Digital transformation in the last decade has created a shift towards complete customer centricity. Consumers are armed with a plethora of information from websites, online reviews and content created by both companies and consumers on social media, which means they have a bigger voice than ever before. More and more businesses are realising that exceptional customer experience is a key driver of long-term success and growth. Rachael Powell, Chief Customer Officer, Xero comments

In my role as Chief Customer Officer at Xero, I am responsible for aligning business priorities with what our customers value and need. But above all, I consider myself a change agent. It’s my job to bring every business function that touches the customer together to ensure they are aligned, have shared goals and are set up to solve for the customer first and foremost. A customer-centric approach positively impacts your people, your customers and the wider communities they operate in. But it requires a cohesive, aligned and collaborative team, as well as the right tools and processes.

I’m sure many accountants reading this will understand the challenge of unifying change in an organisation. You may have aspirations to evolve your firm, whether it’s moving towards advisory services, growing your client base, or differentiating your services. There are a few key ingredients that will help you achieve the change you want to see.

It all starts from the inside. For me, it’s about ensuring our people are passionate about our purpose to make life better for people in small business, their advisors and communities around the world. When we bring on the right people who are committed to our purpose, they play to their strengths and feel empowered to make decisions that best serve our customers.

Having a clear purpose or mission that your people and customers can connect to is imperative. Putting that purpose at the heart of everything you do creates an enhanced sense of meaning for people that is highly motivational. At Xero we call this the human ripple effect and it becomes contagious, extending beyond our people out to our partners and customers who also believe in our purpose and want to deliver on it.

This creates the foundation for a trusted partnership between us and our customers. Our dedicated team spanning sales and account management, education, communications, customer support, marketing and digital works alongside our large accounting partners to remove any friction and ensure they are able to get the most out of Xero.

The next part, once you have brought your people and customers on the journey with you, is to put in place excellent tools, processes and technology to help you execute on your vision. For large accounting firms, having your entire team working from simple and intuitive technology means they spend less time on compliance tasks and more time on meaningful, higher-value advisory work that your clients require. Getting everyone working from a single source of truth, with real-time visibility of the information they need in one place, will lead to better collaboration between colleagues and with clients.

In order to offer specialised or tailored services to your clients, you need three things. One is a cloud platform that has the flexibility to integrate with other tools and apps in real-time. The next is a deep understanding of your clients, their needs, and how you can intelligently and empathetically add the most value to their business. With an open platform like Xero that gives you access to over 1,000 apps, you can design tailored pathways and workflows to suit your firm, and best serve your clients. Whether that’s customised reporting tools to measure performance, or integrations with industry-specific apps for the sectors you serve, for instance inventory or ecommerce solutions.

The third aspect is a team of dedicated people and technology vendors to partner with you. Those that are going to be there with you every step of the way. At Xero, we’re committed to supporting large accounting firms, collaborating with you to help you keep evolving and growing. Our team supports you through the change process and beyond, from ensuring a smooth implementation of the Xero platform and practice management tools to transitioning your clients on to Xero through effective education and support. We work alongside you to develop the skills and services that enable you to grow your practice in an effective and efficient way and in line with your vision and goals.

Unifying change around a customer-centric focus is challenging. It involves commitment and collaboration across the whole organisation. When you have clarity of your vision and yourpeople and clients are aligned and excited by your vision, and you are supported with the right systems and mindset you will undoubtedly have higher levels of engagement from inside your organisations through to your client set, and ultimately mutual success.

To learn more about how Xero can help take your firm to the next level, and contact our dedicated Enterprise team, visit