EarthLink Releases Churn-Reducing Tool

EarthLink Network Inc. Thursday released
Fast Lane, a new piece of
diagnostic software it hopes will reduce subscriber turnover.

According to EarthLink, Fast Lane could help reduce the company’s less than
4-percent churn rate by as much as 10 to 15 percent.

The application is designed to optimize member’s connections to the
Internet through the international access provider’s network.

In order to increase customer satisfaction with EarthLink Internet access,
the software automatically gathers connection data from individual
computers. The proactive programming allows EarthLink to identify members
experiencing busy signals or connection failures, and contact them with a solution.

Aggregated data from the programming also lets EarthLink monitor connection
information and resolve problems within the company’s local Points of
Presence.

“Fast Lane will allow us to move even further toward the ultimate goal of
being the model for customer service in this industry,” said Jon Irwin,
vice president of member support.

According to Irwin, EarthLink will “have access to a whole new set of
information about members’ connection experiences. We’ll not only be able
to use members’ connection data when they call in for help, but we’ll
actually be able to contact them proactively and solve their dial-in
problems as they occur.”

Fast Lane gathers information from individual machines and automatically
puts the data into members’ customer care records, so it’s instantly
accessible to technical support representatives. If a connection problem is
detected, EarthLink can single out a member’s POP problem and contact that
member by telephone, email or personal start page message to resolve the
issue.

Fast Lane also gathers aggregate information about modem connections and
call failure rates from each active EarthLink POP. The application allows EarthLink to identify real and potential problems, in order to maximize the reliability of their local dial-up numbers and reduce busy signals.

“The level of support we give our members is what sets us
apart from other ISPs. Proactive support, like our Guardian Angels program, has helped us widen that gap. Keeping our members connected and productive is the number one company-wide goal, and it’s what’s garnered a lot of the industry recognition we’ve received,” Irwin said.

EarthLink dial-up members using Windows 95 or 98 can download the
performance monitoring application for free.
Macintosh and Windows NT versions of the program are currently in development.

Once installed, the program runs unobtrusively in the background, securely uploading call success metrics every
time an EarthLink member logs on to the network. The program can also be
disabled at any time from a member’s personal computer. EarthLink
subscribers are not required to install the program as a precondition to
obtaining Internet access through the ISP.

Headquartered in Pasadena, Calif., EarthLink provides international
Internet access from more than 2,300 points of presence. EarthLink and Sprint Corp. have formed a broad
business relationship to create a global communications company.

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