More Quality Customers

There are Quality Customers and then, well, there’s everybody else. The difference is striking, as seen in this simple table.

customer type comparison

Divided into four key dimensions, it’s the Quality Customers who 1) seek quality as their number one shopping priority, 2) have the wherewithal to afford to pay for quality, 3) demonstrate a personal integrity that takes pride in fair dealings, and 4) are loyal and much more likely to speak well about your company. If you qualify for Diamond Certified, you’ll put your company in perfect position to attract and influence Quality Customers—especially if you actively use your Diamond Certified status and the tools that we provide.

Diamond Certified will keep you focused on Quality Customers and allow you to prune the less desirable customers. In this way, you’ll build your company based on 1) quality margin work, 2) a satisfied, loyal staff, 3) positive cash flow, and 4) your company growing in value so it can be sold at some point in the future. The other side of the coin isn’t pretty, as we’ve seen companies that struggle with: 1) bad customers, 2) pure price shoppers who spin their wheels with thin and no-margin work, 3) staff dissatisfaction and turnover, and 4) cash flow troughs that make their owners’ stomachs hurt. This all leads to a declining company value that’s ultimately unsellable upon retirement…if the company makes it that far.

company type comparison

So, here I stand on this soap box and shout, “Attracting and influencing Quality Customers is the best way to build your company. Taking any and all customers is a path to problems.” Yes, I’m describing a stark difference between customer types. I’m convinced that Thomas Hobbes was talking about company owners who didn’t focus on Quality Customers when five centuries ago he wrote that “…the life of man [becomes] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”

On the contrary, your future is bright because we, your Diamond Certified Resource Team, are committed to help you build your company with Quality Customers. If you qualify, our team will help you use the Diamond Certified symbol, the Diamond Certified Directory, diamondcertified.org, Custom Brochures and eBrochures, your Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Reprints, your Diamond Certified Company Report Page, your Diamond Certified Research and Rating Reports, Diamond Certified Widgets for your website, Diamond Certified signage and labels, and more.

directory updatedirectory graphDiamond Certified Directory Update print circulation will increase 20% to 242,000 per quarter in 2016, which is up from 100,000 per quarter in 2013, 140,000 per quarter in 2014 and 202,000 per quarter in 2015. This increase in circulation will start with our Summer 2016 Edition. With this increase, we’ll have grown circulation by 86% to 1,566,000 per year in 2016, which is up from 840,000 annual directories in 2012.

Digital Newspaper, Search, Social, Mobile, Pre-Roll Video to Grow 18%!
newspaper listIt’s no surprise that each year, people spend more time going online for their news and entertainment. That’s why over the past five years, we’ve continually grown our digital marketing by shifting more of our marketing spending away from old-fashioned print newspapers and into many things digital, including advertising on the digital versions of all the newspapers where we ran in the print editions in years past. As readers rapidly moved to digital, so did we.

Our big increases in digital marketing have paid off. In 2012, www.diamondcertified.org’s visitor sessions jumped to 334,900—an 11% increase from the prior year. Since then, session growth has been on a tear, growing 36% in 2013, 24% in 2014 and 22% in 2015 to 608,843, which is more than double 2012’s number. FB google adwordsOur biggest traffic driver is organic growth from Google Search, as Google considers us a popular and trusted resource. So, we’re not about to stand pat in the new year; in 2016, we will continue to expand digital marketing in online newspapers, Google Search, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and the play of our Diamond Certified TV commercials as pre-roll ads. We will also expand our editorial and social media team to create even more relevant and compelling content that will flow through our mobile and main websites. I’m confident this big increase in digital power will lead to another record year for diamondcertified.org.

Your Four Powers of Diamond Certified
four powers
Quality Consumers don’t want more noise and louder claims; they want meaning. They ask, “Which companies are the highest rated for Quality and Helpful Expertise? Which rating can I really trust? Which is backed by a Money-Back Performance Guarantee?” The Diamond Certified Resource has grown in popularity and influence because we answer these questions from Quality Consumers better than anyone else. If you qualify for Diamond Certified, you’ll build a stronger, more meaningful brand for your company as you use your Diamond Certified Company Report and Tools with potential customers. By handing out your Custom Brochures and attaching your eBrochures to prospect emails, you’ll increase your company’s transaction rate among Quality Customers. And, you’ll maintain a significant digital advantage over competitors as prospects check you out before deciding by reading your Diamond Certified researched articles, watching your video profile, and confirming your Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise rating on the trusted Diamond Certified website. These four powers will enable you to attract and influence Quality Customers. It’s these combined four powers that have made the Diamond Certified Resource the most successful marketing-type program for local service and professional firms in Northern California by far (measured by a company loyalty rate of 92%).

Highly Rated for both Quality and Helpful Expertise
Experts
What do quality-seeking consumers look for in a potential company? These attributes rank the highest: Quality, Satisfaction, Helpful Expertise and a Fair Price. Plus, you can add the term “Resource Safety Net,” so if something goes wrong they’re backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee.

How you provide your expertise takes into account each customer’s specific situation, including personality. That’s why it’s “Helpful” as can only be defined by each individual. We’ve been working hard to help company owners become Diamond Certified Expert Contributors, giving them a giant step forward in positioning their companies as providing Helpful Expertise. Now, we’ve taken it a step further by including a Helpful Expertise survey question in our qualifying and ongoing surveys for all companies. TV listWe are now rating companies not just on how much they satisfy their customers for quality, but also on if their customers feel that they got Helpful Expertise if they wanted it. But that’s not all. Look for more presentations of Diamond Certified Expert Contributors and the Helpful Expertise of our companies within our Diamond Certified Directories, website, and media. Our vision is that by 2017, in addition to being seen as top rated for quality, Diamond Certified companies will be widely known by consumers as the most helpful local experts in their fields.

Record Smashed! 17,176 TV and Radio Spots in 2016
In 2015, we ran 1,378 more radio spots than in the previous year: a 25% increase! We also added 30% more TV commercials to our Comcast, KTVU and KICU annual run, and we added hundreds of thousands of households that have AT&T U-verse, Dish, and Direct TV. Our creative output was good: six unique TV spots rotated within our schedule to emphasize the accuracy of our rating, the quality of the companies that earn Diamond Certified and our personal commitment to back each rating with our Performance Guarantee. This year, we keep it going and then some.

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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