4 December 2023

Do You Know How to Boost Your BBB Rating?

By Ronald Smith

Hi there! Let’s talk about something important: your Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. You might be wondering, what in the world is BBB? Well, BBB is an organization that helps people find trustworthy businesses.

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty. Your BBB rating reflects how reliable and trustworthy your business is. It’s like a report card for businesses! The higher your rating, the more people will trust you and want to do business with you.

So, how can you improve your BBB rating? It’s actually not as complicated as you might think. Here are a few simple steps you can take:

  • Deliver top-notch customer service: When customers have a great experience with your business, they are more likely to give you a good rating. So, always strive to exceed their expectations and make them happy.
  • Respond to customer complaints: Nobody’s perfect, and customers understand that. If someone has a complaint, acknowledge it and work with them to find a solution. This shows that you care about your customers and are willing to make things right.
  • Be transparent: Honesty is the best policy, as they say. Be open and upfront about your products, services, and policies. This builds trust and helps you maintain a good reputation.
  • Build a positive online presence: In today’s digital world, online reviews and ratings matter. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews, and address any negative reviews in a professional and respectful manner.

That’s it! Following these steps can help you improve your BBB rating and boost your business’s reputation.

If you have any more questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out. I’m here to help you succeed!

Do You Know How to Boost Your BBB Rating?

A stellar Better Business Bureau rating can give your business star power. When consumers see a high BBB rating, they know that they can expect great things from your business. Even members of your business community pay attention to these ratings.

But how does the Better Business Bureau actually calculate a business’s rating? And why are these ratings so important for businesses like yours?

BBB ratings are determined by many factors, such as how a business handles complaints, how transparent they are, and how truthful their advertising is, explained Paula Fleming, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer for BBB of Eastern Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Having a good BBB rating is important because it shows how the BBB believes a business will treat its customers.

Let me explain it to you: when the BBB gives a business a top letter grade rating, it means they have a lot of confidence in that business. So, if your company has a good rating from the BBB, it makes customers more likely to choose you because they trust that you run a reliable business. That’s why it’s important for you to become BBB accredited once you start your business.

What Determines Your BBB Rating?

Curious about what factors contribute to your company’s BBB rating? Well, here’s what the Better Business Bureau takes into consideration when calculating a rating:

How Many Complaints Have Been Filed Against Your Business

Did you know that the Better Business Bureau keeps track of how businesses deal with customer complaints? When someone isn’t happy with a product or service, they can file a complaint against the business. The BBB then keeps a record of these complaints.

But the BBB doesn’t just stop at looking at complaints. They also take into account the size of the business and how well they respond to and resolve complaints. So even if a customer wasn’t satisfied, the BBB considers the business’s efforts to fix the problem when determining their complaint history.

If a business can show that they made a sincere effort to resolve a complaint, the BBB may be satisfied and adjust their ranking accordingly. So it’s not just about the complaints, but also about how businesses handle them.

When it comes to being important, the BBB considers the nature of complaints against businesses. Does the number and history of complaints stem from an underlying issue? Did the business address or ignore this issue?

If you want more information, you can check out the BBB’s process for handling complaints and reviews. From there, you can search the BBB to find answers to your specific questions.

The Type of Business You Have

Your BBB rating may be lower if there are concerns about the type of business you run. And of course, if the BBB believes your business is breaking the law, they will lower your rating.

The Time You’ve Been in Business

There isn’t much you can do about this, especially if you’re a new startup. All you can do is keep operating in the community and let the days add up.

If your current business previously existed under a different name or in a different location, you might be able to extend how long you’ve been in business. To explore your options, reach out to a specialist at the Better Business Bureau.

Being Transparent in Your Business Practices

This is a crucial part of the rating system and might only require some simple fixes to your company information. It could be as easy as updating your website or providing additional details about your business to customers.

To improve your BBB rating, make sure you give customers a clear and complete description of the products and services you offer.

  • Is the business name and location accurate?
  • What is your refund and return policy?
  • Recurring Costs: I’ll provide you with information about any ongoing charges, like automatic renewals.
  • Stock Delays: I’ll let you know if there are any delays or shortages with the products you’re interested in.
  • Shipping Costs: I’ll inform you about the costs associated with shipping a product.
  • Website Traffic Analysis: I may use cookies to analyze the traffic on your website and gather valuable insights.

Your Track Record with BBB Commitments

Whenever a dispute between a business and a customer reaches mediation and the BBB delivers a decision, it’s crucial for the business to respect that decision and honor all settlement terms or awards you receive as a result.

Reporting Government or Other Actions to BBB

Remember, the BBB is not a law enforcement agency and does not have authority over government actions or regulations related to any business. It also does not handle business licensing matters.

