It’s Official – The BBB Thinks You’re All Just Great!

It’s Official – The BBB Thinks You’re All Just Great!

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 we’ve 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 800 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. 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

After a thorough review, 99 percent of our potential finalists had an “A” or “B” rating, with less than one percent failing to pass muster with a “C” or lower. That means that we’re rubber stamping that unofficial list of finalists and certifying them as OFFICIAL.

It makes sense to me that our BBB vetting standard results in such a minor impact on our list of 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. At that point, finalists have already proven they have a great reputation and that they deserve to be where they’re at.

Let this also be a reminder to keep an eye on your BBB page and be responsive if an issue comes up. The important take-away from reviewing every single one of your listings is that your responsiveness to an issue is what affects your grade the most, and complaints themselves and negative reviews on the Better Business Bureau not so much. It is yet another third-party check to ensure that only the best can be named Idaho’s Best.

The Best is even Best-ier!

No other “best of” contest cares about getting it right as much as Idaho’s Best does, period.
What sets Idaho’s Best apart is our relentless aim to find and recognize the very best companies and places that Idaho has to offer.

We’re able to find the best because we do it differently:

» No pay to play — participation is free.

» You choose the nominees; we don’t.

» Online reviews help determine the winners.

Gone are the days of the glorified popularity contest that allows companies to win with an endless supply of duplicate votes provided by employees. With Idaho’s Best, tricksters are unable to manipulate the results!


New for Idaho’s Best of 2020 are three major improvements to last year’s awards:

#1: Text Message Registration
To reduce duplicates, our voting software now utilizes text message verification. After all, how many of us have multiple cell phones?

#2: Statewide but Still Local
In addition to the Treasure Valley, we included two more regions, the Panhandle and Eastern Idaho. Going statewide increased the competition at the regional level while allowing us to offer a new, statewide award.

#3: BBB Partnership
Could a company truly be named the “best” if they’ve lost their accreditation with the Better Business Bureau? No, and neither should companies with negative BBB ratings.

Thanks to our local BBB office, which provided access to its expansive company data, we were able to filter out those that came up short.


There are three stages to Idaho’s Best, all of which may increase a contestant’s chances of winning:

September 3–13, 2019 — We launched by opening up the nominations to anyone living in Idaho. Word spread quickly and in just 10 days we saw many more nominations than last year pour in from all over Idaho.

October 14–31, 2019 — After determining the top nominees in each category, we opened up the voting round with our new software. We had a few initial bumps, but we soon settled in and received even more votes per day than last year’s contest.

Nominees didn’t mess around either. Many got the word out to their customers on social media. Some hung banners and window clings to attract the vote. In the end, we came away with the top three to five finalists in each category.

November 1, 2018 to October 31, 2019 — In reality, the contest started before it even started! We counted the reviews and ratings for each finalist from the previous twelve calendar months.


Because of this year’s changes, making it as a finalist was much more difficult for our nominees. So, making it as a finalist ended up being quite the accomplishment!

Once all the data was in, we added the vote total to the review score for each finalist. This final score determined the winners.
In their honor, we held an awards banquet (see page 8) in downtown Boise on the evenings of December 3–4.