Thursday, April 5, 2012

Better Business Bureau

Everyone has probably heard of the Better Business Bureau but not everyone completely understands the pros and cons of this establishment. Knowing and understanding the Better Business Bureau can help you as a business or a consumer.

Established in 1912, the Better Business Bureau is a place that does a number of things for the consumer as well as businesses. For a business, it is a selling point to have an accreditation or membership in the Better Business Bureau. It tells the consumer that you are a serious and professional business that considers it very important what the public thinks of you. Since membership is not free, it also showcases that the business that is a member is willing to make an investment in their reputation.

For the consumer, they are able to check out the business' ratings and comments from other customers. This can be helpful in choosing a certain business to utilize or whether or not a business has had issues in the past.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind about the BBB. For one thing, you can not automatically assume that a business is bad if you see a few complaints. One reason for this is that the Better Business Bureau only lists complaints. This means that if a business has given stellar customer service and those customers want to write a letter of praise, you will never see it on the Better Business Bureau's site.

On the other hand, it has been reported in the past that a business can simply buy a good rating from the Better Business Bureau. After an investigation was done, it showed the results of businesses receiving A rating scores after paying for a membership even though these businesses did not even exist.

The other issue is that a business can be a top notch establishment yet perhaps someone doesn't like the manager or has issues with an employee - that person can write a bad review that had nothing to do with the establishment's service. Obviously, the Better Business Bureau investigates each and every complaint but there are times when things can fall through the cracks and a business can get a bad review that is not warranted.

Another point to consider is that a complaint that you see may have been rectified, yet the complaint remains visible. This could be due to a number of reasons. Perhaps the bad service was from a particular employee and that employee has been dismissed. Now the service may be perfect, yet the bad review can cause some consumers to pass up doing business with the company in question.

The best way to look at using the Better Business Bureau is to keep an open mind and try to look at any complaint from both sides. Sure, if you see multiple complaints about the same issue than there may be a problem. However, if you only see an old complaint than perhaps this business took care of the issue and is worth checking into. Then there is the issue of a purchased rating that you may want to keep in mind. Even if there isn't 100% proof, it is something that you need to be aware of when choosing a business based on ratings alone.

If you are a business and plan to look into the Better Business Bureau, you can use it to your advantage. Just the mention of the Better Business Bureau helps some consumers make a decision to use your company. It can be a very worthwhile investment in your future growth.

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