How Airbnb Overcame Their Biggest Social Customer Service Challenge

By: Sofie De Beule

October 14, 2015

Airbnb, the well-known home-rental service and one of the fastest-growing lodging providers worldwide, was awarded last year with the title of “2014 Company of the Year” by Inc. magazine. Last summer, Airbnb Inc. completed one of the biggest private-funding rounds in history, raising $1.5 billion.

One of the key factors to their success is being extremely customer-focused. We chatted with Clarie Rogister, Clarabridge Engage Media Lead at Airbnb’s Dublin office, who’s in charge of leading the EU & APAC social customer care teams, about how Airbnb is translating their customer-centricity to social media. Claire will also be speaking at C3 Europe in London in two weeks, October 28.

Sofie: What’s been the biggest challenge in terms of customer experience or social customer service you’ve encountered? What has helped you to overcome this?

Claire: Our community has been growing so rapidly. Our biggest challenge has been to keep up with with higher volumes of Airbnb related posts across all of our social media channels. Reviewing all @airbnb mentions on Twitter’s native platform, and understanding which ones need a reply or not, is simply not feasible. There are just too many! We needed to come up with a reliable and efficient setup to separate actionable from non-actionable posts. We succeeded in overcoming this challenge with the help of the Engagor software.

Sofie: What are your priorities in terms of customer experience and social customer service?

Claire: In terms of social customer service, our number one priority is for everyone reaching out to us to get a quick and efficient response from our customer support team. We want our community to have the support they need on their platform of choice, whether that’s via telephone, email, Twitter or Facebook.

Sofie: How do you make your company stand out on social media?

Claire: We really aim to support our customers, even before they become a Host or a Guest on Airbnb. For example, we help them with travel plans and really show them that we’re there every step of their journey. We want every user to feel special. That’s why we strive to surprise and delight them wherever we can. We surprise them, for example, with fast service, a distinct tone of voice (yes, we use emojis!), or using our quirky sense of humor.

Sofie: What will attendees learn from your presentation at C3?

Claire: Providing continuous social media support requires a robust infrastructure that constantly evolves with the social web. I think social customer service is still very new and we are all on the same boat; we simply learn as we go.