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No Website? I Don’t Trust You.

Posted byFri, Jul 12, 2013 @ 2:13 pm

I let myself get bamboozled.

We all do at times. But I could have spared myself much drama by seeking the website of the “financial company” offering to reduce my credit card interest rate. Multitasking and only half paying attention, I was taken for a ride. My fault. But the experience reaffirmed trust in my credit card company. You know what? I’d gladly pay a higher interest rate in order to get quality service from a legitimate company I respect.

How does a company become respectable? These days it starts with a website and the information findable via the Internet. It is reinforced by customer service reps that go above and beyond to help. Truth time: if someone calls you out of the blue from a company you don’t know, do you:

  • Screen the call/don’t answer.
  • Answer and check the website as you talk to the sales rep.
  • Tell them you’re walking out the door and can’t talk.
  • Tell them to take you off their list.
  • Talk but check them out online after.

All right, all right—most of us would not answer or tell them to never call again. But at some point, we do our recon and check out the website. And if a company has no website, well, that tells you all you need to know.

Your Website is a Mark of Integrity.


Wells Fargo screenshot copy 2How can you really trust a business with little or no Web presence? It’s a mark of integrity. The woman I spoke to from “financial institution” CareNet told me that they protect their clients’ information by not having a website. I can just see collective eyebrows rising in disbelief from JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Ing Direct/now Capital One 360, Wells Fargo and Citigroup. I’m hard pressed to think of a financial institution that exists solely offline.

These days people are online researching. I’ve heard as many as 70 percent of purchase decisions are made before a consumer even talks to sales (this stat is often quoted and rarely attributed, so I’ll give you another). Three years ago, a survey by RainToday.com found that websites influence 97 percent of clients’ purchasing decisions. Imagine what it is today.

What an amazing opportunity! By investing in stellar customer service representatives, a good website and high-quality content, you’re earning customer loyalty. This is not a groundbreaking concept—it is the bedrock of inbound marketing, actually—but you’d be surprised by the number of companies that don’t serve their customers. When you use your powers for good in this way, the shady entities won’t stand a chance. And if a company called CareNet comes calling: hang up. Take it from me—they care, just not about you.

How do you use website content to increase trust?

Buyer_Persona_Strategy_and_Research_tofu_moduleStart by understanding prospective customers.

Download our free Persona Strategy & Research Guide and learn the first step in creating a content strategy for lead generation.

Just starting out? Find out what it takes and why:

Terra Hoskins is the principal of inbound marketing consultancy, Hoskins Interactive. She tweets