When businesses receive a complaint through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) , it can really harm marketplace trust. BBB complaints are not only publicly available, but they also impact your overall BBB rating.
The International Association of Better Business Bureaus includes separately incorporated Better Business Bureaus including organizations in the us, Canada and Mexico too? The separately incorporated Better Business Bureau organizations also include the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust.
Here’s how to deal with a complaint against your company filed with BBB organizations in the us or in Canada and Mexico.
Sandy Gamby, director of operations for Better Business Bureau Akron branch, explains why it’s important to respond to complaints immediately:
“It’s not necessarily just a complaint that can harm a business’s reputation. Most businesses get complaints at some point. But it looks bad if the volume of complaints is large compared to the size of your business, if there’s a pattern where the same type of complaint is lodged multiple times, or if the complaint is deemed to be serious like if a customer paid for something and didn’t receive anything in return.”
2. Acknowledge and Apologize
In your response, the BBB recommends addressing each issue that the customer has brought up. Gamby also said that the business should stay fair and reasonable, acknowledge the experience that the customer had, and stick to the facts.
3. Provide Documentation
If the customer’s story about your company doesn’t match with the real experience they had, provide documentation for your side of the story. This might be impossible, but it adds credibility to businesses since the BBB’s complaints and resolutions are publicly available.
4. Be Proactive
Oftentimes, Gamby said, customers reach out to the businesses themselves before filing a complaint with the BBB.
Sometimes customers are just seeking acknowledgement and an apology. Other times, a refund or other resolution. Taking action before a complaint helps businesses avoid a BBB complaint.
5. Have Sound Contracts
Have clear contracts with clients and customers. Let people know exactly what to expect. Inflated expectations will cause them to complain later.
The BBB will review contracts for members. This makes them less likely to cause problems later.
6. Be Respectful
Gamby says business owners and representatives must show up on time. Treat people with respect and courtesy. Make sure customer service is a top priority. These steps eliminate quite a few potential complaints.
What happens when a customer complains to the BBB?
When a customer complains to the BBB, a business has 10 days to respond. If a BBB accredited business is unable to respond within 10 business days for any reason, reach out to the BBB local branch to explain the reason. Otherwise, the complaint will go on record as unanswered, showing the businesses didn’t successfully address the issue, resulting in a ratings drop.
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