Telecom NZ dials up Web sales

Telecom NZ dials up Web sales

By Mark Young

Telecom New Zealand has increased the number of sales being made on its Web site by 150 per cent since installing content management software.

One of the biggest challenges Webmasters face is ensuring that the information visitors need is not only on their Web site, but that it is accessible and easy to locate.

This was the problem facing Telecom New Zealand a few years ago when it decided to make its site the primary sales and service channel for customers purchasing products or services, or looking for information.

Even though more than 50 per cent of New Zealand's population had Internet access, this was easier said than done. Up until 2000, the Web site was basically a static catalogue, and the existing engine didn't have the scalability to support the site's growing content management and functionality requirements.

Telecom New Zealand has implemented a new solution to develop its online business, improve its Web publishing capabilities, give visitors a more satisfactory online experience, and to attract new business.


One benefit was improved content management.

Telecom New Zealand developed a content management application that improved the site's manageability and made online publishing easier.

"Publishing times were reduced from days, in some cases, to a matter of hours," said Dervilla Mullan,'s manager.

Another benefit of the system was a more consistent user experience. There was a great degree of variance in style and design of the pages on Telecom New Zealand's old Web site.

The lack of templates or consistent styles meant that whenever something was published, the page design was decided by the author.

A template-based solution made it easy to achive consistency and accurate delivery of messages. Users are also benefiting from an easier to navigate site with a consistent look and feel.

"Once it was implemented, our marketing people were able to use the site to drive successful online campaigns," said Mr Mullan. "When we commenced rolling-out our JetStream ADSL product, customers were able to use the Web site to request JetStream, or to see if it was available in their area.

"To do this, they entered their phone number and we provided confirmation of its availability and the likely access speeds the customer could expect in that location. "We are able to use their input to determine where the service is in greatest demand." This information is updated on our database continually, giving us direct live feedback on demand for the JetStream product."

Returns increase

Encouraged by its initial successes, Telecom New Zealand looked for even better returns on its investment.

To ensure users obtained the maximum benefits from the Web site, Telecom New Zealand conducted a content audit.

The results showed that customers wanted access to the same content in different ways, depending on the enquiry and the customer segment they belonged to.

The Web-based system" lets us present the same products in both the context of a solution and the context of a stand alone product, depending on what the user wants to see," said Dervilla Mullan.

"For example, a customer may visit our site looking for small business solutions for on-the-road sales managers, or may come simply to look for our mobile product portfolio."

The content management system also produces significant efficiencies for Telecom New Zealand, as site editors only need to edit content once. In addition, if content is used for a one-off campaign, or if marketing decides to target a new segment, editors can quickly create what looks like a whole new site section, even if the same content is simply being presented differently.


Recently, personalisation has become an important focus for Telecom New Zealand. Because the system integrates with its customer information, billing systems and legacy systems, customers can view their accounts and other information online. Analytics is helping Telecom New Zealand assess a campaign's effectiveness by allowing immediate site analysis following a marketing initiative.

Telecom New Zealand is planning to use this Web-based content management system, supplied by US vendor Vignette, to develop closer one-on-one relationships with its customers through tighter integration with back-end billing systems, segment-based reporting and improved segment management.

"Telecom New Zealand is already very segment focused, but anything that can help us deliver campaigns to particular segments more effectively and track the effectiveness of thoseis going to be a big help," said Mr Mullan.

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