The Better Business Bureau of the Tri-Counties is now allowing the public to submit customer reviews on BBB reports in an effort to improve its services to the community.
“Customers wanted another opportunity to be able to express their opinions about businesses that they interact with and consumers who don’t have experience with a particular business will be able to go online and read the business review that will contain consumer reviews,”said Rick Copelan, the BBB’s president and CEO.
The new feature on www.santabarbara.bbb.org was launched October 25th, according to Copelan.
This is how it works. When a review is submitted, it is vetted by the BBB before it is posted online and the BBB notifies the business via email that a review has been posted. The consumer must provide proof to the BBB that he or she was actually a customer of the business as a part of the vetting process. A receipt, for example, could be used as proof.
The business is allowed 72 hours to respond tothe BBB before the BBB posts the review online. “If they do not respond within the 72 hours, (the review) gets posted. We will post (the review) regardless of whether the business agrees or not,” said Copelan. He added that the business owner can submit a response or rebuttal to be posted online.
“We think it makes a whole package when people come to the Better Business Bureau to check out businesses with us and they can look for some key things to appear on that business review.” Copelan said.
Copelan went on to say that the customer reviews can be a benefit to business owners because they will get a sense of how they come across to the public.
“Power is knowledge. Often times consumers will not go directly to the business and give them feedback about their experience. This is all valuable feedback for businesses,” Copelan said.“Consider the fact that many times businesses actually pay companies to go out and get feedback from consumers.”
Lyn Maher of Best Move, based in Newbury Park said the new web site is a good idea as long as there is a vetting process.“That would be great because we always have to go looking for our reviews,”Maher said. “I think that we would definitely want to know what the customers think, especially if the BBB was going through and checking the credibility of the individual posting the comment.”
The BBB’s customer review process is free.