July 26, 2018

Think Like Airbnb: Reimagining Customer Experience

airbnb mansion

One of the cofounders of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, is famous for his 7 Star Design Principle. His approach starts with defining what a 5 Star customer experience looks like, then continues to push the boundaries, making it better and better, until the realm of possibility is left behind. He draws the line of what is possible at 7 Stars in his business, but his ideas go way beyond that. Take a look at how he defines each level within his part of the hospitality industry.

So what could this approach look like if applied to commercial P&C insurance, specifically new business quoting? Here is one way to envision it (each level builds on the previous unless otherwise stated):

5 Stars: Contact your agent, give a bunch of information about your business, wait about a week for your quote, purchase a policy.
6 Stars: Your agent also recommends services such as safety and loss prevention programs that come with or will reduce the cost of your policy.
7 Stars: Your agent provides your quote same-day.
8 Stars: You are required to give only your business name and address to get your quote.
9 Stars: Your agent anticipates your needs and contacts you when the time is right with the best quote already in-hand.
10 Stars: Your agent creates a magical forcefield that prevents your business from ever suffering a loss. This magic is offered at 1/10 the price of an insurance policy and obsoletes the entire industry.

In both industries (hospitality and insurance), each level progressively adds more value, either by including additional services that will be of use or by reducing the time required of the customer or prospect. However, while it may only be realistic to get to 7 Stars in the hospitality industry, in the case of insurance, achieving 8 or even 9 Stars is possible.

Expand your definition of “great” and push for the absolute highest level of excellence to create a truly world-class customer experience. Given its strong Net Promoter Score and current $38 billion valuation, I’d say it worked for Airbnb.

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