Yehudi Asamoah leads on dealing with complaints at Monzo. In this post, he outlines what we're trying to achieve with our complaints process and how we go about it in practice.
At Monzo, we love helping people when they make complaints. That might sound weird, but I feel a connection with anyone we speak to who’s voiced disappointment about the service that we are providing. On a personal level, I love that each complaint we receive represents an opportunity to transform disappointment into something better. In fact, this is enshrined in our complaints policy:
“When a customer isn't happy with the service they received from Monzo we have an opportunity to impress the customer in the way that we deal with their issue.”
The key word in that sentence is “impress”. We are ambitious, and we want to push the boundaries in our efforts to bring you a truly special customer experience. Inevitably, whilst we take serious precautions to minimise risk, mistakes will still sometimes occur. There will be bugs. There will be delays. There will be outages. In short, there will be errors which we cannot anticipate, but whenever plans do not unfold as expected, we want to do everything possible to listen to you, fix things for you, impress you with how we deal your complaint and understand how we can do things better next time.
I’m very, very passionate about this. In fact, we all are. The last thing we want is some perfunctory process devised for the sake of it, and we believe that there’s real value in listening to and learning from the complaints we receive from our community. Wherever possible, we want to collaborate, feeding these learnings back internally to drive improvements based on what we’ve learnt from those complaints. It’s great if we can quickly respond to a complaint and fix an issue for a customer. It’s even better if we can build on that experience to prevent others from experiencing the same issue. For example, we used to receive a number of complaints about ATM withdrawal limits on the prepaid card. People found the limits in the app confusing, so we added a detailed screen to depict how limits work.
To help us achieve that aim, we’re focussing on a few things: dealing with complaints diligently, growing a team of specialists, and learning from complaints. In particular, we’re concentrating on four areas.
In the past there have been barriers to complaining about your bank’s service. You had to walk into a branch, send an email, or write a letter. At Monzo, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to communicate with us and voice a complaint, whether that's through in-app chat, sending us an email, writing a letter or calling us.
After we’ve received a complaint, we want to work with you resolve the issue as soon as possible. Our regulatory obligation is to give you a final response within 8 weeks. Customers I’ve spoken to have said that failing to receive adequate contact during this time is disheartening. At Monzo we strive to issue a final response within 7 days, and would love to do it even quicker in the future.
Our long term goal is to transform complaints into an empathetic, collaborative process and to show you how much we value your feedback. If you’ve complained about a systemic issue, we would love to give you the option to stay informed about our progress in fixing that issue, even after your individual complaint has been resolved. In the case of a particularly prolonged or severe outage, in addition to the status page, we post up to the minute updates across all customer facing platforms including our blog. In fact, we have a procedure for this and the development of this was a response to feedback received in complaints.
There is an inseparable link between procedure and reporting. We’re required to record complaints related data so that we can report back to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) when called upon. Although this is something we’re required to do, we see it as a great opportunity to organise this information in a way that offers greater insights into the root causes of the complaints we receive. We want our complaints specialists to function as a triage and feedback centre for other teams in Monzo - retrieving input from complaints, transforming input into information, and then sharing that information with other teams to help them make better decisions.
Whether it’s instant notifications or P2P, customer support or budgeting features, we’re striving to provide a set of brilliant services which we can bring together under a single hub for managing your money.
If any of those services fail to perform as expected, and this affects you, we want to make sure that we have the most knowledgeable person available to figure out what’s gone wrong, and resolve your complaint. Rather than developing a complaints team, we want to develop a team of complaints specialists, made up of individuals from different teams within Monzo.
If you’re unhappy with a bug within the app, it makes sense to speak to a specialist with a deep understanding of the bug, who can give you as much context as possible and resolve your complaint, rather than speaking to someone from a general complaints team, who might not be able to provide the level of information or support you require.
If we’ve made a mistake we want to offer a meaningful apology. Sometimes, it’s appropriate to offer financial redress, especially if we’ve messed up in a way which has impacted your finances, but in instances where we’ve impacted your personal life, a heartfelt unique apology, such as a handwritten note, a bunch of flowers or a subscription to your favourite service, can mean so much more.
Whenever someone has made a complaint, it is because they’ve been uniquely affected by an issue or an event, so it follows that we should strive to produce a unique solution for them if something goes wrong.
Developing these areas will help us in our effort to deliver world-class customer service at all levels. If you make a complaint, we will treat it seriously, make things better for you, learn how we can make improvements based on your experience, and then apply those improvements to make those things better for everyone else too.
I’m very excited about developing a culture of collaboration, in which we work together with our customers to develop the best Monzo possible. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this, share them with us via the community forum and feel free to tweet us with any questions you might have.