BBB now Business FAQ

The Basics

What is BBB now?
BBB now is a messaging service that allows customers to privately send messages to businesses directly from their phone, today’s main device for most people. Customers may ask questions, send compliments, voice complaints, make suggestions, and request help. This makes it easy for customers to reach out to inquire about your product or service. It also gives customers a better alternative to posting reviews online if they happen to have a complaint.
BBB now comes with a powerful set of tools to help businesses respond to customers quickly, safely and at scale. Tools include support for SMS replies, templates, multiple users, sleep mode and more.
BBB now was developed by Better Business Bureau of Silicon Valley and Los Angeles in cooperation with OwnerListens, the leader in business messaging solutions.
How does BBB now work?
Businesses who are signed up for BBB now As a paying subscriber to BBB now, customers can send your business a message through the BBB now app, your messages webpage, your assigned SMS texting number or your text enabled landline. Customer messages are routed to email, phones via SMS texting, and to a web based dashboard. Depending on the plan you signed up for, you may have multiple users.
The beauty of BBB now is that no matter how you respond to customers, they receive your reply using whatever format they originally used to contact you. If they sent a text, your reply shows up as a text, if they used Facebook Messenger, your reply shows up in Messenger and so on. This makes BBB now the most convenient way for customers to reach you while maintaining ease of use on the business side.

Businesses who are not signed up for BBB now
1. Customers download the free OwnerListens app on their iOS or Android device.
2. In the app they can search for your business or if they are nearby, it just populates in the app’s opening screen.
3. Customers can send you a message through the app.
4. If we have your information on file, the message is sent to you via email. To claim your business and add your contact info https://bbbnow.org/register
5. If we don’t have your contact information we will search the web for it and attempt to contact you using your contact form, message you on social media, and maybe even send a letter.
Why should I use BBB now?
People are calling less and texting more. Your customers are no different - they would rather text than call you. In fact, 76% of young adults prefer to interact with companies via texting (and not through calls, emails or blasted contact forms). This is a beneficial trend for you as well since texting is a more efficient and less distracting means of communication. If you have a call center or an answering service, BBB now can significantly decrease the number of calls you have to pay for. Texts also have much higher engagement potential with a 97% open rate, at least three times higher than email.

Listening and responding quickly to customers is critical in today’s mobile first world. According to Google, over 50% of searches now take place on mobile phones. When a customer or a potential customer wants to reach out, you need to be as accessible as possible. Emails, contact forms, and phone calls all annoy customers. Messaging delights them.
What are the different settings and features of BBB now?
1. Number of users
a. Up to three users (five users for Accredited Businesses)
b. Businesses can define three user types: Administrator, Read/Write, and Read Only
c. Additional users: $3 per user per month

2. Conversations per month
a. Up to 50 conversations per month (75 for Accredited Businesses), unlimited messages per conversation.
b. Instead of charging by number of messages, a common industry practice, BBB now defines a conversation as all messages exchanged between a business and a customer, until such time as the conversation is marked as resolved or 7 days pass without a message being exchanged. This encourages businesses to respond to customers quickly and with complete answers without pinching pennies to save on messages volume.

3. Preset reminders
Three reminders are sent in case a customer message has not been answered: 24 hours, 3 days, 5 days.

4. SMS sleep settings
a. Employees and business owners deserve quiet time too. This feature stops customer messages from arriving via SMS outside of business hours.
b. The messages still arrive via email and in the web dashboard.

5. One auto response
The auto response ensures customers that their message has been received and sets up reasonable expectations for response times.

6. Three canned responses
Businesses can set up templates for recurring questions and answers in order to save time and ensure consistency of service.

7. Privacy filter
Private phone numbers of participants in the conversation are never shared by the system. Customers, business owners, and employees can respond knowing their personal phone numbers are safe.

8. Profanity filter
Customers might get carried away with their language but businesses do not have to worry about exposing their employees to profanity.

9. Spam filer and abuse blocking
The system has filters in place to flag abusers and block them. Businesses can also report spam and suspicious activity at the click of a button from the web dashboard or by contacting support.

10. Compliance engine
Operates in the background to ensure compliance with rules and regulations regarding texting permissions. Also handles compliance with app stores and API rules (for example, the Facebook Messenger API).

