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  • Writer's pictureElisabeth Nebster

Navigating the Complex World of Telecom Onboarding

In this Article:

How to Overcome Customer Onboarding Challenges in the Telecom Industry?


“Customers, on the other hand, are a lot more invested, seeing as how they're literally paying for your offerings. They'll be more interested in everything they're getting out of this exchange — from support, features, and a great overall experience.”

Harry Morton

Founder, Lower Street

The telecommunications sector is a fiercely competitive environment where customer loyalty plays a pivotal role in achieving success. However, acquiring new clients can be daunting for companies in this industry due to various challenges, including technical issues, unavailability of services, and rigid plans. The cost of obtaining a new customer can be as high as $25,000, a considerable expense. This article will explore the common obstacles that telcos and ISPs encounter when attracting new customers and provide practical strategies to overcome them.

What is customer onboarding?

Customer onboarding refers to welcoming and supporting new clients and providing them with the necessary resources, training, and assistance to ensure a successful experience with a product or service. An enterprise onboarding program plays a crucial role in customer retention, with 63% of customers considering it when purchasing. The objective is to create a positive and long-lasting impression on new clients, helping them transition smoothly from prospects to active users or subscribers.

Establishing a formal onboarding process can help businesses onboard new customers more efficiently, especially those with complex products or services. According to a CSO Insights report, organisations with a formal onboarding process experience 54% greater efficiency in getting new hires up to speed. By streamlining the adaptation process, businesses can minimise the time and resources required to onboard new consumers and ensure a seamless transition to permanent users.

Businesses understand the significance of customer onboarding and have implemented effective strategies to ensure that their new clients receive a smooth and satisfactory experience. For instance, in the tech industry, software companies like Dropbox and Slack have designed interactive tutorials and demos to guide users through their products’ features and functionalities. Similarly, in the financial sector, banks and investment firms have created comprehensive onboarding processes that include educational resources, customer-oriented assistance, and mobile apps to help customers manage their accounts.

Customer onboarding is a crucial component of a company’s growth strategy. It helps businesses establish a strong relationship with new customers, boost retention rates, and drive revenue growth.

Top customer onboarding challenges you should know about

Lack of understanding of customer needs and goals

One of the primary challenges of onboarding is the lack of understanding of the customer’s needs and goals. Without a clear understanding of what the client is trying to achieve, it's challenging to develop an effective strategy. This can lead to a disjointed experience, negatively impacting satisfaction and retention. For example, HubSpot, a marketing and sales software provider, uses customer personas to understand its clients’ goals better and tailor their onboarding process accordingly. This approach helps the enterprise deliver personalized onboarding experiences that address each customer’s needs.

Poor communication and coordination between teams

An ISP may have a support team in one country and a sales team in another, leading to communication challenges due to language barriers and cultural differences. This can lead to inconsistent information being shared with customers, causing confusion and frustration.

Complex onboarding processes

A company may require customers to fill out multiple forms and submit various documents during onboarding. It can be time-consuming and frustrating, leading to a negative onboarding experience. Additionally, if different teams are involved, too many roadblocks and silos may hinder progress. For instance, Google Fiber has a streamlined onboarding process that allows customers to sign up for internet service online with no required forms or documents. The enterprise provides simple instructions for setting up equipment and offers online support for any issues that may arise, resulting in a positive onboarding experience.

Inability to cooperate remotely

With more customers opting for remote onboarding, telcos and ISPs that cannot cooperate remotely may face challenges. As a result, poor communication and a disjointed onboarding experience. If teams cannot access the tools and resources remotely, they may struggle to onboard customers effectively.

Major Challenges in the Process

How to prevent customer onboarding challenges: 5 useful hints

Provide clear and concise information

Create a useful guide to inform clients about your services, packages, and pricing. Use simple language to explain technical terms or industry jargon. Ensure that customers understand what they are signing up for and how much it will cost them.

Implement automation

Automate the onboarding process as much as possible to minimise human error and reduce wait times. Use online forms, e-signatures, and self-service portals to enable customers to sign up for your services online. Telcos or ISPs can create an online form to fill out and sign up for their services. They can also enable e-signatures to substitute the physical ones. Consumers can be directed to a self-service portal to access their account details and track their progress. The shining example is Optimum. It offers a streamlined onboarding process for its customers, using automation tools to avoid errors and reduce wait times.

Use technology to streamline the process

Technologies can make it more efficient. Apply customer relationship management (CRM) software, automation tools, and analytics to manage the onboarding process and track customer progress. Rogers Communications is a leading telecom operator in Canada that uses CRM to manage customer interactions. The company utilises it to collect and analyse customer data, track service usage history, and personalise consumer interactions. As well as to automate marketing campaigns and improve lead management.

Provide proactive support

Telcos should be supportive during the onboarding process. It includes supplying customers with helpful resources such as user guides and FAQs, offering training and support sessions, and following up to meet consumers' needs. Active assistance can help prevent frustration and improve retention.

Measure and analyse customer feedback

Measuring and analysing customer feedback is crucial during onboarding since it allows for collecting consumer responses through surveys and social media. Such an approach can help prevent future challenges and improve customer experience.

Checklist: Things to Avoid in Customer Onboarding Process


In conclusion, customer onboarding is crucial to a company’s growth strategy. It helps businesses establish a strong relationship with new customers, boost retention rates, and drive revenue growth. However, telcos and ISPs face several challenges when bringing on new clients. To prevent these obstacles, organisations should apply a few approaches, like:

  • clear and concise information

  • implementing automation

  • using technology

  • providing proactive support

It is also crucial to measure and analyse customer feedback. By addressing these challenges, companies can create a smooth and satisfactory onboarding experience, improving customer service.


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