Skip to content

The skinny on how Xero support works

From time to time we get the question, why doesn’t Xero support offer phone assistance?

We know that busy small business owners hate waiting on the phone to speak to someone who often can’t even help them. We also want to ensure that when you talk to someone at Xero, that person can solve your problem, as quickly as possible.

Trying to guess how many people to have sitting around waiting for customers to call is an impossible problem to solve. So we deliberately came up with a different model, where you can tell us the problem, automatically giving us as much information as possible, then get on with your business. Then one of our Xero customer experience (CX) team can have a look at what’s going on, let you know what to do, or give you a call to sort things out.

This video explains how Xero support works.

We track our response times and the number of contacts it takes to resolve a problem closely. If we see times slipping that gives us the business case to hire and train new customer experience team members.

We decided that customer experience is vitally important. All of our valued CX team are Xeros. We don’t outsource CX. We expect great things from the people who answer your questions, and we only hire those who have the right balance of accounting, technology and service knowledge. They must be up-to-date with our new features and latest releases. It’s not something we’d trust to people outside of Xero.

Providing help online provides us with a consistent record of your query. If you come back to us later, any one of our support staff can see what happened without you having to explain all over again. We can get information from different areas while you get on with your day. If we need to go to our developers or other specialists, we can do that. We come back to you with a complete answer. We have people working across multiple timezones so as one person heads home for a well deserved rest, another Xero CX specialist is having their morning coffee and ready to help.

There are many ways to get help.

  • Check out help.xero.com for instructions and a video
  • Ask your accountant – you can do that from the help menu
  • Search community.xero.com to see if others have raised the question before. You can ask questions there as well.
  • Log a support ticket in the app
  • There are also lots of forums on LinkedIn and other places for general discussion about working with Xero

We have a huge variety of online resources which give great answers to a lot of our common questions. By keeping our help online we are able to respond with links and direct references to these resources, something much harder to do over the phone. It also means that you always have a record of what we’ve said – great when you’ve previously had help with those once-in-a-while tasks.

We’ve also set up a Customer Experience Team in Denver, alongside our existing centers in Wellington, Auckland, Melbourne and Milton Keynes. So no matter what time you need us, we’ve got people ready to help.

In the Customer Experience team, our objective is to get your question answered. We only hire the best and brightest to get that done. We make sure you have a great set of online tools to support you as well, like our Business Essentials videos, our community and our help centre – and we’re always building on these to make sure you get the support you deserve.

Whitehead & Aldrich

 

 

 

Michael

Melinda Cruz

 

 

 

Jade Pluck

kraftisan

 

 

 

 

Gayle Howard

Orange Girl

 

 

Read more about Accountants

 

14 comments

CPA Justin K Osillo
16 October 2013 #

Xero support is great, timely and always spot on. Keep it up!

pwapwap
17 October 2013 #

Usually they are pretty good, not hugely pleased with the response yesterday telling me to move from Chrome to Firefox (both supposedly supported browsers).

Derek
17 October 2013 #

While the lack of phone support takes some getting used to, I have to say we get high-quality answers quicker and with less frustration with Xero’s method in comparison to other customer service departments we interact with. Great job!

Gayle Buchanan
17 October 2013 #

For the reactives (like me) helps with patience, otherwise help is fab – rather dosh spent on food for Dev Team (they rock)

Carl
17 October 2013 #

Xero support has been pretty good, for minor issues they get back well within 24 hours, and when it’s been urgent someone calls us. But every time we get the right answer to resolve the problem. No waiting for 30 mins on a phone for a right/wrong answer.

Chris
25 October 2013 #

I am a Xero customer and very much appreciate many things about the product. I would reocmmend it to other small business customers like myself. However, I would NEVER use a payroll service with email-only support. That is a deal breaker. Xero’s email support is ok, but I would not call it exciting. If someone’s paycheck or my tax liability is on the line, I want to talk to someone. And it’s horrible to think about sensitive payroll information being transmitted by email across a non-secure channel. The email-only support combined with roll out of payroll is a horrible idea, in my opinion.

