To provide great customer onboarding process in telecom you need to know the basics of how to create a simple and easy customer onboarding process in general and applied to telecom industry.

In this article, we will take a look at some tips for creating an effective customer onboarding process in telecom that will hopefully help you get started!

What is customer onboarding process?

Customer onboarding is the process of introducing new customers to the product or service from sign-up to account activation and to the product use.

Customer onboarding includes a set of activities aimed at teaching a new client how to get the most out of the product and use it at its full capacity to cover the customer’s needs.

What is customer onboarding process in telecom?

Customer onboarding process in telecom is the process of getting new customers set up and ready to use your service.

It's important to have a smooth and easy customer onboarding process in telecom because it can be a make-or-break moment for your new customers.

While previously telecom companies generated revenue and committed customers mostly due to voice traffic, it has been changing recently and today the thing that matters for telecom customers is their customer experience with the company.

If users have a good experience, they're more likely to stay with your service. But if the customer onboarding process in telecom is confusing or frustrating, they may decide to go with another provider.

Telia mobile app. Customer onboarding
Telia mobile app. Customer onboarding

Why customer onboarding process in telecom is needed

Customer onboarding process in telecom is about helping new customers get started with your service. It can be a complex process, but it's important to get it right in order to ensure customer satisfaction and retention.

There are many reasons why customer onboarding is important in the telecom industry. Let’s look at the main ones.

#1 Telecom market high competitiveness

75% of customer subscribing to a telecom provider churn from another provider

The one that has been already mentioned a couple of times at the beginning is that the telecom industry is highly competitive, so it's important to give customers a positive experience from the start in order to keep them from switching to a competitor.

About 75% of customers subscribing each year to a telecom provider’s services are transferring from another one, thus making them churners for their previous provider. The number is crazy!

Relatively low barriers for switching from one telecom provider to another makes it possible for clients to switch whenever they encounter negative experience. If this happens during the clients onboarding process, there is no chance to correct the situation - the customer has churned to another provider.

#2 Telecom market rapid changes

Another reason why customer onboarding process in telecom is important is because the industry is constantly changing. New technologies and services are being introduced all the time, so it's important to make sure that customers are kept up-to-date on what's available and how to use it.

Traditional business models are pushed back by new technologies emerging every year. While it is hard to keep up with them, it is necessary to reflect on those.

#3 Building trust with telecom customers

Finally, customer onboarding process in telecom is important because it's an opportunity to build a relationship with your customers. By providing a positive experience and helpful information, you can establish trust and loyalty with your customers that will last long after they've signed up for your service.

3 examples from telecom customer onboarding

In the fast changing telecom market environment each telecom providers aim to provide the best customer experience to their new clients. Let’s have a look at some of the examples.


Vodafone is one of the largest telecom companies in the world, keeping up with the constant industry changes and reflecting on changing customer needs and expectations.

The process of activating a new customer might vary from a country to country, but most of the new customers are get onboarded digitally and self-paced.

Vodafone new customer onboarding. Initial steps
Vodafone new customer onboarding. Initial steps
Vodafone new customer onboarding. Sim activation
Vodafone new customer onboarding. Sim activation

Deutsche Telekom

Another large telecom provider, included in the world’s top 3, is Deutsche Telekom. The company also provides a seamless fully digital and self-paced client onboarding experience.

Deutsche Telekom. Sim activation
Deutsche Telekom. Sim activation
Deutsche Telekom. App installation, customer onboarding
Deutsche Telekom. App installation, customer onboarding


A Swedish born telecom company present in Scandinavian and Baltic countries. Customer onboarding at Telia is primarily done digitally and also on a self-service basis.

Telia app installation. Customer onboarding
Telia app installation. Customer onboarding

Essential elements of the customer onboarding process in telecom

A great customer onboarding process in telecom industry should have a few key elements to be truly effective.

First, it should be simple and easy to understand. The last thing you want is for your customers to get lost in a complex onboarding process. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.

Second, your customer onboarding process in telecom should be tailored to the specific needs of the industry. This means taking into account things like billing cycles, service outages, and other factors that are unique to telecom.

By having a process that is specifically designed for telecom, you can ensure that your customers have a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Third, your customer onboarding process should be flexible enough to accommodate changes and updates over time. As the telecom industry evolves, so too should your process. By being able to adapt and change as needed, you can keep your process relevant and up-to-date, ensuring that your customers always have the best possible experience.

By following these simple tips, you can create a customer onboarding process in telecom that is simple, easy to understand, and tailored specifically for the industry. By doing so, you can give your customers the best possible experience.

