Setting Business Standards
Wednesday - June 02, 2010
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By Dwight Kealoha
Chief Executive Officer, Hawaii’s Better Business Bureau
In today’s world, where change seems to be the only constant, building trust among consumers and businesses can be challenging.
That’s where Hawaii’s Better Business Bureau comes in. We set standards for businesses that promote trust in the marketplace, and help consumers be better informed and knowledgeable shoppers.
Standards are critical in the decisions you make related to certain industries. For example, would you see a doctor who wasn’t licensed or get advice from an attorney who never passed the bar, or hire a contractor that was uninsured? Probably not. Doing business in the general consumer marketplace is no exception. There is a need for standards that give you peace of mind and trust in the decisions you make about whom to hire or where to shop.
As business leaders, we care about our state’s economic well-being, and can’t afford to accept declining consumer trust as inevitable and beyond our control. A free enterprise system that relies on the private sector to solve problems and deliver products and services without governmental micromanagement or regulation depends on consumers trusting businesses.
It’s as simple as that.
Consumers are being more cautious about where and how they spend their money and are looking for objective information to make informed decisions. At BBB, we’ve seen this firsthand. In 2009, requests for BBB Reliability Reports - free, online reports with a business’ BBB accreditation status, rating and complaint history - increased 18 percent over the previous year. Today’s consumers value authenticity, honesty, integrity and trust, and they expect these same values in the companies with which they choose to do business. Consumers take pride in making smart decisions and are doing their homework to make sure they are working with businesses that value the same things they do.
BBB is leading this charge with “Standards for Trust,” a comprehensive set of policies, procedures and practices focused on how businesses should treat the public: fairly and honestly in all circumstances. Companies that meet and commit to these standards earn BBB accreditation and proudly display this achievement with the BBB Accredited Business seal. These businesses are contractually bound to BBB Standards of Trust that require them to build trust, advertise honestly, tell the truth, be transparent, be responsive, safeguard privacy and embody integrity.
Consumers want to do business with organizations they know they can trust. There are three key things every business should do: Communicate and live by a set of standards or values, let your customers know what you stand for, and act with integrity. People will remember you for these things, and they’ll want to do business with you because of it.
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