Jul 13, 201710:27 AM#SocialBiz
with Spencer X. Smith
Leveling up to 6-star service through social media
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“It’s better to have 100 fans that love you than 1 million fans that like you.” — Paul Graham, founder, Y Combinator
Airbnb founder Brian Chesky
This was the advice that galvanized Airbnb founder Brian Chesky into creating a paradigm for service beyond five stars. Chesky shared this story in an interview with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman during a class at Stanford University.
After receiving this advice from Graham, Chesky realized that it would take more than five-star service to make fans love Airbnb, because five-star service had become the norm. He wanted the service to be so good that customers would contact the company and demand to award a six-star review instead of the usual maximum of five.
Here’s the excerpt from the show notes, when Chesky explained what service beyond five stars even looks like:
“Five-star service — You leave the airport, go to the Airbnb, your hosts are in the house, and they let you in. This is five star. Worse than this is if your host is late (four-star) and the worst is if your host never showed up (one-star).
“Six-star service — All of the above, plus your host picks you up at the airport.
“Seven-star service — All of the above, plus there is a limo waiting for you at the airport and inside the limo are your favorite chips and coconut water.
“Eight-star service — There is a giant parade when you arrive at the airport and you are honored for coming.
“Nine-star service — The moment you step off the plane there are 5,000 screaming fans holding signs for your arrival. We call this the Beatles check-in.
“Ten-star — I could go all the way up to 30 stars; I won't, but 10 stars would be when you arrive and a Tesla with your name on it is waiting for you and in the car the driver is Elon Musk, and instead of your Airbnb, Elon takes you to outer space.
“I exaggerated this to make a point but the principle is if what you need to do is find 100 people who love you, five star is what people expect. For them to love you, you need to do more than what they expect. We play out these scenarios all of the time. Once you go up to 10 stars, six stars don’t seem so crazy anymore.”
You don’t have to be an Airbnb host to provide six-star service to your clients, and thanks to the accessibility of social media, you don’t have to be Elon Musk either.
That six-star service level is what happens when you find small gestures that make a big impact. It’s a level of service that is so good, and so tuned in to the customer’s personal needs and wants, that it borders on weird.
Every business can offer amazing customer service by striving for that 10-star, ludicrously amazing customer review. If you work backward from the 10-star review, you’ll realize how simple it is to provide above-and-beyond service at the six-star level or better. And by using social media effectively, you can do it for free.
Here’s what that looks like. Set aside a couple hours a week to engage with the content your clients are sharing on social media. This includes personal pages and company pages. However, your engagement needs to be meaningful. You shouldn’t go to a client’s page and like every post they’ve shared in the past week. They’ll interpret your actions as a cheap way to draw attention to yourself.
Instead, find a post that resonates with you, and comment, like, or share it with your network, pointing out why you appreciated the post. Make that client look good by sincerely listening to what they’re trying to share, and then helping them get the word out.