Monzo Staff Weekly Q&A - Bruno Vaz Moço (Product Manager, Scalers)

Note : All Monzo Q&As to date can be found here :grinning:


Good afternoon folks!

As you’ll all know, since you all watched Episode 11 of The Bulletin yesterday (you did, right? :wink:)
it’s SCALERS WEEK here at Monzo! Was anyone at our Open Ofice last night? If so, you’ll also know all about it!


But what is a Scaler and why do they have a week?

Well, here’s an excerpt from a lovely blog post that we just published.

At a typical bank, there’s one person working in customer support for every 3,000 customers. Right now at Monzo, we’re doing a lot better, and need one working COp for every 19,000 customers. But if we want to bring Monzo to a billion people – while building a sustainable business – we can’t keep growing our Customer Operations team at the same rate.

The Scalers team is a cross-functional team we created to tackle this challenge. We’re data scientists, designers, engineers, product managers and analysts that work alongside our Customer Operations team to make sure we can keep providing amazing customer support, at massive scale.

The reason why we’ve decided to tell you about all of the details of our Scalers team is simple : all in the name of transparency, heck yeah!


Seriously though - the point of Scalers is to address the problems that growth might cause before they happen. So it’s all about being proactive - what might happen when we hit a million users, what might happen when we hit 2 million? etc!

That’s the theme of this week’s Q&A! But before I introduce our special guest… it’s catch up time! Check out all previous Q&As below :grinning:


Click here to see all previous Q&As

Week 1 : Chris MacLean, Customer Operations & Vulnerable Customers :santa:t2:
Week 2 : James Nicholson, iOS Engineer :green_apple:
Week 3 : Tara Mansfield, People Operations Manager :woman_technologist:t5::man_technologist:t3:
Week 4 : James Routley, Backend Engineer :hammer_and_wrench:
Week 5 : Hugh Wells, Customer Operations :policeman:t3:‍♂
Week 6 : Naz Malik, Technical Specialist :computer:
Week 7 : Fred Morgan, COps Squad Captain (Calls & Social Media) :telephone_receiver:
Week 8 : Emma Northcott, COps Scaling Team :balance_scale:
Week 9 : Jarno Wolf, COps Financial Crime Specialist & Squad Captain :wolf:
Week 10 : Maria Campbell, Head of People :woman_office_worker:t2::man_office_worker:t4:
Week 11 : Jim Amey, Night COps Captain :bat: :crescent_moon:
Week 12 : Richard Cook, Online Community Manager :man_cook:
Week 13 : Beatrice Borbon, Content & Press Manager :newspaper:
Week 14 : Tom Blomfield, CEO :crown:
Week 15 : Ella Johanny, COps/Hiring :handshake:
Week 16 : Harry Ashbridge, Writer :writing_hand:t3:
Week 17 : Beth Scott, Overnight COps :cat2:
Week 18 : Georgie Parmenter, Executive Assistant to the Founders :blonde_woman:
Week 19 : Vulnerable Customers Team :sunflower:
Week 20 : Leah Templeman, Interim VP People :sun_with_face:
Week 21 : Daniel Chatfield, Backend Engineer, Fincrime & Security :closed_lock_with_key:
Week 22 : Valerio Magliulo, Product Manager - Revenue Team :money_with_wings:
Week 23 : Sam Watkin, Operations Analyst :thinking:
Week 24 : Kieran McHugh, Backend Engineer :desktop_computer:
Week 25 : Jonas Huckestein, Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer :computer_mouse:
Week 26 : Annual Report Edition with Tristan Thomas and Julie Oey :calendar:
Week 27 : Zander Brade, Lead Product Designer :pencil2:
Week 28 : Richard Dingwall, Payments Engineer :moneybag: :wrench:
Week 29 : Oliver Beattie, Head of Engineering (Reliability Report Special) :watch:

All done? ALRIGHT!

We’ve got Bruno Vaz Moço, Product Manager for Scalers in the Hot Coral Hot Seat™️ this week!!!


