Airbnb is a perfect example of the importance of defining the problem in order to resolve a business issue. I found it interesting that they have a team of people that are in charge solely on safety. As Airbnb’s reputation relies heavily on the safety of their users during the rentals, I wanted to understand a bit about how they handle difficult situations. This team of people are called the “Black Box.” As Airbnb has grown so have the issues that occur to both hosts and guests. This group of people have a tough job as not only do they have to prioritize customers in crisis but also Aribnb’s image.
How would you handle problems that arise if you worked for Aribnb?
I found it interesting that after applying some of our class concepts such as the root cause analysis and the five why’s I think there are various ways that Airbnb could decrease the amount of crisis they have.
- The problem: Vandalism & crime in Airbnbs
- Collect data: conducting research on the impact of short term rentals in residential neighborhoods & importance to tourism and the community that less people would be hesitant to have neighbors that have Airbnb
- Identify Causal Factors: Verification of guests is hard
- Root Cause: Enforcement of stricter key-exchange policies and lack of liability definition
- Recommendations & Solutions: Clearly defining the extent to which short term rental operators are liable if crime takes place in properties that they have listed on their sites could avoid future misunderstandings
What would you do?