Client Onboarding Checklist for a Managed Service Provider
This article explains the basics of new clients onboarding - outlines the best practices for each onboarding stage, how you can avoid committing some of the most common mistakes. Consequently, you’ll have known how to foster new relationships in a way that retains clients for the long haul.
While working with a new client is exciting, it can also be fairly challenging - particularly in the first few days. Speaking of which, one thing that most MSPs struggle with is onboarding. It might sound like a simple process at first, but then everything gets complicated when it comes to creating a client onboarding checklist for a managed service provider.
The issue here is that MSPs are yet to implement a standard onboarding process for every single client. But, come to think of it, that wouldn’t be possible since clients are not the same. Each one comes with their own individual needs and capabilities.
Now, to introduce such clients to your range of tech services, you need a well-streamlined onboarding framework. And that takes structured planning, as well as a keen analysis of all the critical variables.
Gather Basic Client Details
Now that we’ve already established that clients are different, you should begin the onboarding process by eliminating the unknowns. Find out the type of client you’re dealing with by gathering basic details about them, as well as their corresponding tech infrastructure.
Then by subsequently assessing the information, you’ll get to understand your client’s needs. And that comes in handy for drafting an ideal Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Sign the Service Level Agreement
Since managed services are extensively dynamic, it would be impossible to proceed with the same contract for every single client. A service level agreement should be uniquely prepared from scratch based on a client’s specific requirements. So, consider all their accompanying needs and parameters if you intend to come up with a solid contract.
But, make no mistake about this. Although you might have already seen a wide range of MSP service level agreements, it would be a bad idea to draft the entire contract yourself.
This job should be left to legal professionals since they have the knowledge required to come up with favorable contract terms. So, engage a reputable lawyer and request them to draft explicit clauses based on the type of arrangement you’ve discussed with your client.
Give the New Client a Warm Welcome
The signing of a service level agreement is the ultimate confirmation that a new client has finally come on board. So, it would be nice to give them a warm welcome at this point by letting the client know that you look forward to working with them.
Additionally, you should consider handing them a starter pack guide with brief details about your company and the services the client should expect to receive.
Further reading Documentation for Customers
Acquaint the Client with the Team
As part of your managed services, some of your company’s professionals will work directly with the client. And the consequent outcome depends significantly on the relationship bond that both parties develop between them right from the start.
So, to set the ball rolling, introduce your entire IT team to the client. You could organize a brief meeting and hangout, either in person or through teleconferencing tools.
The process of provisioning entails embedding your client’s network infrastructure with your MSP system. This allows you to set up a framework for availing managed services, as well as monitoring your client’s network.
This is the stage where you implement the remote monitoring software and systems you’ll need for providing remote services.
In essence, the type of solution you set up should grant you offsite access to your client’s network and infrastructure. As a result, you should be able to service your client’s systems without necessarily visiting the site physically.
Further reading Top Remote Monitoring and Management Tools for MSP
That said, the process of setting up a Remote Monitoring and Management framework involves:
- Mounting Remote Monitoring and Management software on your client’s mobile devices, workstations, and servers.
- Checking to ensure the entire Remote Monitoring and Management framework works well with data backup systems and antivirus software.
- Running relevant tests to confirm if everything is in order.
Finally, if the whole framework runs seamlessly, you can proceed to set up antivirus software on the client’s mobile devices, workstations, and servers.
Train Your Client’s Employees
Chances are, your client already has a team of in-house employees who constantly interact with the company’s tech infrastructure. So, of course, you might want to get them accustomed to any new tools you roll out on their end.
You could, for instance, train them via web portals, as well as physical one-on-one sessions. Whichever you choose, ensure the training process is not only comprehensive but also well-understood by the workers. This will eventually make your support job easier.
Further reading Not Offering Anti-Phishing Training? Why Not?
Launch the Services
If you’re satisfied with the whole system setup, you can proceed to launch the services by going live. And while you’re at it, notify the client that since everything has been rolled out accordingly, the contract terms are now fully applicable.
And that’s all it takes. You can now consider the onboarding process done and maybe even mark it complete on your Professional Service Automation system.
Further reading RMM vs PSA. Do You Need Both?
Even after the onboarding process is complete, your relationship with the new customer remains young, and it’s important to continue to do your utmost to avoid any hiccups or misaligned expectations.
Toward this end, it’s helpful to perform periodic process reviews once a month for the first few months of the contract. The reviews provide an opportunity for you to identify any concerns the customer is having about the transition to your services. They are an opportunity to request feedback about the onboarding process. You could also request this feedback in other ways, such as via a questionnaire if you wish.
After a smooth onboarding process, all that’s left of you is maintaining great IT services over the long haul. And that shouldn’t be difficult at all, considering the strong ties you get to establish with the client from the word go, thanks to a structured MSP client onboarding checklist.