Steps to Becoming a Better Business Bureau Member

The Better Business Bureau serves as an objective accrediting body that offers its seal to businesses approved and monitored under a system of ethical standards for reliable and excellent service. The Bureau’s founding was the result of a need in the marketplace for the enforcement of honest business and advertising practices, and business owners seeking membership are required to pass a review board’s examination. Successful applicants will demonstrate a solid track record of customer service for at least one year prior to applying, and will show the potential for long-term compliance with the Bureau’s standards. Interested parties may take the following steps toward seeking the Better Business Bureau seal of approval.

Apply Locally

Contact your local chapter to submit an application. Local chapters may be found through the Bureau’s Web site through the link below. Each chapter may ask for slightly different documents and information from its applicants.

Prepare Relevant Documents

Be prepared to disclose business licensing documentation, and possibly any records that demonstrate business practices, specifically customer complaint resolutions. It may also be helpful to create a Web presence or print consumer materials that explain the company’s ownership, commitment to quality service, and philosophy.

Adhere to the Better Business Bureau Standards

The BBB offers several suggestions on how businesses can operate if they hope to earn and maintain a seal of approval. These suggestions include honoring a dedication to openness with customers, honest advertising, a successful plan for delivering on guarantees, straightforward sales practices, and a respect for customer information privacy.

The Bureau specifically seeks businesses that maintain an open dialogue with customers, that quickly handle complaints in a courteous manner, and that put forth every effort to give customers a clear and accurate representation of services and products offered. Even implied guarantees and features described in all business marketing and sales materials must be verifiable, and any discrepancies must be immediately clarified or resolved.

Beyond monitoring complaint resolution success and advertising and sales practices, the Bureau will also look for honesty and integrity in everyday business practices. Customer loyalty is in no small part achieved through the actual experiences that clients can expect when in places of business while verbally communicating directly with sales associates and while making buying decisions. The Bureau will seek to ascertain whether or not customers patronizing a particular business can expect to be treated with dignity and respect.

Maintaining Approval

Members of the Better Business Bureau are not guaranteed permanent approval, and are subject to a ratings system that is made available to clients. Approval can best be maintained by committing to active involvement during any review procedures, creating and implemented a plan for improving customer relations each year, and responding immediately to any complaints that are rendered, whether directly to the company or through the Bureau’s complaint mediation process for members.

The Bureau is dedicated to ensuring that consumers who rely on their approval seal can rest assured that they are conducting business only with proven, reliable, and professional companies. Businesses who seek and receive membership are therefore required to maintain a consistent track record of the methods utilized for guaranteeing customer satisfaction.