“For most carpenters, it’s a race to the bottom,” says Jon Dawson, sales and marketing department manager for Cedarbrook Outdoor Design/Build. “Ours was the opposite approach. It’s how do we provide the best customer service?”

Mike Arneson founded his company on that question, and 13 years later, it has propelled him to being one of the area’s premier deck builders. The company’s race to the top starts with a five-year workmanship warranty against all defects, along with all manufacturer warranties registered on behalf of customers. “We have had circumstances where certain manufacturers would not stand behind their warranty, putting our clients in a bind,” Dawson says. “We routinely go above and beyond and will take on significant expenses to make our clients whole and satisfied with the outcome.”

That same dedication to satisfaction filters down to employees who are trained and encouraged to rise through the ranks from laborer to running a crew on their own. “Over the last year and half, we’ve actually seen some of the laborers promoted to carpenters,” Dawson says. “It’s a natural progression.”

The focus on satisfaction has led to stellar online reviews and a spot on the region’s Best Pick Report—one of the most exclusive lists. But the company isn’t resting on its reputation. It’s also using sophisticated geo-targeting technology to promote a deck build before it happens so neighbors can watch a deck as it’s being built. Drones take photos and videos throughout the process to keep the excitement going and for promotions after the job is finished.

All the while, Cedarbrook is looking at how it can take its customer service to the next level with an eye to hitting the $5 million sales mark in five years. “We don’t consider our competition to be the folks working out of their trucks,” Dawson says. “We keep our clients engaged and happy with our company. It’s just customer service.”