Are we having fun yet? Just about everybody, consumers and business owners alike, are trying to figure out the best way to navigate the challenge of stagnant local and national economies, rising prices, and raging uncertainty in financial markets.
The American consumer's wild spending spree is over for now. Oh, they're still spending, but there's more of a feeling that every dollar counts and needs to be spent as wisely as possible. Businesses caught in a spiral of increasing expenses and diminishing income potential are scrambling to maintain their base and get new customers in the door.
In a nation where trust in business is on the decline, companies that inspire customer trust and confidence are most likely to be survivors in this economy. For your existing customers, this means continuing to provide a strong product/service and being highly responsive to customers' needs. But what about the many prospective customers who don't know you? How do you let them know that yours is a company they can trust?
BBB accreditation is a key part of the answer. Every time someone sees your BBB plaque or decal or the BBB Accredited Business seal in your ad, it sends an important message. Every time one of the thousands of people monthly who call us or go to bbb.org seeking guidance on where to spend their money learns about your BBB affiliation, it sends a message. It tells them that a neutral third party organization has vetted your company and found that it meets high business practice standards.....in plain English, that you can be trusted. It's hard to imagine an organizational affiliation that means more to your customers.
BBB accreditation is a largely silent but highly effective sales tool. Surveys have shown that most consumers would choose a business that is BBB accredited over one that's not. The impact of BBB affiliation on your business isn't always easy to measure, but the modest annual cost is more than offset by the very first customer who walks through your door because of the confidence your BBB accreditation inspired. Not to mention the hundreds or thousands of dollars your company can save by taking advantage of BBB programs offering Accredited Businesses discounts on workers comp and health insurance premiums, credit card processing, background checks, telecom services and much more.
It has been said that a company cannot afford to economize on its reputation. You've earned your reputation and your BBB accreditation, a privilege which acknowledges and reinforces your trustworthiness. Now more than ever, BBB accreditation is one of the most important assets your business can have.