Updated: Nov 15
My mom came to visit and the kids are off school. We decided to drive down to one of Florida’s beaches. Quick Airbnb search and we booked this big beautiful house that sleeps 12. Considering my kids’ friends were joining us we were in good shape at around 80% capacity.
As soon as I opened Airbnb.com on my computer I remembered my last Airbnb experience. The host was so personable, there was a warm welcoming letter waiting for us on the dining table with some instructions for the different quirks of the house along with a nice personal touch (a small piece of chocolate) when we arrived. The place was clean and it really did feel more like a home.
In the world of Emotional Relevance, this was my Emotional Anchor that was created after that positive emotional experience during my previous experience with the same brand. Airbnb. And as such, this was what shaped my future expectations from this brand.
As I wrote in previous posts here, if you can shape the experience, the emotional experience of your client to be a positive one, you directly impact their brand loyalty.
You see, our minds and our expectations are shaped based on these past emotional experiences and hence, I was surprised with this current experience in Florida.
Now let’s be honest - nothing terrible happened HOWEVER….We tried to contact the host upon arrival letting them know we may be arriving a couple of hours earlier and got no response, there was no welcoming letter to make us feel…well…welcomed nor to explain how to shut off that pool alarm which was deafening for the 27 minutes it took us all to figure out (to add to the insult, we did find a warning letter on the fridge).
The kitchen cabinets were all very sticky making that feeling of not homey a bit more noticeable and we simply gave up trying to get the TV to work after about 40 (not exaggerating) minutes and mastering all 4 (I swear, not exaggerating) remotes.
I did get a call back sometimes mid day 2 and in a very friendly manner I shared our experience. They did send a technician to get the TV to work (took him 16 minutes. I checked) and they thanked me for the feedback.
Through that phone conversation I learned that this house was managed by a corporation that oversees many houses and sells them through Airbnb. Got me thinking about the level of care corporations have compared to the level of care small business owners have. And whether corporate employees can overcome the not so homey feel some corporates radiant and through personal touch, can impact that oh so desired brand loyalty and emotional connection.
You know, drizzle some pleasure with that business.
“ The role of my life is to make business a pleasure and pleasure my business"
There is no doubt in my mind that when someone treats their place of work as their own or if they actually own the business, their clients FEEL the difference. The business simply has to make sure it’s culture is a mix of some pleasure and business to make it even more personable. And when the high expectations that are set by these business “owners” on initial interactions are also pursued on future engagements, a high level of emotional connection is formed.
When we interact with our clients and develop a relationship with them, we want to make them feel we care. Really care. And even though you both may be part of the corporate world, we can make this relationship a pleasure. Through these interpersonal elements, the openness, vulnerability and overall….that’s right…Emotional Relevance.
Even in the corporate world. Yes. It’s possible to mix the two. Business and pleasure. Refer back to the first element of Emotional Relevance - Get Personal.
The other day a friend asked me if I’m happy with the bank I’m using. I said that I was not really attached to the brand but the guy who takes care of me at that specific branch makes it worth while for me. “How so?” My friend asked.
“Well…” I replied, “this guy really cares. He is super nice, professional and to be honest, working with him is less business and more pleasure“.