Is there a better place to start optimising your customers experience than from the onboarding journey? We think not. Once a customer decides that they want to use your service, you need to onboard them. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so it must be done right. An excellent onboarding experience helps customers understand the value you can bring from the outset and get the relationship off on the right foot.
Considering changing customer expectations, rapid digitalisation and higher than ever usage of mobile devices, we believe that the onboarding (and the remaining steps of the customer journey) should take place online. That means telcos need to find a way to provide customers with their SIMs and carry out ID checks digitally. Impossible, you’ll say. Not exactly. In the following parts of this article, we’ll discuss how to digitalise both of these elements of the onboarding process.
Traditional SIM vs eSIM
Traditionally to connect to your network, customers had to pop a plastic SIM card into their phones. Sounds easy, but is it?
Firstly, there is the SIM card delivery process and all the logistical inconveniences associated with it. Users have to order their SIM card and either collect it from one of your stores or get it delivered by mail. That takes time and effort, not to mention the cost. And often something goes wrong along the way. The SIM card is lost in the delivery process or takes ages to arrive. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there.
Secondly, when a customer receives their SIM card, they have to pop it out of a bank-card-sized plastic card and go through the hideous exercise of opening the SIM card tray to place the right sized SIM card there. And at that moment, they realise that they can’t find the pin to open the SIM tray! What can they use instead? A safety pin, a bobby pin, a paper clip? Options are endless, but the frustration level goes through the roof because none of them is working.
This doesn’t sound like the most user-friendly experience. But no one ever questions it because that’s the way it has always been and the only option to connect to your network. So, customers don’t complain and suffer in silence. But there is another way to do it. It requires telcos to implement a new technology called eSIM.
We talk a lot about eSIM on our blog, so if you want to find out more about where it came from and how it works, read our whitepaper Consumer eSIM – a gamechanger or a gimmick?
eSIM In-App Provisioning
eSIM is a truly transformative technology as it enables telcos to move the SIM purchase, delivery and activation online. Furthermore, the whole process takes minutes instead of hours or days to complete and can be done from a comfort of a couch. But what I want to focus on in this part, is the in-app activation of eSIM profiles.
Currently, there are two ways of activating an eSIM – using a QR code or through the provider’s app. If you’re familiar with eSIM, you most likely heard about QR code activation. It’s much better than going to a store to collect a plastic SIM card, but it has some disadvantages. To complete the eSIM activation process, the provider has to send a QR code to the user. They then need to scan it with the device they want to install their eSIM on. This can be troublesome as it requires two devices: one to display the QR code and one to scan it. It decreases the flexibility offered by eSIM and its benefits.
In-app provisioning, on the other hand, is more intuitive and doesn’t require a secondary device. A user can simply download an eSIM profile onto their phone and activate it in the provider’s app by simply tapping one button. The process takes seconds and after it’s completed, users can start using your service.
If you want to find out more about the differences between QR code and in-app activation, we wrote a more detailed article about it. You can find it HERE.
Know Your Customer
Another currently inefficient part of customer onboarding is the KYC process. Know Your Customer, or KYC, is a process of verifying your customers’ identity and address. It requires the customer to provide documentation such as identity and address proofs before availing of your services.
Traditionally, ID and address checks were (and still often are) carried out face to face. It requires the customer to bring an identity document, such as a driver’s license, national ID or passport, and, for example, a utility bill as proof of address to one of your stores for validation. It is then checked and scanned, and a printed copy is stored for record-keeping. This bureaucratic, time consuming and paper-based process is dull and often troublesome for your customers and not very time- or cost-efficient for you.
Over time certain activities migrated online. But even the online processes are not able to cater to the needs of today’s customers. Over time our society has become more digitalised, which means that more and more businesses, including telcos, will need to verify customers’ identities remotely. Thankfully, it is now possible thanks to eKYC.
Electronic Know Your Customer, or eKYC, is a remote, paperless and real-time process that minimises the costs and bureaucracy necessary in traditional KYC processes. It facilitates the completion of verifying your customers’ credentials through their smartphones and your self-care app.
Once the customer signs in and selects their plan, they will need to submit an ID document. The process is very simple and quick. Assuming they select a national ID, they will have to take a picture of the front and the back of the card before taking a selfie. Upon completing those three steps, an automatic identity check will be carried out to verify the authenticity of the documents and your customers’ credentials.
The eKYC process is compliant with major international regulations, including GDPR and AML. It is also secure and prevents fraud, such as identity fraud or account takeover. The biometric technology utilised in eKYC recognises your users’ unique characteristics, such as iris or face and frees them from the burden of remembering and typing passwords and PINs every time they want to access their account.
Better experience for your customers and… you!
eSIM technology and eKYC process enable operators like yours to provide quick, intuitive, and secure onboarding processes and improve the experience your customers have with your service. Some of the main benefits of integrating eSIM technology and eKYC processes into your onboarding process include:
- Higher customer satisfaction and NPS – Simplifying arduous processes and catering to customer needs by creating digital-first experiences drives customer satisfaction and increases your NPS.
- Reduced costs and higher revenue – If done correctly, digital-first user onboarding decreases customer acquisition and service costs as well as SIM production, storage and transportation costs.
- Lower carbon footprint and reduced waste – going digital means less plastic, paper and CO2 emissions.
- Reduced identity fraud – eKYC helps in identifying and preventing fraudulent activities that put telecom operators at risk.
- Higher user retention and loyalty – A satisfying onboarding experience prevents customer attrition and makes users come back.
Our digital-first eSIM platform – eSIM as a Service – harnesses the benefits of both eSIM and eKYC and helps operators like yours create a seamless customer experience. Find out more about eSIM as a Service OR talk directly to our team to see how we can help you.
We are also hosting a webinar on the 10th of November, at 11 am UTC+1, and we’ll be talking about the main mistakes made by telcos when implementing eSIM and eKYC. If you want to learn more about digital onboarding and how to avoid the most common mistakes, book your spot HERE.