By Epiphany Communications and Coaching*
MIRA’s President and CEO, Bill Wild, connects regularly with leaders in the Midwest in order to promote collaboration. He recently met with Melanie Duquesnel, President and CEO of Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Eastern Michigan to talk with her about the BBB and businesses today.
How does BBB serve clients today?
BBB started as an organization, in 1912, to create a trustworthy marketplace through advertising regulation, think snake oil salesman or too good to be true claims, as well as holding those businesses to do what they say there are going to do. Today, BBB does that and much more. BBB accredits businesses that will stand for BBB’s 8 Standards of Trust. They are: Build Trust, Advertise Honestly, Tell the Truth, Be Transparent, Honor Promises, Be Responsive, Safeguard Privacy and Embody Integrity. While accrediting a new business, BBB is looking to make sure the applying business maintains those standards and if there is a weakness shown in those standards, BBB won’t accredit the business but will recommend changes the business could do to achieve meeting BBB accreditation standards. BBB also handles dispute resolution between a client and business and business to business. While BBB can’t make either party ‘pay’, BBB will do its best to identify the concerns, work with both parties and arrive at consensus.
What is the greatest value in being approved by the BBB?
The greatest value to a business of being accredited is being associated with the BBB brand. BBB’s brand is still highly recognized as the champion for marketplace trust and when a business shows the seal, prospects and customers know the business will stand behind their service or product. Even when things go wrong, and they inevitably can go wrong, BBB works as a neutral third party to bring both parties to consensus and resolution. As such, BBB has become a business reputation management partner. Having a disconcerted client in the marketplace can be damaging to a business’s reputation. Successfully going through BBB’s dispute resolution process can showcase the business as doing all they can to meet their client’s expectations.
How do you collaborate with other organizations that help you reach your goals?
BBB works with chambers, senior centers, educational institutions, and any other organizations that want to learn more about sound business practices including cybersecurity as well as scams and frauds. These organizations assist BBB in working to educate our marketplace in safe consumer practices and business ethical practices.
What are some of the top issues businesses are facing that the BBB has been addressing?
Cybersecurity based scams are impacting businesses. Those scams are delivered via email purporting to be a C suite employee in need of personal information or payment for a vendor. The scammer is hoping at the end of the day to get the personal information to create personas to get access to funds or cash from the business for a fake invoice. Business growth is always on our Accredited Businesses’ minds. Through BBB’s Get a Quote program or simply having a BBB Business Profile where prospective clients can see what other clients’ experiences are, can drive additional opportunity to those Accredited Businesses.
How do you define your leadership style?
My leadership style is collaborative. I have amassed a team that is inclusive, transparent, and respectful. I need that to make sure the team is energized and engaged. And I am only as good as my team is. Without their knowledge and support, I would be half the leader I am today.
What do you love most about your job?
BBB has provided the opportunity to solve problems and find connections. That engagement drives me every day. Some days the marketplace issues are big and need a large team to handle. Some days the issues are small. That diversity of situations also keeps this position fresh and never boring.
How would you like to see business leaders collaborate for the greater good of today’s economic and business climate?
Collaboration is always good for the community. But asking for assistance, brainstorming, and/or feedback is imperative to creating a long-term, sustainable business. Sometimes a business leader may feel too vulnerable to ask for help but when they do ask for that assistance, great things can happen. Business community support is available in a number of ways and locations. BBB is here to help identify those resources as well as provide a means of putting the business’s best foot forward.
*Writers with Epiphany Communications and Coaching are content creators for Bottom Line.