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Driven by purpose: Charting Xero’s customer experience journey

Posted 2 months ago in Xero news by Rachael Powell
Posted by Rachael Powell

As a business, having a clear purpose and ensuring that everyone understands our ‘why’ is integral. For us here at Xero, that means making life better for people in small business, their advisors and communities around the world. And if we’re to succeed in doing so, we need to create the kind of customer experience that is lasting, real and differentiated.

We all share the same passion: helping small businesses learn, grow and thrive. Which is why our customer experience journey is hinged on our commitment to you, our partners, as well as those in small businesses. So, how can we deliver on this promise? It begins with achieving complete clarity on our purpose, and acknowledging the importance of people in bringing it to life.

Understanding, embracing and living our ‘why’ 

Last year I spoke about the human ripple effect. The philosophy behind Xero’s inside-out approach is about operating with purpose at our core. Because having a clear and compelling purpose acts as the unifying energy that binds our employee community together. This powerful ripple effect is felt through our people, our brand, our partners, and ultimately our small business customers. And, as a result, it works to make the lives of so many in our communities better. 

With purpose at the heart, our Xeros strive to create a global movement that inspires trust, delivers beautiful experiences and empowers people to thrive. We see every interaction as a chance to create meaningful human connections. Because it’s no longer enough to be the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff – simply waiting and reacting every time a problem occurs. If we’re to live our purpose to improve lives and enable success, we need to provide our customers with proactive advice, education and tools.

Meeting changing customer needs with a personalised touch

Customer needs are changing. We know there’s a greater desire for personalised service – any time and on any device – alongside a preference for cloud-based technology and problem solving apps. We’ve spent time researching what our customers truly need, and this drives the strategy around our customer experience function. All of which allows us to empower our people to forge genuine connections.

Then, there are the occasions where we go one step further. Whether it’s sending baby grows for a new arrival, a care package when someone is sick, or even hot chips when it’s cold and miserable outside. The Xero team are driven to proactively reach out, long before you need to reach in. Because while you may not remember exactly what we said, you’ll never forget how we made you feel.  

In line with our inside-out philosophy, a human approach remains front and centre of our customer experience. To achieve this, we ensure that we have the right people in the right roles. People who are able to play to their strengths, are empowered to act in a way that supports our strategy, and are passionate about our purpose. Because that’s what makes the difference between a job and a vocation.

Rather than outsourcing our support, we have a team of real Xeros (most of whom are degree-level accountants) on hand to support our customers across the globe – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As we continue to grow, the burning question remains: how do we scale at pace while continuing to deliver on our purpose? The answer, is to start with the customer experience and work backwards to see how the technology can support it. In doing so, we’ve fundamentally shifted from traditional thinking about ‘customer support’, to the forward-looking delivery of ‘customer success.’ 

Using technology to enhance the human in all that we do 

Just over one year ago, we introduced Xero Central to balance scale with delivering a beautiful customer experience. By leveraging the latest technology and AI, we’re able to draw on data and insights to put the user at the centre of each experience and drive personalisation at every point along the journey. We’re here to support our partners and customers in doing the best work of their lives. Which is why we want everyone to leverage Xero Central, not just those who are stuck on particular task.  

Already, we have more than 1.5 million visits to Xero Central per month. Thanks to this intuitive, personalised support hub, our customers can:

  • Find answers when they need them, with more than 9 out of 10 customer queries solved through tailored online content.
  • Raise and manage their support cases with our specialists if needed.
  • Access our education pathways to become knowledgeable and confident using Xero through webinars, video, on-demand content and live events.
  • Connect with like-minded small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers through our online discussion forums.

If a customer issue requires the hands-on support of one of our Xero experts, a human is assigned to the case. Progress can be monitored and tracked in real time – complete with a bio and picture of the person responding – just another way we ensure that personal touch remains. The best thing about Xero Central? We’re only just getting started. In the future our customers will be able to do everything from share their thoughts and ideas for product roadmaps to connect and share in open and closed group community discussions.

The beauty of Xero Central is that it allows technology to do what it does best, and frees up our customer service agents to what they do best too. Every day, we work to disrupt the customer experience by combining the benefits of world leading technology with a personalised human touch – all delivered through passionate and highly skilled people. Because, as always, it’s our people who truly are the magic ingredient.

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