Marketing BBB now to Your Customers

How do I tell customers about BBB now and texting my business through Message Mate?
In addition to putting Message Mate on your website, you should tell customers about texting at additional touchpoints: posts on social media, your mailing list, in your store (if you have a physical location), and on your marketing materials. The more you promote texting, the more customers will reach out to you saving you time, money, and leading to more loyalty.
Message Mate for BBB now sits neatly on all pages of your website so any visitor notices it when they scroll. You can customize the text on the Message Mate and help steer customers to your preferred use case.
How do I get customers to become loyal repeat patrons using BBB now?
Encourage customers to save your number to their phone. Becoming a part of a customer’s saved contacts list does wonders for loyalty because your business info is in front of them and as accessible as any friend or family member. This is especially powerful for businesses with repeat purchase components (hair salons, pizza places, yoga studios).
How do I get customers to tell their friends about my business using BBB now?
After every conversation, a rating request is sent to the customer to rate their experience on a scale of 0-10. If the experience rates higher than a 7, the user is prompted to share on social media sites.

Responding to Customers

What is the standard conversation workflow between a business and a customer?
The standard conversation workflow follows this order/process:
1. Conversations are initiated by customers.
2. Businesses respond to customer messages. If a business does not respond to the customer, reminders regarding the unanswered message will be sent (i) after 24 hours, then (ii) after 3 days, and finally (iii) after 5 days. If a message does not require a response you can mark the conversation as resolved and receive no additional reminders.
3. Exchanges between customer and business continues until the business marks the conversation as “Resolved” either via email, dashboard, or by texting “END” via your phone to close the conversation.
4. Once a conversation is resolved, or if 8 hours elapse from the last message exchange which was a message sent from the business to the customer, the latter will be sent a rating request asking for a numeric rating of the conversation experience. If you’d prefer not to send a rating request to your customers, text us at 831-222-2669 and we will gladly turn this feature off.
5. The rating is sent back to BBB now and used in reporting. Business-owners can retrieve their business reports from the dashboard. Click on the “+” next to a location name on the lower lefthand corner of a dashboard and select “report”. At this time, the rating does not become a component of your Better Business Bureau grade.
What is the best way to respond to customer messages?
When messaging with customers, the most important things are:
Respond to each and every customer. Customers want to be heard and want to know you're listening. Whether it's a compliment or a complaint, make sure to reply.
Respond quickly. The faster you respond, the higher the likelihood of converting the customer. Imagine the customer is having problems checking out on your site. If you can respond within minutes, you can still save the sale. That said, no one is expecting businesses to respond in the middle of the night (unless you’re a very large brand). That’s why BBB now provides you with tools such as sleep mode and auto replies that set customer expectations as to when a response should be expected during off hours.
Keep it brief. Remember the form factor - Customers are reaching out via SMS text or Facebook Messenger. They don’t expect an essay as a reply. Keep it short and to the point.
Content-wise, just respond as appropriate for each message. Provide clear answers and don’t skimp on details. Reply to complaints calmly and with a resolution in mind. Express gratefulness for compliments. Consider suggestions with an open mind and thank the customer for the effort. As long as you keep your responses genuine, polite and professional, customers will appreciate your responsiveness and attention.
I have multiple users, how do I know if someone has already replied to a message?
Here’s how it works: (1) A customer sends a message (2) You, or one of your users, respond (3) All other users except the one replying get notified of the response and the identity of the replying user. This is how you know the issue has been taken care of.
By default, all customer messages are sent concurrently to all the users you define. Once a user replies to the customer, all the other users see the reply, along with the name of the responder. You can change this default if you wish.
What happens if two users try to respond at the same time?
Only the first reply to go through the system will be sent. Once a reply is sent, the other users are not able to send a response in order to prevent conflicting messages from reaching the customer (any user can still send messages via the dashboard where they can see the entire conversation). If you need to replace or remove users, please visit the settings page in your dashboard.
Can I give a type of reward to a customer with BBB now?
Yes! You may provide a text-based award such as a coupon code.
Can I attach a file to send to a user, and vice versa?
Images are supported in the BBB now app, in web forms and for businesses that purchases MMS support. For businesses using regular SMS, file attachments are not supported. This is a limitation placed by the carriers. If you need to be able to send images back and forth, please email us directly and we can provide an MMS solution which does support images.
Do I have to respond to each message? What’s the best way to respond to a customer?Can I attach a file to send to a user, and vice versa?
As long as you keep your responses genuine, polite and professional, customers will appreciate your responsiveness and attention. Respond to all customer questions and requests as if they are the most important customers in the world. Reply to complaints calmly and with a resolution in mind. Express gratefulness for compliments. Consider suggestions with an open mind and thank the customer for the effort to reach out. In short, treat customers as you expect to be treated. It’s that simple.

