Monzonaut AMA - Dan Hughes

Hello Community!

First up in our run of AMAs with the Monzonauts is @danhughes :tada:

Dan has been on the rocket ship Monzo for 2.5 years :rocket:and has worked in Ops Product since joining.
That means he builds the systems at the other end of chat and calls.

Dan will be joining us to answer questions and give a bit more on what he does on Friday 18th June between 2:00pm - 3:00pm but wanted to open the Topic now to see if there’s any questions for him in advance.

I’ll post on the day as well to make sure everyone knows about Dan’s visit.


Is it very hard to get a job at :monzo:? :thinking:

I am aware about applications and etc. Simply asking current employees :blush:

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:wave:Thanks Alan!

Looking forward to chatting to y’all :relaxed:

A bit more about me and the work I do - I’m in the Support Experience Squad, which means we try to optimise both the customer experience and the COp experience. When you get in touch, that spins out into any one of over 200 types of bespoke tasks, lots of which would all be bundled into “back-office” spreadsheet work at a legacy bank. I make sure the right COp gets the right work at the right time.

We have over 1,000 COps now, and we run our own scheduling system that the data scientists on our team developed. It’s a pretty hard computational problem.

We operate our own entire in-house chat system called Bizops, having moved off Intercom a couple of years ago; we own about 200 microservices.

Fire away with your questions, and see you on the 18th! :hot_coral_heart:


What are the pre-requisites for a chat to “go to a specialist”?

Im not sure if its just because when i contact cops its because something really is wrong out of the ordinary or if its just a case of most chats going the specialist route?

Also massive massive thank you for taking the time to do an AMA its something ive cried for monzo to do for a while but needs cool people like yourself and @AlanDoe to make it happen and its appreciated :clap:


If you were in a fight for the Battle of the Dans with @Dan5 who would win?

You can each bring one weapon but it has to be related to your role at Monzo.

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Why is a single threaded chat deemed better than multiple chats per customer by Monzo? A lot of the time you get passed to a specialist and have to wait for them to reply, during this time you can’t raise another issue if you have one. Seems needlessly restricting and possibly stressful for some people who may need you the most


How many emojis are in the long cat slack thread?

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Not enough for me :sweat_smile::sob:

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What has been the biggest change for you, at Monzo, in the last twelve months?


What are your views about pineapple on pizza


Would you rather have fingers for toes or toes for fingers?


How long is your “normal” working day, and how often does that length change?

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If you had your time over again, knowing what you know now, would you have still been enthused by developing an in-house chat system?

How do you test that chat system from a customer point of view? Invite customers in (pre-pandemic obvs)? Hire third parties to try it out?

What sort of load testing has the chat system been given? Have their been any notable challenges and successes in scaling up?

How advanced are the features of the systems that try to avoid customers “falling between the cracks”?


How have you found/do you find working from home?

Is there anything specific that you do when working from home that you wouldn’t when working in the office?

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One last one, if I may push my luck

If the internal customer (COps and others) run into problems with the system is there a means obvious and to hand in BizOps to report it while the context is intact and obvious? Is there a mechanism/method to “replay” their sequence of actions to reach the impasse/glitch?

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If he’s in charge of building the systems at the other end of the phone, then it seems he would’ve had some input into the (in my opinion) ridiculous choice to disconnect waiting callers after a few minutes of the call not being answered.

Given that incoming call queues likely have zero/minimal cost, monetary or otherwise, to Monzo, what is the purpose of doing this?

Also, given that calling Monzo is somewhat of a difficult task because of this, I found it also very surprising that Monzo actively ‘hide’ the chat support function within the app. I understand users should be pushed towards self-help where possible, but how do you know customers are actually resolving their issues via self-help rather than just giving up out of frustration after not being able to access human support?


Can you give some examples of tasks that you think legacy banks would use spreadsheets for that Monzo don’t?

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Hey Dan! I have questions (rapid fire style!):

  1. what’s your favourite Monzo Slack channel?
  2. favourite Slack emoji?
  3. the thing that you wish more people knew about Monzo
  4. hiding the chat button - why?!
  5. best bit of Monzo-tech that customers never get to see?