So much in the business and consumer world is new that it’s easy to forget the value provided by things that have been around for awhile. Like the Better Business Bureau. The BBB has been a source of information about business trustworthiness for more than 100 years.
Is It Still Relevant?
There are some businesses who think the value for them in becoming BBB accredited isn’t as convincing as it may have been 20, 30 or 50 years ago. What’s a little sticker or icon from the BBB going to add to a business when there are internet forums, electronic comment trails, and social media where consumers can, and do, research the track record of a company they’re considering doing business with? Do BBB Accredited businesses get more leads as a result? Some have said no.
But let’s turn this on its head for a minute and look at it from the consumer’s point of view. BBB still offers and publishes tips for consumers on how to choose trusted businesses in a number of industries. With the proliferation of online businesses and online marketing of traditional bricks and mortar businesses, many consumers can clearly benefit from a reputable organization such as the BBB and the tips they provide on how to select a vendor who isn’t going to cause them trouble.
Potential customers can also rest assured that your business didn’t simply pay a fee and receive the BBB Accredited sticker or button for your website. There’s due diligence behind the scenes that should give your customers reassurance, and your competitors something to worry about.
The main thing BBB Accreditation confirms is your trustworthiness. This is helpful especially for the boomer generation, who didn’t grow up with the Internet. (And you know the market size and power of the boomer generation!) Knowing that a well-known, stable and trusted entity, without a vested interest in your business, has scrutinized it and deemed it trustworthy provides consumers with confidence to choose you.
Eligibility and Assessment
Only businesses who run trustworthy operations meet the BBB’s accreditation requirements. Your business would be eligible to apply to the BBB for accreditation if you meet the following criteria:
- Have been in business for at least one year
- Have all mandatory bonding and licenses for your jurisdiction
- Must not have any unresolved customer complaints
- Must not have any governmental ethics violations
- All contracts and promises made via advertising or business practices fulfilled
- Must meet and follow all governmental and BBB advertising laws and codes
Once your eligibility has been confirmed and your application received by the BBB, they will assess you based on the following:
- Your history of complaints
- What type of business you operate
- How long you’ve been in business
- The transparency of your business practices (the information you provide about products/services)
- Any past failure to honour commitments to BBB
- Any licensing and government actions known to BBB, and
- Any advertising issues
A Good Tool for the Toolbox
For a little bit of effort, your BBB Accreditation score (KANDY’s is A+) will signal to your market that your company is worth doing business with. You can also take advantage of BBB seminars, development and marketing tools to help you build an even better business, and the opportunity to network with other local leaders who are also accredited.
What’s not to like?