19 December 2023

How to Handle a Complaint Filed Against Your Company with BBB

By Ronald Smith

When we receive a complaint through the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it can really hurt the trust people have in our business. BBB complaints are not only publicly available, but they also affect our overall BBB rating.

The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is made up of separate Better Business Bureaus in the US, Canada, and Mexico. These separate Bureaus also include the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust.

So, if you ever find yourself facing a complaint against our company that has been filed with BBB organizations in the US, Canada, or Mexico, here’s what we need to do:

How to Handle a Complaint Filed Against Your Company with BBB

1. Let’s Respond

I’m Sandy Gamby, and I’m here to tell you why it’s super important to respond to complaints right away. Trust me, it’s a big deal!

Now, it’s not just about a complaint hurting your business’s reputation. Listen up – every business gets complaints at some point. It’s a part of the deal. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t look good if you have a ton of complaints, especially when compared to the size of your business. It’s important to pay attention to the patterns and the seriousness of the complaints. Let me explain.

2. Own Up and Say Sorry

When someone reaches out to you with a complaint, it’s important to address each issue they’ve brought up. The BBB (Better Business Bureau) suggests that you approach the situation with fairness and reason, acknowledging the customer’s experience and sticking to the facts.

3. Provide Documentation

If the customer’s story about your company doesn’t match the actual experience they had, it’s helpful to provide documentation that supports your side of the story. While this may not always be possible, it adds credibility to your business since the BBB’s complaints and resolutions are publicly available.

4. Be Proactive

According to Gamby, customers often reach out to businesses directly before filing a complaint with the BBB. Sometimes, they just want recognition and an apology, while other times they seek a refund or some other resolution. By taking action before a complaint is filed, you can prevent a BBB complaint and resolve the matter more efficiently.

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5. Make Clear Contracts

It’s important to have clear contracts with clients and customers. Let them know exactly what they can expect. When people have inflated expectations, they are more likely to complain later on.

The BBB (Better Business Bureau) can review contracts for its members. This helps reduce the chances of problems arising in the future.

6. Show Respect

According to Gamby, business owners and representatives should always be punctual and treat people with respect and courtesy. Making customer service a top priority can prevent a lot of potential complaints.

What happens when someone complains to the BBB?