Customer onboarding in telecom
Customer onboarding in telecom

Let’s move to some particular things to keep in mind when creating your customer onboarding process:

1. Understand your customers

A cliche advice to give, but yet necessary to follow. Because of high competitiveness on the telecom market, the companies just have to learn about their customers to provide better than others service for them.

Thus, understanding what journey a customer is making, what expectations and needs dictate their decisions, become important.

Vodafone mobile app
Vodafone mobile app

2. Make it as simple as possible

Your customers should be able to understand and complete the process without any confusion. Mostly telecom customers complain that companies occupy too much of their time with the issues that can be handled fast or even self-serviced.

3. Digital and self-paced

Virgin Mobile digital onboarding
Virgin Mobile digital onboarding (winner of Best Telecommunication Mobile Application 2020)

Customer experience in telecom has shifted towards purely digital onboarding. Having a possibility to handle the things whenever you want to and doing it on your own is valued. This means that digital experience of the new customers has to be constantly revised and improved finding the ways to improve and targeting the steps where the customers churn.

Some exciting things to consider here are onboarding checklists and seamless switching from mobile to web version and back.

4. Appropriate training and materials

Since old models of business do not work anymore in telecom the companies tend to focus on customer, creating a user-centric approach. Lack of adequate support materials and help during the onboarding leaves again to churn.

5. Variety of support channels

To help new customers with any questions or problems they may have while getting onboarded having a variety of support channels is a great way to show flexibility and adjust to customers’ support expectations.

6. Loyalty programs

Cricket Telecom reward program.
Cricket Telecom reward program

Loyalty programs is a great way to engage with your customers during the signing up process and later while building continuous relationships. Understanding during the onboarding process what a customer is mostly interested in (long-distance calls, high internet traffic, etc.) can help to adjust the loyalty programs to a particular customer group and offer them what they would like to see while staying with you.

Understanding what a customer is interested in to adjust the loyalty programs

Obviously, there is no one good way to do new clients onboarding, testing and revising the process as necessary is important. Don't launch your customer onboarding process without first testing it out yourself and making sure it works well.

Then, be prepared to revise it based on feedback from your customers and bring in necessary improvements.

By following these tips, you can create a customer onboarding process in telecom that's the most appropriate to your customers’ needs and expectations, really help them quickly start using your services and engage with your company more effectively.

Tips on how to get started with customer onboarding

If you're in the industry and looking for ways to create a simple and easy customer onboarding process in telecom, here are a few tips to get you started.

Define your goals and objectives. What are you trying to achieve with your customer onboarding process in telecom? What are your customers' needs and expectations? By clarity on your goals and objectives from the outset, you'll be able to design a process that is fit for purpose.

Keep it simple. Don't try to overcomplicate things - the simpler the process, the easier it will be for your customers to follow.

Automate where possible. Use technology to automate as much of the customer onboarding process in telecom as possible. This will save time and make things easier for both you and your customers.

Make use of existing resources. There's no need to reinvent the wheel - make use of existing resources, such as training materials, documentation, and templates.

Get feedback and constantly improve. Always seek feedback from your customers on their experience of the customer onboarding process in telecom. Use this feedback to continuously improve the process so that it becomes simpler and more effective over time.

Challenges in customer onboarding in telecom

One of the main challenges in telecom industry in general is keeping the customers providing them the experience they expect to have.

Thus, Bharti Airtel set up a goal for themselves to onboard new customers in under 10 minutes (the goal was set for Indian market). While they were able to achieve this, they faced several challenges that are inherent to telecom industry:

  1. to onboard different client segments
  2. to support digital and physical channels
  3. to get the client data from national databases (relevant in some countries)
Bharti Airtel app.
Bharti Airtel app

While most of the telecom providers create digital onboarding process to some extent at least, the challenge that lies here is how to handle different customer segments and still provide a great  onboarding experience.

Another challenge inherent to particular markets and peculiar not only for telecom industry, but especially for it, has been identity verification. With the need to verify identity of an each new client during the customer onboarding process in telecom, the huge amount of paper and other work was part of the process.

Currently, this challenge is at least partly overcome by utilising e-KYC (Know Your Customers) during customer onboarding. In the case of an e-KYC, the client can just take a photo of their ID and attach it through a mobile/web application and pass it along with other information.


Creating a customer onboarding process in telecom industry is not as difficult as it may seem, yet has its own peculiarities needed to be paid attention to.

By following the tips listed above, you can easily create a process that will help your customers get started with your service quickly and easily.

In addition, by providing excellent customer service throughout the onboarding process, you can ensure that your customers will be happy with your service from the start.