AirBnB’s Brian Chesky has a fascinating way of making sure his customers come back, and it starts with creating the best possible client experience. Like many others, he has realised that the relentless pursuit of the perfect product cannot come at the expense of the client’s experience. Not, that is, if you want to keep those clients.
For Chesky, it all comes down to 11 stars.
When AirBnB was just getting going he sat down with a pen and paper and imagined his clients using his service. In his case they’d be renting a flat, or room. He then imagined what each level of service would look like from their perspective, from a one-star nightmare right through to an eleven-star extravaganza.
1-Star: You arrive at the flat but it’s raining and there’s no-one in. Eventually, with your teeth chattering in the cold, the owner drops by to unlock the door.
5-Star: You arrive at the flat to find the owner greeting you with a drink and a fully stocked fridge. He knows you like surfing so he’s hired you a surfboard already.
11-Star: You arrive at the airport to find the owner waiting for you with Elon Musk. Buckle up — you’re going to space.
Michael Dubin, founder of Dollar Shave Club, the subscription-based men’s grooming company, thinks in a similar way. Yes, he’s created a great product, but the reason for his company’s success is down to two factors:
1. An intense focus on churn — “Why are we losing clients, and what can we do about it?”
2. A passion for the perfect customer experience — “What would make our service so good that our clients will tell everyone they know about it?”
So, I want you to think about your own business in the same way. Grab a coffee, sit down with your team, and think about what each level of service would look like for you. There will obviously be some things you just can’t do (the 11th star is intended to be unrealistic) but I encourage you to think big. If not 11-stars, what 8-star experiences could you make happen? What 1-star experiences can you make sure never happen?
What would an 11-star experience look like for you? Can you see it clearly? Now go build it.