I recently spent some time overseas and had a friend meeting me over there. The week before leaving Australia, she fell violently ill and the doctor advised she was not fit to fly!
When I received this news, the first point of call was to find out whether we would be refunded for our accommodation. I explained the situation to the support team from Airbnb and was impressed with their swift response:
Their first sentence was: ‘We are so sorry to hear about your friend and that you won’t be able to have your holiday’.
Instantly I felt heard, supported and connected. I believed they genuinely cared.
Companies are successful when they can identify consumers biggest pain points and serve their needs. Airbnb instantly acknowledged how horrible it was that my friend was unwell and how unfortunate it was that it would impact having a holiday.
Airbnb were unable to provide us with a refund and understandably so, it was far too close to cancel. They outlined all options, including the opportunity to make a claim with appropriate medical documentation to support the case.
My friend ended up being okay and joined me on the holiday (phew), however, a few days after contacting Airbnb in a panic, they contacted me to follow up and check in with how my friend was going.
This follow up made me feel valued as a customer and further humanised the brand. They weren’t asking for money or more business, they just wanted to see how my friend was.
I looked further into the company as whenever I have booked with them, I have had a fuss free experience and am always intrigued by brand voice, identity and consistency.
Airbnb’s app and website are intuitive – the design is easy to navigate which strengthens the user experience. They have invested in a functional and considerate UX design, being conscious of what consumers will want and need.
When you visit Airbnb’s site, you feel welcome. In fact, they had a campaign in 2017 responding to some accusations that some of their hosts were discriminating against guests based on race and gender. Below you can watch one of their campaign videos that highlights the acceptance of all cultures/demographics/gender and now have a non-discrimination policy in place.
To assist a traveller to be comfortable, Airbnb now have experiences, neighbourhood guides, Airbnb host stories and a magazine available. Airbnb is a community that has created trust between users and displays impeccable levels of engagement.
After checking out of my accommodation, I received an email asking me to review my stay. The review process was simple, visually appealing, fast and asked the right questions. Obviously every experience will vary and I have heard of some shocking stays however, Airbnnb should be commended on their methods for minimising risk for dissatisfaction. Empathy in business should not be underestimated.
The kind stay top of mind.