Love Without Borders: a conversation with Romario

People

This year, Romario and a project squad created guidelines and a training for everyone who works at Wise to improve the customer support experience for our transgender and non-binary customers.

Thank you for agreeing to discuss your work and project to support transgender and non-binary customers with us. Tell us about yourself and how you noticed the need for this project?

I’m Romario and I’ve been at Wise for almost three years now. At the moment I work in the Card Disputes and Chargeback team, but I used to be a Customer Support Agent, which means I got to work on lots of customer cases and interact with people from all around the world. The project came out of several situations where our team’s efforts didn’t meet the needs of our transgender and non-binary customers. Despite having a non-judgmental and open-minded team, we needed to educate people, so we could handle these cases with care and knowledge of their needs.

Thank you for explaining. Why was this project so important to you?

We pride ourselves on our world-class customer support and people having a great experience with our product. As a company, we also actively promote equality and diversity. So when I saw a situation where we didn’t always meet this standard, I knew I needed to do something about it.

I formed a working group to create guidelines and knowledge that would increase the empathy and awareness of our Customer Support agents towards transgender and non-binary customers. A quotation I like that sums my feelings up:

Addressing transgender and non-binary persons by their preferred names is a simple but important act of respect that might begin to repair damage to their self-esteem and identity.

 –  Saeed Ahmed. M.D.

Where did you get insights on the needs of the transgender and non-binary community?

Catarina and I (project leads) analysed all our transgender and non-binary customer support cases from 2018 to 2021. We wanted to understand the pain points and see where communication needed improvement. We also collected loads of feedback from customers, so we made sure we understood the whole picture.

We also had help from our transgender and non-binary colleagues at Wise. Through their personal experiences, we defined the guidelines in an authentic way to the community.

What are the project next steps now and how are you communicating everything and training Wisers? 

The project is far from complete. There’s still so much to do, and there are always more ways to improve things.

The training programme goes live in August, and everyone in the company will have access to this. It also forms part of our Customer Support onboarding programme.

The guidelines are stored on our internal knowledge base so that everyone can access them at any time. We also have a Slack channel where Wisers can come to us with their questions.

A line of customer support workings

If you’re interested in learning more about improving the customer support experience for the transgender and non-binary community or you’re keen to be an ally, here’s a few materials that helped us: