In today’s competitive market, companies need to stand out to attract and retain customers. One way to do that is by providing an exceptional customer experience. Many businesses spend thousands of dollars on market research, customer surveys, and other methods to gather feedback from their customers without actually using them. However, some companies have found that the best way to improve customer experience is by listening to their customers and acting on their feedback.
One such company is Airbnb. Airbnb is a platform where hosts can rent out their homes to travelers for short stays. Bookings, payments, and reviews are all handled through the website, and Airbnb offers tools to help hosts manage their listings.
In 2015, Airbnb faced a serious problem when a host in California had her apartment vandalized by guests. The host’s story went viral on social media, and it was discovered that the guests had used fake identities to book the stay. This raised concerns about safety and security for both hosts and guests on the platform. Additionally, there were also cleanliness and communication issues. Airbnb’s founders recognized the importance of addressing these problems and improving customer experience, but they didn’t know where to start.
They decided to listen to their customers (both hosts and guests) and gather feedback from those who had experienced problems with the platform. They launched a program called “Airbnb Host Voice,” which allowed hosts to share their experiences and provide feedback directly to the company.
The program was a huge success. Within months, Airbnb had received thousands of comments, suggestions, and complaints from hosts all over the world. They used this feedback to identify the most common problems and develop solutions to address them.
Feedback from guests was also solicited for improvement. One of the biggest issues was cleanliness. Guests were complaining about dirty sheets, unclean bathrooms, and other cleanliness issues. Airbnb responded by launching a new program called “Airbnb Plus,” which guaranteed that all listings would meet a high standard of cleanliness and quality.
Another issue was safety. Hosts were concerned about the safety of their accommodations while guests worried about the security of their personal information. Airbnb responded by launching a new security program called “Verified ID,” which required all hosts and guests to verify their identity before booking or hosting.
Airbnb’s commitment to improving customer experience through customer feedback has paid off. The company has become a leader in the home-sharing space, with millions of satisfied customers all over the world. Just by listening to their customers and acting on their feedback, Airbnb has not only improved their business, but they have also earned the trust and loyalty of their customers.
To conclude, businesses can learn a valuable lesson from Airbnb’s approach to customer feedback. Instead of relying on expensive market research and surveys just to tick the box, businesses should focus on listening to their customers and acting on their feedback. Remember to start from the ‘known’ to the ‘unknown’. It gradually becomes clear, and the results are worth it!
If you need help in collecting customer feedback and using it to grow your business, reach out to CXPGhana and let’s connect you with our network of professionals who can support you!
Head of Customer Experience, UBA Ghana