What Websites and Email Addresses Say about your Credibility

Remember the days when a business was not considered “credible” unless they had a FAX number? In today’s Internet business economy you could be losing credibility just by the online signatures you leave.

I spend a lot of time telling you how to promote your business online and help customers find you through the search engines, but what about the people that may already know about you or find out about you through a more traditional method?

For many of your potential customers, the first thing they look for on your business card or in your ad is a website. The customer who is checking out at the cash register in the lobby of your restaurant may pick up your card, hoping to consult your menu from home at a later time to help plan a special event. Yet, when they get home and realize there is no website on the card, you have taken yourself out of the competition for their business. The person reading your ad in the yellow pages hopes to consult your website before deciding if they will call you to fix their plumbing problem. Again, no website in your ad, and you are out of the running.

And what about an email address? For many consumers and businesses, email has replaced snail mail and fax machines as a main method of communication…sometimes as important, or even more important, than the telephone. Email is a timesaver, so if you don’t have one, what does that say about your customer service? Not having an email address makes it difficult for many people to reach you, and they may not be willing to make the extra effort to pick up the telephone even if your phone number is right in front of them. Sometimes even having an email address is not always enough. Business that use free email services are sometimes not taken seriously. Which email address sounds more credible and stable: “joe@joeselectrical.com” or the guy at “electrician@hotmail.com?”

Times have changed. Everything is faster these days, particularly when it comes to making buying decisions. Sometimes we have less than 60 seconds to make a good online impression. What does your website and email address say about your business? Speed has raised the bar. Having a fax number is no longer an indication of stability and credibility.

Your website and email address is your electronic signature. How do you stack up with the competition? Do you make it easy for new customers to contact you and buy from you? Do you deserve their trust? Does your business look like it has kept up with the times?

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Published in: on May 30, 2008 at 12:22 AM  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. So true Clem. Some businesses have no idea how many potential customers try to contact them and don’t, because they can’t. When they don’t provide a website they don’t seize the opportunity to let the customer find out about them in a comfortable, no-pressure way.


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