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.