everything you should NOT do.

I live in a delightfully wonderful small town that is approximately fifty-five miles from anything resembling a full service city. So, on a whim my wonderful bride of sixteen and one half years and I will drive to that full service city to pass the time and shop. Other times, when I have to conduct business there, when I get a few minutes, I might pop over to one of the major department stores and purchase something I want.

Well, of course, on this sunny Thursday afternoon, a couple of weeks ago, I felt like buying a copy of the new STAR WARS™ tape. So, I went in to a place I'll call BULLSEYE, picked out the first copy, paid for the tape, and left. When I got home that night, I threw away the receipt. Reason: as I watched the original STAR WARS ™ movie ten times when it came out in 1977, I certainly had no intention of not keeping this tape.

As I'm a busy man, I did not get to the tape until the following Saturday night. When I popped in the tape, all that showed was what I like to call "The Snows of Kilamanjaro" otherwise known as "The Swarm." I, of course, am referring to that lead-in known in technical television lingo as "snow." I thought maybe that my VCR had tracking problems or dirty heads, but lo and behold, it did the same thing on my other two VCRs.

So, I called BULLSEYE, and the lady at the customer service desk said, "If you'll bring it in tonight, I'll be glad to swap it out for you, even though you don't have a receipt. We're not supposed to do that, but I'll be glad to do so because we've had other tapes that had that same problem." I thanked her for the offer, but informed her that I lived 55 miles from their store and that I had business to attend to Monday, and I would be in then. She informed me that I would have to meet with a woman we will call "Beachy," who would have to make the final decision.

So, I went in that night to BULLSEYE, and Beachy informed me that they just could not accept the tape because it was a matter of proof of purchase. I informed her that I certainly never dreamed that they would not even consider accepting the return tape. She provided me with a phone number to FOX™ studios who would be glad to accept the tape and possibly even reimburse me for the cost of postage. I, then informed Beachy that I'm sorry that BULLSEYE had no intention of trying to keep their customers by indulging me in exchanging the blank tape for a working copy. She said there was nothing she could do other than what she did

I then informed her that she would never see me in their store again. She replied cheerfully, "Well, we hope you will change your mind."

Now, I'm not the type of person to let things go. I once spent over $500.00 to defend myself against a $35.00 ticket. (By the way, I won that case.) So, I jumped on the internet and looked up the phone number to BULLSEYE's main office. I called that number the next morning. I informed the lady who answered the phone that all I wanted was to be able to return my defective tape to their store. She informed me that was not their policy and that their executives decided that this was a good policy. Furthermore, I should have noticed on the bottom of my receipt and the postings in the store that all receipts are to be kept for 90 days for all electronic purchases. (I didn't realize that a magnetic tape held within a plastic cartridge had any electronics within it. Silly me!) When I informed her that I would provide a written example of how NOT to provide customer service to my wonderful audience of e-zine readers, she informed me that would be just fine and they did not care if they lost over 500 customers, because their executives knew what they were doing.

She then informed me that she was going to hang up. I asked if I had been abusive to her. She admitted that I had not, but refused to even discuss something that was STORE POLICY. She then hung up.

I still refused to let loose of this. I then re-dialed their number. I reached an intelligent young man whose name I wish I had caught. When I began to relate my tale to him, he said that he did not have authority to grant an exception to store policy and immediately turned me over to his supervisor. I will not list her name, even as a fictional name, because 1) I cannot think of a suitable synonym, and 2) I am not truly upset with her.

This supervisor then asked for my SKU number on the tape. I provided that and she left for a few minutes to verify it. She then returned to the line and informed me she would call FOX™ studios and have them mail me a copy in a couple of days. She asked me to return the tape to her and she would then forward it to FOX™ studios. She explained that on the store level, there was little they could do because their computers at the store level do not have the capacity to verify SKUs to make sure the tape belonged to them. I thanked her and the call ended.

