For many MSPs, onboarding new customers is a daunting task. However, when customers are onboarded rightly, it can be a seamless and enjoyable process. Read on to find out how.
The onboarding process is arguably the most critical aspect of building relationships with customers. It determines how fruitful and long-lasting your relationships with your customers will be.
When you have successfully convinced a customer to pay for your service, you should not relax your efforts or celebrate just yet. Instead, you should put in more work to make your customers feel they have made the best decision.
Sadly, at this juncture, many MSPs (Managed Service Providers) become complacent — they pay less attention to their customers’ needs and onboard them in haste. Eventually, they find it challenging to provide the needed technical support to the customers.
To integrate a new customer, MSPs spend between 40 and 80 hours collecting and documenting information from the customer’s databases and systems. However, the process can be less stressful, time-saving, and more effective with the right practices.
Seven best practices for MSPs when onboarding new customers.
1. Learn about your customers
A critical goal of onboarding customers is to gather as much information as possible from them.
Every one of your customers is unique and has varying needs. So, you must first learn more about them – what their company does, their products, existing documentation, servers, virtual machines, workstations, etc. Then you must understand their requirements – their short and long-term goals, before moving to the next phase.
Most MSPs use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools or paperless forms like Google forms, Zoho forms, etc., to create customer onboarding questionnaires.
Whichever you use, ensure you ask open questions and pay attention to your customer’s responses. Doing this will help you better comprehend your client’s requirements and create an appropriate SLA.
2. Set up a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Once you have all the necessary information about your customer’s IT infrastructure, you should provide a Service Level Agreement (SLA).
An SLA outlines the expectations between an MSP and the client. It also highlights the level of services or products to be delivered, the criteria for assessing the performance, and, if applicable, remedies or penalties that will be applied if expectations are not met.
Having an SLA ensures that both parties benefit from the relationship. Since every customer has different needs, you should provide an SLA that is suited for each client according to their demands and specifications.
Furthermore, it is best to discuss your SLA with a legal professional to ensure that you comply with the law and that no aspect of the agreement can potentially cause problems.
3. Provide a welcome packet
Now that your client is on board, the next step is to make them feel comfortable and better acquainted with your company. You can do this by providing them with a welcome packet.
The packet can be a digital document that is shared via email, or a physical document in the form of posters, letters, or booklets. It should include the terms of your agreement, working procedures, FAQs, helpful guides, team details, case studies, and customer testimonials.
4. Meet with your customers
When you have completed the initial steps, the next phase is to schedule a meeting with the client. During this meeting, you will introduce the project manager and team responsible for the client and discuss the client’s expectations. The meeting should also cover client questions about the welcome kit and the upcoming milestones.
In addition, regular meetings should be scheduled to review your progress with the client. This will help monitor your performance and keep the client informed.
5. Import your customers’ data
Before providing managed IT services to your customer, you need to access their data or connect with their data sources. However, it is essential to note that the process is complicated and requires best security practices for a smooth data transition. So, you should conduct a security assessment first and enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to ensure data security.
The data import often takes the following approach:
- Delegate the data import procedure to an expert team member.
- Use the acquired information during the sales and onboarding process to set up the data import.
- Automate the import process to reduce errors and speed up the process.
- Test the procedure with dummy data.
- Set up remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools
Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) is a tool that MSPs use to proactively monitor their clients’ endpoints, networks, and PCs from anywhere in the world and at any time.
With this software, MSPs can detect any technical issues and resolve them in no time without traveling down to the customer’s office. This tool is crucial and should be set up during onboarding.
The procedures involved in setting up an RMM include:
- Set up the RMM agent on your customer’s gadgets — desktops, servers, and mobile devices.
- Confirm that the RMM tool is suited for your customer’s hardware and software.
- Verify that the monitoring and notification systems are working perfectly.
6. Follow up
Your relationship with your customers should not end after the onboarding process. You should stay in touch with them by providing a regular means of communication, so they can reach you if there is any problem.
You should also inquire from them regularly if they have any questions or concerns about your services.
Additionally, you can schedule regular review meetings for the initial months to discuss your progress so far and ensure everything is working as expected.
7. Onboard your customers the right way with Atera
Despite how daunting customer onboarding processes are, with the right tools, the process can be easy and stress-free.
Atera is software designed for MSPs and IT professionals to get the work done faster and easier. With the Atera RMM platform, MSPs can simultaneously serve and provide IT support to multiple clients.
In addition, the Professional Services Automation (PSA) tool allows IT services providers to set up SLAs and contracts to highlight their teams’ responsibilities to the customers.
Users can also set up service level targets to monitor their performances and meet their service level goals. Atera highlights tickets that fall short of these targets, so they can quickly find and resolve the issues.
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