I’ve been in this BBB business for over 20 years. I have heard customers complain about the most ridiculous things over these years, scattered among the real issues that deserve attention from us and the business. I’ve seen customers ask for outcomes that include firing, jailing, torture, and financial relief in the millions. Strange how skewed some individuals are in what is and is not fair.
But the last two weeks have partially restored my faith in human beings.
Two weeks ago, this BBB along with seven other BBBs in the US, quietly launched a new feature for BBB ratings—customer reviews. This is a big step for an organization that prides itself on being the neutral repository that focuses on resolution, not just spewing.
Like Trip Advisor and other rating sites, we now allow customers to post reviews of businesses. We take it a step further and verify that a transaction really did take place and the person posting the customer review did have a business transaction. Plus, if the review you want to post is negative, we ask you instead to file a complaint and seek resolution, as opposed to just shouting your dissatisfaction without a goal of resolve.
In the two weeks we’ve offered this feature, over 100 people have written customer reviews on our site.
One of the fears of seeking customer reviews is encouraging negativity. I have seen comments on ratings sites that are so off-base I wonder if the writer is from another planet, and then realize they are probably a competitor or an angry employee; that is why you read more than one posting. But still, those who simply offer volumes of bad comments are often not looking for a solution, and I can’t condone that.
So, we expected negativity, but we were wrong. 75% of the comments posted about BBB Accredited Businesses are positive. The percentage of positive feedback on non-Accredited businesses has been much smaller, but that is to be expected. Only the cream of the crop carries BBB Accreditation.
Wow. People really do want to say nice things when the interaction with business has been positive, and they are passionate about it. How refreshing. And that is why I am pulling up some of those stakes in the neighborhood I call cynical.