Everyone likes to be listened to. So the question for today is ARE YOU LISTENING?  With all the free (or close to free) web survey tools and interactive forms there are no excuses for small business owners.

Two of the most popular are :  Survey Monkey,  and Zoomerang. Basic services are free ( a few questions and a limited sample size) with fees for enhanced services.  For the beginner, the free package is great starting point.

What should you ask?  What do you want to know?  In the beginning, keep it simple!  Were they satisfied, how satisfied?  Why or why not?  What would they want you to change, and most important, would they recommend you to someone else?

The quantitative questions (with yes or no answers) give you a measure to improve over time.  The right qualitative questions tell you what to work on.

Keep the survey short – 5 or 6 of the most important questions will get many more answers then 15 or 20 because people will give up before they are done.

In addition to satisfaction surveys consider asking clients about product features, what do they like best or why, and ask about competing products as well.

Ask in person, ask on the phone, ask on-line.  Ask, Ask Ask, and listen to the answers.   If you don’t, someone else will.