The Four Powers of Diamond Certified

obi wan“Use the force, Luke,” urged Obi-Wan Kenobi to his protégé as he flew a dangerous mission to destroy the Death Star. During this pivotal scene from Star Wars Episode IV, our hero promptly shuts down his guidance instruments and conjures up his special powers—powers that allow him to quickly elude the chasing enemy fighter ships and powers fire a perfect shot into the Death Star’s thermal exhaust port, thus triggering the complete destruction of the evil base.

This month, I’m channeling my inner Obi-Wan and urging you, our hero, to use your Diamond Certified special powers. If you qualify for Diamond Certified, you’ll earn these powers because you’ll have led your team to consistently deliver very high customer satisfaction. Your performance isn’t ordinary or average—it’s exceptional. So, you’ll use your gained powers to: 1) build a stronger brand for quality; 2) beat competitors on the web, in search and on mobile; 3) increase your transaction rate with quality-seeking shoppers; and 4) generate an ongoing flow of referrals from loyal customers, Diamond Certified Directories, diamondcertified.org and other Diamond Certified Resources.

The Power to Build Your Brand
Your brand’s meaning and power determine your revenue stream and the long-term value of your company. To consistently build a valuable company, it’s crucial to constantly elevate your brand by building its meaning and power in your marketplace. When potential customers think of your brand, do they think Quality, Expertise, Fairness and Service? Consistently deliver this brand meaning and promote this brand position and you’ll build a powerful brand that attracts a growing number of quality-seeking customers. Do this consistently for years and your brand will rise to the top tier in your marketplace, dramatically increasing the total value of your company.

callout 1If you qualify for Diamond Certified, we’ll methodically build your brand’s meaning and awareness by presenting your company as Diamond Certified on our high-trust website, in our Diamond Certified Directories, and in our newspaper List of Top Rated Companies. Your team will further strengthen your brand by using the Diamond Certified symbol next to your brand wherever it’s displayed: in advertising; on the web; in your office; and on vehicles, business cards, letters, and other print materials.

The Power to Get and Keep a Digital Advantage
Your prospects and customers often view and interact with your company digitally. How your company and its set of competitors are digitally presented will often play a big role in prospect choice and even customer retention. So, gaining and keeping a digital advantage over your competitors is absolutely required.

I know it’s easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed when thinking about digital. But complexity isn’t required, and many times, it actually hinders communication. Communication is precisely what I’m talking about. That’s how you should think of all things digital. How and to whom does your website communicate? How does your team communicate via email and text? Do your web videos and pictures communicate your brand’s meaning? When prospects search for your name, how does it appear in Google Search? Is it simple to find important information, photos, ratings and video about your company when I’m looking for you on my iPhone or Android? Do you have a Facebook page that I’d like to follow?

sampleYou’re way too busy running your company to become an expert at digital. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to build great digital for your company (if you qualify), giving you that crucial digital advantage without forcing you to take your eye off your main business.

First, if you qualify for Diamond Certified, your Diamond Certified Company Report will be the best presentation of your company anywhere on the web (including mobile) because it resides on our highly trusted website and provides prospective customers with all the info they need to choose you: accurate ratings, researched articles, a captivating video profile and photo gallery, and more.

save energySecond, we’ll make sure your Company Report link is displayed in search results with 4-5 rating stars based on a high number of surveys, so prospects experience a jolt of confidence every time they search your company name.

gorman videoThird, we’ll give you simple code to copy and paste your Diamond Certified Video Profile into your own website, which helps prospects meet you before they even see you (think about that!).

gorman expertFourth, we’ll make you a Diamond Certified Expert Contributor by interviewing you and creating articles, a tip sheet, and a video tip. We’ll create your own Diamond Certified Expert Homepage, which displays all of your expert advice and appears near the top when prospects type your name into Google.

fb twitterFifth, we’ll help you with your Facebook and Twitter by helping you set them up and then giving you a feed of verified survey responses from satisfied customers and short, high-quality tips that keep your stream fresh and valuable.

Sixth, we’ll help you make your own website more powerful by giving you custom Widgets that display your top rated Diamond Certified award and provide summary articles on your company, which gives prospects more confidence as they explore your website.

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graphThe Power to Increase Your Transaction Rate
There’s an exact moment when a prospect decides: Who will it be, you or your competitor? After this decision, she may justify her reasons in logical terms, but often, it’s less about the promises made by each company and more about whom she trusts most to deliver on these promises. Thus, leading up to that moment, it’s crucial that your company “sends” many TRUST SIGNALS of high quality, customer satisfaction and expertise.

brochureIf you qualify for Diamond Certified, we’ll give you several TRUST-BUILDING Diamond Certified Tools to influence both the emotional and logical assessment of your company’s likely future performance. Use your custom Diamond Certified Brochures with each potential customer to increase trust and prove your team’s Highest in Quality performance. The gold-embossed Diamond Certified symbol on the cover is designed to lift each prospect’s emotional confidence in your company. Hand out your Diamond Certified Expert Contributor reprints of bylined articles that we’ve written with your help to signal Expertise. Use the Diamond Certified labels and symbol on all of your estimates and within communications with prospects to signal your team’s commitment to high customer satisfaction.

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2016 direcThe Power to Generate an Ongoing Flow of Quality Customers
Who you do business with matters more than most managers realize, as they instead focus their attention on the quantity of customers. Get into your numbers. Look at the different profit margins of your best-margin and worst-margin customers. See how much your company’s financial health will improve if you weed out the bottom 20% of worst-margin customers and replace them with new customers who are in the top 50% margin-wise. Attracting these “better” customers is the key to long-term profitability, because in addition to replacing no/low-margin customers with solid-margin customers, these “better” customers tend to be more loyal, more likely to refer and less likely to jump around looking for low-priced offers.

We are obsessed with attracting the best customers to Diamond Certified companies. The way I see it, there are two big pieces to this puzzle: 1) who we select to market to and 2) what it means when consumers choose to use our Diamond Certified Resource to find a top rated company. When we mail 75% of our popular Diamond Certified Directories to homeowners with household incomes above $100,000 per year, we are choosing to present your company to households that have the financial resources to pay for quality. When a consumer chooses to use our Diamond Certified website or shops in our Diamond Certified Directory with the giant, gold-embossed Diamond Certified symbol on the cover, she is making a choice to not go for coupons and price advertisers. Instead, she’s raising her hand and saying, “I want a quality company that I can trust, and that’s why I’m choosing a Diamond Certified company.” And there are growing numbers of these self-identifying quality-centric consumers, as evidenced by our new Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer membership, which has quickly grown to 100,000 members.

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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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