What does it take to win Idaho’s Best? First, you need to have a business that people love. You need to have the marketing acumen to leverage that affection, transforming their positive energy into reviews. You also need their support garnering nominations and votes. All of that is to say that you need a great reputation to become a finalist for Idaho’s Best, and that’s why this year we partnered with the Better Business Bureau.
The BBB is far from the new kid on the block when it comes to business reputation. Long before Yelp, Google My Business, or TripAdvisor got into the reputation game, the BBB had cemented their place in establishing marketplace trust. They have been the mediator and the muscle in resolving disputes between businesses and customers for over 100 years!
The BBB Northwest-Pacific Puts in Their Two Cents
We wanted to incorporate the BBB into our scoring and judging of the Idaho’s Best Awards. As of this writing, even we don’t know who the winners are yet, only our finalists. So we weren’t sure what would happen when we turned over our unofficial list of finalists to the BBB for vetting. But like a parent sending their first-born off to summer camp for the first time, we were hoping our baby would come back in one piece.
The BBB was tasked with reviewing our list of over 600 Idaho businesses and providing their grade for each one. The BBB rating system utilizes a grading scale just like you used in school, going from an A+ down to an F, graded on 17 different factors. This rating represents a business’s overall trustworthiness and their good-faith efforts to address customer concerns.
Perhaps I was the only one (I didn’t voice this concern), but my fear was that a large number of our finalists might get nuked by the BBB. I have personally reviewed the Google and Yelp pages of every finalist, and they all have great reputations on those platforms, but I didn’t know what the correlation would be with their BBB pages. Any businesses that didn’t have a passing grade are to be ineligible to win Idaho’s Best.
The BBB Gives the Idaho’s Best Finalists a Passing Grade
I’m happy to report that I had nothing to worry about! Of our finalists, 99 percent had an “A” or “B” rating, with less than one percent passing muster with a “C”. That means that at the time of this writing, not a single finalist will be eliminated due to a “D” or “F” BBB rating, and we’re rubber stamping that unofficial list of finalists and certifying them as OFFICIAL.
Thinking about it afterwards, it makes more sense to me that our new BBB standard didn’t result in any change of our finalists. Before getting to that point, a business first had to be nominated many times just to be a contender. They then had to receive enough votes to be competitive, and were then scored on the quality and quantity of their reviews on two separate platforms. At that point, every finalist has already proven they have a great reputation and that they deserve to be where they’re at. In fact, it would be a surprise if any of them did fail the BBB check.
Their review certifying our finalists has improved my confidence both in the Better Business Bureau and in the quality of our finalists. It is yet another third-party check to ensure that only the best can be named Idaho’s Best.