In the first of a three-part series on how to maximise client website enquiries, Pascal Fintoni, a digital marketing trainer and speaker, celebrates 30 years of the Internet and the rise of the fully-empowered online customer who is making decisions about who to do business with simply by glancing at a website.
A milestone and anniversary which remained unnoticed by most Internet users, an echo of the humility and discretion that have characterised the many unsung heroes, the many men and women from our distant and more recent past who have helped shape the future of doing business.
Whilst individuals might be difficult to remember, except for Internet historians and quiz aficionados, the impact and immeasurable benefits of being online and accessing the world’s information is undeniable.
Within moments, a whole new generation of website designers and website managers was born and they have been working tirelessly together ever since – with varying degrees of success it is fair to say – to drive forward a new age for businesses: the age of information.
Not quite. This is in fact the age of verification, not just information, whereby the customer has been empowered to check out and verify the details of an organisation to a degree that would have made spies from the Cold War green with envy.
And the go-to destination for the online consumer is a company’s website. It is true that they may also access details on social networks, online directories and other sources but ultimately all digital roads lead to your website.
The online customer is visiting your website with one single aim in mind: to avoid making a poor decision and choosing the wrong supplier and partner. The visit will be swift. The visit will be harsh. The visit will be decisive.
An unsuccessful visit will leave our prospective customer with a feeling of unease, doubts about some of the many unanswered questions, confusion about the disconnect between the praises they heard out there and the lacklustre experience of going through the webpages of a bland and faceless organisation.
On the opposite side, a successful visit will fill the online customer with confidence, doubts will be replaced with a desire to deal with you and your colleagues as they have gained a clear understanding that not only you are competent (who isn’t?) but you are also caring. In other words, your approach to customer service, their number one concern, is exactly what they are looking forward.
All these emotions, all these impressions and conclusions are reached without talking to you or anyone in your business. That is why, 30 years ago doing business changed forever but perhaps not as we imagined it. Businesses are simply not the only players in the digital economy.
The rise of the online customer over the past three decades has played a significant role in shaping the Internet, not just from a technical perspective but also from an experiential point of view.
We all have helped make the World Wide Web more social and conversational, the very ambition of Sir Tim Berners-Lee has been realised but the work is not over as many corners of the Internet have not followed its evolution and continue to disappoint online visitors.
Websites and their associated digital technologies will continue to play a critical part in our future success and survival, and we all have many questions about using the tools of the time to showcase our products and services and share our humanity, in particular when people are longing for meaningful connections.
This is the very challenge that we are exploring in Part 2, When In Doubt, Work On Your Website.
Join Pascal online on 29 September for his webinar on Websites and How to Attract Conveyancing Clients.
For more information about any of our courses, email us at [email protected].
About Pascal Fintoni
Pascal Fintoni is a senior digital marketing trainer and speaker with over 25 years experience in helping business owners get more enquiries from the Web. He started his career in London working for a well known holiday company creating campaigns for TV, radio, newspapers and of course the Internet. Pascal quickly developed a passion and unrivalled knowledge for the power of digital content in attracting the right audience and building a business you can be proud of.
Pascal runs his agency offering digital marketing training and consultancy services to clients across the UK and France. His professional experience spans the private, public and not-for-profit sectors with a proven track record in skills development, professional services, new media, ICT and software, tourism, manufacturing and business support.
His time is shared between speaking at conferences and delivering interactive and practical sessions on website experience, reputation management, SEO, social media and content marketing with a particular focus on video marketing.
Pascal is also a video producer and director and he has successfully introduced many of the storytelling techniques used by filmmakers into his coaching to help his clients create better online content faster.