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After much deliberation we’re very happy to announce that have won our 2012 award for best business services website.

We found the depth, clarity and user-friendliness of this site unparalled in its category. Congratulations Workbooks on creating a fantastic resource for existing and prospective customers alike.

Who are they?

Workbooks is a fast-growing Reading-based provider of web-based CRM systems. (To the uninitiated, that stands for Customer Relationship Management). They provide small and medium sized businesses with CRM applications on a software-as-a-service model which means that their customers don’t need to maintain and upgrade hardware and software themselves.

Workbooks have been Approved Index suppliers since 2010.

Why did they win?

Design – The design immediately strikes you as being clean and crisp – adjectives that are regularly included in website design briefs but rarely delivered. The layout of the homepage makes it immediately clear what the offering is and gives and indication of price all before you hit the fold. Video testimonials show that the company wears its customer service credentials on its sleeve – a point that’s backed up throughout the rest of the site. What Workbooks should really be lauded for though is that they’ve managed to make a website for a fairly complicated product simple and uncluttered.

Navigation – Moving away from the home page brings the satisfaction that the same high quality is maintained throughout the site.There’s a very clear navigational bar along the top that’s maintained through every page and the navigational links for each subsection appear down the left hand side. This creates a matrix-like layout so you always know where you are and how to get to what you need. The site is also fast – pages download and display in super-quick time – which considering the amount of content, images, video and widgets is impressive.

Content – In a word? Phenomenal. We’ve got white papers, masses of articles, tons of videos all delivered in an efficient and understated manner. There are sections on features of the service, how to make the most of it, pricing, user support and customer feedback. Whether you’re already a workbooks customer or thinking about becoming one this site delivers all the information you need quickly.

Contact options – With their live chat feature Workbooks start reaching out to you the moment you hit the site. They put the phone number, live chat and Twitter links on every page. Their contact pages are clearly marked up and include a contact form, different email addresses for different departments and a map. In short, all the boxes have been ticked.

Pizazz – As we outlined in our post on judging criteria we’re not just looking for run of the mill B2B sites with nice graphics. In order to win an award you need to go the extra mile, you need a feature or characteristic that really makes you stand out from the competitors in your industry. In other words, you need a killer app. has one in the form of their community pages.

wbcommunity.jpgThese pages include: a comprehensive guide to using their CRM app; a blog for addressing  common user issues and providing news; a forum where users can seek advice and guidance from other users and the technical team; a customer ideas section where users can suggest and vote for their most desired product enhancements.

This sort of customer support can’t be replicated with little expense or effort and it makes absolutely clear that Workbooks not only care about their customers but that they’re passionate about providing the best service that they possibly can.

Well done Workbooks for producing a site that puts user satisfaction at the core of the experience and for pulling out all the stops to get it absolutely right. The success is well deserved.

Business Services Honourable Mention: Northgate Arinso

Northgate Arinso have been around a long time and provide Human Resources software and services the globe over. As such you’d expect that their website,, to be pretty spiffy. And it is.

northgateHRservices.jpgDespite being pipped to the post in their category by Workbooks, Northgate’s site has the depth and quality of content to really make it stand out in a crowded marketplace.

The wealth of information they provide on their various products and services is well ordered and highly accessible. They also avoid falling into the trap of writing copy that’s too targeted at an audience already well versed in the HR lingo – the content here will make sense to HR heads and SME owners alike.

The branding is well implemented, the contact and support options copious, there’s a heap of video content for industry professsionals and a blog with a good variety of contributors.

An example to other large providers of business services that attention to detail really pays off.


If you’re looking for top quality web design for your business to compete with our 2012 award winners then check out Approved Index’s free website design quotes comparision service.