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What It Takes to Get Your A+ BBB Rating

The BBB or Better Business Bureau, if you haven’t heard, is the ultimate source for business listings. For over 100 years, the BBB has been the source for businesses, brands, and charities, with trustable insight. As a non-profit organization, the Council of the Better Business Bureau includes businesses of all sizes, either local or independent, in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It is also home to national and international programs on conflict resolution, advertising reviews, and business owned-regulation.

The BBB has one mission in mind and that’s to be an “ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers trust each other.” The BBB’s goal is to advance marketplace trust and has become the gold standard for all businesses. If you have an A+ BBB rating, then boy does that make a difference.

What does every company say when you enquire about a service? “You can trust us” or some type of message that preaches integrity. Well, how can you really know for sure if you can trust that company? Check out their Better Business Bureau profile. If they have an A+ rating, then yeah, it’s probably a good idea to go with them. What if they have a lower rating say, B+, then they probably could do better. An F? Don’t waste your time.

The BBB sets the standard for marketplace trust and it comes with good reason. Nobody wants to hire a company that is less than exceptional, and with the BBB, you can find out if they’re right for you. Not only can you read reviews and complaints between consumers and the businesses, but you can view licensing, government actions, out of business, misuse of the BBB name or logo, even bankruptcy. You’ll also have a link on the left-hand side to view a businesses’ site, as well as their contact information and higher management.

So, clearly, the BBB is the best place to search for a company. However, what does it take to receive an A+ rating? For all you businesses dying to know, I must say, it comes with quite the resume…

Rating Elements of the BBBbbb, profile, mchale's plumbing kitchen and bathroom

First and foremost, to begin your voyage in becoming an A+ certified business by the almighty BBB, you need to take into account that the following information will be used to determine your rating.

1. Your Business Complaint History with BBB

The BBB looks into your complaint history and the number of complaints filed with the BBB against your business. If the BBB does, in fact, receive a complaint, then your business’ response will be judged based on whether or not you appropriately responded to them. The BBB also takes into account whether or not the business resolved the complaint in a timely manner to the customer’s satisfaction. Also, you better resolve the issue in good faith even if the customer isn’t satisfied because that can help you with the BBB too. And if there’s a pattern of similar complaints, then that will affect your overall rating.

2. The Type of Business You Own

Simply put, a business’ rating is lowered if the business is one that raises marketplace concerns or is believed to operate in violation of the law. This is all based on the BBB’s opinion, and it’s a major opinion at that.

3. Years of Service

The amount of time that your business has operated also matters to the BBB. If the BBB is unable to find out from either your own business or other sources how long your company has been in operation, then they will consider it to have begun the moment it was filed on their site.

4. Transparency

What a surprise. With an organization that is so motivated by integrity, there had to be a grading system for transparency. If a business does not provide complete information on their services or the products they offer, then their grade is affected. Additionally, if your company uses false addresses or an address that can’t be determined, then you will see a lowered rating.

5. Failure to Honor BBB Commitments

Always honor your commitments with the BBB. If you fail to honor commitments, such as a paid settlement or arbitration award, then your rating will lower.

6. Government Actions and Licensing

When the BBB is notified that a business failed to have a required competency licensing, or in more simpler terms, a certification that allows them to conduct their services, then their rating is lowered. If you didn’t receive a local license to do business, the yeah, you’re rating is going to falter.  Additionally, if the government for some reason is raising questions about your business or its ethics in providing services, then that means you might be in some trouble. Which also means your rating gets lowered. Keep it clean people! Government actions are scaled as major, moderate, or minor, and the rating deduction pertains to each level. Regardless, you shouldn’t be having issues with the GOV anyways.

my pillow, bbb

7. Advertising Issues

A business’s rating is also lowered when they do not respond to BBB advertising suggestions. If the BBB contacts you and says, “Hey, we didn’t certify your business yet, so you should probably take our logo off your site” then take the logo off your site. Otherwise, your rating gets lowered, and you already start out on a bad foot, trying to climb up the charts.

Rating Points

Attached is a chart that shows the maximum number of points that you can either earn or have deducted in each BBB rating element. All of this falls on a 100-point scale, with some categories that only contribute to losing points. Those categories have “0” as a maximum number of points.

Letter Rating Scale

Here, you can find the 100-point scale the BBB uses to assign letter gradings to businesses. A little GPA for all you entrepreneurs!

Get on the Better Business Bureau’s good side and earn that A+ rating! When it comes to business listings, what’s a more trusted source?

About the Author: Lauren Donahoo