But when the government takes action against a business or a licensing organization steps in, the BBB can step in too and lower the business rating. Let me give you some examples:

If there are government actions that are finalized and raise concerns about a business’s honesty or reliability, that’s when the BBB takes action. It’s important to note that the BBB doesn’t do anything if the issues are still pending.

There are also actions related to competency licensing. This means that the BBB considers licensing that can be revoked if a business behaves improperly.

Any Issues with Advertising Reported to the BBB

The BBB rating system is built on the foundation of truth and accuracy in all business dealings. This is particularly important when it comes to advertising claims.

Hey, did you know something interesting? It turns out that most complaints about businesses’ advertising that are reported to the BBB actually come from their competitors.

A lot of advertising problems happen because people use phrases incorrectly. You might see these phrases all the time as a consumer, but you might not think about what they actually mean. Let me show you some examples:

Wholesale or At Cost. A business can only use these words in their advertising if they’re selling something at the same price they paid for it.

Factory to You, or Factory Outlet. These words can only be used if the business making the product is also the one advertising it.

Another issue in advertising that’s less common is when a business uses the BBB’s name or logo without being qualified to do so.

If you want to learn more about this, you can check out the BBB code of advertising.

How Points are Assigned

Let me break it down for you. The Better Business Bureau has this nifty 100-point scale to assign a rating to businesses. It’s not just some random opinion, you know? They actually have a system for this.

So, here’s how it works. The 100-point scale is linked to a letter grade scale. And guess what? An A rating is the highest level you can achieve in the BBB rating system. Cool, right?

Now, there are 13 categories that the BBB uses to calculate points. Basically, businesses have to do really well in these categories to earn that coveted A rating. And here’s an interesting tidbit: in 5 of those categories, you can either gain or lose points on the letter rating scale. It’s like a balancing act!

But wait, there’s more! In the other 8 categories, you can only lose points. Ouch, right? If you happen to lose a whopping 11 points in any of those categories, sorry my friend, but you’ll be kicked out of the A rating. Tough luck!

Let me explain how you can earn points. The Better Business Bureau takes a few things into account, like the number of complaints (taking into consideration the size and age of the complaints), unanswered complaints, unresolved complaints, delays in resolving complaints, and how long you’ve been in business.

Now, let’s talk about how your business can earn points. If you have zero unanswered complaints, you’ll earn a cool 40 points. And guess what? If you also have zero unresolved complaints, you’ll get an additional 30 points!

But be aware, points can be deducted in eight different categories. Check out the table below for all the details. Just remember, the point value starts at zero and goes into the negatives, meaning you can lose points. For example, if you fail to honor mediation or arbitration decisions, you can lose up to 41 points.

What the Rating Scale Means

When it comes to rating businesses, we use a letter grade system known as BBB. The goal of businesses is to achieve an A rating in order to gain confidence from customers and consumers.

Let’s take a closer look at the A rating. To get an A+, your overall score needs to be between 97 and 100. For an A, the score range is 94 to 96.99. And for an A-, you need a score between 90 and 93.99.

For B, C, and D ratings, the numbers follow similar ranges but lower. B ratings fall in the 80s, C ratings in the 70s, and D ratings in the 60s. Anything below 60 points is considered an F. It’s important to keep in mind that potential customers will judge your business based on its letter grade.

How can I improve my BBB Rating?

The best way for business owners to enhance their Better Business Bureau rating is by promptly addressing customer complaints and resolving any concerns they may have.

I can help improve my business’s rating by addressing all complaints, Fleming shared. I should make a sincere effort to quickly and fully resolve any complaints.

If you want to know more about boosting your ratings, you should check out our article on: How to Handle a BBB Complaint Against Your Company. It will also guide you on how to contest a BBB complaint.

What is the International Association of Better Business Bureaus?

The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is a network of Better Business Bureaus in the US, Canada, and Mexico. It has its headquarters in Arlington, VA.

The International Association shares the same goal as each state or regional Better Business Bureau organization – to encourage and support honest and attentive relationships between businesses and consumers.

Want to be a part of the BBB?

Did you know that registering your business with the BBB is completely free? The BBB, short for Better Business Bureau, is a highly respected organization here in the US. Joining the BBB as a member does come with a fee of $39 per month, but the good news is that this fee is tax-deductible as a business expense. It’s a win-win situation!

The BBB has been around for a long time, starting its journey in 1912. Ever since then, it has dedicated itself to serving our business community. The Better Business Bureaus Inc., which is the formal name, was founded in 1920 and now consists of 106 separately incorporated BBBs across the US, Canada, and Mexico. Each BBB is organized by zip code into a regional branch, making it easier for businesses to connect with their local communities.

Now, let me tell you about the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust. It’s a 501 (c)(3) organization that operates within the BBB network. The main goal of this institute is to provide educational programs and information about the BBB. It’s like a hub of knowledge and resources, all designed to help businesses thrive in the marketplace and build trust with their customers.