Changing Your Account Settings

Do I have to respond to each message? What’s the best way to respond to a customer?Can I attach a file to send to a user, and vice versa?
You can change your password or contact information easily through the BBB now dashboard. Simply login to your inbox, click on the Account link in the dropdown menu on the top right corner. If you can’t find a setting you wish to update, just send us a text to 831-222-2669 or email us at: [email protected] Please mention your username and/or website name.
How do I change the responders and their contact info?
You can change the responders for your location, by visiting Organization Settings (found in Account Settings). Please note: Access to changing responders is limited to the user who opened the account (Admin). If you need to change your Admin user, please contact us.
How do I configure BBB now so that some of my employees at one of my business locations receive messages only at one location and that other employees receive messages at other locations only?
This can be done using our Roles feature which is accessible through the Dashboard. If you have more than one business location claimed, head to your account settings and you will see a tab with businesses and a tab with people. In the people tab, you can set specific permissions and associations for each person in your team.
How do I change the colors and text of my Message Mate?
You can always change the colors of your Message Mate at anytime by visiting Account Settings and selecting Edit Message Mate.
How do I add auto replies?
You can add auto replies as well as schedule the hours you’d like them to be active in Account Settings
There’s a setting I want to change but can’t figure out how.
Send us a text to 831-222-2669 or email us at: [email protected]

Dashboard Issues

What is the BBB now dashboard for?
The BBB now Dashboard, which is accessible from any browser, provides a complete, real time view of all the messages sent to your business. If you have multiple locations all of them will appear on one convenient dashboard. You can respond to messages, mark messages as resolved, note particularly helpful messages for sharing with your team and generate reports about each location. You can also notify us of spam through the dashboard.
Can business-owners see when a user is actively responding to a customer message within the dashboard?
BBB now does not currently track simultaneous responses by multiple business-owners. If however a message has already been replied to, then all other users will see in each of their dashboards that a customer has been replied to. Further, to prevent overlapping responses, business owners will be blocked from responding to messages replied to by others either in SMS or emails.
Is there a way for multiple business-owners to work within the same login and mark within the conversation which business-owner has replied?
Multiple business-owners may share a common username and password to login to a dashboard; however this is not recommended. There is no functionality with the dashboard to select which business-responder replied to a particular message. The BBB now platform uses unique login credentials to track user response activity. Therefore, it is strongly advised that each user be assigned unique login credentials.

Message Mate for BBB now

What is Message Mate for BBB now?
Message Mate is a simple but wonderful add-on slider to your website that advertises a phone number which current and prospective customers can text to reach your business. It is extremely effective for lead generation and sales support, especially on mobile. The phone number may be the number you received when you signed up for BBB now or, if you chose that option, your existing text enabled landline.
Why do I need Message Mate?
Google recently revealed that more than 50% of website visits are from mobile devices. Message Mate is the best way for mobile visitors to your site to reach out to your business. When they click the number on the widget, the texting app on their phone is automatically opened for maximum convenience.
How do I get Message Mate?
All paid plans include Message Mate. During the sign-up process you will be offered the opportunity to personalize your own Message Mate and receive installation instructions. If you didn’t personalize your Message Mate during sign up (or need to make changes to it), you can always access Message Mate from your Settings Page
What are common use cases for Message Mate?
Due to its prominent location on your site, Message Mate may serve as a gateway to your business and therefore has a myriad of primary uses - answering questions, assisting with checkout problems, accepting reservations, receiving pick-up orders, and soliciting feedback are all examples of great use cases for Message Mate. Feel free to think of others that are relevant for your business. Just ask yourself: what are customers calling me about that is wasting a lot of time? Would it be better if they texted me? What might they not reach out about via phone but perhaps would be willing to text? For example, they won’t speak to a salesperson, but they’ll ask for a quote via text. Another great way to use Message Mate is to save on fees that you pay services such as reservation or delivery apps/sites. There is no per transaction fee or per customer fee with Message Mate, just a simple flat monthly fee.
Can Message Mate for BBB now replace a chat window on my site? What’s the difference between it and a live chat?
While Message Mate shares certain features with a live chat - both are text based, usually contain short messages and would typically be between two parties - Message Mate for BBB now has some unique differentiating features: First, customers can take the conversation with them on the go - there’s no need to remain connected to a website or maintain a consistent wireless connection. That way you don’t lose customers just because they had to leave that browser session. Second, text messages are asynchronous by nature allowing the customer to continue the conversation at their convenience. Third, with BBB now, you or your employees can respond to customers via text, email or from the web dashboard. Finally, unlike a chat where the user has to find the correct web page, with BBB now a customer only has to know one thing -your number; This is why you should encourage customers to save your BBB now number to their phone. It will make your business more accessible than ever.

