Monzo Staff Weekly Q&A - Fred Morgan (COps Squad Captain : Calls & Social Media)

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

Friends, Monzonauts, Forum Folks, lend us your ears!

It is that time again. What time is it? That time. You know the one. You do!




Did you catch up with all the previous ones first? No? Well, you’ve got some reading to do.

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:

This week there’s a difference! I actually came into the office (a sadly rare occurrence) and so I was able to pose for an epic Monzo selfie with this week’s star employee in the hot coral hot seat!


Yes, the handsome gentleman to my right is Fred Morgan, COps Squad Captain for Calls & Social Media, also known as… Call & The Gang :joy:

So let’s have a celebration, get rid of the winter sadness, and get down on it. Some of you will understand those references (I hope).

Fred’s role as a Squad Captain is twofold : being on the frontline of Customer Support for Calls and Social Media queries (as opposed to in-app chat) is one part, and the other part is leading the squad and setting the standard and guidelines for his team. Our squad structures at Monzo are very important, as the Squad Captains are the first point of contact for any issues within that squad.

Fun Fact About Fred (FFAF) : He’s met, and spoken to both the current and previous New Zealand Prime Ministers. One at a music festival called Splore! I’ll add that Fred is actually from New Zealand, which is perhaps contextually relevant to this fact.

His favourite thing about working at Monzo is that he loves all the people he works with, and really enjoys being around us all :grinning: The feeling is mutual :grinning:

So… get your questions in for Fred Morgan and he’ll be here on Thursday to answer them!

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What food do you miss from New Zealand?

Where is the best place to ski in New Zealand?

Also isn’t the current PM of New Zealand having a baby whilst continuing to serve as PM? Respect to your country for that,

What was your favourite burger place in NZ?

Oh, and what’s the best question you have been asked by a customer?

Glad we are asking all the important questions so far


Fred! So delighted to see you’re doing this (for context, I’m actually a COp in Fred’s squad (Call and the Gang) and he is just as delightful as @simonb says.)

My question(s) to you are, what are your thoughts on the importance of our channels (calls and social media) in comparison to the in-app chat? Do you feel more emphasis needs to be put on these customer service channels at Monzo?

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I didn’t know you could call!

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Hi Will! Yes you can - you can find our number on the back of your Monzo card next to your CVC. :phone:@WillP79

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In the past, I feel that Monzo have encouraged people to use in-app chat and discouraged calling. So to bring this back to the thread, here is my question:

Fred, where do you see Call and the Gang sitting within the overall COps? Is it a kind of emergency backup or an equal support channel. And as a follow-on, is there a benefit to linking calls and social media or are they combined for logistical/workload reasons?

Very interested in this thread in general, as until Brenda posted in the introductions thread, I didn’t even realise there was the elite Call and the Gang squad sitting within COps!


Hey Jolin! I’m sure Fred has his own thoughts about calls at Monzo, however to my knowledge we do the majority of our communication with our users through the in-app chat (and we do encourage them to do so.)

However, in the case of emergencies or technical issues, it is often more productive to have a verbal conversation! That’s just my opinion anyway.

Also… I’m reluctant to call us ‘elite’ in any way. All COps have great stores of knowledge - we’re doing the same thing but just with a different medium! Excited to hear what Fred has to say about all this though, but thought to let you know my two cents as part of the frontline.

Sorry, I was being tongue-in-cheek. I :100: don’t mean to imply the other COps aren’t as good! They’ve been amazing every time I’ve contacted them. I consider all the Monzo COps squads ‘elite’. :wink:

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Absolutely no apologies necessary :heart:️ (I think they’re elite too! When I first joined my eyes bugged out daily - I didn’t know how it was possible for them to know so much.)

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I think this changes depending on the season, but recently I’ve been craving the humble steak & cheese pie. For some reason they’ve been hard to find in the UK. I’m not talking fancy blue cheese, just put some standard cheddar goodness in the mix, and I’m happy :yum:

My partner and I got desperate and resorted to baking one ourselves last weekend. Sadly, it just wasn’t the same as from the local bakery in NZ.


