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Navigating mobile customer migrations in the Telco industry
Our top essential factors for a successful outcome 

30 August 2023

In an industry of ongoing consolidation, mobile customer migrations are frequent. However, we witness many mobile customer migrations that fall short of expectations, due to a flawed process that inadvertently triggers significant customer flight.

Moving customers entails a high risk of churn, and even slight missteps can lead to poor customer experiences. On top of that, competitors often find ways to exploit the situation. It is treacherous terrain, but armed with the right map, it can be a great journey. 

If managed properly, mobile customer migrations can be a great opportunity to build your brands and boost customer relationships. In our years supporting telcos with mobile customer migrations, we have learned that the devil is in the details. In this blogpost, we define our top factors to help you successfully navigate your next mobile customer migration.  

Our top 9 essential factors for a successful mobile customer migration  

  1. Clear strategy and principles  

Start defining your migration goals with a clear customer strategy and objectives that prioritize customer needs. Measurable objectives are key, and you may want to include specific targets to address topics such as churn, customer satisfaction, cost-control, and publicity. The migration process will often involve participation across various functions and units, so make sure to use a strategy for establishing a shared understanding of the mission among team members. 

  1. Customer-centric design 

It can be challenging to prioritize which areas to focus on in a mobile customer migration given the diverse range of stakeholders. Our experience shows that the most successful outcomes emerge when customer centricity is a top priority. For example, customers should always be provided with comparable or enhanced products after the migration. To further optimize the customer experience, it is essential to base the migration process on customer touchpoints by collecting and analyzing insights in feedback loops. This will help ensure that customers perceive the migration as straightforward, with each step in the process as simple and intuitive as possible. With this approach, we have seen churn coming rates as low as 3%.  

  1. Clear governance structure 

Establishing a clear governance structure that separates the migration from business-as-usual is key to enabling a pragmatic and operational mindset in the project team. Roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined, and we also recommend establishing an execution team to follow up on the migration and handle deviations. It is crucial to ensure that sufficient resources are available, both human and financial, to quickly implement changes and adapt to new needs. 

  1. Technical feasibility 

During a large-scale migration, minor issues that may go unnoticed in daily business become more apparent. For instance, SMS problems during the porting process may lead to customer frustration and porting delays. A seamless migration relies on well-functioning technical systems, and it is essential to provide the technical value chain with sufficient time and resources to adapt to the customer journey. Inadequate staffing or brief timelines will often lead to shortcuts being made that negatively impacts the customer experience.  

  1. Rigorous testing  

Testing both the customer journeys and the technical value chain is a crucial prerequisite before the migration goes live. Incorporating a pilot phase prior to the comprehensive migration will enhance the chances of success, providing an opportunity for necessary refinements. The pilot phase will cultivate unity and confidence within the project team and bring attention to unidentified issues. With focus on rigorous testing, we have seen migrations with automation rates close to 100%.  

  1. Customer service alliance 

As customers navigate through the migration process, it is inevitable that some will require assistance or seek more information. We believe that the best experiences are delivered when the customer agent team is involved in decisions that may impact the volume or nature of inquiries. To enable smooth and efficient customer handling, it is important to utilize the customer agents’ knowledge, build their understanding of the process and empower them with the mandate to immediately resolve any complaints. 

  1. Detailed batch planning 

To minimize the impact of potential errors, it is best to migrate customers in batches over a defined period. To group the customers appropriately, a detailed understanding of the customer base is required. For instance, it may be beneficial to migrate passive customers in a separate phase. When creating the batch plan, we recommend starting by prioritizing solutions for most customers before addressing the deviations and corner cases. It is generally a good idea to start the migration with less complicated customer cases before gradually adding complexity as you go. 

  1. Proactive communication  

Prevent customer confusion by keeping them informed through clear and positive messaging. Keep the communication straightforward, simple, and predictable and avoid excessively detailed messaging that can cause information overload. With such principles, we have observed that more than two-thirds of the customer base has navigated the migration process without requiring any assistance from customer support. As an example, a typical message to distribute to customers on the migration day could be “You only have to change SIM card to unlock your new lightning fast 5G”

  1. Building loyalty 

Following up on customers after the migration is crucial to ensure their continued satisfaction. One effective way to do this is by setting up an adjusted customer lifecycle program that considers any changes that may have occurred during the migration. Feel free to include regular check-ins, surveys, and targeted communications to help customers get the most out of their new service or product. By prioritizing satisfaction and engagement, it is possible to build long lasting relationships with the customers and increase their loyalty over time. 

In summary, a successful mobile customer migration is a complex process that requires you to prioritize the customer and pay attention to details. While our list of crucial factors provides a solid starting point for navigating the migration process, it is important to remember that there are numerous considerations that can impact the migration outcome. Capgemini has over the last decade successfully supported more than 10 mobile customer migrations with over 1 million customers migrated. Our proven ‘out of the box’ methodology and interconnected assets have played a key role in our clients’ achieving successful migration outcomes and sustained growth. 

To explore the topics above and ensure that you get the most out of your next chapter, do not hesitate to reach out. 

TelcoInsights is a series of posts about the latest trends and opportunities in the telecommunications industry – powered by a community of global industry experts and thought leaders.


Johannes Aasheim

Vice President – Head of Telecommunication, Media and Technology sector in the Nordics 
Johannes has for the last 15 years been supporting several large telco acquisitions in the Nordics from pre-deal throughout integration, including customer strategy, several rebranding and more than 10 migrations.

Carina Hammarstrøm Støre

Director – Telecommunication, Media and Technology sector in the Nordics
Carina has 9 years of experience from the telco industry, including several migration processes with responsibility of customer migration journeys and communication.