Excellent customer service and quality products comes from the understanding that in order to get you have to give. It's one of the oldest rules of relationship etiquette in the book, and applies to brands as well.
It literally only took two hours for AIRBNB, a travel booking service that specializes in helping travelers find and book local BNB's for less, to respond and accomodate a request from a twitter follower. Even if that twitter follower was not a customer, he is now.
The tragic explosion in Boston made national news yesterday when a seemingly terroist-driven attack hit the Boston Marathon. For people that live or know someone that lives in Boston, this incident was horrific. A twitter user (shown in the image above) made a request to AIRBNB asking if they could offer fee-free places to stay in Boston, obviously for those who need to be with friends and family during tragic times. Shockingly, AIRBNB responded within a couple of hours offering a list of places in Boston and waiving booking fees. This isn't the first time AIRBNB has acted swiftly in giving back to its customers, hurricane Sandy was another occassion.
Businesses that "get" customers are the ones that will prevail in this economy and new and advanced digital culture. That means building your business with consumers in mind from the foundation of it, to the actual appearance. Connecting with customers is what it's all about. Similar to the way a good conversation can get you a quality friend, excellent customer service and transparency can get you quality customers.