Helping an Internet Service Provider Modernize Contact Center Operations


EarthLink offers internet access, premium email, web hosting and security products to customers throughout the United States. EarthLink has a long history as an internet service provider (ISP), helping pioneer the internet in 1994 when the company was founded. A lot has changed since then, and more recently, Earthlink relaunched their brand with a focus on delivering a world-class customer experience.

The emphasis on customer experience and customer service has brought with it a focus on operational excellence and efficiency. This new strategy is already paying off, as Earthlink was ranked as 2020’s Best ISP in Customer Satisfaction by, beating out giants like Verizon and Xfinity. To continue improving customer satisfaction, Earthlink’s Customer Operations team wanted to improve overall efficiency and productivity of it’s customer care division.

Starting with online chat, Earthlink sought to improve efficiency, CSAT, and drive more upsell revenue. Earthlink’s goal was to prove their operating model in chat, and extend those learnings to their phone channel, delivering an excellent customer service experience across all channels.


The path to improved performance and efficiency for the Earthlink team came with its own set of challenges:

  • Lack of visibility: Like many organizations, Earthlink employs an business process outsourcing (BPO) vendor to staff their customer service centers. As is often the case, getting visibility into what agents are saying, how they are performing, and uncovering areas of opportunity with an outsourced vendor becomes extremely challenging. A game of telephone.
  • Agent’s have limited product expertise: Since agents are not Earthlink employees, getting agents quickly ramped, trained, and well-versed in Earthlink’s solution catalog, triage workflows, and taxonomy is no easy task. Given the lack of visibility, Earthlink struggled to identify where to invest in training and development.
  • Managerial controls: With agents remotely located, management lacked the controls to inform and notify agents of changes to protocol or outages.
  • Cost management: As with any program, getting visibility into costs and margins, cost drivers like AHT, and having the tools and controls to influence how those costs scale was challenging.


Earthlink looked to Cresta’s conversational intelligence solution to give the team visibility into BPO operations and improve the quality of service their remote agents were able to provide.

Cresta started by identifying Earthlink’s primary objectives and project constraints. Given Earthlink was looking to improve margins and efficiencies, the primary goal was to reduce AHT. However, AHT had to be improved while also improving First Call Resolution (FCR), customer satisfaction (CSAT), and driving revenue through upsells.

Earthlink’s three-step path to better customer care

Step 1: Understand

Cresta’s AI quickly processed historical conversations to identify top performing behaviors and opportunities for improvement while Cresta’s team of experts advised Earthlink’s management team on best practices.

Step 2: Identify and Train

By analyzing agent behavior, Cresta’s AI identified that agents with strong FCR and CSAT scores were better at being consultative, getting to the root of the question faster. If they were unable to resolve the issue, they would empathetically transfer the customer. With this in mind, Cresta tuned their solution to coach teams to be more empathetic in those moments.

Step 3: Amplify

With the AI model trained and proven, Cresta started assisting Earthlink agents.

Earthlink was able to see measurable performance improvement within the first month of using Cresta. Moreso, they were able to uncover insights and qualitative learnings that helped them further their sales and service playbooks.

Within the first month of using Cresta, by supporting agents with real-time coaching and guidance, Earthlink was able to drive an 11% improvement in AHT while also driving a 124% increase sales conversion for value added services like internet security plans. On a more qualitative note, Cresta coached Earthlink agents to operate with empathy and provide customers additional context when resolving issues, ultimately driving a better customer experience for Earthlink’s customers.

Cresta offered Earthlink’s management team improved visibility and reporting on team performance. Cresta also offered managers and supervisors the control needed to close gaps in team performance. With Cresta, Earthlink’s managers are able to wordsmith responses to overcome language barriers, provide agents with unified responses for things like system outages, and allow managers to hop in and give agents live feedback during critical moments.

Given the success with the service team, Earthlink continues to apply Cresta’s intelligence to additional channels and use cases.

See Cresta in action

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