- Suggestion box
A suggestion box is a device for obtaining additional comments, questions, and requests. In its most basic and traditional form, it is a
receptaclewith an opening, not unlike an offeringbox or votingbox. The boxis used for collecting slips of paperwith input from customers and patrons of a particular organization. Suggestion boxes may also exist internally, within an organization, such as means for garnering employeeinput.
Variations on this method include paper feedback forms which can be sent via
postal mail, such as the "We value your input" or "How was the service today?" cards found in some restaurants; solicitations to provide comments over the telephone, such as a voluntary survey at the end of a transaction with a call center, or even an invitation on a printed store receiptto call and complete a customer satisfactionsurvey (sometimes offered with a product discount); or the placement of feedback forms on an institution's website.
Including mechanisms for
customercomments beyond an ordinary point of servicehas several benefits. Suggestion boxes provide some degree of detachment (or sometimes, especially with computer-mediated communication, complete anonymity) from the person or servicethat a customer may be critiquing, and may therefore yield more frank and open feedback, thereby providing greater opportunities for obtaining accurate market researchdata and improving customer relations.
The internal routing of comments within an organization may also provide those without direct contact with customers a realistic appraisal of the quality of customer care being given. The external routing of responses to received suggestions, such as by posting responses to questions and requests on a physical or virtual bulletin board, may also help educate consumers and improve a company's image and
commentswith a suggestion box can also be fruitful, especially in groupthink-prone environments and within a corporate culturethat adheres to a " shoot the messenger" mentality. However, as with the use of anonymous suggestion forms from the public, allowing unsigned comments may sacrifice accountabilityand make the feedback system prone to abuse.
Recording received suggestions in a robust
databasecan help track any trends. Bugzilla, for example, an open system where bugs and feature requests can be logged for a particular software program, is a popular example of what could be called an enhanced suggestion box. Also see social suggestion box.
Social suggestion box
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