Monzo Staff Weekly Q&A - Liam Houghton (Ops Fixer)

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


Once more, welcome, forum fam!
I’m on a bit of a Monzo Tour at the moment. Last week I had my first day in the new London office.

Today, I’m here in our Cardiff office for the first time! I’ll be spending some time here over the next couple of weeks. What a lovely bunch of people we have here (and Lola, one of the office dogs!).

We’re having a hiring day here today so lots of potential new faces coming in. On top of that, we have about half a dozen new starters doing their training here right now so lots of actual new faces in the company getting to grips with everything. It’s all happening, it’s all happening right here in lovely green Cardiff! :dragon:


Before we meet this week’s interviewee… it’s catch up time!

Catch up on all the previous Q&A’s here!

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:

Week 30 : Bruno Vaz Moço, Product Manager (Scalers) :balance_scale:

Week 31 : Dillon Van Auken, Remote COps Team Lead and Vegas Project Team Lead :first_quarter_moon_with_face: 🂡

Week 32 : Rhys Davies, COps Cardiff Office :dragon:

Week 33 : Emily Parrett, COps Call & The Gang :phone:

All done! Great!

This week in the Hot Coral Hot Seat™️ we’ve got Liam Houghton, Ops Fixer!


Liam has been here since June 2017 (although I actually remember meeting him earlier than that at one of our Community events in Manchester!) and he works in the Scaling team, helping to keep our support delightful but also as efficient as possible.

He’s currently working on:

looking into our customer satisfaction and understanding how wait times affect it, as well as how we optimise for the highest ratings.

Interesting fact about Liam:

Interesting could be doubtful, but I used to be able to name every #1 on the UK music charts from 2000-2008. I like music and I like statistics, so I just combined the two :upside_down_face::woman_shrugging:

His favourite thing about working here?

It’s challenging, you’re learning every day and the people are amazing.

Alright folks… get your questions in and Liam will be here later in the week to answer them!!!



Do you like cats?

Do you like pizza?

Do you like pineapples on pizza?

Do you like cats on pizza?

Do you like pineapple on cats?

Do you like pizza on cats?


In your opinion, what was the best UK #1 between 2000 and 2008?


Hi Liam! :wink:

Apparently, there’s no ‘bad’ feedback, but we know that not every user will leave elaborate 2-page explanation and understand what actually was the problem.

  1. What is Monzo’s approach to ummm, low quality feedback? If there’s a customer that leaves responses like:
    “haha, lol”
    “rubbish, will never use again”

  2. Is Monzo reaching out to customers who left specific type of feedback? How do you tell who will be angry even more if you ask for more feedback or more details? How do you get more info without too much risk?

  3. How is feedback collected/organised, tools, methodologies? Do you collate feedback from various periods and see how Monzo’s product changes impacted feedback? Any real examples that you could share with us? :eyes:


I was going to ask a “y2k” number one question but ended up a bit depressed that I know pretty mugb every song on the list off by heart ! #old

Does giving users their own way to select if an issue is urgent or not giving much affect on the satisfaction, as I’m guessing lots might tick the box !

Do you find gifs can be great feedback !?

Do you share feedback with COps and acknowledge moments that they are above and beyond?

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What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever seen? Just made you stop and go WHOA!

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  1. What’s the number 1 thing that people suggest Monzo could do better?

  2. Has there been one single bit of feedback that you feel has shaped how cops interact with customers?

  3. What are our most favourite ways of gathering customer feedback? For example them submitting a gif which portrays their feelings.

  4. What other things have you worked on in the past month?

  5. If Monzo suddenly started working in a completely different sector or making a different product what would you want it to be?

  6. What’s the number 1 thing people rate Monzo highly for?

  7. If you could change one thing about Monzo what would it be and why? (Positive criticism :wink: ).

  8. What’s your favourite place to grab lunch from?

  9. What have you found to best way to maximise satisfaction?

  10. What are you going to be working on next?


What matters more to customers, do you think: waiting longer for a “better” service or getting instant responses?


Hey folks :wave:

Thanks for the questions, I’ll get right to it! :grinning:

  1. Love cats. However working at Monzo has probably brought my love of dogs to the same level.

  2. Absolutely. Went to Homeslice last night actually, would highly recommend :raised_hands:

  3. I can’t support pineapple on pizza I’m afraid.

  4. (and 5 and 6) Might have to pass on those ones :joy:

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I’m a big fan of “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis, but it’s also longest run at #1 from a British female artist (7 weeks) so I think it probably fits a best category somewhere too :nerd_face:



OMG You’ve done it now, you better run :joy_cat:


And that’s how this week’s Q&A ended.:joy:


Hey @Avishai :wave:

You’re absolutely right - a lot of customers like smaller, general messages which are a bit harder to deduce but we still look into them :blush:

  1. Our squad captains read the customer satisfaction (CSAT) comments for their squads, spot remarks like that and then read the conversation themselves. If it needs further action then we’ll make sure it happens.

