This is the final post in my series titled – “Customer Experience Excellence – The Airbnb Way.”
This week we continue to journey through key concepts found in my 10 leadership books, as we finish our quick review of my book titled The Airbnb Way – 5 Leadership Lessons for Igniting Growth through Loyalty, Community, and Belonging. Throughout this series, we’ve explored belonging, trust, hospitality, and empowerment. This week we highlight community.
Laura Chambers, General Manager Homes Hosts at Airbnb, notes “We seek to assist online and offline host communities. From an online perspective, hosts gather in a number of places including the Airbnb Community Center and in online communities like Facebook groups. We’re deeply engaged in the Airbnb Community Center, and we want to be as helpful and present as possible for the leaders of other online groups. We want to ensure that all online host communities are empowered, connected, and have lots of tools and insights to do wonderful work in their communities.”
From an offline perspective, Laura shares, “We have over a hundred people on our mobilization team that sit in a region and work with regional leads and communities on the ground. This team helps build community through Airbnb Host Clubs. We have 300 Airbnb Host Clubs, and they are different based on their local passions and interests. Generally, these groups get involved in policy work, share information like how to get more five-star reviews, and participate in activities that benefit their communities. In essence, our Airbnb Community Organizers partner with local hosts to equip them with the online tools and in-person trainings to successfully lead and drive the outcomes for their local Host Club. Overall, some hosts love being on the Airbnb Community Center, others prefer to be in a Facebook group, and some enjoy being in an offline group. We want to help hosts based on the community that is right for them. We want to assist them where they feel the strongest sense of community and support.”
Those host groups in partnership with Airbnb employees work together to have positive social impact in their communities. Superhost Javier Lasuncion notes, “Our host club is very committed to giving back to our community and we use our talents to support Airbnb’s ‘Belong Anywhere’ mission. As part of that, I use my life experiences and language skills to help immigrants from the Middle East that live in the Raval district of Barcelona. I teach them Spanish and how to create opportunities to live a meaningful and rewarding life in Spain.” Merrydith Callegari adds, “Our host clubbuilds community libraries. We basically make a cabinet and involve local school children to paint it. We donate used books and seek donations from others, so we’ll fill the cabinets, which are cemented on posts in public places like parks. People can take a book, read it, keep it, return it, or replace it.” Merrydith hopes that her group’s support of reading will increase“open thinking and the acceptance of new people and ideas.” Nelson Mandela put it this way: “When we read, we are able to travel to many places, meet many people, and understand the world.”
The Airbnb Way is filled with examples and tactics for bringing stakeholders together to enhance community. Since that discussion falls outside the scope of this post, let’s turn to challenge questions that are relevant to your business.
- How are you helping your customers come together as a community?
- What resources do you avail to people in the communities you serve (e.g., volunteering, offering meeting space, providing other business resources)?
- Do you develop partnerships between your team and customers to create a positive social impact?