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Lights4fun + Zendesk: Powering proactive service

During a period of fast growth, online lighting retailer Lights4fun transformed their customer support services and scaled them to support ongoing growth. Investing in a help center, streamlining, support, and leveraging the power of data, they struck the right balance between smart, proactive support and a nimble, responsive service.

“What’s great about Zendesk Explore is that it’s so customizable. We can generate reports on unique issues and feed insights back to the rest of the business.”

Alex Boag

Customer Experience Advisor at Lights4fun

“Our team’s expertise is being great customer experience advisors. With Zendesk they don’t have to spend time trying to figure out the system. It's easy to use, so they can focus on doing what they're excellent at … helping our customers.”

Nadine Dixon

Customer Experience Team Manager at Lights4fun


Harrogate, UK



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In 2020, extra time at home inspired people to bring more light and beauty to their spaces. This offered an exciting growth opportunity for Europe’s leading decorative lights online retailer Lights4fun. With Zendesk on their side, they kept pace with new demand and their customers at the center of everything. 

Leading the way in customer care

In 2003, frustrated by poor experiences with outdoor lighting retailers, company founder, Tim Naughton, took matters into his own hands, bringing to market a robust, outdoor connectable String Light. That first product is still a bestseller for Lights4fun, now Europe’s leading decorative lighting online retailer. The strong commitment to impeccable quality that started everything not only guided the expansion of the Lights4fun product range, but formed the foundation of their approach to customer service.
The customer experience has always been at the heart of the Lights4fun story – caring about the customer, listening to the customer, and doing right by the customer.

Increased sales and new challenges

In the midst of Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020, many people began investing in their homes and gardens. As a result of this and the continuing shift to online shopping, Lights4fun saw an increase in sales throughout 2020. Kieran Eblett, managing director at Lights4fun reported that “sales were some of the strongest yet, up 35% year-on-year.”

Also during 2020, Lights4fun received investment from private equity firm, NorthEdge Capital. Their financial investment fueled plans to accelerate Lights4fun’s market share growth in the UK and enhance their international presence.
With increased demand and big plans in the works, the customer experience team quickly recognized the need to grow their support in a scalable, sustainable way.


Leveraging in-house expertise

Within the company, there is a wealth of knowledge and expertise on everything from technical troubleshooting to styling advice. Recognizing the potential of this know-how to empower their customers with self-help content, the team began reorganizing and enriching their help center with Zendesk Guide. Anecdotal insights and replies to FAQs were transformed into an impressive knowledge base.
The next step was connecting customers with the information they needed—enter, the Zendesk AI agent. During busy periods, Lights4fun put Zendesk AI to work on more straightforward, frequent requests. By serving up relevant help center content, the Zendesk AI agent was solving customer queries on the spot without the need for agent intervention. This freed up customer experience advisors to focus on the more complex inquiries identified by the AI agent and transferred seamlessly to the team.
The strategic combination of a comprehensive help center and flexible, smart AI meant that customers immediately received the right level of support, even during peak season.

Keeping the customer in the loop

The customer experience team uses Zendesk Support to manage and track all inquiries that come in through email, phone, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. However, the team also spotted the potential of Support features such as custom macros, triggers, and automations to proactively keep customers informed about issues like impacts on delivery networks. By managing expectations with transparent over-communication, the team were able to drive down the number of incoming tickets whilst maintaining the best possible relationships with their customers. 
Customer experience advisor, Alex Boag, offered an example: “When an unexpected delay occurred within our courier network, we knew we had to be proactive about keeping our customers informed. Using Zendesk, we were able to pull a report showing all the affected orders and send an email explaining the situation. Of all the people we contacted, 99% of the customer responses were positive.” 


Illuminating data, actionable insights

As plans for expansion took shape, the customer experience team leveraged Zendesk Explore to keep the customer firmly at the center of things. By optimizing their dashboard with completely custom reports, they began providing tangible recommendations for product, website, and marketing improvements based on data driven insights.
This focus on data management also helped to streamline elements of the customer experience team’s workflow. For example, the use of custom tags meant agents could track specific customer issues and pick up on trends early, without relying on ad hoc information sharing.

Boag explained that “having the data available through Explore makes a world of difference. I’ve worked in a few different systems and very rarely is the data as easy to customize as it is in Zendesk.”

A bright future ahead

By finding the perfect balance between proactive and reactive customer support services, Lights4fun are perfectly poised to build on their outstanding reputation for excellent customer care, whilst realizing their plans for accelerated growth and international expansion in 2021 and beyond.