The votes are in, the ballots have been counted, re-counted and checked for spelling mistakes. The intrepid Approved Index team have barely slept for the past week while they’ve pivot-tabled their way through gigantic spreadsheets of buyer comments.

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The outcome of their caffeine-fuelled endeavours?

The results of the Approved Index Approval Ratings 2012!

What are Approval Ratings?

We sent a quick questionnaire to over 18,000 buyers who’ve used Approved Index over the last few months to find suppliers across over a hundred purchase categories.

We asked them to rate their experience with each company we put them in touch with by

  • giving them a rating from 1 to 5;
  • categorising the speed of contact and the quality of the quote;
  • providing any other comments.

Right now we’re using those ratings to award a score to each of our suppliers based on the average rating they received (as long as they got enough ratings to make it reliable).

If you’re an Approved Index supplier we’ll be getting in touch over the next few days to let you know how your company performed so keep an eye on your inbox.

What Did We Find Out?

There are several points that jumped right out at us from the survey data. These generally point to very positive feelings from Approved Index buyers both towards our suppliers and our request for quotes service in general…

  • The average of all company ratings was 3.38

Expressed as a percentage that’s 68% – which we think is pretty darn good. As every enquiry is going out to several suppliers you’d expect survey respondents to mark relatively i.e. by giving those they liked 4s and 5s and those they didn’t 1s and 2s. This would put the average somewhere in the middle.

The actual average though is clearly much closer to 5 which means that buyers generally rated their experience with suppliers as good even when they didn’t end up making a purchase.

  • 78% of seller contact was reported as being made promptly

Excellent news considering speed of response is such a huge factor in whether sales are made or lost. Well done suppliers on this front!

  • 74% of quotes were reported as being price appropriate or good quality

That’s great news for Approved Index. We’re in the business of matching buyers with appropriate suppliers and looks like we’re doing that in the overwhelming majority of cases (though of course there’s always room for improvement).

  • 55% of those surveyed had already made a purchase from an Approved Index supplier

Considering we only survey the most recent buyers and that some of our purchase categories have long buying cycles, the actual number of resulting purchases is likely to be significantly higher.

Again, this is great news for our request for quotes service and for Approved Index suppliers. It’s evidence that in the majority of cases buyers are either not looking beyond Approved index suppliers for quotes or that, even when they do, Approved Index companies turn out to provide the best quotes.

  • Only 16% of comment opportunites solicited any negative feedback

While our ultimate aim is of course to reduce that figure to somewhere near zero we still think it’s pretty good – especially when you consider that the overwhelming majority of negative comments result from not getting a quote rather than receiving poor customer service from a supplier.

Still Room for Improvement

While we’re very happy that Approved Index buyers are overwhelmingly reporting being contacted promptly with good quality quotes we do recognise that there’s more we can do make the buyer experience even better.

That’s why we’ll be continuing to implement improvements to the way we match buyers and suppliers throughout the rest of 2012 and beyond. We look forward to the prospect of our next buyer survey carrying even better results.

All that remains for now is for the whole team to thank all those buyers who took part in the survey:

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We’ll be sending out an email to the winner of the £50 Amazon voucher next week.


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