Companies often seek various types of business accreditation to provide evidence of their good reputation. A secondary motive for seeking accreditation is to assure customers that the business maintains an acceptable level of quality. There are also types of business accreditation that seek to improve the production and management processes that a company is using.
Certification from the Better Business Bureau® is one of the most recognizable and sought-after accreditations. It is a means of validating the reputation of the business from a financial and service standpoint. Accreditation from the Better Business Bureau® also indicates that the company behaves ethically and attempts to resolve all consumer grievances. The main benefit of this type of business accreditation is that when prospective customers research a company they are unfamiliar with and see the Better Business Bureau® logo, they are more likely to trust the firm.
There are different sources of business accreditation that recognize service quality. In the United States, there are a few national award recognition and certification programs that companies can apply for. The process involves going through a performance evaluation on several key factors. Areas of improvement are identified, worked on, and measured against established standards. While some companies strive to be award recipients, others participate to better meet the needs of their customers.
Benefits associated with receiving a national service award are increased market visibility and increased customer loyalty. In particular, educational institutions, health care organizations, and small businesses can display the award on promotional materials to attract new business. These types of organizations might also use the publicity to assure current customers that they are receiving quality care, service and products. Alumni of schools who are recipients of national quality awards might feel an increased sense of pride about their education and be more likely to extend financial support.
There are a few types of business accreditation that focus specifically on internal process improvement. These accreditations seek to ensure that a company is performing as efficiently as possible while meeting certain quality criteria. Some are more geared towards manufacturing companies who wish to improve the quality of their products, while others are more focused on qualitative management practices for service-oriented companies. The main goal of accreditation that is geared towards process improvement is to increase customer satisfaction and retention.
Specific lines of work, such as healthcare, automotive repair and energy contracting have separate certifications that may be required by government regulations. In these cases, certain training and operational requirements need to be met in order to obtain accreditation. Companies in these industries might be subject to periodic audits by government agencies to ensure compliance.