Workflow Design

Airbnb and Zendesk Support

Zoran Slamkov
 on December 10, 2020

Solving the modern customer request tends to be a highly time-consuming and manual activity amplified only by the introduction of another piece of software designed to make these problems easier. In most scenarios the answer is readily available but it is distributed throughout many systems. It tends to add insult to injury that most of these requests are relatively benign:

  • "Can you cancel my order?"
  • "Can you update my shipping address?"
  • "What are your opening hours?"

Answering and solving these types of problems should be simple.

Airbnb and Trip Cancellations

In the case of Airbnb, we wanted to focus on a workflow that from a customer perspective seems completely trivial but from an agent perspective requires multiple steps. With that in mind, we decided to design, build and showcase the workflow of cancelling an upcoming trip. We started with how a human agent would solve this problem:

  1. Search for the account details of the customer
  2. Lookup which trips they have booked
  3. If multiple trips, confirm which one they want to cancel
  4. Ask why they've chosen to cancel their trip and save that information somewhere for future reference
  5. Issue refund and remove trip from active reservations

In the video below, we show how to turn these manual workflow tasks into an automated and assistive conversational experience.

Now, I hear you saying: "anyone can simply cancel a trip on the Airbnb website today without talking to a human" - in which case you'd be correct. But sophisticated businesses are learning that customer convenience is at the core of all their CX decisions and enabling the seamless delivery of customer service across multiple channels (SMS, Voice, Chat) is the shortest path to success.

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