Managing customer reviews are an integral part of the marketing strategy for many companies. With the growth of online rating platforms such as Yelp and Google Reviews, an established customer satisfaction service such as Better Business Bureau may seem dated or out-of-touch for many people. It may be time for another look.

Maintaining an active presence on Google is certainly an important element in a company’s marketing toolkit. For those looking to develop a well-rounded approach to marketing and customer relations, the services and credibility that come with BBB membership may be worth the cost of membership.

Businesses that have earned BBB accreditation, from computer services to pawn shop, understand that there is much more to the bureau than customer reviews. From custom marketing solutions to alternative dispute resolution services, becoming a BBB member can help raise a company’s profile in a number of ways.

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Established Standards

The Better Business Bureau is a private, non-profit company established in 1912 to promote trust in the marketplace. Its rating system, from A+ through F, signifies BBB’s level of confidence in a business as trustworthy and that the company will make a good faith effort to resolve customer disputes. Companies that are accredited agree to maintain their membership and adhere to the BBB Code of Business Practices. The bureau does not endorse any company or products to avoid the appearance of bias.

More than SEO

Moving a company’s search results up search engine rankings is complex and, for many, not easily understood. Membership and accreditation by BBB does provide a boost for member companies with its directory listings, but that may not be enough to push the company to the top ranks.

The real value in BBB accreditation may come when potential customers are interested in a company’s reputation over time. A company’s track record in responding to customer issues is important and can be quickly researched. When the other elements in the BBB standards are considered, from truth in advertising to transparency in ownership and policies, customer privacy protection and business integrity, customer confidence is improved.

The Trust Factor

Of the services BBB offers to its accredited members, helping connect customers by providing relevant business information, is one of the most valuable. People know they can find product reviews, the where and when of a business and what others have to say about it quickly and easily on a variety of websites. A referral from a trusted source such as BBB that a business pledges to meet the highest standards and that it makes an effort to fairly resolve customer disputes provides an advantage to the business.

As an accredited member, BBB requires businesses to respond to customer disputes promptly. Although a business may strive for complete customer satisfaction, complaints will happen. By making a good faith effort to respond and, if needed, participate in the BBB’s recommendation for third-party mediation, a business gains valuable knowledge and experience in avoiding complaints while building a profile for trustworthiness.

A small to mid-size business must balance its investment in customer development and retention with its income. BBB membership and accreditation can provide increased customer loyalty and online visibility.