The Better Business Bureau is an invaluable tool for consumers when researching businesses. However, the organization is not perfect and occasionally makes errors.
When your business receives a complaint, you should first attempt to resolve it directly with the customer before turning it over to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Doing this allows you to present a resolution proposal which the customer can review and decide whether or not they accept it.
How to File a Complaint
If you’re not satisfied with a business, the Better Business Bureau is your go-to for complaints. This nonprofit organization has been around since 1912 and operates nationwide.
They specialize in mediating complaints between consumers and businesses, usually through mediation.
Once you file a complaint, you should receive an email confirmation. This should include information on which BBB office is handling your inquiry as well as a link to a PDF file of the grievance for review.
You may receive direct contact from a BBB Dispute Resolution Specialist who will act as your point person until the complaint is resolved or the BBB reaches an impasse.
If the BBB fails to resolve your complaint, you have the option of filing a small claims lawsuit in small claims court. While this usually only occurs if there’s been an intentional failure on behalf of the BBB, if you feel they have done wrong by you it might be worth looking into taking legal action.
What to Include in Your Complaint
When filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), you must include all relevant facts and evidence to back up your assertion. You should include the name and address of the business that you are complaining about as well as an in-depth description of your grievance.
The Better Business Bureau will then assess your complaint to see if it’s valid and whether they can assist with your problem. If so, they’ll send a copy of your letter to the business you have named, inviting them to have a conversation about it with you.
If your complaint is not resolved amicably, mediation or arbitration are viable alternatives to filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). These processes aim to help businesses and consumers come to an agreement that is mutually beneficial.
Complaints can also be filed against businesses that are not BBB-accredited but still have some level of reputation in the marketplace, such as charitable organizations or non-profits. Unfortunately, the Better Business Bureau will not accept complaints regarding government agencies or professional services providers.
How to Respond to a Complaint
When a customer files a complaint against your business, it is imperative that you take the matter seriously and respond quickly. Doing so will show that you value customer satisfaction and are willing to collaborate with them to resolve any issues.
Responses to complaints should be comprehensive, specific and informative. Ideally, it will include an apology as well as outlining the steps you plan on taking to resolve the situation.
In some cases, a response may include an explanation of your business improvements and how customers can stay informed about those modifications. Doing this will guarantee the customer feels satisfied and likely to recommend your services to others.
A successful response also clearly states your plan for follow-up and how you intend to prevent similar problems in the future. Doing this will keep customers satisfied and encourage them to return for additional business in the future.
How to Close a Complaint
When a business receives a complaint, it is essential to resolve the matter and close the file. Doing this demonstrates your company values its customers and strives to offer them the best experience.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission it to “promote marketplace trust.” To do this, they assist consumers with complaints and disputes and grant accreditations to businesses so that their products or services can display the BBB’s logo proudly.
Once a business receives a complaint, their first step should be to reach out directly to the customer to attempt resolution. If this isn’t feasible, they can submit a resolution proposal to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and give the customer an opportunity to review it before closing out the complaint file.