My name is Kevin Hales and I lead a team called the Customer Experience Technical Specialists here at Xero (CX Techs for short). We sit within the wider Customer Experience team, but perform a critical link between support, and the Product (the people who build Xero) & Platform Services (the people who keep Xero up and running) teams at Xero. My team is responsible for the investigation and triaging of things not working as they should. When they don’t, it’s our job to make sure it gets in front of the right team to fix it.
CX Tech started back when the Customer Experience Team had only ten people. We realised early on we needed to specialise in different areas of supporting Xero to deliver the best possible service to our customers, including areas like Fixed Assets and Multi-currency to name a few. Performance and technical issues were one of these areas, which is where it all started for our team.
And so what is it that our team actually does? In a nutshell, if something doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, our team would get involved.
An example of this could be something like a small display issue. This could be that perhaps columns aren’t aligning correctly on the screen for just one customer. This is usually solved by clearing your cookies and cache. Additionally it can extend through to more major widespread ‘bugs’ affecting all customers. This also includes outages, which is our highest priority issue. Obviously, not being able to log in is pretty much as bad as your Xero experience can get!
In most cases the wider CX team do the initial investigation work, but once it appears we need to ‘look under the hood’ it gets escalated to the CX Techs. From there we escalate to the relevant Product or Platform Services team depending on the issue. We also have access to a range of tools ourselves and in some cases can fix things without having to escalate at all.
Follow the Sun
Our CX support team has a ‘follow the sun’ model. This means we line up our people in each timezone against where our customers are asking us questions. This enables us to provide a seamless 24/7 coverage across all timezones. Our teams works all seven days from offices in New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, and the United States. Although the wider CX team is over 300 people strong, ours is a smaller part of that, with only 29 CX Techs working across this 24/7 coverage.
Where we’ve had to escalate an issue to the Product or Platform Services team, we remain as the link. We will either link directly back to the customer, or to another CX agent who is looking after that particular case. I’ve often found myself describing this function as the person working in the restaurant who controls communication and meals going back and forth from the kitchen. We’re essentially the person stopping the chefs from stabbing the wait staff.
The reason I call our team the Inbetweeners, is because we live and breathe in both the customer and technical worlds here at Xero. Our team is made up of people who have a passion for technology. We often have coding or scripting experience, but we all still love dealing with customers and making things right. I’m just a tinsy bit biased, but I totally believe that for the right person this is the best team to be a part of at Xero. We get to see the nitty gritty of the moving parts of Xero, and still get to hear from customers daily on the positive impact Xero has on their business!