Once you score a customer, you look forward to serving them and gaining more. But there’s one important step that many MSPs often overlook in a pursuit to create a long-term business opportunity -- the first interaction with your clients.
Onboarding customers is crucial for MSPs to start a client relationship off on the right foot. Still, many make the mistake of treating that part of the new customer process with a standard checklist. Onboarding is a tedious, repeatable process that can very easily become overwhelming especially for small MSPs that have a lot on their plate on a daily basis. To address this particular challenge, our service delivery team shared some tips into improving the entire onboarding process. With these tips, you will be able to drive accountability, ensure a positive first experience with new clients and ultimately create long-term successful partnerships.
1. Hold an internal client orientation meeting
Before your NOC or helpdesk team starts servicing a new customer, you need to hold an internal client orientation meeting to educate your engineering team on the client, his industry, and the scope of work mentioned in the SLA. For education, pool together the assessment, contract, and sales meeting notes as a primary handover packet. This will help your team come across as the expert during the kickoff meeting and beyond.
2. Slow things down to understand each other better
Understanding the tools and infrastructure of a customer is a given part of onboarding. But slowing down the process, to ensure you fully understand how their business works, is also critical. Walking through each important customer process may take longer, but it can eliminate gaps in understanding and missed points of access. So, understand the "what" and "why" of their existing IT infrastructure.
Listening during the onboarding process is also an important practice to make sure you have understood every element of the client’s tech environment and their business needs.
3. Offer training resources based on clients’ needs
By providing your clients with the tools, resources, and guidance they need to successfully use your product, you can score high CSAT – a metric that you can proudly flaunt while promoting your products and services to prospects.
So, if you sell a relatively new product, ensure clients adopt your solution successfully with a detailed onboarding process. After that, educate them on how to use it effectively. You can even offer training courses and certifications in your products. If you don’t have the resources to launch something quite as intensive as such, consider having a series of "How-To" videos uploaded on your YouTube channel. Your customers will appreciate the help.
4. Plug resourceful content to make the interaction personal
To make new customers feel empowered, use engaging content such as informative blogs, webinars, tutorials, and other thought leadership content to educate them around emerging MSP trends and possible challenges. To make this supportive interaction simple, human, and personal during the onboarding, offer them a variety of ways to reach your team—from logging in through their member portal to submitting any service/product query on your website to phone and email contacts.
5. Continue looking for areas of improvements
Don’t onboard and walk away. Remember - onboarding is not a one-and-done action. It’s a living partnership that needs regular nurturing. So, go revisit the existing onboarding checklist and review it periodically for improvements. For this, allow each customer to become a partner and advisor for your onboarding process.
Go for a 30-day checkup call and actively listen to what new clients have to say on their onboarding experience. Focus on their unique pain points and then incorporate their feedback into customized onboarding processes for the next customer.
Final Thought: A detailed onboarding process gets your MSP off to the best start with a customer. It gives you a chance to set the right expectations, work more efficiently with the customer and set the right tone for future interactions. Having the above-mentioned improvements implemented in your onboarding process can further help you create consistency in your customer experience and reduce the margin for errors.