This year, the Better Business Bureau celebrates its one hundred year anniversary. Launched in 1912, the BBB was originally founded for the purpose of bringing advertisers together to combat false or misleading ads. Today, the BBB offers a valuable circle of services to consumers:
- Lists trustworthy businesses and charities
- Alerts donors and customers of scams
- Provides a venue for reporting complaints
The organization is an excellent advocate for individuals, but what’s in it for the small business?
The Better Business Bureau and the Trust Factor
When you visit my site at TicketPrinting.com, you’ll see the BBB Accredited Business Seal featured prominently in the upper right hand corner of the page. We knew early on that, as a web-based business, we needed a way to communicate accountability. When you’re in ecommerce, you need to appear trustworthy from the moment your page loads. How could we prove to visitors that our company was trustworthy?
We became members of the Better Business Bureau.
No other organization so clearly demonstrates that a business maintains good standing in the community, and our community is all of North America. Membership indicates that a company is run with integrity and the intention to treat customers fairly. This membership assures customers that our company lives up to the highest ethical standards. If, somehow, we fail to achieve this goal, then the customer can inform the BBB, which will address the issue for them. While we’ve always been accountable to our customers, being accountable to the BBB demonstrates our intentions in a bigger way.
Membership is a fast and convenient method for us to prove that we do warrant the trust required to do business with strangers online.
Of course, the BBB is more than a resource for consumers to gauge the trustworthiness of a business. They also offer businesses plenty of great incentives. Their blog and other links on their website provide us with plenty of great ideas for keeping our customers satisfied and maintaining our reputation. We especially like the new feature: customer reviews. This offers us yet another way to engage our customers in a dialog, which helps us improve our service, raise our standards, and create a positive buzz surrounding our business.
We’ve been a BBB Accredited Business and supporters of the BBB for some time now, and I’ve even joined the BBB Board for my region. I’m happy to attest to the benefits this organization has provided us. Happy Birthday, BBB!