Support Queue Times - Doing the Maths?

It is not secret at the moment that support reposes times are not what Monzo would like them to be. I decided to do a little basic maths to see if there is a problem. When I get to the answer, I feel like I am missing something obvious. Be warned, there are lots of assumptions.

At Investival it was stated there were about 670 COPs, and we know that there are over three million customers. I am going to round down the COPs to 500 to allow for time off etc.

Assumption - the average hours worked by a COP is 15 per week. Seems fair? 15 hours multiplied by 500 COPs gives 7500 working hours per week.

Assumption - the average support query takes 15 minutes to resolve (between initial messages, being passed to ‘specialists’ etc). I don’t know if COPs deal with formal complaints or not, for the purposes of this I will exclude that. Some queries will be resolved in 60 seconds, some might take 30 minutes. So we have 7500 working hours multiplied by four slots per hour (15 min resolution) - this is 30,000 support slots.

So we have three million customers and 30,000 support slots per week - which means that 1 in 100 customers use a slot EVERY WEEK. That can’t be right, surely?

  1. Am I missing anything which would hugely distort the above calculation?
  2. I seriously doubt COP numbers have been cut
  3. I believe COPs also do merchant rich data corrections, if so, has this been prioritised to give poor wait times for support?
  4. Are the COPs working on anything else?

This is not a dig at Monzo, they are doing their best and have recently had a huge influx of new customers. Just trying to figure out why so many people need support? Are people just skipping the automated system in order to speak to a human?

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There’s a lot more variables that make it a bit more complex than that.

So, aside from meetings, development, etc, COps at any time could also be working on:

  • Calls
  • Social Media (We only have a small team here)
  • Email support
  • Complaints
  • Defunds
  • Disputes
  • Financial Crime
  • COps Hiring
  • New Features Queue
  • Payments
  • PIN Recoveries and IDV tasks
  • PEPs and Sanctions
  • Coaching
  • QA
  • Business Banking
  • General Queries
  • Troubleshooting
  • Vulnerable Customers
  • Financial Difficulties

and there’s a few more too!

All of these, as well as the demand on Frontline Chat are always being balanced up and scheduled adjusted by other COps who work as Activity Leads in combination with our wider workforce planning team.

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Quite a long list!

Lets halve the number to account for it - that still means 1 in 200 customers has to contact you every week - it just feels very high?

Are there trends you have, such as that new customers take up 50% of available COP time? If so, is it something you are addressing with for example a product tour as a feed item? You might already have that of course, I wouldn’t know as I was with you back in the Beta days and I can’t remember.

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How is that high? It means the average customer has to contact support once every 4 years, seems very low? I’d expect that the number is more like 1 in 50, once per year sounds more appropriate.

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It is only low based on the assumptions in the first and second post. Logic says the amount of hours worked is significantly higher.

I imagine (/hope) Monzo have a good internal data capture system so they can see lots of metrics about the types of calls, times of calls, user “newness” and what not.

I totally imagine some form of internal metric that gets monitored about that kind of thing where they can see spikes.

I also figure that because of the asynchronous nature of the chat support, each COPs person spends more time reviewing the issue at each interaction, than you would in say phone support. (If I’m being passed to a couple of cops each one has to spend some time to learn the issue rather than if I called when it would be more direct).

And then you can’t forget the amount of time it takes to find just the right emoji or gif to reply with. Have you even been supported at all if there’s no emoji?

Rolling out training, change management and escalation must be quite a time drain too

Would be interesting to see Some data visualisation on it anyway

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Came for finding out why Southern Water cocked up setting up a direct debit not once but twice at their end; stayed for the emojis

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There are some things on this list that I would have spilt up/ I would think aren’t really a COps task.
For example surely depending on the troubleshooting this is a developers job if its a bug.
COps Hiring- Isn’t that the point of a recruiter?
In summary this list strikes me as there sounds like there is too much for the COps to be doing and that the tasks need to be better spilt.

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Troubleshooting can often go to developers, yep! But in many cases it might not need to, or even if it does, it’s handy for a more technically-inclined COp to write a full report so the developers have all the info to work with.

COps Hiring - We simply get a huge amount of applications, so we have a few COps that help out with reviewing applications, interviews, scoring tasks etc. This is something I’ve helped with in the past, although not doing it right now. Ultimately COps know the demands of the job and the qualities we are looking for, so it’s very useful.

Totally get that. In my previous life in retail management, an interview would be with a manager and someone with years of experience who did the same job as being being recruited for. The worst new recruits were always the ones who the person with experience said no to, but were overruled by the manager.

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Do you know what would be great? This is just my personal opinion but if Monzo did like a weekly update like they are doing with the new Monzo Plus.

Someone from Monzo comes on here and tells us it as it is then every week they come back with either the struggles or the successes, I feel a lot of people are nervous regarding CS right now judging by the amount of threads that keep appearing on the subject and maybe this would help give people some confidence that Monzo are doing something about the issue.

Obviously this is just my two cents.

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I think the new asynchronous chat service is probably encountering a lot of abandoned calls - unless I am atypical as I’ve given up on two recently. Now the fact that I’m still a Monzo customer perhaps means that these issues weren’t that important (annoying actually) but if customer satisfaction dips too much then confidence will dip which is not good for any bank methinks…

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