The internet is a very valuable tool for businesses, but it can also do damage to your reputation and revenue quickly. Online brand reputation management has developed into a full-fledged industry of their own, with some companies paying outside specialist businesses hundreds or thousands of dollars to challenge or correct negative reviews and ratings they have previously received.
While many people focus their reputation efforts on websites like Facebook or Yelp, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) remains a tool that allows consumers to advise others and the government of problems that they have had with a company in the past. Does your business need to worry about what rating the Better Business Bureau gives it online?
Consumers may notice a negative BBB rating
When consumers research your brand or your industry, your company name or ratings may come up in their internet searches. Having unresolved complaints filed with the BBB will definitely hurt the way that your company looks to consumers.
Reaching out to the BBB to offer an official response, as well as to the individual in question to try to resolve their complaint, could go a long way toward showing goodwill on the part of your company and its desire to keep customers happy.
While addressing complaints may not bring your rating all the way up to an A, it will still be better than having unresponded to and open complaints against your company on the BBB website.
Consumers don't trust the BBB as much as they used to
There was a time when the BBB was the only real resource for consumers with a valid, but unresponded-to, complaint against a business or for those who wanted information when making a decision about whom to hire or buy from.
However, the BBB has issues with how it handles complaints, not the least of which is that very disreputable companies can sometimes manage to maintain good ratings. Addressing issues that drag down your BBB rating could absolutely help your business, but that shouldn't be your only approach to protecting your business and its brand.
Getting good business advice, including about your legal obligations and rights, can help you safeguard your company against unsatisfied individuals or unscrupulous competitors abusing a public reporting tool.