Monzo Staff Weekly Q&A - Emma Northcott (Customer Ops Scaling Team)

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

Hello townspeople of forumland!

Another 7 days have passed in Earth Time, and once again, the time has arrived for the Weekly Staff Q&A!

Here to bring you Information! Education! Entertainment! Some might say… Edumationtainment! No. Nobody would say that, because as of this moment in time, that’s not a word. English, however, is an ever evolving language, and in years to come, this forum may be referenced as the first usage of a new word and I will be considered the Shakespeare of my time. Maybe. We try not to predict the future, unless it’s do with awesome upcoming improvements to your favourite financial app :wink:

Have you done your homework and read through all 7 of our previous Monzo Q&As? No? Better make like Van Halen or Kriss Kross and jump to the threads below :wink:

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:

This week’s guest in the hot coral hot seat, ready to answer all questions… It’s the one and only Emma Northcott from our COps Scalers Team! :tada:


Emma has been with us since March 2016, doing a huge amount of work in Customer Operations, helping develop all of the procedures we have, and a whole lot more, and is currently working on our COps Scalers team, which is a relatively new team, whose mission is to keep our huge COps team happy and productive! This includes working on things like Employee Wellness programs, salary and personal progression, training and development programs and much more. It’s a really important team because our COps team is now the biggest team at Monzo in sheer numbers by quite a margin, and is also a role that can have high turnover if people aren’t comfortable or feel they aren’t able to develop in the way they want to.

Emma was one of the first people I personally met at Monzo since she was one of the 4 people that did my interview when I started! We immediately got along, since she’s originally from Portland, Oregon in the US, and I used to live there myself for a while as I have family in Oregon! I think she was happy to meet somebody who actually knows where it is and is aware of the awesomeness of Voodoo Doughnut :wink: She also used to work at Crowdcube before Monzo, a company that many of you should be familiar with as we’ve used them for our crowdfunding rounds :grinning:

(Here is a photo of Portland because it’s awesome and you should all visit)

Fun fact : Emma played on the US junior national racquetball team when she was 14! That’s your cue to google what exactly racquetball is :wink: Her favourite thing about working here? The people :sparkling_heart:

So get your questions in for Emma, she’ll be here on Thursday to answer them!

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Hi Emma :wave:,

Over the last year the COps team has expanded like crazy! How is it you keep educating members of the team? For example, when a new feature like Pots or Targets comes around, how do people stay informed so they can keep helping customers?

Are there any plans to introduce your own live chat system? I know you use Intercom right now and as a developer who’s also working with Intercom, there’s only a certain level of customization you can do. Is this something you’re planning on changing in the future?

Finally, what feature are you most looking forward to Monzo introducing this year?

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What do you miss (if anything) from when we had a tiny office compared to where we are now? :smiley:

nice :pizza: and :beer: ?


Does it feel like a completely different job than when you started (due to the vast change in numbers) or the same job evolved?

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What has been your favourite Monzo memory so far?


How many staff are there in Cops? Do you add them per x number of new/active accounts? What growth are you predicting in the next year? How do you choose locations? Do you have a policy of always having some onshore during the business hours of each market?

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Whats the weirdest thing someone has said/done in a job interview for Monzo?

Also when are we getting Apple Pay? :upside_down_face:

Is there an internal knowledge base available to COPs? If not, how do you document information/procedures for training, answering queries, etc…


Are you involved with the expansion to the US at all, and if so would you push for opening the US headquarters in Portland :sunglasses:


So, when is the Customer Ops team coming to Vegas? :wink:

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How hard has it been to scale up whilst still keeping the personal touch? Has it been relatively easy (by selecting the right people in the first place) or something that takes a lot of conscious effort? Is there a QA piece which is constantly going on to ensure a standard?

