5 years of growing up together – CPM International Contact Centre & Airbnb

CPM Barcelona, our International Contact Centre of Excellence has been working in partnership with Airbnb for over five years now. From what began as a trial programme of 15 agents, has since evolved into a large scale, Global Customer Experience programme; with key achievements including: 10+ team expansions, 5 times growth of the management team,  two international award accolades, achievement of the highest NPS scores across all European providers and most importantly; the development of a strategic partnership approach between Airbnb and CPM.


Sophie Chelmick, CPM Business Unit Director for Airbnb looks back at where it all began and how both Airbnb and CPM have flourished together over the past five years.


Several years ago, CPM piqued Airbnb’s interest when one of our high performing sales teams arrived back into our offices after an off site.  The team were not suited and booted, as had been the case with most of the other BPO’s that Airbnb had been visiting that week while looking for an international contact centre business to partner with, but , were dressed casually and laughing with abandon having just returned from a day out at the karting track.   One of the Airbnb procurement team who had come to visit our site in Barcelona city centre – turned to me and said; “never mind the PowerPoint, let me go and speak to this team” …   what he discovered then was that CPM Barcelona imbue a culture of “play hard” as the team reveled in the stories of who overtook who on the racetrack and who came home with the medals.  The feeling of “the team that plays together stays together” resonated with the Airbnb procurement team as a good fit for their new and disruptive culture.  Airbnb were however, also looking for a partner with credibility and competency; when they discovered that the reason for the off-site had been that this team were the highest performing sales team across a global team comprising other BPO’s – they knew they had found their first EMEA contact centre partner from which to launch their EMEA customer experience (CX) team.


Fast forward to five years later and I have been fortunate enough to travel with Airbnb on their amazing hyper-growth journey and see the same thing happen within CPM.  What started out as a trial team of 15 CX specialists has grown now into the beautiful beast that it is today– our management team alone is 5 times the size of that original team!


The success of Airbnb has been a result of their innovative design-led focus combined with recognizing the changes needs of the travel market thanks to economic austerity and people’s growing need for authentic experiences.  The success of CPM in parallel over the last 5 years has been a result of building talented teams with operational skills steeped in rigour and agility enabling us to provide world class CX.  However, I think what has set us truly apart and triggered our success is that we honour the same values as our client and share deep consistencies in our communication style.  This approach is something that we endeavor to do with every business we partner with in CPM Barcelona, whatever the size of that business because who knows what size that business may one day become!


By Sophie Chelmick; Business Unit Director, CPM Barcelona


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