Your Quality Customer Commitment

by Jim Stein


How committed are you to fueling your company with Quality Customers? If you qualify for Diamond Certified, your top rated status will prove that you manage your company to deliver on your customer promises. You’ll be presented in the Diamond Certified Resource, which is used exclusively by self-identified Quality Customers. You’ll use your Diamond Certified tools (symbol, brochures, signs) as a Quality Customer magnet, elevating all of your company’s communications. So, yes, you’re committed!  

A commitment is really a promise for the future. By committing to something, you focus your future actions to accomplish it. Your commitment will drive future decisions. The stronger your commitment, the easier your decisions. 

Who you do business with matters the most. Fuel your company with too many bad and second-rate customers and you’ll feel the frustration of price shoppers who use you for a special and don’t return; or those who don’t really have the money to afford you; or customers who don’t
appreciate anything and write bad, exaggerated reviews. You don’t have to put up with that.  

Instead, strengthen your Quality Customer Commitment. Quality Customers are the best fuel to build your company for the long term because they’re willing to pay for quality, they want fair dealings, and they’ll return and refer others. This means you get an ongoing flow of good-margin work and are able to attract and compensate quality staff, build a solid cash cushion, and dramatically increase the value of your company.  

Step #1: Define Quality Customers: Attributes and Behaviors
Take the time to write out your definition of Quality Customers. Go through your past customer files and put them in two groups: those who are Quality Customers and those who aren’t. Then identify common attributes and behaviors of each group.  

Step #2: Cultivate Your Customer Base and Superglue Loyalty
To cultivate, you need to add Quality Customers and subtract bad and second-rate customers. You’ll have to quit some customers and turn down thin-margin work and problem customers, so you’ll need a strong Quality Customer Commitment. You’ll make the right customer choices when you’re committed to fueling your company with Quality Customers.

Think how successful you’ll be in the future when you change your company’s customer fuel mix over the next few years from, say, 40%/60% to 75%/25% (Quality Customers/Second-Rate Customers). Your company will double or triple in value, and your work will be a lot more fulfilling for you and your team.  

But if you attract Quality Customers and don’t earn their loyalty, it will be like pouring good water into a leaky bucket. You don’t want that. Instead, superglue the loyalty of your Quality Customers by using these three techniques.  

1. Use your Diamond Certified tools (if you qualify) to send quality signals to new customers so they’ll feel confident that they made the right choice.

2. Use Helpful Expertise upfront so you learn their needs and expectations and communicate in a manner that suits their personality and experience with the subject (your expertise). 

3. Follow up after the job. Be vulnerable. Show that you care. Fix any problems and then elicit expressions of their satisfaction. Use your Diamond Certified brochures to anchor their experience as being one of the reasons you’ve earned the prestigious Diamond Certified (if you qualify).

Step #3: Elevate Your Quality Magnet
Use quality signals to magnetize every part of your company that comes into contact with potential customers. Your quality signals should be clearly felt in your website, vehicles, uniforms, advertising, and how your phones and emails are answered. Diamond Certified is the ultimate Quality Customer Magnet. If you qualify, simply add it to all your communications to magnetize them for Quality Customers. 

The Diamond Certified symbol taps into quality-seeking customers’ minds on several levels and gives them more confidence that what’s being shown and said by your company can be trusted.

Research shows that 2 out of 3 of your potential customers are influenced by Diamond Certified. If you qualify, sometimes you’ll hand out your company’s Diamond Certified brochure and see with your own eyes that this tool helps you convert a shopper into a new customer. Other times, your Diamond Certified status will work as a powerful, invisible magnetic force, pulling in Quality Customers through all types of media or providing a key data point for intelligent consumers, giving them confidence to choose you.

Step #4: Leverage Your Customers’ Sphere of Influence to Grow Referrals
Even satisfied customers won’t refer you unless they’ll gain in status by doing so. They know that they’ll drop in status if they refer you to a friend who then has a bad experience. Why risk it? Here are three steps to reduce their drop-in-status risk and increase their rise-in-status reward. 

1. Use your Diamond Certified status (if you qualify) to give your customer confidence that her good experience is because you’re top rated and those whom she refers will thank her.

2. Give her tools to pass on that prove your quality. Your Diamond Certified brochure is perfect for the job and works on two levels. First, if you give her two or three of your brochures to pass on, she has a physical reminder in her house to refer you. Second, her friend who receives the referral not only hears that she was satisfied but sees in the brochure that you are indeed a quality company, and this second independent data point is crucial for the friend to act on the referral.

3. That you ask and how you do it are key. Notice below how we aren’t bribing her for a referral but asking for an exchange—our quality work for her help by referring others.  

“Debra, our team really focuses on quality work, and that’s how we earned Diamond Certified. We believe in growing our company organically through referrals from one satisfied customer to a new customer. So, if you feel that we did a quality job for you, please thank us by referring a friend or family member. Here’s my contact info on the back of our Diamond Certified brochures. Please give one to a friend who’s interested. I thank you in advance.”