Imagine a case where you have to draft a note and drop it in your office suggestion box before you could pass your ideas or feedback, that sounds a little old right?

The world is changing and things are moving away from the traditional method to a more digital process so it’s only cool that organizations, brands, and companies move away from office suggestion boxes to a virtual suggestion box. 

Virtual suggestion boxes are best for organizations and brands to get honest feedback about their products and services from the customers.

The good news is an online suggestion box or virtual suggestion box has been in use for a while. With a lot more companies getting suggestions or feedback from their employees.

In this post, we are going to discuss why it is essential for every organization to have a virtual suggestion box. So read on to find out how your organization can start collecting feedback, ideas, and lots more using virtual suggestion boxes. 

What is a virtual suggestion box?

A virtual suggestion box or an online suggestion box is where an organization or brand’s employees and customers can give feedback or comments at their own convenience. It is unlike traditional boxes that are situated at the spot and mostly out of reach of a brand’s direct customers.

Many marketers commit their careers to find out what customers desire, what type of product or services they want from an organization or company. A virtual suggestion box allows business owners to have access to what their customers want and need in a more direct way.

A virtual suggestion box makes the customers feel like a member of the brand because it shows that the organization values the inputs of its customers. This is also because this box offers anonymity and convenience that motivate customers to provide their suggestions. Input from a virtual suggestion box is not limited to only customers, but is also useful for collecting feedback from the employees.

An online suggestion box also offers a simple step to it, which is for the customers to follow a link and submit their comments. This simplicity appeals to many customers unlike how strenuous the traditional suggestion box is operated.

Why office suggestion boxes should be virtualized

One thing to keep in mind is a good and well-constructed suggestion can improve a business. It can take a business from point zero to a unicorn level.

For example, an employee of British Airways once suggested that airplane toilet pipes should be descaled so as to make them lighter. This suggestion that was dropped in the company’s online suggestion box saved the company more than $700,000 in the cost of fuel in a year.

There are enough ample reasons why you should virtualize your office suggestion box as a brand owner or as a company.

Let’s take a look at them:

  1. All-time access: one important reason why a company’s suggestion box should be virtualized is that the company’s target market may leave or even work in a different region or time zone. They might not be able to write a note and drop it in the office suggestion box, but with an online suggestion box, they can have access to drop their input anywhere and anytime in the world.
  2. Anonymity: a virtual suggestion box allows feedback to be collected anonymously. This is because there is confidentiality in response collection also and an online suggestion box is built to erase biases and have a secure system that protects individuals’ data.
  3. Fast delivery: unlike the traditional office boxes where someone might forget to collect all the notes. An online or a virtual suggestion box processes suggestions quickly. The suggestion box can also be set up to notify specific personnel in real-time when a new suggestion has been received.
  4. Make the right decision: receiving suggestions or ideas online from different customers, communicating their wants or needs can help the management of an organization to make informed and rich business decisions. The gathered information will assist the research and development team to keep afloat in the market by serving the desires of their customers.
  5. Honest insights: a virtual suggestion box eliminates all risks of external influence on your customers or employees and this helps to facilitate honest feedback without any fear.
  6. Automated result collection technique: the virtual suggestion box automatically collects ideas and feedback and processes them faster, unlike traditional suggestion boxes where an employee has to spend time reading the responses.
  7. Qualitative and quantitative feedback: the responses gathered from the collection can help rebrand organizations and make improvements while saving costs.

Explore: 360 Degree Feedback: Definition, Types, + [Question & Template Examples]

What can online suggestion boxes be used for?

There are many things an online suggestion box can be used for. Some of these include employee feedback and customer feedback. We are going to discuss them in this paragraph.

1. Employee feedback

This is very useful for an organization especially when there has been an internal change. Use a virtual suggestion box to check in with your employees and seek their opinions on the change that has been made. 

You can also set up the virtual suggestion box to send out questions at intervals so that your employees are free to share feedback and information in real-time.

For example, you can set up these questions for your employees on your online suggestion box:

  • Do the vision statements of the organization align with your career path?
  • On a scale of 1-9, how likely are you to recommend your company to your friend as a good place to work?
  • Do you feel like the organization promotes a good work-life balance?

2. Product feedback

Let’s say you just launched a new product. If you want to find out how customers are reacting to it, you can use an online suggestion box.

You can learn how the customers feel about the product if there should be an improvement or if they totally enjoy it from the feedback.

This method of customer interaction provides insight into how the customers perceive your products and why they would buy them.

For example, you can set up these questions for your customers on your online suggestion box:

  • What problem are you able to solve with our product?
  • Which of our products have you introduced to your friends?
  • Which product would you like us to work on?

3. Customer feedback

The amazing thing about the internet now is that your customers can become ambassadors for your brand if they are satisfied with your products and services.

In the same vein, your customers want a superb resolution service if they encounter any problem using your products and services.

An effective way to hear what your customers have to say is to provide them access to a virtual customer suggestion box where they can easily drop their opinions.

