While the lasting impact of COVID-19 on business remains uncertain, one thing is clear: Consumers are turning to companies they trust.
That’s why accreditation through the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado is more important than ever.
“People want to trust that a business is going to do a good job and have their best interests in mind,” said Jonathan Liebert, CEO and executive director of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado. “When a 100-plus-year-old organization like the BBB gives you accreditation, it means we have given our stamp of approval. When consumers know you’re accredited with the BBB, they are more likely to buy from you because they know you’re trustworthy.”
Trust is the key philosophy behind the Better Business Bureau’s accreditation philosophy. When businesses apply for accreditation, the BBB grades them against eight standards of trust, Liebert said. Those standards include being honest and having a good track record in the industry because, as Liebert said, “trust is earned.”
Businesses also must advertise honestly, be truthful in representing their products and services, be transparent, honor their promises, be responsive in addressing marketplace disputes, safeguard consumer privacy and embody integrity, he said.
In addition to grading businesses against these eight standards, the BBB also verifies that businesses are registered correctly and that they have appropriate certifications and licenses needed for their practices.
“The BBB is not a membership organization. You can’t pay dues and get in. We are a vetting, accrediting body,” Liebert said. “We only allow the people who meet our expectations and we keep them held to a higher standard to make sure that they act with utmost honesty and integrity.”
Businesses that earn the BBB accreditation logo can use it on storefronts, business cards, in advertising and more as a marketing tool. Consumers recognize the logo as a “mark of trust,” Liebert said.
Businesses with an online presence can also use the logo on their websites, which may help them rank higher in search engine results, he noted.
“Just like consumers look for the BBB logo at stores, searches engines like Google look for legitimate business websites,” Liebert said. “Trust is earned. It’s the same thing with search engines. If a search engine gave you bad websites to go to, then nobody would use them. They have to make sure their algorithms find trustworthy websites to display.”
Having the BBB accreditation seal on a website translates the coding behind it so that search engines recognize the seal and know the website is trustworthy because it has been vetted by BBB, he said. That helps businesses potentially rank higher in the algorithm and appear higher in search results.
As the largest business association in Southern Colorado, the BBB has accredited more than 2,200 companies, Liebert said. Accredited businesses are shown with the accreditation logo on their profile on the BBB website.
Additionally, accredited companies receive access to a business profile that provides them with analytic information, such as how many profile views and clicks they have received as well as where their traffic is coming from, so businesses can better market to their target consumer.
Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Liebert said the BBB is preparing to launch a new “working safer pledge” badge for businesses that are taking such actions as enforcing social distancing and routine disinfection. Those businesses can “pledge to work safely” and add a badge to their BBB profile.
The working safer pledge is launching on BBB websites nationwide, but it was developed by the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado, Liebert said.
“We realized that a lot of people want to know who they can trust to take their health seriously,” he said. “We decided to launch this so that businesses who are adhering to these safety recommendations can let customers know that they are enforcing the recommended health care practices.”
To learn more about BBB accreditation, call 719-636-1155 or go to bbb.org/local-bbb/bbb-of-southern-colorado.