Company: Nextel Communications, Reston, Va.
Target audience: Telecommunications customers (individuals, small businesses, corporate enterprises and government agencies)
Key Web executive: Tim Dunne, VP-digital media
No. of employees who work on the site: Approximately 100
Last major redesign: August 2003
No. of pages in site: More than 2,000
What separates Nextel.com from other telecom Web sites—besides its bold and attractive gold-yellow accents—is that it gets down to business instead of hiding behind a bland corporate home page.
Right from the start, marketing messages hawk Nextel products and services, ranging from the company’s signature walkie-talkies to business rate plans. After all, price and service drive telecom decisions these days.
And if you want to research more before buying, there are plenty of resources on the site, such as business solutions and enterprise microsites.
Visitors can purchase equipment and choose rate plans directly on the site, and existing customers can manage their accounts online. “They can view and pay bills, add and delete services, make changes to their account information, add phones to their account and manage their Direct Connect and Group Connect walkie-talkie services online,” said Tim Dunne, Nextel’s VP-digital media.
For enterprise customers, Nextel.com creates extranets that allow them to order services from the company at their negotiated corporate rates. “We’ve also implemented a scalable solution to provide Ariba work flow for those customers that require it to manage their business,” he said.
Following a complete Web site redesign last year, Nextel decentralized its online planning, management and development operations. “The strategy and day-to-day operations are managed within our Products & Services organization, while the development and technical management are performed within IT,” Dunne said.
Customer satisfaction has never been higher, he said, and new account completions have increased fourfold during the past year.
Shane Ginsberg: “The site exemplifies Nextel’s ‘get to the point’ marketing approach. Refreshingly, there are no contrived photos of serious-looking execs speaking into a handset that is so typical of telecom companies—let alone disassociated family members reconnecting with their families. Nextel.com deftly balances product, subscription and services, which is no small task.”
Jakob Nielsen: “The site has a good corporate profile; it’s scannable and easy to pull out what you need. It’s important for a potential customer to be able to check them out and get a feeling of who they are. I’m also very impressed with the coverage maps. They are clearly marked. Maps are important and yet they are often blurry and hard to read.”