Simple’s branchless bank account combines innovative technology, impeccable user experience, and expertise in behavioral economics to help its customers spend smarter and save more. The Simple Visa® card is tied to an FDIC-insured account with no surprise fees, and powerful budgeting and savings tools built right into the account. Simple’s banking services are accessible via intuitive web, iPhone, and Android apps. The company has more than 100,000 customers, processed $1.7 billion in annual transactions last year, and experienced 330% customer growth.
Simple’s company is built on collaboration: everyone works together to support customers. All the teams are in one big room: engineers work alongside the customer service, business, and marketing teams. This format leads to increased awareness of other teams’ workloads and priorities, even for people who don’t necessarily interact with those teams on a regular basis. It all makes for a more holistic view of the company’s problems and priorities.
Simple also requires that employees across the company, regardless of team or role, use the same tools. The Simple team is in constant communication over IRC. Non-engineers regularly use tools traditionally considered tech team staples. For example, customer service makes heavy use of GitHub to file issues and curate their knowledge base. The PR team uses PagerDuty alerts to keep an eye on outages or issues, so that they can respond to media and customers as other teams are working on solutions. Everyone at Simple is familiar with all of these tools, and encouraged to think of creative ways to use them outside of their traditional uses.
Simple’s culture encourages teams to assist one another, especially when a customer is involved. If a support rep isn’t available during their holiday party, Maier explained, you may end up speaking directly to one of Simple’s engineers if immediate assistance is required.
In effort to focus on their customers, Simple has removed alerting for all incidents that don’t impact customers.
Using Sensu, alerts that may impact customers are sent to their team via PagerDuty. Everything else is monitored using Graphite and other tools so that on-calls won’t be unnecessarily woken up in the middle of the night.
This philosophy doesn’t only exist for operations, but extends to their security and support teams. If a customer reports a lost or stolen debit card their team will be immediately notified to take action in order to prevent fraud on their customers’ behalf. Minor support inquiries may wait to be responded to during regular business hours.
When it comes to a customer’s security or experience, Simple is on-call 24/7.
“PagerDuty has changed the way we run our business” – Will Maier, Director of Operations
For many who work at Simple, the idea of being on-call was entirely new. Their PR and Support teams may get the occasional off-hour phone call, but never had to be responsible for issues on a regular basis during non-business hours.
Simple has emphasized that their culture is dedicated to providing their customers with an excellent banking experience. With their culture and company mission as the top priority it was easy for everyone to adapt and take both pride and ownership in their role.
“People prefer getting alerts from a robot instead of their manager.” – Will Maier, Director of Operations
PagerDuty allows users of all backgrounds to set up escalation policies that fit their needs. Simple’s support team has configured email, voice, and SMS alerts so that they can use a natural interface to handle urgent incidents. Engineers typically configure push notifications so that they can get additional context in an alert and quickly navigate the PagerDuty mobile app. Either way, PagerDuty alerts help members of Simple’s on call rotations respond to issues quickly and independently.
PagerDuty is proud to play such an active role in helping Simple keep their customers happy and their services available.