Message Mate Installation

How do I install Message Mate for BBB now on my website in 5 minutes?
That depends on where your site is hosted (WordPress, Shopify, or any standard server). Head to your Message Mate page, click VIEW EXISTING CODE SNIPPET, and follow the installation instructions for your platform.
How do I customize Message Mate colors and message?
When you sign up for BBB now, you will be able to select the text and colors. If you’d like change any of these settings later on, simply login to the dashboard and visit “Edit Your Message Mate” located in Account Settings. You may also click here directly.
How do I customize how long Message Mate stays open on desktop/mobile and how many times it opens?
For now, please reach out to us directly

Using Facebook Messenger to Chat with Customers

How do I connect my Facebook Messenger account to BBB now?
You can connect your Facebook account to BBB now by visiting Account Settings in the dashboard and clicking “Connect Facebook Account”, you’ll be prompted to log in to Facebook and grant permission for us to connect.
How do I reply to messages that come through Facebook Messenger to BBB now?
Customer messages from Messenger are delivered to you the same way customer texts are (via text, email, or the dashboard). This means that you do not need to log into Facebook Messenger to reply to your customers.
Does the customer see my reply inside Facebook Messenger?
Yes! Regardless of which BBB now channel you choose to respond, your customer will see your response as a Messenger reply.
Should I connect my Facebook Messenger account to BBB now?
Absolutely! Our Messenger integration makes sure that you don’t miss any customer inquiries that may come through your Facebook account.
What are Facebook Messenger CTAs and how do I set them up?
A Call to Action is a visual box, containing an image, text and buttons, which can be sent via Facebook Messenger.

Numbers and Area Codes

I can’t get a number in my area code - what’s up with that?
BBB now is dependent on the availability of virtual numbers from its providers. Some area codes are more constricted than others, but we can normally offer a number in a neighboring area code.
I don’t want a new number- can I use my existing landline?
Yes you can. In most cases (95%) we are able to text enable your existing landline. Calls will come through as usual and texts will be routed through BBB now. There is no cost for enabling your business landline if you’re a BBB Accredited Business. For non-accredited businesses, there’s a one-time activation fee of $25. You will be offered the option to text enable your business landline when you sign up. If you’re already signed up with a different number but would like to text enable your landline (either instead of, or in addition) please reach out via text or email text or email and we’d be happy to help.
Can I change the number I receive?
BBB now allows you to select an area code and your number is then assigned automatically. If you do not like the number you can request another during registration If you still need to change the number please contact [email protected]. We can assign you a new number but may not be able to provide a specific number.
Does the number I get support messages with images (MMS)?
The default number does not but if images are important to your business, we can get you a number that does. Numbers that support MMS are more expensive and carriers charge more for each message leading to a higher price point. For the basic secure plan the additional cost is only $5 a month. Please text or call 831-222-2669 or email us at: [email protected] for additional details about pricing and availability.
Can I get a toll free number?
Yes you can. If you aren’t an Accredited Business, there is an extra fee for toll free numbers as they are more expensive for us to purchase. Please text or call 831-222-2669 or email us at: [email protected] for additional details about pricing and availability.
Can I get an overseas number?
Yes you can. We support over 50 countries. Pricing varies depending on each country’s number availability and messaging costs.Please text or call 831-222-2669 or email us at: [email protected] for additional details about pricing and availability.
If I uninstall, can I get the same number if I decide to reinstall at a later time?
At this time, we cannot guarantee that your original number will be available so unless you’re positive this service is not for you, we recommend contacting us so we can try and solve whatever issue you’re having before you uninstall.

Free Trial Info

Which features does the free trial support?
The free trial includes all of the features of the plan you choose to try, as if you’re a paying user.
What happens once the free trial ends?
That depends on how you signed up: If you signed up without providing your credit card number, once the trial period elapses you will no longer be able to respond to customer messages until you sign up for a plan. If you do not sign up for a plan with 30 days from your initial signup date, your number will be deactivated. You will receive an email informing you of this. If you provided your credit card information (or billing authorization) during your signup, then your account will be billed upon the lapse of the trial period, based on the plan you selected. You will receive an email informing you of this.