As @simonb just wrote elsewhere, the customer service is one of the huge selling points for Monzo. I can imagine it being a big effort to remain consistently good, but who knows… maybe it’s just a natural product of the staff composition. Interested to find out. :slight_smile:

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Hey @joshpriceonline! :wave:

Great questions :slight_smile:

  • Things do change very quickly at Monzo and it is a challenge to stay on top of everything. We keep COps updated on changes and new features a couple different ways. We have an interface channel in Slack where teams can post about changes they are making that will impact COps. Our squad captains monitor this channel and, depending on the urgency, will either share will all COps in our #cops-announcements channel that all COps have notifications set for or share in their individual squad channels. This information will also be added to a daily doc with all updates that COps need to know about. Tech teams are very good at giving demos in our weekly company all-hands and creating videos that the COps team can reference. :video_camera:

  • We’ve used Intercom as our in-app chat since day 1 :right_anger_bubble: It has a lot of great tools and has served us well so far. That being said, if you want the perfect product that is tailored to your needs building in-house is always the best option. This isn’t a short term priority right now as we have our engineers working on projects to improve the customer’s experience and reduce the inbound demand on customer support.

  • I’m pretty excited to get CASS (current account switching service) in the app. It may not be the sexiest of features, but I think it will make the new customer experience that little bit easier :tada:


I’ve been in 3 offices since I started at Monzo so there are so many lovely memories from all of them!

My first week was the first week that we started mailing out cards, rather than having the in-office card events. Every day around 3pm a troop would gather around the kitchen table to pack cards and label them ready to send out to our Alpha testers :mailbox: It was fun to get to catch up with everyone in the team and hear what they’d been up to that day.


Portland has amazing :pizza: and :beer:!

Fun fact: one of it’s nicknames is Beervana due to the 100+ breweries in and around the city. :mountain:

If you ever have a chance to visit I recommend going when the Portland Blues Festival or International Beer Festival are on (luckily they’re usually only a couple weeks apart). If you’re looking for some good pizza in town Escape from New York on NW 23rd is a personal favourite of mine!


My day-to-day job is very different from when I first started @jzw95!

During my first 8-9 months the majority of my time was spent chatting with customers and helping them with any issues they had. Now my day to day is a lot more project based and I’m only of the frontline chatting to customers a couple days a month. Recently I worked on a project designing a clear progression and pay framework for our COps team so that everyone can see the development opportunities within the team :smile:


@brenda There are too many good ones!

I think getting the banking license was a really exciting and emotional time. So many people in the team had been working so hard for a long time that the office erupted in cheers, tears and all sorts of excitement when we received the news :bank:


Great questions @WillP79!

How many staff are there in Cops?

The team currently has about 180 members. This is a mix of full and part time workers.

Do you add them per x number of new/active accounts?

In our Operations Scaling team we have analysts that work on the forecast of COps needed taking into considerations the predicted user growth and the tech projects that will reduce the inbound demand.

What growth are you predicting in the next year?

Ideally we wouldn’t like to grow too much and find tech solutions that reduce the inbound demand and empower our COps to be able to answer more queries.

How do you choose locations?
There are a combination of factors that play into where we pick our offices. One of the big things we focus on is finding areas that are known for their customer support industry. This means that there is a customer focused culture in the city and a great pool of potential Monzonauts!

Do you have a policy of always having some onshore during the business hours of each market?
We don’t currently have a policy around this as all our current customer support offices are based in the UK. There are big benefits to looking abroad for out of hours support and we’ve taken this into consideration when planning growth within the team.


Thanks Emma! In my second question, I meant user numbers rather than team numbers… :wink:

Hey @anon72173902 :wave:

I’ve interviewed +100 potential Monzo employees over my almost two years at the company. To be honest I haven’t had many strange ones!

A few really fond memories:

  • Interviewing @Fred was a delight! He was such a ray of sunshine in the room and I came out with the biggest smile on my face :sun_with_face:
  • The first person I ever interviewed was @Yehudi. I remember asking him how he found out about Monzo and he said he saw an Instagram ad instantly wanted to join us.
  • I also remember interviewing @venkat and feeling like I learned so much about lending in the 1hr we had together.

I’d also say I’ve learn so much about how to interview during my time at Monzo. I think @jonas is the absolute interview master.