Are Trust Sites like BBB Worthwhile?

b2ap3_thumbnail_logosThere are quite a few websites and organizations that help you prove and develop trust with your clients. One of the most famous is of course the Better Business Bureau. Other groups include Angie’s List, Yelp and Google Reviews.

So are these worthwhile?

Better Business Bureau has a significant investment required to officially join. For service-based businesses like repair companies, auditors, accountants, cleaners etc I find this to be a very important service to join.

If you do join it, make certain you take full advantage of it and use that BBB logo for all it’s worth. You of course must adhere to a code of conduct and rules of fair trade which, ultimately, boil down to the concept of the ‘golden rule’ service.  I hope, for the sake of your reputation, you’re already adhering to this.

Many service-providing companies have told me their BBB logo lends instant trust, which can be a major factor in whether someone is willing to take a chance with your company. Do be aware you must be an existing company for over a year before you can join as a full BBB member. However, they are beginning a new affiliate program for companies 6-months old.

Ultimately I say yes, BBB is a worthwhile investment!

So what about Yelp and Google Reviews? Both of these are free to list your business and it’s services/products. I used to think these were most useful for restaurants and attractions, but very recently I found my eye doctor using Yelp’s reviews to guide my decision.

So really, any business can benefit. If you want to make these two review sites work for you (instead of against you) put up some signs or links anywhere you can to encourage positive reviews. Perhaps you could send a follow up email to your customers after a service and ask for a positive review.  Make it work for you!

Angie’s List works very much the same, however Angie’s List is more thorough about filtering reviews unlike Google or Yelp. You can also add your business if it hasn’t been reviewed. Again, if you want to focus on Angie’s List, make sure you campaign for positive reviews! The only problem with Angie’s List is only paid members can see your reviews. This gives it some prestige but also means the casual browser can’t access it.

My recommendation, to start, is to pick one or two of these groups and work on getting your rankings up there. If trust is a major factor with prospects, go with BBB to start. If online connectivity is more important or the cost is prohibitive, go with Yelp and Google reviews.

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