That afternoon, a wonderful lady from FOX™ studios called my wife and wanted to know what had happened. I t turned out that this was not the lady that the supervisor from BULLSEYE's main office had contacted, but rather the one that Beachy had called. This lady, who will remain nameless totally because she is not one of the offending parties, explained that if we returned the tape and related our tale of woe, a complaint would be lodged against BULLSEYE. Furthermore, this lady informed my wife that, according to Beachy, this was the only tape that had been returned defective (remember the very first lady I spoke with had informed us there had been several others with this problem).

When I spoke with this lady, I was informed by her that she was totally baffled by BULLSEYEs refusal to accept the defective copy and return it. As this wonderful lady explained, they would not be out any money. But, she claims that Beachy just refused to budge concerning the policy set down by their executives. This wonderful lady from FOX™ studios further informed me that even if we had produced a cancelled check, that still would not have been enough to get us a new copy.

Then the supervisor from BULLSEYE's main office left a message on my answering machine. According to her, a resolution had been reached. FOX™ would send me a new copy in the mail. I should have the copy of the tape in 10 to 14 days, but she surmised it would probably be two or three days.

I still, of course, have not sent the tape back. First, this is the only proof that I ever bought the tape. Second, I'm not sure that I should have to pay the postage to return a tape that should have been exchanged last Monday. Although I am about to check my mail today, I still have not received a working copy of the tape that I bought 16 days ago.

Realize this: I could have been dishonest and gone to another major department store and lied saying I bought the tape there. They most likely would have exchanged the defective tape, sent the offending copy back to FOX™ studios who would gladly have either sent them a new copy or credited their account. I also had offers from friends who offered me their receipts to go and have the defective copy returned to various stores. My honesty does not allow for that. This is a matter of principle. And when you do not stand for your principles, you do not stand for anything.

So here's the lessons on how NOT to perform customer service:

1. Be stubborn and inflexible when you set up a policy.

2. Never consider each case on its merit.

3. Hang up when you don't want to discuss the matter any more, even when the caller's still being reasonable.

4. Spend more dollars trying to defend your position than making the customer happy. (I used to live in BULLSEYE's main headquarter's hometown. I know that their supervisor had to be making at least fifteen to twenty dollars an hour. Not to mention the cost of my toll-free calls. I figure that overall it has to cost them at least twenty-five dollars to solve the problem of not giving me a copy of the tape that only cost $16.95 plus tax.)

5. Lie to your supplier about other problems that you have had with their product.

6. Don't worry about any ill-will that you cause over your customer's complaint.

7. Ignore any influence your customer might have.

8. Hire penny-pinching executives who are more concerned about setting brilliant policies such as never exchanging defective merchandise.

9. Accept any fault that the supplier will record against you because of your inflexibility.

10. Always believe that anybody who returns merchandise without a receipt is a criminal just trying to get over on the system.

11. Always make your supplier deal with the problem, not you take care of the problem.

Now, of course if you do the opposite of that, then you should have a good basis for PERFORMING true customer service.

Report: Does Your Site Have Stopping Power?

Does Your Site Have Stopping Power?

About one in every ten sites I visit succeeds at keeping me around longer than a minute. I'm usually in a hurry when I surf the web, and I'm not alone.

Actually, the term "Web surfer" is a misleading one. Not too many people I know actually "surf" the web at a leisurely pace. Instead, most times they are on the web they click and click in a frenzied search for something in particular. Perhaps a better term than web surfer would be "Speed Clicker."

Once you come to accept that fact you'll see why it is crucial to give your visitors a reason to slow down as soon as they arrive at your site. Too many webmasters don't do this right away and risk losing another web surfer and potential customer.

Slowing your visitors down a little is the first step in getting them to actually stop and stay a while. If you can accomplish that you'll be on your way to generating a new subscriber or customer. And ain't that what it's all about?

OK, so now that you know that your number one task is to slow down these speed clickers, I'd like to share with you exactly how to do it...

Once you're sure your website loads quickly and looks professional, it's time to post your "slow down" sign right at your main page. No, I'm not talking about one of those tired old "under construction" signs. Instead, I'm talking about smacking your visitors right square in the eye, with a compelling reason to calm their pace a bit and investigate your site further.