Upgrading and Cancellation

Can I upgrade my plan?
Absolutely. We want you to make the most of what BBB now has to offer. To upgrade, simply login to your account and click the UPGRADE link on the bottom right of the page. If you did not enter an email after creating your Message Mate and cannot login, please text or call us at: 831-222-2669 or send us a note at: [email protected] and we’ll help you out
Can I upgrade and downgrade on a month to month basis? Say having a big plan during my busy season and a smaller plan during slower times?
Absolutely. To change plans text or call us at: 831-222-2669 or send us a note at: [email protected] Please mention your username and/or website name.
How do I cancel my account?
We’ll be very sad to see you go but if you must leave us, we want to make it as easy as possible for you. Simply login to the BBB now dashboard and visit Account Settings. Should you ever wish to come back, just contact us and we will gladly reactivate your account (though we cannot guarantee you will get the same virtual number).

Billing

What is the difference between accredited and non-accredited plans?
Accredited plans receive many benefits including, but not limited to: discounted pricing, an increase in conversations per month, upgraded support options, and Facebook Messenger integration.
Do I get charged per message?
No, you do not get charged per message. You are, however, limited to the number of conversations included in your plan. For Message Mate users, your maximum number of conversations per month is equal to that of our Small Shop plan (currently 50 conversations per month). You cannot accrue “unused” message credits from month to month. If the message allotment is exceeded, there is a fee of $2 for each additional 10 conversations. Additional conversations are automatically added once monthly allotment is exceeded.
What counts as a conversation?
A conversation is an unlimited exchange of messages between the business and a unique user who has not contacted the business during the previous seven (7) days. Example: Customer messages business on Jan 1, Business responds on Jan 3, customer texts back on Jan 6, business texts back on Jan 6, customer texts on Jan 10, business replies on Jan 10. ONE conversation, since each time customer texted, it was within 7 days from his/her previous text. Customer messages business on Jan 1, business responds Jan 1. Customer then texts business on Jan 10. TWO conversations, since 7 days have elapsed since the previous customer message.

Relationship Between BBB and BBB now

Do I have to join BBB now to keep my Accredited status?
No. BBB now is an optional program.
Do my replies or reply times affect my business’ BBB grade?
At this time, it does not. If that ever changes in the future we will let you know with plenty of advance notice (at least 90 days).
Does not replying to customers on BBB now affect my business’ BBB grade?
At this time, it does not. If that ever changes in the future we will let you know with plenty of advance notice (at least 90 days).

Privacy

Will customers see my name and number?
No. BBB now exchanges does not share personal information of responders; only your responses are sent to the customer. Even if you reply using our text from your phone feature, your personal number is masked and not shared with the customer. However, if your messages contain personal information in the text, it will be delivered to the recipient as part of the response. It is up to you if you wish to include personal information in the text of the message. We suggest at the very least signing a message with a first name (we have auto signatures you can set up). It gives responses a more personal and genuine tone.
What personal information is stored?
Your name, phone number, and email are the only pieces of information used in managing your account. Phone number and email address are only used to route messages, and are never displayed or shared with customers.
Will I see my customers’ name and number?
If you purchased a plan with CRM integration, you will see whatever information is available through the CRM integration. This will often include name, number and email of your customer. If you did not purchase a CRM integration, all you will see is the number that the customer texted from. If the customer used the app to send their message, you will only see an app ID.
Can BBB now see my messages?
Since BBB now, through its partner OwnerListens, serves as the intermediary between your business and each customer, the messages you send and receive are “read” by our system. That being said, messages are not generally read by a human unless there is a need to do so. Messages may be used for marketing purposes but your business name and any identifying info will be removed unless you explicitly agree otherwise. The only times we may mention your business name is when we share a compliment or welcome your business to the service.
What if a customer texts me in the middle of the night?
You control when and if you receive messages to your phone that are sent at irregular hours (aka “sleep mode”). When you set up your BBB now account and create your Message Mate, you can choose when you’d like to receive messages to your phone that are sent at night or outside of business hours. You can choose to receive messages as they come in, only during business hours, or at all hours except at night (10:00 PM - 7:00 AM). *All hours are adjusted to the time zone of the area code you provide for receiving messages by phone.
What is BBB now’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Service?
Our privacy policy and terms of service are available in this link.linked text

More Help

I’m having some difficulty installing or setting up BBB now who do I contact?
We’ll have you up and running in no time! Call or send us a text to 831-222-2669 or email us at: [email protected] Please mention your username and/or website name.
I have more questions
We’re here to help.
Call or send us a text to 831-222-2669 or email us at: [email protected] Please mention your username and/or website name. We respond in real time whenever possible.