Let’s Chat About DSL Service

By Patricia Fusco

Digital subscriber line service provider Phoenix Networks, Inc. is ready to
talk about its revamped Web site with its subscribers.

The national broadband carrier Wednesday debuted its real-time chat feature
for contact with sales, service and technical support representatives.

The new site was redesigned to improve each customer’s experience with
Phoenix Networks, putting a friendly Web-face on its pre-qualification and
order placement functions, as well as its technical support team.

J. Dan Foster, Phoenix Networks president and chief executive officer, said
the new live chat function puts its sales and service teams just one mouse
click away from new clients.

“Phoenix Networks’ goal is to manage the sales and installation process
better than anyone else in the business and fulfill customer demand for
high-speed access, reliable technology, and service,” Foster said. “The new
live chat function lets us do just that.”

In the next few weeks, the company also plants to automate its online order
system so customers can track the progress on their service order.

Kelly White, Phoenix Networks vice president of online services said the
DSL provider had outgrown the original architecture of its Web presence.

“As our subscriber base has grown, so has our portfolio of products and
services,” White said. “The new site design allows customers quick and easy
access to the information they want, when they need it and easily
accommodates new content.”

The Web-redesign may help bandwidth hungry users connect to Phoenix
Network’s sales and service representatives. But can it really help DSL
users resolve technical issues?

According to White, the chat service is a boon to Phoenix Networks ability
to provide high quality technical support.

“We find that a lot of our technical support issues evolve around ‘how to’
questions,” White said. “Technicians are online helping customer set up
e-mail changes, software updates, HTML inquiries and the like. Our chat
access provides a visual base for technicians to push files and software
upgrades directly to customers right now.”

White added that the system is a much more efficient process than
troubleshooting over the phone.

Phoenix Networks paired up with HumanClick Ltd. to launch the chat
service. White said that Phoenix Networks is one of the first enterprise
clients to rollout HumanClick’s Java-based chat technology, which is free
for the taking until the first of the year.

“We’ve been working with HumanClick beta tests for about a year,” White
said. “We’re pushing their capabilities pretty hard. We’ve been absolutely
hammered at our Web site since 9 AM this morning.”

By outsourcing its chat services to HumanClick, Phoenix Networks doesn’t
drain its IT systems to provide superior customer service. While developing
the chat-based customer support system was not a huge financial investment,
Phoenix Networks still had to allocate a great deal of time and energy to
implement the system intelligently.

A lot of companies claim to achieve “industry first” status. But White said
Phoenix Networks completed a study to make sure it was the first to
humanize DSL services through online chats.

“We did an audit of DSL providers in the market,” White said. “We were
surprised that no one was using online chat access to provide the best
possible customer support. Web hosting firm Verio, Inc. offers it but, no other DSL
providers asked customers to speak with them online.”

Research analysts and users alike, recently bashed DSL service providers
for failing to live up to customer’s expectations. If Phoenix Network’s
chat service continues to impress its customers,

the firm may have set a
new standard for online DSL support service.

Phoenix Networks currently provides DSL access to more than 50 U.S. major
metropolitan markets. Like most independent narrowband service providers,
Phoenix Networks is a full-service provider offering Web hosting services,
e-mail hosting, security solutions, as well as onsite and online technical
support under its PhoenixDSL brand.

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