This deck is a part of an eight-day introductory course that I originally designed for the residents of Inle Lake (Nyang Shwe), Myanmar during my volunteer work with Partnership for Change org. This is a basic introductory course for those who wish to start a businesses but aren't sure where to begin or what would be an effective way to run and operate a company geared for Western customers.
This deck is free for anyone to modify and use, but please keep in mind that I do not own copyrights for most of the images on those slides (with some exceptions).
Effective Business Practices 101 (3/8): The Importance of Customer Feedback
What you’ll learn.
• Understand the importance of customer feedback
and how to use it properly.
• How to think like a customer: introduction to
• Research, feedback, experiment & measure the
impacts of your ventures.
Outline for today’s, tomorrow’s and after-tomorrow’s lessons:
Be careful with your diversiﬁcation
Keep your business focused within your niche.
• An area or range of activities
that you understand.
• Customers and service or
product that you know well.
• You can create multiple
streams of income by trying
different things, all of which
could be something that you
know very well and know how
to do. And which are related
and complement each other.
• Try your ideas on small scale
before going big.
• Learn from those test runs
whether it is a good idea.
• Not the same as market
research, your own opinion or
prediction about what would
happen. Experiments are
actually you conducting the
business on a small scale.
How would you experiment with
the following business ideas?
• A large investment into ﬁshing business.
• Building a restaurant.
• Creating an e-commerce website.
• Opening a car repair shop.
• Owning a delivery and logistics service.
How can you tell if your
business is doing well?
Imagine you have created 3 business experiments as side-
projects, which one is failing and needs to be stopped?
Is this restaurant doing well?
Can you tell for sure?
What if that restaurant’s
balance sheet says:
• This March we earned $15,000.
• We spent $5,000 on ingredients for food.
• We spent $10,000 on wages for staff.
• We spent $7,000 on bills and maintenance.
• Total earnings: -$7,000
Looks can be
Turned out that the restaurant looked busy because their
prices were very low — and not enough to cover the costs.
How can you tell for
Measure. Keep a record of all your earnings and losses.
Things you can measure:
• Amount of work required.
Measure & track.
Track = measure every day, every week etc.
How well each one of your
businesses are doing?
• Ask your customers for honest, truthful feedback -
they usually will not give it to you otherwise.
• Your customers do not owe you feedback, but if
they give it to you - thank them.
• Accept their feedback for what it is - you want to
know exactly how your customers felt (good or
Do not take it
Your angry customers’ feedback is just as valuable as
your happy ones’ - perhaps even more so.
You do not have to
Some feedback might be useful, others not so much. Make yourself aware of
what the customers are saying and thinking and proceed with your own
decisions based on that information.
Collect & synthesize.
• Collect a good sample of
feedback (at least 10 people).
• Sort your feedback based on
opinions and suggestions.
• Think how it could apply to
Evaluate each customer
complaint, praise or suggesting:
• Is it feasible to make the
• Does it align with your
• Learn about your
business from the
What kind of feedback does this review
give. What types of feedback are they?
There are at least 2 feedback items in this review.
• Public feedback (reviews)
tends to affect businesses on
a larger scale than private
feedback as a lot of potential
customers get to see it and
make a decision before
• Public feedback isn’t new, but
it is now applicable to a lot
more small businesses.
• Public feedback is bound to
consist of negative reviews
from time to time.
Issues with public feedback.
• Fake positive reviews from friends
or fake accounts. Customers can
often see right through it and
business could be banned or
sued as a result.
• Libel and spam. Websites that
host reviews have to be notiﬁed
and should be dealing with those
issues to maintain the quality and
trustworthiness of their business.
• Inappropriate or ineffective replies
from business owners to negative
feedback. This is something
that you can control.
Replying to online reviews.
• You don’t have to. Remember, it’s a gift - just accept it.
• If the unhappy customer was clearly wrong in their review, you can
correct them for the sake of other readers but don’t be rude. If they
had a bad time it is a good manner to apologize.
• If you got a negative review and you have ﬁxed the problem soon
after, you can reply letting them know that you have righted the
• You can offer discounts or small gifts/deals to your customers who
left unhappy. It might not cost you much but they will often be very
appreciative. Plus, since it’s a public form you are letting other
potential customers know that you are a delight even in a difﬁcult
❶ Go on TripAdvisor and ﬁnd a
business with 3 or 4-star rating
and at least 10 reviews.
❷ Group similar feedback
together (by topic).
❸ Assign the “feedback type”
labels to each of the above
❹ Decide and explain why each
feedback group should or
should not be implemented in