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Motel sees self-service climb by 3X and faster ticket handling with Zendesk's Advanced AI

Being able to quickly understand how your customers are feeling is the holy grail of customer service. Zendesk Advanced AI is giving Motel Rocks the ability to identify customer sentiment, reason for contact, and to respond in an instant, often without human oversight.

Motel Rocks
“We implemented Zendesk AI earlier this year, it’s ready straight out of the box, and everyone knew what they were doing. It’s really intuitive, we didn’t have to change any core processes, it is just another button that will help you and show you the information.”

Lucy Hussey

Customer Service Manager at Motel Rocks

“The ability to identify the customer's intent is probably one of the best things we’ve seen. I can go into the platform and see, at a glance, exactly what people are contacting us about at this very moment and whether they are happy or sad.”

Lucy Hussey

Customer Service Manager at Motel Rocks

Company Headquarters

Worcester, UK

Company Founded




Started Using Zendesk



Increase in self-service rate


Increase in deflection with AI agents


Reduction in ticket volume due to smart self-service


Increase in CSAT

Since launching as a humble market stall in the late ‘90s, Motel Rocks has catapulted into the world of online fast fashion, successfully competing in a very fierce market.

The fashion retailer has been using Zendesk since 2015, helping it keep on top of the ever-increasing demand from its customers as the brand grows. When it first started using the platform, the busy team didn’t have time to really dig into all of the system benefits, using Zendesk predominantly as a streamlined way to email customers.

“Before Zendesk there were just two of us handling customer service – it’s crazy to look back at us managing all of that with only an Outlook inbox,” says Customer Service Manager, Lucy Hussey.

But more recently, Motel Rocks has been leveraging the wider benefits of the platform, from email templates all the way through to the vast possibilities of artificial intelligence. It’s been quite the unboxing journey, and one Hussey and her team wish they had unlocked sooner.

Magic macros

“For the first few years Zendesk was purely somewhere to hold our emails,” says Hussey, who explains that around 85% of communication from the brand’s typically 18–25-year-old customers comes through email. “But Zendesk does way more than that. Even the small things are so beneficial and make the biggest difference.”

Hussey, who joined the brand nearly a decade ago in customer service and now manages a team of seven, points to Zendesk’s macro functionality which offers users a prepared response or action that an agent can manually apply when they are creating or updating tickets. “Before this, we were copying and pasting from a Word doc. So, we moved all our templates immediately – with the macros you simply click a button and the same consistent Motel Rocks messaging is there. I love macros so much, they save so much time.”


AI agents for balance

As Motel Rocks entered hypergrowth, it became essential to not only move offices and grow the customer service team, but help customers help themselves. Hussey began balancing her team of seven with further technology functionalities, upgrading to Zendesk Suite Pro, introducing live chat and using Zendesk AI agents to encourage customers to self-serve.

The introduction of self service allowed the customer experience team to keep pace with the growing demands, with 43% of tickets deflected by AI agents and customers leaping at the opportunity to resolve their own issues without human assistance twofold.

“I think self-service is so important not only for keeping the workload down for our agents but for customers too – when they can find an answer quickly and efficiently themselves this makes the whole shopping process a better experience. Quick solutions – like answers given by the AI agent – help free up our agents to spend more time with customers that need tailored help for more in-depth queries.”

Intelligent triage illuminates intent and sentiment

Having reaped the benefits of automation over the years, Motel Rocks has set its sights on Zendesk’s Advanced AI , which has the added benefit of intelligent automated triage; instantly allowing agents to identify the sentiment and intent of customer queries, and automatically classifying incoming requests to power efficient workflows.

“The ability to identify the customer’s intent and sentiment is probably one of the best things we’ve seen,” she says. “I can go into the platform and see, at a glance, exactly what people are contacting us about at this very moment and whether they are happy or sad.”

Sentiment is always important to customer service – hearing nuances in conversations is part of the job – and now Zendesk AI’s language detection helps agents to analyze customer sentiment in chat and email messages at speed.

“With Zendesk AI, there’s just more information on the screen for agents to see straight away,” she explains.

Zendesk AI looks at the incoming ticket and assigns it a simple emoji to represent the sentiment; from very negative, through to negative, neutral, positive and very positive.

Hussey says this sentiment update has really changed how the team responds to queries at speed, allowing them to prioritize quickly. For instance, if Hussey ran a report on recent negative tickets and quickly identified 100 tickets about a late next-day delivery order, the team can investigate if there is a problem with its shipping carrier.


Turning negatives into positives

Customers get in touch for a whole array of reasons, but the sentiment analysis allows Hussey to deduce that around 70% of customers who initially get in touch for a negative reason end up leaving a good review in the end. “It can show that we’ve turned those conversations around and that’s great for team morale.”

Motel Rocks has integrated Shopify and Trustpilot into Zendesk which ensures all the customer, order, and shipping information is in one place, which is especially useful when another agent has to jump on someone else’s ticket.

“It’s easy to go straight into the ticket and see all that information right there, we’ve never had that before and never thought it would be possible,” adds Hussey, explaining the time-saving benefits brought about by these layers of visibility. Zendesk AI has been welcomed by the team who haven’t needed any training “it’s really intuitive – and we didn’t have to change any core processes, it is just another button that will help you and show you the information.”

Speed advantage

“The direction the business is moving towards is automation,” she says. “It’s not about robots making us obsolete, because customer service will always need a human conversation for those tricky customer queries and complaints. But allowing customers to self-serve, such as track parcels, means Zendesk AI can help a customer before they even get to us.”

Hussey praises the speed at which her busy team is now able to work: “When agents are answering 150 to 200 tickets a day, even if you’re shaving ten seconds off a ticket that is beneficial in the long run. Zendesk just makes things much quicker.”

The business will only reap more rewards from this speed advantage as it approaches peak season. “It will be so beneficial because in other years, we’ve hit peak and it’s immediately gone wild and the team ends up doing so much overtime. But the combination of macros, AI agents, and AI showing customer intent and sentiment, just means you can assign tickets to the right agent, pinpoint the problem, prioritize and answer the customer quickly.”

“I don’t think we could run without Zendesk,” she says. “I know there are other companies that do similar things, but we’ve grown with Zendesk, we know it, and it’s so easy to use.”