At Airbnb there are thousands of customer service agents, operating out of 20 physical locations around the world, serve both hosts and guests. Airbnb’s support provides help through phone, via email and social media. Phone calls account for about 60 percent of Airbnb’s 10-15 million annual tickets, the remaining 40 percent of these come in through online channels. Normal call and online wait time was 1-10 minutes.
The coronavirus has affected the travel industry, and the customer support system at Airbnb — 25% cut of staff, temporary full or partial closure of support centers at selected locations due to lockdown or social distancing measures, unexpected case jumps which multiply the number of support tickets — now to get your call answered may take up to 2-3 hours to stay on hold.
Do you want to get a response quicker? Here are some inside tips shared by Airbnb customer support agents how to make customer service actually respond to you and reduce waiting time up to 90%
1. Message, instead of calling
Now during Covid-19 it's faster to get a response if you send online inquiry instead of calling. Currently more agents work remotely via online chats and average response time is shorter.
You can also try to call Airbnb support line in another country, surprisingly you may get an instant answer when wait time in your location is hours.
2. Always attach your reservation code
When you write to Airbnb and if your question is about a particular reservation make sure you attached the reservation code (you can find the code in format HMXXXXXX in the confirmation email or in booking details). Normally you can select the reservation on the inquiry page or just type in the code in your message body. From this code agents can see all the information about your situation (both guest and host details, all the payment logs etc).
Airbnb set metrics for customer support agents that evaluate their performance. Including resolution rate, the daily number of tickets goal etc. When the code is not provided, agents tend to skip those "cat in the sack" tickets.
3. Don’t be too short
Describe your situation in details (2-4 sentences) what happened, it should be clear for agents what kind of assistance you need so the appropriate specialist can pick your ticket. Bad examples below:
Hello can I have some assistance please
Can someone actually help with my issue? This is IMPORTANT.
I need to talk with an agent
Hi, i am new to airbnb hosting, i have an upcoming payout that should have been released today 8 July. But it is still in the upcoming payout section. Please advise on the reason why it wasn't released. Confirmation code: HMXXXXXX Thank you.
4. Don't be too long
Don't write an essay. It's unnecessary - if you put a few explanatory sentences and attach the reservation code - it will be clear and easy to deal with for agents. Psychologically people tend to skip long reads.
5. Don’t upload screenshots
Some CMS-s don't display screenshots in the initial ticket. If you need to pass some information it will be better if you copy or type in the information manually.
6. 1 question per ticket
Don't overload your message with many questions. Ask one question, you will increase chances that your question will be claimed fast. You will be able to follow up later if needed.
7. Be polite, don’t be rude
Don’t put too many personal emotions. Especially negative emotions. Don't use CAPSLOCK. Again it's psychology, people tend to skip negative staff.
It's understandable that you may be annoyed and furious because of host/ guest/ policy. But if you want to get a response write your first message in calm and polite manner.
8. Write your message in the language of your website
For example if you use Airbnb.FR website you will need to write in French, or switch to Airbnb.COM and write in English. Otherwise, your question will get to the pool of agents that don't speak this language and it will take time to reroute your ticket to the appropriate department.
9. If you duplicate inquiry, copy-past the text
If your question is not answered it may make sense to open a duplicate ticket. But make sure you explained the situation, don't just refer to your unanswered ticket. Bad example below.
Hi I'm still awaiting a response from you from 3 days ago regarding my last guest . !!
10. Don’t escalate
Try to resolve the situation through the agent who picked up your question, don’t demand to "escalate to the supervisor". Agents have enough power. Escalate only if it's clear that your case cannot be resolved. It will put you in the end of the line in case of escalation.