No, it is not done with fancy graphics or technology like audio or video. It is best done with the number one tool at your disposal -- words.

But before you start thinking up some catchy headlines or attention grabbers, I'd like you to throw those tired old axioms away. Instead, take a moment today and consider why these "Speed Clickers" have happened upon your site in the first place.

What are they looking for? As a webmaster it is your responsibility to know what your best prospect is thinking and searching for. If you plan to have a successful web business, most of these speed clickers should be hoping to find the very things you've built your business on. Do you know what they are? Here's a little help. Ask yourself these questions...

What is the main benefit(s) your prospects and customers get from doing business with you rather than the competition?

Are your prices the cheapest?

Is your selection the largest?

Do you offer a unique technology?

Do you cater to a special niche market?

Do you offer free assistance others can't?

If you can't think of at least one main benefit you'd better work on building one into your business. Not only is it crucial to your success, it's the only way to slow down those speed surfers -- by simply telling them THEIR benefit as soon as they arrive.

So were you able to come up with at least one solid benefit? Good for you. Now put it into action. First put the main benefit or benefits of doing business with you into a sentence.

Need an example? Here's my sentence... Visitors to bizweb2000 receive high quality online marketing assistance (with no fluff!) from a guy who has been making his living from the Internet since 1996.

As you can see from that sentence, the best benefits I can offer to my website visitors are:

- quality, no-nonsense help

- my experience as a full-time web marketer

You'll see this message prominently displayed at my home page. No, not in those exact words, but through a more powerful method of delivery -- from the mouths of my customers. This is my slow down sign -- and it works.

I invite you, scratch that, I CHALLENGE you to come up with your own "slow down sign" at your website. Spend a day if necessary. If you have trouble coming up with anything, contact some of your best customers and ask them why they do business with you. You may find that their feedback provides all the stopping power your home page needs!

----- Tip by Jim Daniels of JDD Publishing. Did you find this tip helpful? There's plenty more like this at Jim's website, www.bizweb2000.com ... For Weekly Online Marketing Help, get Jim's Free BizWeb E-Gazette! mailto:

freegazette@bizweb2000.com or visit http://www.bizweb2000.com right now!

Report: Slow Traffic? Save these 40 URLs...

Today I'd like to share a list of places where you can generate traffic to your website at zero cost. If you're a cheapskate like me you'll want to save this list and try each of these web promotion strategies and the associated URLs...

Send press releases regularly To generate interest in your products or services why not tell the people who can tell thousands more -- the press! You can do this online by using any of these free press release services:

http://www.comitatusgroup.com/pr/index.htm

http://www.m2.com/M2_PressWIRE/index.html

http://www.PRweb.com

http://www.webaware.co.uk/netset/text/

Submit articles I've written lots about the power of submitting articles to ezine editors within your target market. Simply put, it is the best free promotion method I've used in my four years online. You can now automate the submission process completely, thanks to the following websites:

http://216.147.104.180/articles/submit.shtml

http://www.ezinearticles.com/add_url.htm

http://www.ideamarketers.com/

http://www.web-source.net/articlesub.htm

Add your URL to the "must submit" search engines Sure, you can submit your URL to thousands of sites or have someone do it for you. But the fact is, nearly all my free search engine traffic comes from less than 20 search engines. If you want to take advantage of free traffic from search engines, first make sure your web pages are "search engine friendly" ( learn how to make your web pages search engine friendly at http://bizweb2000.com/confess.htm ) and then, add your URL to all of the search engines below:

http://www.altavista.com

http://www.askjeeves.com

http://www.directhit.com

http://www.dmoz.org

http://www.excite.com

http://www.go.com

http://www.google.com

http://www.hotbot.com

http://www.iwon.com

http://www.looksmart.com

http://www.lycos.com

http://www.msn.com

http://www.netscape.com

http://www.northernlight.com

http://www.snap.com

http://www.webcrawler.com

http://www.yahoo.com

If you want to stay abreast of internet marketing trends, listen in as other marketers help each other. You can do this at the many internet marketing discussion boards on the web. You can also generate free traffic to your own website by participating in the discussions and helping others occasionally. Here are some of the busiest boards:

http://forums.list-universe.com/

http://homebusiness-websites.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi

http://talk.businessbug.com/

http://www.ablake.net/forum/

http://www.bizweb2000.com/wwwboard/

http://www.ezineseek.com/forum/index.cgi

http://www.free-publicity.com/cgi-bin/talk.cgi

http://www.hercomputer.com/board/index.cgi

http://www.profitalk.com/

http://www.profitinfo.com/discuss/marketing/

http://www.profitlines.com/ipub/index.html

http://www.the-illuminati.com/board/index.cgi

http://www.vicinities.com/successdoctor/<

http://www.williecrawford.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi

http://www.wilsonweb.com/forum/

----- Tip by Jim Daniels of JDD Publishing. Did you find this tip helpful? There's plenty more like this at Jim's website, www.bizweb2000.com ... For Weekly Online Marketing Help, get Jim's Free BizWeb E-Gazette! mailto:

freegazette@bizweb2000.com or visit http://www.bizweb2000.com right now!





Excellent Recommended E-zines:

Merles Mission Newsletter: merlesmission-subscribe@makelist.com (There's more information here than can be leaked by a Grand Jury and Presidential aides at any ten times.)

Success Globalzine: To subscribe, just send an e-mail to webmaster@successsolutions.com?subject=SUBSCRIBE (More helpful than a 16 year-old bucking to take out the car for a Saturday nite date.)

Towards Developing A Positive Attitude: The Importance of Being Different

I've said it before and I will say it again. To succeed you have to do something unique. If you don't you definitely will not stand out in today's society.

Let me give you a couple of examples. I put out a short e-zine the last time explaining that there was more than one way to become rich. One way listed there was to cut down on your housing expenses, by living in housing that costs you next to nothing like I did. (You still have that opportunity to do so. If you want to know how, just e-mail me at

mailto:mistermaniac@mail.com

and I will show you how you can own a two bedroom home for under $20,000.00.)

But, to give you a more pertinent example. I consider myself an incredible fiction writer. (Although right now, I'm only playing at it. [Yes, Stephen, I already hear you urging me on to get back to work.] ) So, I thought how can I take my two favorite things in the world, writing and money-making and put them together. (You, of course, realize that those two are incongruent to each other. You can either be a writer or you can make money. You cannot necessarily do both at the same time. At least not until you become the epitome of a Stephen King or Dean Koontz.)

Now, of course the quickest way, (although I prefer other methods) to make money is Multi-Level Marketing.

So, I thought, how about if instead of a re-usable product, like they do in AMWAY™, or providing information only or having people added to your e-mail list, what if I wrote a book, set up a password protected web-site where the book could be read at leisure. Then I would retain the copyright, (in case Hollywood called) but gave away the buying rights for $5.00 a piece to the top person of the MLM hierarchy. (Which would naturally be me until it filtered to the rest of the downline.) That way, after I've made $10 to $20K, everybody below me would make money off my work. In the meantime, anybody that paid the $5.00 would receive access to my book, which I naturally believe is worth far more than $5.00 and the people below could make money off my work.

(By the way, if you're interested in that idea, let me know. I'll re-do my "Lighting of the Fuse" and if there's enough response, we'll do it. Just drop me an e-mail at mailto:completefreedom@yahoo.com

So, now let me ask you something. What product or idea do you love could you find a unique way to distribute? (By the way, if you figure it out, you've just travelled another step towards Complete Freedom.)

But, for now, I must bid you a fond farewell until I get the urge to share more valuable information. Why? Because it is a gorgeous day here at my home, my wife is working on creating a beautiful garden on our 1/4 acre of land, and I feel like spending some time with my family on this fantastic spring day! (Ah, the rewards of Complete Freedom, eh?)



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