The Suggestion Box Reborn Online: How to Gain Feedback from Customers to Improve Your Business


Remember the old “idea box?”In some companies, it was a way to cull information about employee expectations. In other companies, it was a way to make positive changes from within. Well, there’s been a resurgence in that old idea – not in physical form, but in virtual form. Here’s how to make use of it in your own company.


What Is It?


A suggestion box is a simple device for collecting opinions and suggestions for improving the company. Sometimes, the suggestions can be as simple as assigning someone to clean up the employee break room. Other times, suggestions are more intensive – like marketing suggestions that may improve the company’s gross sales.


The online version of this is basically just an email submission form where users can offer suggestions in a text box and then submit them to someone at the company. Submissions may be anonymous or not, depending on how you want to set up the program.


Online marketing companies, like Yodle, Inc., often suggest these kinds of programs when you’re at a loss for how to improve already good sales numbers.


How To Use It


An online suggestion box is only useful if you intent to act on the suggestions your receive. You should have a defined company policy for handling the information and acting on the suggestions you do get. Whether it be from employees or vendors, you need a consistent and streamlined approach for processing them.


Hire, or appoint, someone to administer the program. It can be either a full-time or part-time position, depending on how much money and time you want to devote to it. When designing the online suggestion box, it’s also a good idea to acknowledge your appreciation for the feedback. Most companies simply display a “thank you”message on the screen, but you can actually go a step further.


Let people know that you will send them a gift certificate, or something else of value, when they submit their suggestion. Have a way to track users so that you don’t get double-entries. Or, enter every user into a drawing for a “grand prize.”


Companies That Use It Successfully


Many companies already make use of these suggestion boxes. Companies like Starbucks, for example, use suggestion boxes to get ideas from customers and employees. The company then sorts through these suggestions and uses them as the basis for making internal managerial decisions.


Dell, the famous computer company, uses Ideastorm to gather feedback from customers. best Buy uses IdeaX to allow customers to vote on specific company policies and initiatives. Customers can also share and discuss ideas.


What’s amazing about these suggestion box initiatives is that it can humanize even the largest of companies and make them seem more “real.”Too often, large corporations are stuck with the stuffy corporate image – an image that suggests that they don’t care about what their customers think.


But, even small companies are sometimes saddled with this stigma. The suggestion box gives you a line of communication that’s often difficult or impossible to replicate.


Nathan Salmons loves modern strategies for online marketing. From social media to interactive websites, he enjoys blogging about the trends and effective ideas for improving marketing plans for today’s businesses.

Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 500,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.

Add a Blog


  1. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appearance. I must say that you’ve done a great job with this. Also, the blog loads super quick for me on Firefox. Exceptional Blog!

  2. I as well as my guys were taking note of the best information and facts from your web site and immediately I had a terrible feeling I had not thanked the website owner for those techniques. Most of the ladies are actually certainly happy to see all of them and have in effect in fact been tapping into these things. Appreciation for truly being really thoughtful and for settling on this sort of marvelous subject areas millions of individuals are really needing to understand about. Our sincere apologies for not saying thanks to sooner.

  3. That is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look ahead to searching for extra of your fantastic post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  4. In this great design of things you secure an A for effort and hard work. Exactly where you confused me personally was first in your facts. You know, people say, details make or break the argument.. And that could not be more correct here. Having said that, let me reveal to you just what exactly did do the job. Your text is certainly really powerful and this is probably the reason why I am making an effort to opine. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. 2nd, despite the fact that I can easily notice the leaps in reasoning you make, I am not necessarily certain of exactly how you seem to unite your ideas which in turn make your conclusion. For the moment I shall subscribe to your issue however wish in the foreseeable future you actually connect your facts better.

  5. Simply wish to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the gratifying work.

  6. I have observed that wise real estate agents everywhere you go are starting to warm up to FSBO Marketing. They are realizing that it’s more than just placing a sign in the front property. It’s really in relation to building associations with these dealers who at some time will become purchasers. So, after you give your time and efforts to aiding these retailers go it alone — the “Law of Reciprocity” kicks in. Great blog post.

  7. There are certainly a variety of details like that to take into consideration. That may be a nice point to bring up. I supply the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions just like the one you bring up where the most important thing can be working in trustworthy good faith. I don?t know if greatest practices have emerged round things like that, however I’m positive that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both girls and boys really feel the impression of just a moment’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

  8. Hiya. Very cool blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Superb .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally…I am satisfied to find so much useful information here in the article. Thank you for sharing..

  9. I like what you guys are doing. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys. I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my website. :)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here