A Gallup poll showed 85% of customers prefer to buy from businesses with BBB accreditation.
BBB stands for Better Business Bureau, and the organization has existed for centuries. Businesses that meet its strict standards instantly gain a greater level of trust from their customers.
Read on to find out how to become a member of the Better Business Bureau and nine essential benefits it provides.
What Is BBB Accreditation?
Before examining the benefits, it’s important to know the answer to one question; what does being BBB accredited mean?
The BBB is a non-profit organization that ranks businesses, storing data and helping to resolve any disputes. It provides accreditation to any business that meets the standards it sets.
It’s also important to understand how to become a BBB accredited business. It’s a rigorous process with various steps and requirements.
First, a business must find their local BBB chapter and apply in person or online. Next, they must provide information such as where the business is located and who owns it. They must also prove they have all necessary licenses, haven’t been sanctioned for ethics violations, have no open complaints, and meet all other requirements.
A business must operate for at least a full year before applying for BBB accreditation. It must also prove that its business practices are honest and fair, responding to complaints promptly and appropriately.
The final step before approval is paying annual dues. These range from $400-1200 for small businesses and more for large corporations. There may also be an application fee.
After being approved, a business can display the torch logo on their storefront and in any advertising material as proof of their BBB accreditation. It includes a letter rating from A to F that shows the company’s quality.
Benefit 1: Trust/Reputation
A Nielsen study asked customers what they felt a BBB seal symbolized, and the top answers were honesty, quality, approval, positive standing, and reliability.
Displaying a BBB seal on the window is a simple way to increase customer trust. The previously mentioned study also discovered a 75% consumer familiarity rate with the BBB, more than most other review sites. Customers know the organization can be trusted and that any business that meets its standards has a positive reputation.
Read our other articles for more tips on managing your business’s reputation whether you’re currently BBB accredited or not.
Benefit 2: Visibility
One major perk of BBB accreditation is increased customer visibility.
The sign on the window that every accredited business displays will draw in customers who know and trust the BBB.
Not every potential customer will walk by your storefront. Some prefer to find their products on the internet. An online database lets them look for accredited businesses in their area, making it easier for them to find you.
Benefit 3: Competitive Advantages
BBB accreditation is completely voluntary. This may lead some to wonder, what if a company is not BBB accredited?
Having accreditation provides a competitive advantage, especially if it’s something the other businesses in your field lack. Customers are more likely to purchase from a place that can provide proof of its positive reputation.
Hundreds of thousands of BBB accredited listings are viewed per month. No business can afford to miss out on this large potential customer base.
Benefit 4: Reviews
In one year alone, customers accessed 1.1 million reviews and 120 million reviews of businesses with BBB accreditation.
Reviews aren’t just for restaurants and movie studios. They can benefit any business, and BBB accreditation makes it easy to post and respond to them.
Customers visit the BBB website almost a million times a year for information on local companies. They trust companies more if their reviews are positive overall.
The BBB regulates reviews, making them more effective. Businesses can see and approve each one before they’re posted. There’s no anonymity, allowing for a two-sided conversation between owner and customer.
Benefit 5: Networking
Networking shouldn’t stop when a person gets hired. It’s a long-term business goal that helps at every stage of the process.
The BBB offers networking events like its Torch Awards for Ethics. Attending them allows your business to connect with valuable potential partners.
A seal of BBB accreditation is proof of quality for businesses as well as customers. Companies that receive one are likely to be more valuable assets. It’s best to focus on networking with them, as their positive reputation will also improve yours.
Benefit 6: Resolving Disputes
Businesses that receive BBB accreditation have a record of providing excellent service. This doesn’t mean that customers will never complain or seek damages.
The BBB provides dispute regulation services to every business that receives BBB accreditation. They verify that complaints are from actual customers, notify the business, and provide help with mediation if necessary.
Benefit 7: Employee and Community Benefits
Advertising your BBB accreditation in job posts can lead to better hires. They will be more willing to work for a company with proof of a positive reputation.
The community also benefits when companies receive BBB accreditation. It decreases scams and allows them to find the most reputable businesses.
Benefit 8: Useful Tools
Accredited businesses receive a BBB Accredited Business identification, directory, activity report, and discount. They save your company money and help advertise it as a trustworthy business.
Another useful tool is the Request-a-Quote program that lets customers easily request quotes from accredited businesses. There is also an information program and on-demand Ecourses that provide up-to-date business information.
Benefit 9: Extra Paid Benefits
Becoming BBB accredited costs money, with yearly dues varying by company size. The benefits make the costs worthwhile for many businesses.
There are extra benefits of BBB accreditation that require a small fee. These include SES Google optimization and online sponsorship. They increase a business’s online visibility.
What Else Can I Do?
BBB accreditation gives added legitimacy to your business. It’s a multi-step process and requires paying yearly dues, but the various benefits it provides make the extra effort worth it.