In a world where consumers have increasingly turned to free online sources like Google Reviews, Facebook, Yelp and Trustpilot, you might wonder whether the cost of an accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is still worthwhile.
About the BBB
The BBB first gave consumers a voice in 1912. Its focus on consumer protection and industry regulation began during a time when consumers had few channels for disputing unsavory business practices. Fast forward to today, and the BBB continues to vet businesses against their code of conduct, award A+ to F ratings and facilitate dispute resolution. The organization also employs a recently introduced star review system.
There is a cost to accreditation, but the BBB does not limit its reporting to accredited businesses. Non-accredited businesses can receive ratings and reviews, but they cannot promote BBB affiliation and rating. The page of a non-accredited business on the BBB site will not have your organization’s branding. Accredited businesses, however, can promote their rating online and offline, which is important for brick-and-mortar establishments.
Is One Source for Reviews Enough?
In short, the more positive reviews your agency has, the better. And the best way to achieve that is to have multiple sources.
We like to say, “Meet your customers where they are.” And these days, while many customers congregate at sites like Facebook, Google and Yelp, there are still those that regularly turn to the BBB to vet the companies they’re considering doing business with.
The BBB is a historically strong indicator of trustworthiness and credibility. Consumers know and trust the BBB Torch Seal. Using the seal in your print materials and displayed in your office can provide a favorable first impression.
The BBB also handles reviews a little differently than other sites. They don’t allow anonymous reviews, and reviewers must verify their identity through email or text. Also, businesses receive notices when they have a BBB customer review and have an opportunity to respond before public postings. Take managing your online reputation seriously, across all review sites. Respond to any negative feedback promptly and professionally.
Lead Generation Benefits
According to the BBB, people view hundreds of thousands of BBB Accredited Business listings each month on their website. This makes them a valuable source for leads. The site provides visitors with a link to the business website, email contact information and phone number. And keep your client demographic in mind: The 40+ crowd may know and trust a BBB rating more than millennials. These may be exactly the kind of leads you want most.
As a franchise owner, consider the company you partner with and their long-standing reputation. We Insure has built a strong brand and credible standing with the BBB. An insurance franchise engages customers and partners and focuses on growing BBB ratings. Syncing your business with a company that implements this strategy simultaneously builds your credibility and visibility.
With opportunities to build trust, generate reviews and prospect new business, BBB accreditation offers many advantages that agency owners should strongly consider.