A compromise could be to make chat easy to use, but charge a fee unless the problem is on the bank’s side? This will take care of stupid questions (or at the very least compensate the bank for dealing with them) while not inconveniencing people who have legitimate queries that can’t be self-serviced?
As you suggest, a better Monzo bot would be ideal – customers offered a few self-serve options with the option to contact support if the articles don’t answer their questions.
It could even be a forced pathway through the FAQs:
“Switching service does not work”
“Hello! Is this about switching a current account to Monzo (CASS)? Yes/No”
“This article may help - if it does not answer your question, please come back here”
Customer would then have to click on the FAQ, scroll to the bottom where they can select:
“I don’t need further help” > Chat closed
“I still need help” > Monzobot/through to chat
Also, make chat 24/7 accessible, even if COps don’t respond before 7/8am. Monzobot could just say “Thanks! Someone will get back to you between 8am and 10pm. Please note, this is not real time so don’t worry about keeping your app open.”
Initially Monzo was very responsive, clearly listened to its customers and they were doing things differently. So I was very hopeful. However their financial position has become more challenging and the need to show positive cash has clearly become a key driver which is probably behind some of the support consequences we are seeing.
I have maintained my First Direct account while trying out Monzo. Throughout that time First Direct support and accessibility have continued to be first class. Over 20 years, when calling them, I have hardly ever had to wait for more than three rings for them to answer with a real human. I’m starting to value that responsiveness more and more.
I hear this a lot about First Direct. And it was my experience with them until it wasn’t. I really valued the near immediate picking up of the phone, but a few years ago I was getting recorded messages and queues. I ended up CASSing away.
This feels a little like what ISPs do when you have a fault on a BT line.
It’s usually along the lines of ‘Yes, we’ll send out Openreach to look at your problem, but if they find the problem is not with the line we’ll charge you £100’.
It makes you feel like you don’t want to call them out even when you’re certain the fault is with the line, and it also makes you worry whether you’ll be charged if the fault is intermittent or somehow fixed before they arrive.
It would be the same with a bank if they charged this way for chat. I hate it.
There was a period of about a year when calls were not responded to quickly, but more recently they seem to have returned to form. I don’t call them a lot, so I’m probably not statistically significant - so just my experience.
This is a key point, we (most of us!) aren’t doing this daily. It tends to be when we want help or something has gone wrong.
I have contacted my two banks (Monzo & Lloyds) once each in the last year. Monzo was better, slow but it wasn’t vital and because I knew what would happen, I wasn’t pacing waiting for them to reply. Lloyds were terrible, the bot was wrong and it took them until the next day to reply (with the wrong info)
But when you want help you should be able to get to it. Not jump through hoops to find it, let alone get the help.
It’s interesting. I’ve just done a little test. Mostly in response to don_quixote’s helpful list of how to contact them
Search contact us and chat comes up
Call the number on the back of your card
I called the number “please don’t use this unless it is an emergency, we are very very busy” I put the phone down
I emailed them, no response
I dug up the hidden chat link. Eleven minutes to get a response " I can’t handle that one myself, we will get back to you". I responded. The chat had been closed!
I’m not getting the feeling that they want to communicate too much.
I’ve said this a few times re the help button, but they should have absolutely implemented better strategies and tools to actually get help before hiding the button.
There are so many great examples of “smart” help bots that work near flawlessly - or at least enough to solve problems in a way that isn’t frustrating the the end user nowadays.
I think the thing that summarises it best, is that monzo call it “Chat”, (or have in the past), yet if you search help for the word “Chat” you don’t get a single thing that points you to the Magic Button.
I also keep saying this but probably shouldn’t: The best thing to do is make a shortcut on ios (I assume android have an equivalet) that deeplinks to the chat section. You can have it on your homepage and everything.
On phone support, I still see enough people reporting calls not being answered and getting cutoff after 20 minutes wait to make me feel there’s still a significant inability to cope.
I’ve never had a reason to call myself. But the number of issues that get reported by others coupled with my own multiple experiences of slow and disorganised chat support leads me to lack confidence in Monzo’s ability to quickly resolve a tricky issue should I ever need help. As a consequence, I don’t hold as much money in my Monzo account as I otherwise would.