Small business owners and entrepreneurs have a wide variety of obligations, ranging from product development and marketing solutions to customer service experience and hiring practices.
As such, they may bypass smaller recommendations like Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation. Yet, the small business community needs to acknowledge the importance of BBB rating and accreditation.
At the very least, BBB accreditation can develop greater customer trust in your company. All of our reviews of website hosting providers have an A rating from the BBB. Keep reading to learn about the importance of BBB accreditation and rating as well as how to get accredited.
The general purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to remain neutral and help develop responsible practices among businesses, help consumers find critical information when making purchasing decisions, and reconcile disagreements between customers and business owners.
This neutral marketplace provides a space where consumers and businesses “can trust each other.” Furthermore, BBB holds a directory of more than 5 million businesses and a search tool that customers can use to research a particular company.
Customers can leave reviews about a company as well as file complaints. Companies can respond to complaints, and BBB provides arbitration and mediation services in such cases.
Using a 17-point scale, BBB grades or rates businesses from an A+ to an F rating. Furthermore, the Better Business Bureau provides a BBB accreditation seal to companies that have gone through the accreditation process. This can help your company bring in more customers and build trust with the public.
Once your business is accredited, you’ll need to pay an annual fee and renew the accreditation process yearly. There are specific advantages that BBB accreditation provides, including particular marketing or advertising guarantees. We delve further into the benefits of BBB accreditation below.
You will find that the benefits of a BBB rating align with some of the advantages of having your business receive BBB accreditation.
Companies that have high BBB ratings will gain more trust in their market. These businesses will have greater consumer and public trust than a company with a low BBB rating.
These ratings generally benefit business practices, as companies are more likely to improve customer service to boost their ratings. The entire business community benefits from BBB ratings, as more than 5.4 million businesses have received ratings on the BBB website.
Customers will benefit from a BBB rating because, even if they file a consumer complaint, they will have the backing of the Better Business Bureau to resolve a dispute with a business.
The BBB rating ranges from an A+ to an F. Many factors can make or break the BBB rating, including years in operation, history of complaints, pricing/business transparency, marketing practices, and licensing.
Customers often look for a BBB rating to determine if a business will treat them fairly or whether they’ve received numerous complaints in the past. Consumers also look for companies with superior price transparency. As such, a positive BBB rating can significantly help small business owners.
Next, we discuss understanding the importance of BBB rating and accreditation.
The reasons for running a BBB accredited business involve a wide variety of advantages. For example, when your company receives accreditation, you will have a company profile available on the BBB website.
Your rating, services/products, and hours of operation are visible to customers on this profile. You can also add videos, images, and even coupons to this profile.
You can also display your BBB accreditation seal or BBB logo on your company website, product packaging, store’s front door, and more. Furthermore, you’ll gain more customers with this accreditation since consumers can search for your business on the BBB website.
You’ll even receive a monthly analytics report from the Better Business Bureau regarding how your company is doing on their website. Furthermore, your customers can obtain price quotes directly from the Better Business Bureau before referring to your sales specialists.
As an accredited business, you will receive savings on various programs such as shipping costs or merchant credit card processing.
Furthermore, by joining the BBB accreditation program, your company leaders will have access to webinar training sessions and educational materials to learn how to run a productive business. You’ll also receive information to avoid scams targeting businesses.
All of these reasons show exactly why you should obtain BBB accreditation for your business. Next, we help you figure out how to become a BBB accredited business owner.
To receive Better Business Bureau accreditation, you must first determine if your company is eligible for accreditation. Has your business been in operation for at least six months? Do you have all the licensing requirements necessary for your business to operate?
Next, you’ll need to comply with government regulations and contractual responsibilities.
Once you know that you are eligible, you can apply online or call your local BBB office. You can also email your local chapter for more information and application instructions.
You’ll need to provide key information to BBB, such as the number of employees, business name, address, and more. Then, the Better Business Bureau will review your company using a public records check and other documentation. You may even undergo a phone interview.
It can take up to three weeks to review an application. Once you have been approved, you’ll need to pay a fee known as accreditation dues. These are the simple steps you’ll need to follow to get your business accredited.
If you receive a customer complaint on the BBB website, the first thing to do is speak with the BBB Dispute Resolution Counselor. An unresolved complaint will only hurt your company.
This counselor will help the two parties resolve their conflict in a way that is acceptable to both the customer and the business. The Better Business Bureau reviews complaints, forwards correspondence between the two parties, offers solutions, and even provides mediation and arbitration services.
The BBB rating system ranges from an A+ to an F scale. The overall grade that a company receives shows how trustworthy it is and how confident the BBB is in its operation. A superior BBB rating also indicates how well a company makes a good faith effort in resolving consumer complaints.
Some of the factors that the Better Business Bureau uses to create a company rating include:
Many factors go into creating a high BBB rating for a business. As such, a BBB accredited business is not guaranteed a higher rating than a company that is not accredited.
However, if your company does have BBB accreditation, you will receive more points in this area of the rating system. You’ll also need superior results in the other areas to obtain a high BBB rating.