Consumers are always on the lookout for a third-party opinion, one that isn’t biased to either the consumers or the businesses they’re researching.
This opinion often has the final say on whether or not a brand or company is worth trusting, which is where industry accreditation comes in.
Industry accreditation is basically a seal of approval from the industry at large, sometimes from accrediting bodies that cater to multiple industries, like the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Any business with this seal is an encouraging sign of trust and professionalism, offering consumers peace of mind when dealing with them.
Businesses understand the importance of having industry accreditation, so they put these seals on their websites.
Even those that have yet to attain such guarantees know the numerous benefits of investing in industry accreditation. Here are some worth noting.
1. Better Work Environment
Human resources experts stress the significance of keeping employees satisfied and a conducive work environment. The so-called ‘turn-ons plus,’ as one study explains, are workers who stay ‘because they want to’.
A temporary drop in satisfaction won’t be enough to dissuade them from staying with the business for the long term. (1)
Some industries report accredited businesses being able to retain their good employees and even entice more to work for them.
Since accreditation entails adhering to specific quality standards, it creates a work environment that makes employees happy. Of course, a happy workforce leads to better service quality, which leads to satisfied customers.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of ways to build a better work environment; one such way is to make work easier for them.
For instance, if you’re in the plumbing business, investing in modern business tools, such as Jobber helps get jobs across the company get done faster, more efficiently and with greater ease – empowering employees to be more productive.
The cascading effect is as one can expect: more jobs done means more revenue, enabling pay increases and hiring more hands.
2. Increased Consumer Trust
Adherence to standards required for accreditation also works in building consumer trust. Seeing an industry-wide or BBB accreditation stamp on a business’s website can be persuasive enough for some consumers. If the industry or an independent body vouches for its quality, the business must be credible.
Case in point: a look into the BBB’s requirements for accreditation mainly involves promoting ethical business practices. Doing so isn’t a one-time affair, either; the business must maintain it for as long as it wants to keep its accreditation.
These Requirements Include:
- Maintaining a positive performance record
- Advertising within ethical and legal guidelines
- Truthfully representing products and services
- Being open about the nature of the business
- Fulfilling all contracts and commitments
- Settling disputes quickly and adequately
- Safeguarding data from unauthorized access
- Managing business deals in good faith
Accreditation works for promoting consumer trust because of the nature of trust itself. As one study explains, it involves two parties in a state of vulnerability or risk where the context often depends on the situation at hand.
As in the example above, the best practices that accreditation requires of businesses can mitigate such risks. (3)
3. Competitive Distinction
The 2018 Statistics of U.S. Businesses report estimates the number of plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractors in the country at over 100,000. Even on a local level, a business in this industry may be competing against hundreds of others for market dominance. (4)
It’s easy for a business to get lost in a sea of competitors, especially if it doesn’t have anything that sets it apart from the rest. Fortunately, various accreditations today offer distinctions that may grab consumers’ attention.
For instance, the rise of female-owned and operated enterprises has recently gained interest. While only comprising one in five businesses in the country, these enterprises are expected to spearhead economic recovery post-pandemic. Accreditations like the Woman Owned Small Business and Women’s Business Enterprise can distinguish them from the competition. (5)
Sometimes, the advantage can come from the business model. One example is a Certified B Corporation, an accreditation that requires a company to care for its employees and Mother Nature as much as it cares for profit. Companies carrying this accreditation only number over 4,000 (as of this writing), giving them a distinct advantage in their respective industries. (5)
4. Reduced Business Liability
Due to the obligation to follow standards, accredited businesses will foster a culture of quality. It’s not just about adhering to quality guidelines but also promoting a sense of quality among employees in the workplace.
It starts from the commitment from the business owner and is an endless endeavor to improve the business from the top-down.
By promoting this culture, accredited businesses can mitigate their risk of liability. It’s worth noting that companies have undergone increasing scrutiny by the general public over the years, namely in the realm of social and environmental responsibility.
One survey shows that 72% of people demand that businesses be held more responsible for their actions and decisions.
Accreditation can give businesses a distinct advantage over their competitors. The proof of quality it shows to consumers results in various benefits: building a better work environment, inspiring trust among existing customers and prospects, distinguishing itself among the thousands of competitors, and mitigating scenarios that can hold it accountable.
A business may have to spent hundreds to receive the accreditation it desires, perhaps hundreds more to keep it for years. Regardless, the long-term advantages accreditation brings are hard to miss.
- “Why Employees Stay”, Source: https://hbr.org/1973/07/why-employees-stay
- “BBB Accreditation Standards”, Source: https://westflorida.app.bbb.org/bbb-accreditation-standards
- “Online Consumer Trust: Trends in Research”, Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318959454_Online_Consumer_Trust_Trends_in_Research
- “2018 SUSB Annual Data Tables by Establishment Industry”, Source: https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/susb/tables/2018/us_state_6digitnaics_2018.xlsx (DL file)
- “5 Small Business Certifications to Consider”, Source: https://www.mbopartners.com/blog/how-manage-small-business/five-small-business-certifications-to-consider/
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