Boxwire Interview with Rob Thomas Jr.

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 01 Sep, 2011

Boxwire, an online suggestion box, is a tool that businesses can use to improve their reputation.

When Boxwire is implemented into a business, complaints or recommendations can be sent anonymously from customers or employees directly to the business owner. The goal is to build better relationships with customers, while also cutting down on negative complaints online- a place where they can live forever.

Below is an interview with Rob Thomas Jr., Managing Partner at Boxwire.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for Boxwire?

A: I was dining at one of my favorite local restaurants and my service was exceptionally poor. Since I routinely frequent this restaurant, I did not want to be seen as "that guy" who complains to the manager to get a free meal and I certainly didn't want the waiter to take it out on my food back in the kitchen! At the time, the only ways for me to express myself was to fill out a comment card and hand it to the waiter or go on sites like yelp and express my unhappiness. I didn't want to harm their business, I just want to help them make it better... that's when Boxwire was born.

Q: Why is it important for business owners to use Boxwire?

A: Feedback is the cornerstone of all successful businesses. The more they understand how their customers and clients feel about their product or service, the more they understand about where to make improvements that will lead to higher customer retention rates. With Boxwire's customer feedback software, companies receive anonymous online feedback that can be helpful in all areas of their business. Business owners will receive immediate, customer responses that provide actionable data, unlike surveys where customer responses are merely rated on a numeric scale.

Q: Will implementing Boxwire help a business with its online reputation?

A: Yes, most definitely. Customers merely want to express their dissatisfaction when they receive poor customer service. Whether that means a phone call to five of their best friends or posting a negative response on sites like Yelp, where the comment will live on forever, customers will speak their mind to anyone that will listen. Since Boxwire is not a survey, and is private, it allows businesses owners to receive on-going feedback that traditional surveys can't provide.

Q: How does a patron know if a company is on Boxwire?

A: Boxwire provides a search utility to lookup a business via, however the most effective way for a patron to know if a business is on Boxwire, is seeing or hearing it directly from the business itself. As a business owner, the more customer feedback we encourage, the more we will be aware of problem areas and areas of strength. The more businesses promote Boxwire within their business, the more feedback they will get.

Q: Does anybody besides the business owner see the comments that are submitted to Boxwire?

A: No. In most instances, customers are merely looking for an outlet to express themselves. With Boxwire, customers are able to voice their concerns to the one person that can fix the problem. All responses are sent privately and anonymously to the proprietor of the business and are not posted online for the world to see.

Q: Can business owners reply back to suggestions?

A: Yes. When a customer submits feedback, they have the option to enter their email address to receive a response from the owner. Business owners can reply to the customer immediately and directly.

Q: Although it is anonymous, will a business owner know if a suggestion is coming from a patron or employee? 

A: Yes. Boxwire employee plans offer private URLs that are generated for internal use only. This makes it easy for an employee to filter feedback based on the source.

Q: Can people who submit their feedback into Boxwire see if their feedback has been read?

A: No. Boxwire strives to maintain customer anonymity. However, the best reward is to walk into a business and see that your suggestion has been implemented. Some of our clients have started a section in their monthly newsletter called "Boxwire Corner." They list some of the suggestions received through Boxwire and how they are going to implement them throughout the business. This not only allows the customer to know their voice has been heard, but also encourages other customers to utilize Boxwire for their comments as well.

Q: Is there more positive or negative feedback submitted?

A: Our recent feedback statics show that 45% of the feedback submitted on Boxwire is positive and 55% is average or negative. As a business owner, we can't control everything consumers say about our business but we can control the quality of our own products and services.

Q: How do businesses promote patrons or employees to use Boxwire?

A: Business owners promote and integrate Boxwire in variety of ways including: Adding Boxwire links to their website, posting decals on store fronts, adding slogans to receipts and invoices, utilizing "We're on Boxwire" table tents, adding a "Boxwire Corner" in their newsletter, to name a few. We provide our subscribers with all of the support and collateral material they need to ensure their organization maximizes its ROI.

Q: How does a patron or employee leave a comment on Boxwire?

A: Similar to Twitter or Facebook Fan Pages, businesses will receive a custom URL, for example  Business owners then market their URL to customers and employees as they would any other social networking tool; online, newsletters, business signage etc.

Q: What package do you suggest for business owners interested in Boxwire to sign up for?

A: All of our plans are flexible and affordable. Also, since we have no contracts or commitments, business owners can hit the ground running without fear. Boxwire provides three simple plans; Sandbox, Soapbox and Skybox. Because of its affordability, our most popular plan today is the Skybox plan.

Q: Where have you had the most success with Boxwire (certain cities and industries?)

A: We launched Boxwire in February 2011 out of Overland Park, Kansas. We are currently building our brand for a nationwide campaign. We've had great success across a wide variety of industries such as micro-franchises, small-to-mid sized businesses, restaurants, retailers, fitness centers, daycares, dentists, schools, websites, employers looking for employee feedback and others.