For example, you can set up these questions for your customers on your online suggestion box:

  • Which of our services is your favorite?
  • Which feature will make you happy if we added it to our service?
  • Do you have any further suggestions or ideas or questions?

4. Market research

Conducting market research or not can determine how successful or otherwise your business will be. Conducting market research can be an additional cost for the organization. Therefore, you can conduct a virtual suggestion box and gather information from your target audience and target markets. You can even be contacted for an opportunity to collaborate.

For example, you can set up these questions for your customers on your online suggestion box:

  • Are the prices of our products fair for the quality they offer or are they higher or lower to what is obtainable from our competitors?
  • What stands us out from our competitors?
  • Would you recommend us to someone else?

You can motivate your respondents by introducing competition or a price to make the suggestions a form of a game. 

Disadvantages of suggestion boxes offline or online 

There are some disadvantages that come with implementing a virtual or online suggestion box. 

  • Employees may drop an uncoordinated comment that they wouldn’t have said in person to the management.
  • The manager might be flooded with irrelevant feedback or comments that could result in time and resources wasted.
  • Malicious comments may be directed at the brand or organization because of the anonymity virtual suggestion box provides.
  • The intention for implementing the suggestion box may yield zero results if the target audience does not interact with it.

Why do suggestion boxes fail 

  1. No feedback: Typically, people leave their comments in a box and there’s no individual feedback after their suggestions. Since there’s also a long review process, people tend to assume that there’s no interest in their suggestions. This further creates apathy and no interest in leaving further suggestions
  2. A committee decides what to implement: During the review process, the originator of that idea is rarely available to give the details of what they are suggesting. Instead, a committee votes up or down based on what they think. And most times, committee members are looking for big transformational ideas.
  3. Low-quality ideas: Committee members also get frustrated when there’s a poor quality of suggestions. Because there’s no ownership, there are often a lot of random suggestions. So fatigue tends to set in when sorting through these ideas
  4. Slow implementation process: If at the end of a long review process only 1% of the available suggestions will be implemented and even that takes a lot of time, it’ll discourage the entry rate.

How to encourage more suggestions from employees and others

It’s important for the brand and organization’s management to know that their employees most likely have something to say even though they may be quiet in the weekly or monthly meetings.

So to encourage the use of the suggestion box the management should ensure that first, their employees know they value their contributions and are not going to react rather harshly to their criticisms.

It is important that you as a brand manager listen to the opinions of your employees because it may be the drive your products or services need to grow.

So how do you encourage suggestions from your employees?

Below we have listed five tips on how you can go about encouraging your employees to share their ideas with you.

1. Listen: A good way to encourage your employees to speak up is to listen to them when they eventually speak up. Let them deliver their points clearly and completely and ensure you do not misinterpret their words.

When your staff assured you care about their voice they would feel free to share more.

2. Be a speaker: this is very important because to encourage your staff to communicate their ideas and comments with you you must be a leader that communicates. Let them see you show vulnerability, tell them a story about a time you failed, share your fears with the team. The more you expose your true self the more you build trust with your staff and you encourage openness.

3. Be available: your employees will be free to communicate their ideas or challenges with you if they are assured that you will always have time to listen to them. Make yourself approachable to your employees, let your door be opened to them to come in and share their opinions. Doing this can yield a positive result for the growth of the company.

4. Incentives: you can encourage your employees to share more at work by implementing a non-punishable culture for speaking up.

Create an environment that rewards your employees for sharing their ideas or bringing new innovation. Employees will most likely come up with favorable ideas for the organization if they know there’s a reward attached to it. Also, this fosters inclusion because brainstorming is not left to the senior management alone.

5. Implement their ideas: if you are able to encourage your employees to share ideas and you do not implement any of their ideas however great they are, it may discourage them from sharing more.

It is important that you use the feedback and ideas shared with you this will make your employees feel like their ideas are worthwhile and valuable.

If your employees see that their ideas are not only listened to but Incorporated into the business strategy of the organization, they would easily share more.

How to analyze suggestion box feedback with Formplus

Once you have obtained your feedback conducting the analysis one by one can be a tedious and time-consuming activity. 

With Formplus’ form analytics feature you can analyze the data from your respondents and gain insight from your customers 

Formplus analytics is easy to use because without the need to write any code, you will gain insight into the number of respondents that filled your form, their location, the device they used to fill your form etc. Formplus form analytics also provide metrics on the total number of your form views, the conversion rate, the number of submissions and it even tracks your form average time.

Simply use Formplus form analytics to analyze your results. Login to your Formplus dashboard to access that feature. If you haven’t signed up, you can quickly do that here.


The importance of an organization or brand setting up a virtual suggestion box or an online suggestion box cannot be overemphasized. If you are a brand that is passionate about interacting with your customers and your employees and also getting honest feedback you should definitely set up one. You may just receive the one valuable idea that will change the fate of your organization forever. You never can tell!

  • busayo.longe
  • on 11 min read


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