Bruno has been here since January 2017 and he’s currently working on:

Working in the Reductivity squad in the Scalers team. We make sure that users don’t need to get in touch with customer support so that we can scale our user base effectively.

Interesting Fact about Bruno!

“I spent 30 days hiking in Iceland on my own, carrying all my food with me and sleeping in a tent.”

His fave thing about working at Monzo?

“How passionate and diverse everyone at Monzo is. You can have a conversation about any topic and will always find an alternative way of seeing things. At the same time everyone is very driven to have a positive impact in how people manage their money around the world.”

You know the score!

Get your questions in and Bruno will be here later in the week to answer them :grinning:


Are there any issues you face as a scaler for Monzo, that you feel traditional high street banks would not have to worry about?

Similarly, are there any issues traditional banks face with scaling that Monzo does not worry about?


Firstly, Pineapple Pizza? Cats?

Also, Any insight you can share into your biggest current ongoing project?


What sort of contingency planning has been put in place to deal with some sudden influx of queries? If, for example, cards have stopped working for whatever reason or lots of people had direct debits declined?

How would Monzo ensure that there is no chaos and customers can get in touch and Monzo team can reassure them or deal with them in these sort of situations?


What things have the Reductivity squad built that worked better than expected in reducing customer queries?

Conversely, what things had less impact than you expected?

What new feature are you most excited for that will help you towards achieving your targets?


What is the most surprising or non-intuitive finding that has come out of your data analysis?

What’s the most interesting operational adjustment you’ve made or plan to make based on the data?

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What is the most rewarding and most challenging aspect of being a PM?


What has had the biggest impact overall in increasing the number of customers supported by one cop?

Are there any well known / quick win methods that can quickly improve this ratio that other companies could follow?


Slightly out of left field, what is the derivation of the term ‘Scalers’? Is it a common banking term or something Monzo have invented?

More centrally, what is the proportion of proactive and reactive changes in what you deal with?

(e.g. my assumptions here are that if something big happens now, there’s clearly a need for a reactive response to try and manage/divert a proportions of the sudden COps calls that would otherwise result so the Scalers will have a reactive (or damage limitation!) roll. In parallel I assume that there’s the background task of the data scientists and others presumably looking at the ebbs and flows of support work in the past and developing strategies from there.)


What do you feel is the most effective way of providing self service to customers, without impacting the customer experience?

Are there any new technologies that you feel are changing/have changed the face of customer service?


What is the cut-off point where you decide that there are too many customers per COp (how long it takes to resolve, etc.) and what steps have you taken so far with the Reductivity squad/ ways of improving efficiency while not compromising on customer satisfaction and quality of service?

Have you introduced something that has subsequently badly effected another area you initially felt wouldn’t be effected?

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How do Cops take on board the changes you introduce? How do you stop them getting into the mindset/feeling like you’re taking their work away from them?

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In the last month or so, there seems to be a huge amount of wasted space on the help screen. Any chance of shoving things up a bit?Screenshot_20180722-182033_Monzo


I was wondering why there’s so much space around that. Particularly as it pretty much hides everything else for no reason I can see?


I think it’s designed to make you use the search in an attempt to reduce the chat usage but couldn’t be totally wrong!


This has to be by design. Looks like a nudge to make you type in your query rather than scroll through options looking for the one more relevant to what you’re trying to find out.

Surely that defeats the object of the suggested topics, and all the other stuff on the page apart from Community Home and Chat…?

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We ran this design change as an a/b test and managed to reduce 12% of all conversations just by doing this.

The only difference here is that the search bar takes more space in the Help homepage, but all other elements in the help screen are still there below the fold (suggested articles, transactions, categories, spotlights, community and chat).

Our motivation was exactly what @HoldenCarver suggested: nudging users to use search. We know that users that enter the search flow are much more likely to resolve their problems without needing to get in touch. I think this is a much better experience for users since they can find the right answer in a matter of seconds, without needing to wait for customer support to review their problem, and without needing to explain what their issue is etc.

We have a running assumption that this is good for more advanced users, that know exactly what their problem is, but less useful for new users that can be intimidated by an empty search box. So we’re trying something new very soon just for new users.