Scaling Customer Service: 5 Secrets from Airbnb

December 27, 2012

A solid relationship with your customers is a lot like a romantic relationship. There are many stages, and each stage is very important. As with a relationship, when a business grows, adapting to change is crucial.

In a recent webinar, Airbnb Customer Service Operations Manager Jessica Semaan identified five secrets to a successful romantic relationship, and talked about how the same five secrets apply to scaling customer service as an organization grows.

The Five Secrets:

  • Know yourself: There’s always a blissful beginning—the honeymoon phase—that sooner or later experiences a change. When that moment comes, make sure to know yourself. That is, understand who you are as an organization and what you aim to do.
  • Know your partner: Jessica talks about a DTR moment: Define The Relationship. Now that the relationship has progressed, there’s more data to draw from. Make sure you’re addressing the correct wants and needs of your customers.
  • Manage expectations: Don’t “talk about the ring” unless you intend to buy one. In other words, don’t make promises you can’t keep. This builds deeper trust with customers, and mutual respect.
  • Get your mom on board: Remember the big introduction to Mom? It’s equally important to make sure you’re explaining your product to customers with enthusiasm. They need to know exactly why you’re good, and how you’re going to provide exactly what they want and need.
  • Keep an open mind: Things change, so be adaptable. Flexibility is the secret within the secret. And always consider what’s next for the relationship.

Learn more about scaling your customer service and hear Jessica’s real life examples. Check out the webinar.

Another great resource is this white paper, about how Groupon successfully scaled their customer service while experiencing huge growth.

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