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ATG Tickets use Zendesk to reduce wait times and help customers self-serve

ATG Tickets
“With Zendesk Guide, we can enable our customers to go online, self-serve and find the answers themselves any time that's convenient for them. So, if it’s 3 o'clock in the morning and a customer wants to ask questions before they book tickets, they can go ahead and use the help centre. We can present answers online, so customers don't feel restricted to our opening times.”

Billy Smillie

Contact Centre Systems Manager at ATG Tickets

“In the last few years, Zendesk has enabled us to do some really great work. Using Zendesk we can answer customer queries faster and make sure they’re not waiting for information. We’ve raised our Trustpilot rating to 4.8.”

Billy Smillie

Contact Centre Systems Manager at ATG Tickets



Number of UK agents


Trustpilot rating



reduction in first response time


reduction in full resolution time


increase in agent productivity


self-service rate

Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG Tickets)

Expand the business while delivering positive customer experiences

Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG Tickets) is a leading live entertainment and ticketing organisation in the UK. The company operates over 30 venues across the UK and has expanded into the US and Germany. ATG Tickets’ goal is to expand its business while controlling operational costs effectively and delivering positive customer experiences, combined with great customer service and value-added upgrades that enhance the theatre experience.</p.

Customer experience (CX) and customer support are at the heart of ATG Tickets’ business. The ticketing company’s customers range from young, digitally native theatre-goers to older, loyal customers, which means that its customer support operation needs to meet a broad range of customer expectations and needs.

Transitioning to Zendesk in challenging times

Before using Zendesk, ATG Tickets’ customer service was largely phone-based, with around 90 per cent of contacts coming in via calls. Email was only used to handle more complex queries and escalations. However, when the Covid-19 pandemic caused live events and theatres to close, organisations across the live entertainment industry were inundated with customer enquiries.

Against this backdrop, ATG Tickets had to act fast and Contact Centre Systems Manager, Billy Smillie needed an easy-to-use solution to help agents manage the surge in customer enquiries.

“Due to Covid-19, our contact rates increased, and we just couldn't handle it all over the phone, so we looked to turn digital,” says Billy. “At first, we used email, but we were receiving such a high volume and we couldn’t sort or filter our inbox or route enquiries to the right team members. It was just too slow. We started looking for an effective solution and found Zendesk.”

At the time, the company’s main priority was sorting and filtering customer emails, so the customer service team could handle enquiries quickly and efficiently. However, as the team at ATG Tickets got to know Zendesk, they began exploring different functions. Giving customers the ability to self-serve was a key area of focus.

Enabling customers to self-serve has been a game-changer

ATG Tickets began offering live chat in 2022 and transitioned to messaging on its help centre in 2023. If a customer needs further help with their query, an agent can pick up the conversation later on.

Now, when customers need assistance from ATG Tickets’ help centre, they can type in their questions and the relevant information from the help centre appears on screen. If a customer needs further help with their query, an agent can pick up the conversation later on.

Making it easier for customers to self-serve and find answers to common questions has freed up agents’ time, so they can focus on handling more complex questions and adding value. This improved the efficiency per agent by 52 per cent. First response time dropped 90 percent in just one year, whilst full resolution time was trimmed by 86 per cent.

“The help centre reduces the need for agents to repeat basic information, such as theatre opening times and show run-times. All that general information can be housed on the help centre, so agents are free to spend more time on customers who require personalised support or value-adding experiences, such as drinks packages and private theatre box upgrades,” explains Billy.

ATG is already able to speak to customers on the phone and give them seating options based on the party’s requirements and preferences. The company is now working with Zendesk to improve its capability to do the same thing digitally across all channels so that it can upsell, as well as incorporating ‘next best offer’ functionality using predictive analytics.

Billy also highlights how valuable the help centre has been when the company is faced with unexpected issues, such as show cancellations.

“A few days ago, one of our shows had to be cancelled. With Zendesk Guide, we were able to create a help centre article to update people, and with just a click of a button, we could promote the article on our banners. So, instead of the customers ringing and asking what's happening, the information is right there. The first thing they see is the promoted article explaining what’s happened, what steps to take, and when we will be in touch. So, to even allow us to has a massive impact,” adds Billy.

Since adopting Zendesk, ATG Tickets has reduced around 2,000 calls per week by offering customers self-serve options.

Measuring customer satisfaction and positive online reviews

The live entertainment sector is a highly competitive field, so positive online reviews are a great measurement of success as well as a useful marketing tool. ATG Tickets pays close attention to its Trustpilot reviews and customer feedback. The company has a 4.8 rating and is doing everything it can to maintain its high score.

ATG Tickets makes use of Zendesk’s automated message trigger feature to strengthen Trustpilot ratings and gain valuable customer feedback.

“We can use our customer satisfaction (CSAT) within Zendesk to trigger an automated message inviting customers to review us on Trustpilot. The automation trigger is a great time-saving feature for our agents,” Billy explains.

ATG Tickets’ future CX plans with Zendesk

ATG Tickets currently uses Zendesk Suite (Support), Flow Builder and Guide. It is expanding its use of Zendesk across its German and US operations to offer customers there the same self-serve convenience.

Going forward, Billy is interested in leveraging technology to elevate the customer experience further. He is exploring how the company can use artificial intelligence (AI) and bots to improve CX even more while keeping agent numbers stable.

“My overall goal for the year is to have a self-service rate of 80 per cent or higher. Fully utilising self-service means that our agents are not handling as many repetitive questions as before, so they can answer calls faster, and focus on handling complex queries and adding value via upgrades,” Billy concludes.

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