9 Years of Building Trust in a Consumer Website

WholeLatteLove.com is an ideal example of a consumer ecommerce website for small businesses looking to build trust online.  We’ve spent about $3,000 with the “Everything Coffee” website, Whole Latte Love (TM) over the years.  Here’s why.

Photo: Cynthia and Jim’s (Latest) Espresso Machine

My husband and I have a guilty-pleasure habit of daily lattes and espressos.  We’ve bought three (sheesh) espresso coffee machines from Wholelattelove.com since 2002.

Whole Latte Love  does everything right when it comes to building trust online—they have valuable content, provide topnotch online service, and happily answer questions on the phone when we’ve had problems with our espresso machines.  And this was all before they had group bloggers! They’ve been customer-focused from day one. No wonder they have great word of mouth.

This site never makes the mistakes that detract from building trust online listed by Lisa Barone in this great post here.

It starts with a search

Jim found Wholelattelove.com on a Google search in 2002 when he was researching our first espresso machine purchase.  It was a completely new website to us.

They work hard to create valuable content

After finding it via a search, Jim stayed on WholeLatteLove.com because—even in 2002—the site had side-by-side comparisons of a wide range of machines.  Today we take feature comparison charts  and consumer reviews for granted on shopping sites.   But that wasn’t the case nearly nine years ago.  This site was way ahead of its time.

I’m there for you baby

The Whole Latte Love team was there for us when we needed service.  One of the machines had to be shipped to Seattle for repair and they provided all the necessary details to accomplish the transaction.

Consistency is key

The site’s relentless dedication to maintaining ongoing reliable product information helps customers make the right purchase.   Each time we’ve made a new machine purchase (okay, we’re on machine number 3) Jim researches to find the best option.

The brand of espresso machine is not as important to me because I trust Whole Latte Love’s information.  We purchase the best machine for us that’s available at the time.  Often I cannot even recall the brand of machine we have.

Does my story of how I built trust in Whole Latte Love inspire you to make changes and enhancements in your online consumer business?  What online brands do you trust?   Do tell!

Other posts you may like:

Know Your Customer: How to Steps from TechStars.org

About Customers, 50 Reminders

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Category: B to C, Word of Mouth

About the Author

Cynthia is always hunting for new ways that you can find more customers using your online presence. Like, thought leadership content, smart social media and client-friendly business blogs. Join my mailing list and I’ll share the newest stuff with you!

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Comments (5)

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  1. I buy a lot of clothing online and I really trust Overstock. They have incredible search functionality and I know that they will always take my returns. I think incredible search is really going to be the driving force for sites in the future.

  2. Ray says:

    Amazing how the companies who are consistent and have some longevity are the ones that should be trusted more. It seems like a business model we should all embrace.

  3. Cynthia Trevino says:

    Hi Ray,

    I know! It was surprising to realize I’ve been buying online from WholeLatteLove.com for 9 yrs.!! Thanks for your comments.

    -Cynthia

  4. Gina Spadafori says:

    Not so fast. I just had the WORST customer service experience of my life dealing with this company. I would never, ever do business with them again, and this is the only time I’ve gone out of my way to spread the word.

    Here’s my Yelp review, and please not that mine is far from the only one tagging them for AWFUL customer service:

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/whole-latte-love-victor#hrid:DNcmiK1C-X4fy_ECSHyJMQ

    Note from all my reviews that I rarely bother with a bad review. This is my only 1-star review, and that’s because I’m still seething. I’m sorry I hung up on the guy, that’s not like me. But helpful he was not, not in any way. What a shame, too, because my first conversation with them was wonderful, and I thought my problem would be resolved.

  5. Cynthia Trevino says:

    Hi Gina,
    Sorry you’re not as high on them as we are. Just called Whole Latte Love for help with a lost part–and they were so great. Once again.

    Good luck finding a great espresso machine source!
    Cynthia

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