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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.

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





Melinda Cruz




Jade Pluck






Gayle Howard

Orange Girl


Posted by on 16 October 2013.

Categories: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Business

22 Responses

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

    by CPA Justin K Osillo on Oct 16, 2013 at 11:36 pm

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

    by pwapwap on Oct 17, 2013 at 6:42 am

  3. 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!

    by Derek on Oct 17, 2013 at 10:14 am

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

    by Gayle Buchanan on Oct 17, 2013 at 10:50 am

  5. 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.

    by Carl on Oct 17, 2013 at 12:36 pm

  6. 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.

    by Chris on Oct 25, 2013 at 10:30 am

  7. @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.

    by Rod Drury on Oct 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm

  8. @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.

    by Philip on Nov 26, 2013 at 1:21 pm

  9. 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,


    by Rod Drury on Nov 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm

  10. @ 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?

    by Philip on Nov 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm

  11. 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.

    by Sean on Feb 21, 2014 at 10:34 am

  12. 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!

    by Tony on Apr 20, 2014 at 2:18 pm

  13. @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

    by Nigel Piper on Apr 23, 2014 at 9:53 am

  14. 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.

    by Anthony on Aug 16, 2014 at 1:33 pm

  15. Personally, I hate this no phone policy
    I have made my first support request and received a totally useless generic non-response to my question. It seems apparent that the responder did not understand or care about my question. At least with phone support I can determine whether the person on the other end of the line gets the question and can escalate quickly to someone else if they dont know the answer. With email responses only you are stuck with whoever gets around to looking at your request. If anyone from Xero checks these pages I am still in Limbo and would like to be contacted ASAP.
    [Xero Support Ticket 1626155]

    by Scott Hamilton-Hill on Nov 11, 2014 at 12:41 pm

  16. I totally agree with all the above commentary above – especially when trying to get the account started. We are still trying to get everything sorted and it takes forever – I would prefer to be onhold for 30odd minutes – at least there is some knowledge that an outcome will be resolved as opposed to waiting indefinately. There really needs to be phone support for the first few weeks/months to ensure that everything, especially payroll, are set up properly as this is very stressful and frustrating!

    by anita on Nov 11, 2014 at 10:01 pm

  17. @Anita – agree that with payroll (more than anything) you need good and prompt assistance. The other option is to use a Xero partner – sure it probably costs, but means you can get your query dealt with quickly. When compared with the competition, I’ve dealt with another widely used software vendor in NZ (not Xero). My experience with the competitors’ support is that I spend 30 odd minutes + some on hold, then when I get to the end the person at the other end isn’t proficient enough to help, or like @Scott says, doesn’t understand or care about the question. My experience with Xero support is, if it isn’t resolved in the first two or three emails, they call through to help – and are always proficient when they do. It’s really the delay factor that is frustrating in this scenario.

    by David Harris on Nov 12, 2014 at 9:00 am

  18. @Scott Thanks for the feedback. Apologies for what was a poor response from the team. I see Mitch has reached out to you and we’re seeing what we can do to help.

    @Anita I’m sorry that your first experience with us wasn’t great. We absolutely understand getting started may take a little bit of help. We try to make a call to everybody who starts Payroll to make sure you’re set up right and good to go. For other questions just let us know on the ticket what you are stuck with and you need a call. We’re happy to call you if you’re really stuck.

    @David. Thanks for the feedback. We are looking at new tools to make the delay factor less frustrating. We absolutely understand payroll is special and when people need urgent help they need it NOW. The team get that. Just let us know that it’s urgent and we’ll call straight back.

    by Nigel Piper on Nov 12, 2014 at 2:21 pm

  19. Hi there – our small business just switched over to Xero from QB. I have made good use of the email support so far, and it has mostly been helpful. However, I must agree with what the others are saying about Payroll support. I have recently run into a problem processing an employee’s payroll, resulting in a delayed paycheck. The email support is not cutting it in this instance. It is too slow, given the circumstance, and it takes multiple emails stretched across multiple hours to communicate something that could be shared much more easily in a 10 minute phone conversation. I have no sense of when and whether the issue will be resolved as I wait for a response from the representative; meanwhile, an employee’s paycheck is getting held up. Xero, please introduce phone support. Thanks for listening.

    by Michael Weiss on Feb 4, 2015 at 1:55 pm

  20. XERO is a waste of time. problems can resolved within a minute but its takes hours to get it resolved via e mail. i can understand that is the cheapest method to save xero’s costing but its clear enough to prove that xero got bad quality of service. there is no live chat or contact number to get it done instantly . i personally would not recommend to any of my clients , friends and family members.

    i got a client who is using core plus system. each time they update their invoices in core plus it fails to update in xero. all these while i couldn’t match the payment they received with the invoiced they have raised. in order to match those invoices , my client had to credit note for every single invoices with any changes of amount. its a mess.

    i found more discrepancies about xero. more to come

    by Joshua on Mar 4, 2015 at 7:28 pm

  21. Hi Joshua. Thanks for the feedback. Probably not the feedback I wanted to hear but I appreciate it anyway.

    We are sorry to hear things haven’t gone well. We have Xero support people available all over the globe so we can get back to people straight away. We want to delight customers, not the opposite.

    I’d love to have a chat to find out what went wrong and I would love to fix things. I’ll drop you an e-mail if that’s OK.

    by Nigel Piper on Mar 6, 2015 at 5:38 pm

  22. We have been using Xero for almost four years now and on the whole I love it and always recommend it to anyone I meet in a new business situation. The lack of phone support is my only gripe. As we are in a small business I quite often end up doing accounts and GST etc at night or over the weekend. When I strike a problem I want it fixed NOW. Waiting until Monday morning when I am off doing my day job is not optimal. If you must insist on email support how about having a facility where you can call for an instant call back to sort out a problem. Any problems I have sometimes go unreported as I can’t be bothered with the time delay in getting a solution. I bet I’m not alone in this.

    by John Taylor on Mar 10, 2015 at 1:38 pm

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