  2. Yep, we do. There’s a few different types we’d respond to:

    • Negative Customer satisfaction feedback (when we ask you how we did after a chat)
    • Negative NetPromoter feedback (when we ask how likely you are to recommend us to a friend)
    • When we think you might have a complaint during a chat or phone call with us

    As a bank we need to respond to complaints any way we receive them. Some people might think we don’t need to respond to complaints we receive through surveys, but if we’re actively reaching out to users for feedback and then receive a complaint we need to take action :blush:

    Sometimes if we’re reaching out to those customers they could be a little bit angrier, but on the whole they tend to appreciate us reaching out and trying to understand/resolve it.

  3. We mainly collect feedback through surveys, or user research if it’s a development for the app or our tools. We’ve only just started trying to understand our customer satisfaction, whereas we’ve been looking at NetPromoter feedback for longer. An example I can think of for this would be Apple Pay, this was mentioned in our surveys a lot before we launched and we saw an uptick afterwards :chart_with_upwards_trend:


Hey @Dannytc :wave:

  1. Ever so slightly! Customer satisfaction is slightly lower for those who say their query is urgent, but it’s pretty marginal thankfully (roughly 2%). We suspect this is owing to the nature of the queries, but we’re doing more work which should help us understand this more next week :blush:

  2. GIFs aren’t supported by the surveys we used once a chat is finished, but COps definitely appreciate them. They can be a pretty good indicator when our squad captains read through conversations for quality assurance as well.

  3. We do! Squad captains definitely call out those moments in development sessions, as well as in our Ops all hands in front of everyone occasionally too.


Coolest thing, that’s a difficult one! :thinking:

At Monzo, I’m torn between two:

  • seeing how easy it is to sign up for an account if you’re from another country. A number of friends have had issues with this in the past at other banks and I couldn’t believe it the first time that process with Monzo.
  • walking in the Pride parade and people waving their Monzo cards at us, I don’t think any of us anticipated that :monzopride: :hot_coral_heart:

I also abseiled down 5 Canada Square a couple of years ago and standing at the top was one of those moments I think, literally standing on top of a skyscraper looking over Canary Wharf was pretty breathtaking. Then the abseiling was literally breathtaking :joy:


How do you get to abseil down there? Sounds fun.

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Hey @Jackcrwhitney :wave:

  1. The work we’re doing with The Big List is pretty much aligned with that, so we’re powering through to address them :blush:

  2. There’s definitely been changes implemented from a single piece of customer feedback before, we actually have a slack channel for our product team to review any requests and potential changes to the app. Lots of changes, or planned changes, to the Summary page have been from individual feedback for instance - people budget in very nuanced ways!

  3. I actually really like the way we measure customer satisfaction at the moment (:angry:, :confused:, :neutral_face:, :grinning:, :heart_eyes: as opposed to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). I think it’s more universally understandable than numbers because it’s emotive, whereas a number can mean different things to different people. (I haven’t read any research on this though, just my gut feeling).

  4. It’s been a pretty busy month, which I quite like! Most of my time has been on customer satisfaction so I’ll detail that one, as well as the other stuff:

    • reading the negative remarks customers leave after a chat and identifying themes from that, then doing hypothesis driven data analysis with additional surveys to gain more insight and set targets (how do people feel about wait time? what should our targets be in relation to this?). Then I’ve done a similar exercise with positive remarks, trying to understand what drives a :heart_eyes: conversation. This part isn’t finished just yet, but should pick up again next week! You might find you receive an additional survey from us if you’ve needed to chat with us in the last week or so :blush:

    • Working on our internal communications process for COps, to see how we can best disseminate product or process updates across the whole team now we’re spread all over the world

    • Hiring a new team to work through some of our back office tasks (e.g. merchant feedback), they started yesterday and we’ve just started training them :brain:

  5. I feel like we’d be pretty good at licensing our own internal tools to other companies. Some of the stuff we build internally blows me away at times.

  6. That’s a great question! I looked through our positive remarks last week and the top theme by a far amount was whether we ultimately resolved their issue or not.

  7. I think we could be a bit better at giving each other feedback, and also assuming positive intent when we’re creating new processes/being honest with how we’re feeling in those discussions. Helps us move quicker/smoother in general I think :blush:

  8. From the new office it’s been Wasabi so far, but I really do need to get back on the Huel train! (there’s a lot of people on Huel here)

  9. I think this one’s really linked to #6, although I’m doing more work on this next week to really understand what drives people to give us a :heart_eyes: and we’ll definitely optimise for that once we have the results.

  10. Next I’m doing more work on how we scale BizOps, the tool we use for tasks like Merchant Feedback, Identity Verification, etc. This involves everything from training, to our quality assurance on those tasks to how we operate as a team, definitely excited by that one!


Definitely! I did slip and smack into a window though, still loved it!

I did an internship at Credit Suisse in Canary Wharf a couple of years ago during my degree, they had a few spare places so I convinced a few friends to do it with me as well :joy:


I worked at Credit Suisse as well in Cabot Square.

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