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Survival Analysis and Contact Centers: Helping Customers Get the Attention They Need, by Nick Evans, Shopify

September 27, 2017 at 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM

Location:5345 Herzberg Laboratories


As a customer support contact centre scales, it learns more about the types of problems its customers encounter. These problems fall onto a quadrant graph. On one axis, contacts can range from simple to complex. On the other axis, contacts can range from low business value to high business value. To better serve its customers, a contact centre should attempt to influence how customers interact with it.

It should try to direct customers:

  • to documentation for help with low business value but low complexity issues;
  • to forums / community portals for help with low business value but high complexity issues;
  • to a customer support agent for help with any high business value issues, regardless of complexity.

Also, many contact centres have multiple ways of getting in touch with a customer support agent (ie. email, chat, phones, or online social methods). The highest business value or highest complexity issues should go to the “most human” channel available as that is where they are best handled.

In this talk, I’ll present how Shopify intends to handle this problem, as well as some preliminary findings.

About the speaker

Nick Evans is the lead of the Merchant Support Analytics team at Shopify, and comes from a background in statistics and economics. He has an interest in using data to solve real world problems: anything from fraud prevention, to estimating the price of things like cars and apartments, or even helping find people jobs. He’s from Northern Ontario, and spends his spare time hanging out with his dog, playing hockey, and flying airplanes.

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