Your Daily Brand

If you qualify for Diamond Certified, it will be the daily brand that builds your company. Every day, your daily brand will certify that your team consistently delivers Quality, Helpful Expertise and Customer Satisfaction. To create this meaning, we’ve operated the most accurate ratings of local companies available. We’ve spent more than $55 million promoting the meaning of this daily brand in the Bay Area over the past 16 years, and we’ve delivered 12 million directories to local Quality Consumers. Plus, Diamond Certified companies have handed out more than 3 million Diamond Certified brochures.

Your Daily Leadership of Brand Position
Just as each day you lead your team to consistently deliver Quality, Helpful Expertise and Customer Satisfaction for your customers, so too do you lead your team to communicate your company’s high performing position in your local market. It’s critical to effectively project your company’s brand meaning to prospective and past customers through personal interactions and within media channels. This is done each and every day, and if you qualify for Diamond Certified, your number one tool, your most powerful ingredient brand, will be your Diamond Certified daily brand that flows within all of your communication channels. It will prove that it’s not just you claiming your company is top-performing—Diamond Certified proves it with the highest trust research and the most relevant Deep Info about your company.

If you qualify for Diamond Certified, the key is to use your Diamond Certified tools each day to attract Quality Customers; prove your quality pricing is worth it; differentiate your company brand based on quality, expertise and customer satisfaction; and build your company in a profitable manner over the long term, one day at a time.

How you respond impacts your brand.
We’ve all been on the receiving end of bad follow-up. Remember the frustration you felt when your repeated contacts to a company that you purchased from went unreturned? It’s painful and kills their brand in your mind. You can’t allow your company to fall into bad habits of slow and no response—it will kill your brand as well.

So, what should your team’s minimum standard response time be?

Respond within 1 business day.

This simply means RESPOND. Often, prospective customers start to get frustrated when they hear nothing from a company. This frustration builds as the delay in response drags on. Companies that respond within one business day instantly position themselves as being professional, elevating their brand and making ongoing communication more effective. The key to pull this off is to put each inquiry into one of three categories of responses:

1. ENGAGE
We received your inquiry and here’s our response.
From here, you can request additional information, send sales materials, set an appointment, provide answers to their questions, sign a contract, etc.

2. DELAY
We received your inquiry, and due to high work flow, we will contact you by (phone, email, text, etc.) on    (up to 5 business days).
That’s right, it’s perfectly acceptable to delay. You responded and removed the uncertainty. If you do this, you can delay up to 5 business days. Now, I’m not saying this is a good sales strategy, but it is absolutely acceptable from a moral/human standpoint, so as long as you communicate with the prospective customer within that 5-day period, your company’s brand is elevated.

3. SAY NO
We received your inquiry and we will not be able to do the work.
Excellent companies provide a fast and polite “no” when the work doesn’t fit their requirements due to job scope, location, capacity, type of work, etc.

The Dark Side of Non-Response
Your company’s brand suffers. Word gets out that your team is flaky and unreliable. Many people feel there’s something immoral about a non-responsive company. They believe a company that operates in their community has a moral obligation to respond. On this dark side scenario, we at the Diamond Certified Resource get complaints about Diamond Certified companies’ non-responsiveness. We warn them that, no matter how good their work is, this isn’t how Diamond Certified companies behave. If it’s a continuous problem, we’ll terminate their Diamond Certified status, as we have this year for several companies that didn’t meet our customer performance standards, of which responsiveness is a key factor. Little things like profits slide from there as competitors gain the upper hand and business life darkens.

The Bright Side of the Diamond Certified Standard Response Time

COO Greg Louie smiles as your company succeeds.

Your company is trusted more each day because all of your prospects and customers have received timely responses and, when compared to your competitors, you’ve put yourself in the top 20% in responsiveness. This is an important signal to the marketplace. It’s perceived as a leading indicator of good performance and is congruent with your high performance reputation. So, your prospects start to trust you before they decide whether to choose you, and your customers are less panicky when things go wrong because they trust you’ll follow up in a timely manner. Little things like your team morale, your profits, and the long-term value of your company grow and you see blue skies ahead.


Above, we’ve put together a simple response time guide by channel. Do you have standards? Are they good for your company? Very few companies have written standards for each channel that’s followed by all customer- and prospect-facing team members. So, if you create yours and work with your staff to learn how to do it and why, you’ll be ahead of your competition on this meaningful brand-signaling attribute. This is a good time to develop your own standards. Teach them. Make them the same or better than Diamond Certified’s standards.
A note about texting: Although the table shows you can get away with 1 business day without hurting your brand, that will be too slow for many people. So, if yours is the type of company that texts back, figure out what will work best.

Jim Stein, Founder and CEO

About Jim Stein, Founder and CEO

Jim Stein is the founder and CEO of American Ratings Corporation. Through his interactions with more than 6,000 local companies and analysis of over 1 million consumer survey responses, Jim has developed easy-to-understand strategies for consumers to enjoy consistently positive customer experiences and for companies to better satisfy customers, increase referral rates and reduce customer attrition.
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