Rod Drury
25 October 2013 #

@Chris, you seem to miss the point. We are not email only support. You have multiple channels to get into the queue and then the best person gets back to you as fast as we can.

The alternative can only be a worse experience as we explain in the video.

Philip
26 November 2013 #

@Rod – I think @Chris is worried about things actually going wrong rather than confusion about how to use Xero. When something is broken and needs technical support it would seem that email is the only option. The suggestions from the above blog post are
1. read the help files and view help videos – only helps when the system is working correctly and a user simply wants to know how to do something.
2. Ask my accountant – He may or may not know, he is also a customer not Xero staff. If something in Xero is broken he has no more control over the situation than I do.
3. Search the community forum – again, that is ok for finding out how things should work but is no help resolving system errors and such like.
4. Use the App to lodge a support ticket – basically the same as emailing support.
5. Check forums on linkedin – see point 3.
So for example, if a user has been using Xero for 6 months to process payroll with no problems then one day there is some issue or Xero is not acting as expected. They need to process payroll by the end of the day or the staff will get grumpy, what do they do? other than send an email (or lodge a ticket) to support?

Without getting into specifics, past experience with using Xero has shown that things do break down from time to time, and getting an adequate response from Xero support is a long frustrating process because communication is all done via emails going back and forth for a couple of days.

Rod Drury
26 November 2013 #

Hi Philip,

Couple of points to respond – we don’t have an inbound number, but we do make calls. If there’s something we can tell is complex, or it’s critical like processing payroll we will absolutely pick up the phone and respond, often within minutes. When we do, it’s a Xero person who will call you and get the problem solved.

Secondly, we’ve got Xero staff in all time zones all around the world, 7 days a week, so you’re never in a position where your question has to wait for the office to open. We have to be there when you need us and we have built up our support globally to do just that.

Finally, 3 out of 4 questions we get are solved by e-mail reply first time. Sometimes technical issues can take longer where we need you to do something and come back to us. We are working on new support tools to improve this.

We monitor response time closely and when we see them extend we add more people. From time to time we’ll experience heavy load, like any other support system and times go out. Fortunately those times are much less common.

Our support team is following these feedback closely and we’re always striving to get better and delight.

Hope that helps,

Rod

Philip
27 November 2013 #

@ Rod – Thanks for your reply. I take your point that you have staff around the world ready to respond to support queries via either phone or email. The confusion amongst users such as myself and Chris seems to be that email is basically the only way to contact Xero to begin with, regardless whether Xero responds via another channel. There was mention in the blog post above about multiple ways to get help and I have given reasons why they are not appropriate in cases of system failure or bugs etc. The help files assume that Xero is working properly at the time.
So apart from email what are the multiple channels you mentioned?

Sean
21 February 2014 #

I’m in the middle of a support issue, and I’d say that Xero support has been inadequate so far. Remains to be seen whether it ends up as adequate but frustrating or ridiculously bad.

Tony
20 April 2014 #

Totally unimpressed by lack of phone support. Promise of responding to query within 24 hours is a load of crock.
Tried to enter support query from within xero, it failed!

Nigel Piper
23 April 2014 #

@Tony. Would be great to talk to you about this. Can you drop me a line at nigel.piper@xero.com with your contact details please

Anthony
16 August 2014 #

Guys yes the email support is good and generally quick and efficient, but the lack of phone support for urgent technical issues really is a disaster when you need it. For example, this morning our company has disappeared from both of our logins (although we can see other companies we have access to as we are management consultants)…yes it’s Saturday, but small business never rests! So we suddenly don’t have access to any reporting, which pretty much means our budget review session today is a bust and our team of directors are sitting here asking questions that can’t be answered…Worth considering issues like this when jumping to Xero.

Add your comment





We welcome all feedback but prefer a real name and email address.