Awards and Early Client Referrals Page #1

DMR Gutters

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DMR Gutters Involvement in the Better Business Bureau's Business Integrity Award Program

We've had lots of Clients comment how their new gutters turned out even better than they had imagined, and I've had less warranty calls over the last decade than I have fingers on one hand, but I wanted to know how I could share this with potential clients back when I was still just a young business. Aside from the direct client referrals I get of course I wanted a way to get this positive feedback out there long before the internet is what it has become now. Consumers back then may have taken the time and effort to file a complaint with the BBB against a disreputable business, but hardly anyone takes the time to write a rave review, so that left my business out in the cold with that current system. It is helpful for Homeowners to know who to avoid, but it is more important to get an idea who to hire for a project, and feel confident their investment is well spent. 

I was a BBB sponsoring members back in early 1997, and was invited to attended their Second Annual Business Integrity Awards Banquet for the year 1996 (at $150 a plate).  I tried to make a few connections there, but more importantly I came up with the marketing idea from that awards ceremony of inserting a stamped postcard (shown below) in each presentation folder I give prospective Clients at the time we are there to draw up a bid for gutter replacement.  Those postcards were stamped and pre-addressed to the BBB in Downtown Portland Oregon (they have since moved to Lake Oswego).  We figured this might inspire my Clients to forward their thought about my work on to the BBB, so DMR Gutters should be a shoe in for this award, and it worked!


You can click on these images to get a better look,

We had no idea what the results would be, since I was careful not to mentioned the postcard in their folder. I did not even remind our happy clients to fill out their card and send it in, so no pressure was applied. Although, it seems many had over sent in their comments and the next year and I was nominated for this award.  We were pleasantly surprised to get a letter from the local BBB with a questionnaire to fill out; asking us to list our ideas on our ethics in business and what we do to guarantee customer satisfaction for this process of determining who would become the 17 Finalists out of their roster of 9,000 BBB business member ship.  I was later called in to be subject to an interview at the BBB Downtown office as a potential Finalist for their Business Integrity Award for that year: 1997. It seems that I passed their inspection, since my business under the previous name of Dramatic Mobile Reproductions was honored as one of the Semi-finalist at their next Awards Banquet in March of 1998, where we were presented with this certificate (shown below).

Yes, I know that was a lousy name. I had come up with a business name back in 1985 to represent my Exwife's and my initials: David & Merryll Rich, so I've been stuck with it ever since. (LOL) I later changed it to Dynamic Metal Rendering in 2000 after an old friend suggested it, and now I do much of my work through my other DBA of Copper By Design.

That year they had broken the awards up in general categories like: financial, professional, insurance, food, service, construction, and such. There was about half a dozen categories in all, and 2 to 3 Semi-finalists in each category.  A large General Contractor by the name of Neil Kelly was the winner of the glass trophy in our category.  They also won a larger glass trophy as the winning business over-all the categories, to move onto the National BBB Business Integrity Award Competition.  So I guess I was were up against some heavy competition that year.

The 1997 BBB Business Integrity Awards Banquet program

Cover page

Page 3

Here we are at the Banquet Ceremony

Bill Rich (Father, deceased), John Rich (older Brother), Edna Rich (Grandmother, deceased), Hope Rich (2nd Daughter), Porsha Rich (1st Daughter), David Rich (Me), and Ceair Rich (3rd Daughter)

Page 1

Back page

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Here we are in front of our display we were invited to set up

David Rich (Me), Ceair Rich (3rd Daughter), and Edna Rich (Grandmother, deceased)

This postcard program I had implemented was also good for our sales, since they know how serious I am about honesty and quality.  If during a job I felt things were not going well with a Client all I had to do is remember I cannot afford one negative comment. Then suddenly everything seemed to go smoothly, since it was not the Client who needed to concede. It was my involvement that had to adjust. 

That is how good business is done, at least when a business truly cares about their reputation.  Instead, many businesses rely heavily on advertising; with the idea that 'There's a sucker born every day'. Back then Homeowners did not have social media to network well and write good or bad reviews on businesses. Most people had to rely on what they could find in the Yellowpages.

DMR Gutters was fortunate to be nominated again by several Clients and asked to write another essay and demonstrate our commitment to ethical responsibility in front of a panel of Judges (a representative from Neil Kelly being one of those Judges) at the Downtown BBB office here in Portland Oregon.

