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    Diamond Certified Expert Contributors
    Read topic-based expert articles and watch informative video tips by Diamond Certified Expert Contributors, each of whom manages a local company that has been independently rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise®.

    Diamond Certified Consumer Blog
    The Diamond Certified Blog is updated bi-weekly and features helpful articles and videos on a wide variety of topics. Read blogs about home, health and auto maintenance; learn about industry-leading organizations; stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the Diamond Certified Resource; and much more.

    Savvy Consumer Tips
    Read the latest consumer advice and tips from Chris Bjorklund, a Bay Area consumer advocate with more than 35 years of experience. You can also access archived Savvy Consumer Tips and contact Chris about consumer issues in your area.

    How to Be a Savvy Consumer
    Watch a video and read informative articles to learn how you can be a savvy consumer and get the most out of the consumer experience.

    Local Company Owner Blog
    Read our comprehensive series of business-to-business blogs to gain valuable insight into topics like customer retention, brand building, improving market signals and more.

Helpful Expertise® From Owners of Top Rated Companies

If you want to gain knowledge on specific local services and become a more savvy consumer, we encourage you to access the Diamond Certified Expert Reports through the search options on the right. These mostly industry-specific articles, tip sheets, videos and blog entries are created for consumers by local experts. The authors know what they’re talking about because they own or manage local Diamond Certified companies that have been independently rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise®. Each has contributed their expertise to create these reports for you and other consumers as a way to give back to their community.

Albert Nahman Owner
Albert Nahman Plumbing and Heating

Barbara Ragsdale President
Knights’ Electric, Inc.

Cameron Radonich Marketing Director
Los Gatos Roofing

Debby Benson-Miller Real Estate Agent
Prime Real Estate Services

Geoffrey Kulik Partner
Sterck Kulik O’Neill Accounting Group, Inc.

Dr. Jag Dhesi Owner
Springtown Wellness Center – Jag Dhesi, D.C.

Andrea Vernerova Property Manager
CM Property Management Inc.

Rolf Bell Principal
Green Living Builders LLC

Alex Nunez Manager
B & J Transmissions

Dr. Lovely Manlapaz Owner
Lovely Manlapaz Teodoro DDS

Bill Place Owner
Nor Cal Glass Products, Inc.

Soumil Amin Owner
CertaPro Painters of Berkeley


Video: Window Energy Efficiency

NAPA — Host, Sarah Rutan: When shopping for new windows, one key characteristic to look for is energy efficiency. Today we’re in Napa with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Kyle Unciano of American Window Systems to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Kyle Unciano: Two words that you might hear when purchasing new windows and doors is Low E and Argon.  These are two components that make up the energy efficiency of a window and door.  As of 2020, California has tightened their requirements on energy efficiency codes.  So when you are purchasing new windows and doors, a few questions you should be asking is: what is the U value and the solar heat gain coefficiency on your windows and doors? Read more

How to Shop for Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors

NAPA — As of 2020, California has tightened its Title 24 energy efficiency requirements for residential remodeling. So, when shopping for new windows and doors, it’s important to make sure you’re getting a code-compliant product.

Two major components that determine a window or door’s energy efficiency are low-E and argon. Let’s learn a little bit about these two components:

Low-E is short for “low-emissivity” and refers to a coating applied to new windows that helps reduce heat transmission. By decreasing the amount of heat that’s allowed to pass through the glass, a low-E coating significantly improves a window’s insulating qualities.

