Q&A with Kirill, People Analyst at TransferWise
There are so many different projects you can try out and support, it’s easy to get carried away. My main learning has been how to prioritise my work. It’s all about holding yourself accountable and making sure you focus on the things that have the most impact.
Why did you join TransferWise?
I wanted to do something more than just ‘work’. I wanted to make a difference. The company I worked at before treated its customers really differently to TransferWise. I was forced to say the product was flawless and it wasn’t. I wanted to work for a company that was transparent and honest with people.
In a nutshell, what do you do at TransferWise?
I work in our People Analytics team, where I help make processes for our employees faster and smoother. It includes launching surveys, analysing data, providing reports to stakeholders and automating processes to reduce the admin burden on our teams.
Have you done any other roles at TransferWise?
I started in our Customer Support team. There I quickly began taking on translations, where I’d help us translate our product into Russian. From there, I went into maintaining our FAQ centre for our customers.
All these roles were customer-facing, and I often noticed things we could change in our product based on customer feedback. So I’d report them to our product teams. Our product teams would always ask me to justify this feedback with data, for example how many people are affected by this, which was my first introduction to data in TransferWise.
I started working in our AML team, doing operational analytics. After a while, I went back to being a Customer Support mentor for newbies and crunching data to assist the launch of our new ticket categorisation system. Then I joined People Analytics. My journey has included lots of different things, but it’s always been revolving around people – either customers or Wisers.
What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
Crunching our Compensation and Benefits survey. In many companies, you’re just given a benefits package. Here we ask what our employees want and then improve the offering accordingly. You can’t make everyone happy, but by making the decision-making process inclusive and basing it on lots of data, we can make sure we hear our people’s voices.
I analysed the data and prepared reports to show the survey results and how we responded to our employees’ wishes. And the next step was for me is to understand how we can make the survey better for next year.
Most interesting place you’ve used your TransferWise card?
At a market in a tiny village in Cyprus. I never expected them to have a cash machine, let alone for my card to work there!
What’s the most unusual job you’ve ever done?
I’ve done a lot! I’ve worked at an Asian restaurant, installed musical equipment at clubs, been a lumberjack and a postman.
Tell us about a time you went out of your way to help a customer
During the referendum about Brexit people started to freak out about moving money. I was on a night shift for high-value payments. So I was contacting people right away to ask them for documentation after they’d set up a transfer to make sure we moved the money fast.
One of those calls involved a £2 million transfer, which had gotten stuck with one of our partners as there was such a massive influx of similar payments coming in due to Brexit.
I spent a few hours for 3 consecutive days to try resolving things for our customer. She was really understanding, but I still felt terrible due to the delay. Once I learned we wouldn’t be able to process the payment, I got the Head of Support and even Kristo, our CEO, involved. Unfortunately, we still had to issue a full refund – our partners at that time were simply not able to handle such a spike in volume.
However, it felt so, so good to see that instead of hiding behind corporate policies, everyone assisting me on this genuinely cared and did their absolute best to try turning things around. I’m both humbled and proud to work for a company that admits and takes ownership of our mistakes.