Again I seemed to have passed the muster, and DMR was honored at their BBB Business Integrity Award Banquet Ceremony in March of 1999, where I was presented as a Finalist with one of these nine glass trophies (shown here).

There were only three categories this year of only large, medium, and small companies.  DMR was of coarse in the small business category, with two other small businesses.  Cleaner Image Maintenance was the business that took the larger trophy in our small business catagory. I suppose they felt it is not nearly as difficult to maintain my high standards given I had no employees to deal with, so I did not warrant the winning ticket.

Not to toot my own horn, but DMR was one of the nine Finalist, out of the 9,000 BBB members here in the NW who maintained a clean record and would be up for this award. I guess that makes us one in a thousand.  Technically any business can be awarded this honor even if they are not a BBB member, so that makes the odds even greater. I feel quite proud to have been an official Finalist 2 years in a row as a trophy all of it's own.

We continued to keep up with this postcard program in our initial contact presentation folder for several years after that, but the BBB never got around to implementing a way to display positive feedback they would receive. Their system only focused on dealing with consumer's complaints. Eventually things changed a lot with the growing use of the Internet, and mailing in a hardcopy review became a thing of the past, so I dropped that program and host links to several consumer protections web sites here. 

The 1998 BBB Business Integrity Awards Banquet program

Cover page

Page 3

Page 1

Back page

I was allowed to set up this display to represent what DMR Gutters does.

Here we are at the 1998 Business Integrity Awards Banquet

Tia Rich (Wife), Damion Rich (younger Brother), Brady Rich (Damion's Son), Robin Rich (Damion's Wife), Trace White (Tia's Son), with Micaela White up front (Tia's Daughter)
(I was busy taking this picture)

This is the BBB's Awards Banquet sign on an easel with our company's name on it,
(second from the bottom).

Yes, they did misspelled 'Reproductions'

I had since decided that the company name: 'Dynamic Metal Rendering' fits with my specialty of working with sheet metal, better than Dramatic Mobile Reproduction, while staying with the same innitials, logo, and CCB #92250 I had from the beginning in mid 1993.

The BBB is not likely to consider DMR Gutters for this award again, since I was awarded this same honor 2 years in a row for the year 1997 and 1998. Politics, or just their way of spreading the awards around. Who knows? I also understand their Logic to give these awards to larger companies who have the advertising dollars to brag up this sort of BBB program, and there for boosting their membership levels, increasing their revenue.

This sort of postcard program is not something that most companies would do.  They would need to have a lot of quality control and high customer service standards to do something like this, or it would most surely back-fire. The Internet has helped turn the tide, as long as more people use it to search and report the pros and cons of those businesses they have patronized.

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Our award looking down on it to see the engraving

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Below is the full set of unaltered copies of the 23 comment postcard sent to the BBB 1997 - 98

In mid 1999, we had gone to the Downtown Portland Oregon's Better Business Bureau's branch office requesting to see the postcards that were sent in, in order to review those comments for quality control.  They happily gave us all of the cards they had in on file at their office.  And here they all are for your review uncensored.  There are 23 that had been sent in before that time.

We were pleasantly surprised to see that out of all these postcards, there did not seem to be one negative comment.  We have not bothered to check if there are more sent in after this.

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3-24-97

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5-12-97

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6-3-97

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6-6-97

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6-14-97

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6-14-97

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6-20-97

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7-20-97

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7-25-97

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7-28-97

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7-30-97

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8-18-97

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8-21-97

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9-25-97

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10-29-97

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11-8-97

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11-20-97

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12-8-97

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1-9-98

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12-1-98

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4-29-98

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4-99

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4-15-04

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We have our client's e-referrals on a separate web page
(click her to read them)

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Other Helpful Roofing Informatio on our web site
For some valuable advice with regards to roofing and rain management issues check out our:

(a) Gutter Installation
(b) Gutter Debris Protection Options
(c) Roofing Quality Standards
(d) Chimney Flashing

(e) Moss Control & Treatment

web pages for answers and solutions that could save you thousands of $ and a great deal of anguish.

If you do find this information very helpful, feel free to send us a $ tip for the assistance we so freely have published on the web here for your benefit, like you might tip a waitress.  Heck, send us a gift certificate for a candle lit dinner for two. <LOL>

 

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