Argon is a gas that’s inserted between the glass panes of a window to make it more energy efficient. Read more

Kids and Choking Hazards

Posted on February 18, 2020 by Chris Bjorklund

kids playing with blocks

I’ve been babysitting a one-year-old and a three-year-old on a regular basis this year, so I’m constantly on the lookout for choking hazards. You’re probably familiar with the obvious ones like hot dogs, seeded grapes and marshmallows, but I was surprised when the children started coughing and choking on apple slices, french fries, and beans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can prevent choking by making sure your little ones sit up while eating and not giving them food while they’re in the car or stroller. Kids are still developing their swallowing skills up until they’re 24 months old, so keep this in mind when introducing solid foods. Read more

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Posted in: Safety, Consumers, Health Tips, Home Tips, Savvy Tips
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A Glimpse Into the World of Con Artists, Swindlers and Fakers

Posted on February 18, 2020 by Chris Bjorklund


My latest obsession is listening to podcasts about criminals who have defrauded, scammed and deceived others. Consumer investigative journalism is now more accessible than ever in this medium. All the shows I’m digging into are free through podcasting apps and streaming services like Spotify.

“Swindled” is my current favorite. It’s an independently produced true crime podcast about all sorts of money-making schemes, white collar crime and corporate greed. The anonymous host calls himself “A Concerned Citizen.” His goal is to shine a light on stories that you may have heard about in the news but didn’t really know all the sordid details. In an interview, Read more

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Watch this video to learn Chris Bjorklund's Top 10 ways to be a savvy consumer.

Your Role in Creating a Win-Win Relationship

Many consumers find that it helps to know the scope of their jobs and their overarching goals before talking to a local service company. By knowing what you want to accomplish… Read more

How to be Their Favorite Customer

When you work with a local company, it’s ultimately their responsibility to perform a thorough and complete job, but you play a big part in the success of your project, too… Read more

Best Practices for Communicating with a Company

Delivering feedback to a company is like landing an airplane on an old runway—it can be bumpy or smooth depending on how much work has been put into maintaining the area… Read more


How to Develop the Relationship to Prevent Problems

Be willing to be satisfied. It’s strange but true. Small-business owners and their staff really like making their customers happy for its own reward. They’ll go the extra mile for customers… Read more

The First Steps to Problem Resolution

“Don’t make assumptions.” This piece of wisdom is perhaps the most powerful guiding principle in conflict prevention. I picked it up from a book called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz… Read more

Go to Problem Resolution and Mediation Hub

This informative page will teach you what to do when you have an issue with a local company. Read more

The Season of Giving

Posted on December 14, 2019 by Greg Louie

On behalf of our Diamond Certified Resource team, I want to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season. When you look back on your company’s performance in 2019, you should be proud. You’ve led your team to consistently deliver very high customer satisfaction, which qualified you to earn and maintain your Diamond Certified status. Your performance isn’t ordinary or average—it’s exceptional. I’d say that’s worthy of a gift or two!

Luckily, the Diamond Certified Resource is designed to provide your company with numerous gifts throughout the year. So, as we head into 2020, make sure you’re prepared to use your Diamond Certified gifts to: 1) build a stronger brand for quality; Read more

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What a Surprise!

Posted on October 14, 2019 by Greg Louie

Recently, my family and I went to a restaurant and there was a short wait for a table. While we were waiting, the host offered us and a few other patrons some complimentary coffee or water. As someone who pays very close attention to customer service, I observed what kind of responses the offer received. Everyone seemed very appreciative and it was clear that this little touch had made a big impression.

The drinks came out immediately and made the wait go by much quicker. In fact, this simple gesture prompted many of us to start talking to each other. It began with general pleasantries (“That’s so nice!”) and turned into further conversation (“Have you eaten here before? Read more

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The Components of Your Success

Posted on September 14, 2019 by Greg Louie

I say it all the time but it bears repeating: Your Diamond Certified Company Report is the absolute best presentation of your company anywhere on the internet. Where else can consumers see your company’s accurate ratings, researched articles, expert tips, video profile, photo gallery and verbatim survey responses all in one place? It’s a one-stop shop that proves your quality and helps you stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace, which ultimately turns prospective clients into committed buyers of your services.

Your prospects already visit to view your Diamond Certified Company Report, but wouldn’t it be great if you could also show them this comprehensive info on your own website and social media accounts? Read more

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