In brief, the element between trust and no trust is knowledge, since we humans tend to be doubting towards the unknown. When knowledge grows, the trust beats insecurity. The design does not just look and feels, it’s the whole experience. The reputation system is the most important element in gaining the knowledge that leads to trust, high reputation beats all the negative possibilities and expectations in terms of the trust. Or, as the best sales and marketing people have always known, customer satisfaction and references do have a meaning. They are not just any words, they are authentic expressions of trust. This post is about creating trust, and, naturally, a floor plan for Airbnb hosts.
The idea: Communication through floor plans
The real thinking started when we noticed that Airbnb hosts advertise their stays in a similar way: plenty of photographs, no floor plan. With this information, even if the photos are excellent, it is hard to see which room is which and how they are located in the home. Through floor plans, the guests would have a better understanding of the host’s space, than it would be using photos only.
In a nutshell: we wanted to see if floor plans can be used as a tool to communicate between the guests and the hosts. So CubiCasa decided to provide a free floor plan to hosts in exchange for the feedback.
The process: creation, marketing and deliveries
We set up a dedicated web page for sharing the necessary information and upload link. We also founded a Facebook group Airbnb Free Floor plan to act as a direct connection between CubiCasa (practically Jin) and Airbnb hosts. At the moment of writing, the group has 87 members and is like a small community of satisfied customers. After the technical part, converting and delivering the floor plan, the customer sent feedback and ideas. Then, the usual marketing and spreading the word of the possibilities.
Though these transactions had no kind of money involved, trust was the currency. The hosts ordered a digital conversion of their home, the most private and precious place in life. We had to gain the trust and stay worth it – and we must be prepared for all kinds of feedback.
Customers overall were satisfied with the floor plan service we provided and felt the need to adapt the floor plan as a way to communicate with their guests. However, customers wished to have furniture placements and amenities on the floor plans. CubiCasa doesn’t do this in the production process so we saw the need to make an app to meet their requirements. Then “drawing tool” app is developed.
What we at CubiCasa have learned?
We could say practically everything about that is said, how trust can be designed. We also had other important lessons that need to get said out loud, and the actual feedback:
Be genuine when dealing with customers. It will lead to a strong word of mouth. “I am really pleased with this service, it allows my prospective guests to understand the layout of my property and answers many questions that guests have too.”
Customers are humans. Get out from the boring stiff tone and become casual and friendly. “Jin Lee, who contacted me, was very good. She was so patient, nice and always willing to answer all my questions. I very appreciate her for that.”
Most important: always listen to the customers and then respond. A real and direct customer reaction is the most valuable advice and feedback. “I couldn’t believe how accurate the first drawings were from my drawing. There were a couple of changes but that was more my fault – but they were done really quickly and accurately. Thank you!”