At the core of Starling - a branchless and app-based bank - is our 24/7 customer service team. You can speak to a human being - not a bot - any time of the day or night. If you have a question or concern about your bank account, you can contact customer service by:
- Sending a message to start a Live Chat through the Starling app or website
- Calling the number on the back of your Starling card
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s how three people out of the hundreds that make up Starling customer service are working to help you. The teams are usually based across our UK offices in Cardiff, Southampton and London. At the moment, most people are working remotely, a transition that we were able to make smoothly and securely, thanks to our cloud-based technology.
Jean-Luc Howe: Daytime customer service in Cardiff
“Starling’s 24/7, 365, customer-centric philosophy has really made a difference during Covid-19. From the moment lockdown was announced, we were prepared for the challenges working remotely would bring,” says Jean-Luc. “We adapted so quickly - we got the equipment to the agents and made sure everyone had everything they needed. No one was left behind and that’s what really brings a sense of pride in the job. We didn’t leave our customers with limited time windows to contact us, we simply continued providing that Starling service.”
Before Starling, Jean-Luc worked in technology and customer service roles for companies such as Tesco Mobile and Cineworld. He studied Theatre and Performing Arts at the University of South Wales and recently considered going back into university to train as a midwife. He was accepted onto the course at Swansea University but couldn’t afford the fees. Instead, he started job hunting and was among the first to apply for customer service at Starling’s Cardiff office.
“Some people have worked in call centres before, some have come straight from university or are still at university. Everyone brings different life experiences,” he says. “Starling is so people driven. Everything is built around customer experience and support.”
‘Are you a real bank?’ is one of the questions he’s asked most often. His answer? “Yes. We’ve got a banking licence and we can do everything other banks can, in the palm of your hand. We may not be face to face but we are definitely with you. With Starling, wherever you are in the world and whatever time it is, there’s always someone on the end of the phone doing their best to support you.”
Tina Langford: Nighttime customer service in Southampton
Many of our agents work through the night to provide 24/7 support for customers. Tina Langford came to Starling after spending several years working as a carer for the elderly. “I loved it - I met some real characters. It was tough but it was also very rewarding,” she says.
Her experience as a carer, which started when her dad fell ill, encouraged her to try new things. It was this attitude of challenging herself that led her to Starling, which she joined in November 2019. Her advice for night-shift workers is to take vitamin D supplements to compensate for lack of natural sunlight, and multivitamins to support your immune system.
One topic that often comes up for Tina is delayed payments, for example if the card reader was offline when you made the payment. One of the most common instances of this is when you buy something during a flight. “It could be three or four days before the money actually goes out of your account and then you’ll get another notification, but that doesn’t mean you’ve been charged twice,” she says.
“It’s been a very steep learning curve. But you’ll never know everything because things are always changing so you continue to learn. That’s what keeps the job so interesting.”
Arvind Nair: Social media support in London
Our social media community team is part of the marketing team and works with the customer service team. Through social media, customers can find out about:
- News and updates
- Giveaways and competitions
- How a certain feature works
- Upcoming features
- Issues with your Starling bank account (remember not to post sensitive or personal information publicly - send us a private message instead)
Arvind Nair heads up the customer service social media community team, all trained in answering customer questions or concerns posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. “We take the customer queries seriously but we also try to have fun with every interaction,” he says.
His favourite thing about Starling customers? “They’re very forward looking and supportive. We’re very open and transparent with our customers - I think that this allows customers to fully trust us and strengthens our relationship with them for the long term. Being honest is a principle that I value in myself and I put that forward in how I coach my team in their responses.”