It can be hard to find some overseas staples, but luckily I have found where to go for Anzac biscuits and Lamingtons, my Aussie favs, and I have a few Polish and Baltic shops near me satisfying the cravings I get for their foods.

I’d say ski fields in the South Island are better than the north, which is probably true of many things! It’s hard to go past Cardrona near Queenstown. If you’re prepared to pay way over the odds for accommodation, (and nearly everything else) Queenstown is genuinely one of the most beautiful resort towns in the world.

As for the PM, yes - she’s pregnant and taking 6 weeks off when she gives birth. I met her at Splore in 2014, and I think her attendance says a lot about her. I highly recommend Splore to everyone I meet who might go anywhere near NZ in future. It’s three days of music, art and beach with the main stage visible from the water. Mr Scruff on a Sunday afternoon in the sun and waves = heaven!

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My favourite burger place has to be Burger Burger. My local was in Auckland’s Ponsonby Central market. Can’t beat a burger there (beef and cheese, medium rare) followed by an alcoholic milkshake at Bedford & Soda. :drooling_face:

Best question a customer has asked, that’s a tough one… It’s not really a question, but I did happen to speak to a Kiwi through our support line the other week. She picked up on my accent and mentioned her Son is trying to make it big with his music in London. I promised to share the love with friends, and I guess here is as good a place as any!


Hey! Great questions.

What makes this different from any of my previous workplaces is adapting to constant change, and accepting that you have to adapt to new structure and processes every 6-8 months as we grow. I was talking to @leah earlier this week, and described it as like working clay. Initially it’s really malleable and you can do almost anything. As you start to make decisions and put structure in place, you have to start breaking some earlier stuff that no longer serves its original purpose to make improvements.

This will sound cheesy, but the thing that I enjoy most is working with people whose company I really enjoy. It sounds silly, but everything is easier when you like the people you work with. We had a board game social last night. It’s by far my favourite. Sitting around playing boardgames, having a beer and laughing is a great way to spend an evening. I’m a bit tired today though!

As far as ‘management’ goes, I try to treat people the way I’d like to be treated. The biggest thing I’ve learned in this role, is you always get a better decision when you ask people for their ideas, and it’s always a good idea to ask yourself who can help with a problem rather than ploughing ahead alone.


Hey Brenda! :wave:

I think social media and phone support will always be important channels for Monzo, but I’d also say that they serve quite different purposes.

I think the short answer to your emphasis question is no. I see phone and social as complementary to in-app chat.

Phone support can very time consuming for customers. I think it’s great in situations where urgent or emergency support is critical (travel scenarios, lost cards and suspected fraud or unauthorised card use). When it’s done right, there’s no better way to make a strong connection with a customer in a stressful situation. I don’t think it will be the first place most customers look to for support in many situations.

Social media is slightly different, in that I do think it will be an area of increasing emphasis for customer support over time. Social platforms are especially valuable as they allow us to ‘walk the talk’ publicly and project our personality. We receive a relatively high level of contact through social media, regardless of whether there’s a customer support issue to be resolved, which is really useful for gathering feedback on our announcements in real time.

I’m really excited to see how each of these evolve though!


Excellent questions, I think covered some of my thoughts on the calls and in-app relationshiop in an earlier response so I’ll try not to repeat myself too much. To answer your second question first, there’s no obvious reason to put calls and social media in one squad (other than the fact that together they’re a huge amount of fun!). The decision to do so was largely to balance workloads.

One of the challenges we faced was the difficulty managing an in-app chat queue (where you may be speaking to a dozen individuals at a time) while being interrupted by a call which could take you away from those customers for up to 5 minutes or longer. Pairing calls with social media allows us to fill the space between calls with social media interactions, which tend to occur as a series of one-off interactions over a longer period rather than a single conversation where immediate responses are really important.

To answer your first question, I think calls lends itself to resolving emergency situations rapidly and providing a highly personal level of service. I don’t anticipate phone support receiving anything like the volume of queries in-app chat does.


Thanks for the awesome questions! :smile: