Until just under a week ago, I’ve been a member, an Accredited Business, of the Better Business Bureau since October 2004.
Dutifully paying my monthly dues – currently $46.25 – each and every month for over 10 years.
Why I left the Better Business Bureau:
- Aside from periodic certificates, postcards asking me to update my profile or catalogs of things to order, there’s no information, engagement, nurturing of me as a long-term customer. No newsletter with updates/tips on how to be a better business. . .nothing.
- Aside from being able to put a sticker on an envelope or note it on my website, I don’t see the value in belonging – when I started looking at “what I receive” for the $46.25/month, the list was woefully small and BBB Membership became an expense rather than an investment.
- The final straw was when I wanted to write for their blog (have done in the past). Went to the link they sent out and it didn’t work, emailed the contact person a few times with no response. Cancelled membership that week.
How the Better Business Bureau could have kept me as a Member:
- Remind me of the benefits of membership. In our GIDR & Escalate! Communities, each month’s print newsletter includes a benefits listing and full contact info for questions. Don’t make members guess/remember why they want to remain members.
- Sent out a monthly or even quarterly print newsletter with member stories, best practices info, etc. Something as short as 4 pages would have made me happy if the info was good.
- Sent surveys. . .say once or twice annually asking how they were doing, what suggestions I may have, reminding me of membership perks I may have forgotten about/don’t use, etc.
While this article is specifically about why I left the Better Business Bureau, it could apply to any business which has a membership.
Ultimately the question is “Why should your members stay with you?”
I’d love to hear what you do to keep your members happy and engaged. Please share in the comments below.
I’m happy to report that, upon seeing this post, a representative of the Better Business Bureau called to discuss the above and share with me all they have going on. While we had a great conversation and the BBB is doing much in several areas, I determined that it’s not a good fit for my business at this time.
Interesting note, the rep who called left me a voicemail. After client sessions I called her back. What’s interesting is that she was surprised to receive the call back. That, to me, is a sad note on the state of basic business courtesy.