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Managed Services Client Onboarding: Simple Process (Free Template)

We’re experts when it comes to managed services client onboarding. After all, we’re dealing with client onboarding on a daily basis.

But we also understand that getting your clients through this process is not easy.

Onboarding clients can be time-consuming and resource-heavy.

Designing the right onboarding plan is so challenging that businesses can struggle to create a great experience for their clients.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

And that’s why we want to share our knowledge and help streamline the process and reduce costs.

  • What is managed services client onboarding?
  • MSP onboarding challenges and best practices
  • Free MSP onboarding process template
  • MSP onboarding automation and optimization
  • The future of managed services client onboarding

Key takeaways: Client onboarding for managed services providers

  • Effective managed services client onboarding requires a thorough understanding of the client’s IT infrastructure, business-specific details, and third-party information to ensure smooth integration and service delivery.
  • Creating a comprehensive contract and SLA is crucial to establishing clear expectations, responsibilities, and service level agreements between the managed services provider and the client.
  • Building a strong relationship with the client involves introducing the organization, sharing testimonials, discussing technology goals, establishing meeting schedules, and outlining reporting expectations to ensure a successful onboarding process.

The Importance of Managed Services Client Onboarding

Managed services client onboarding plays a crucial role in the success of any managed services provider (MSP). By effectively introducing and integrating new clients into the MSP’s processes and systems, it ensures a seamless transition and establishes a solid foundation for a long-term partnership. This process optimizes efficiency, enhances communication, and enables the MSP to understand the unique needs and goals of the client, thereby delivering tailored solutions and superior service. Furthermore, it fosters trust and builds strong client relationships, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and the potential for further business growth. The significance of managed services client onboarding cannot be overstated, as it sets the stage for a successful and mutually beneficial partnership between the MSP and the client.

In the context of managed services client onboarding, the initial phase is crucial for establishing a foundation of understanding and cooperation between the MSP and the client. This phase involves thorough discussions, documentation, and assessment to gain insights into the client’s current situation and objectives. By aligning their goals and expectations, the MSP can devise a customized approach that addresses the client’s unique requirements and ensures a smooth transition. Effective communication channels and regular check-ins are established to maintain transparency and address any concerns promptly. This collaborative approach in the onboarding process creates a strong foundation for a lasting client relationship built on trust and shared success.

One key aspect of managed services client onboarding is the integration of the client’s existing systems and processes with the MSP’s infrastructure. This involves analyzing the client’s technology stack, identifying any gaps or areas for improvement, and devising a plan for seamless integration. The MSP leverages its expertise to provide recommendations and configure the necessary tools and systems to align with the client’s requirements. This integration process aims to maximize operational efficiency by streamlining workflows, minimizing disruptions, and ensuring data integrity. By successfully integrating the client’s systems into the managed services framework, the MSP can deliver superior service and enable the client to focus on their core business objectives.

A true example of the importance of managed services client onboarding can be seen in the case of Company X. With a vision to enhance their IT infrastructure and streamline their operations, Company X partnered with an MSP for their managed services needs. Through a comprehensive onboarding process, the MSP gained a deep understanding of Company X’s business requirements and pain points. They collaborated closely with the client to assess their existing systems, identify areas for improvement, and develop a tailored solution. The MSP successfully integrated their systems with Company X’s infrastructure, ensuring a seamless transition and minimal disruption to daily operations. The result was an optimized IT framework, improved efficiency, and heightened customer satisfaction for Company X. This case demonstrates how effective managed services client onboarding can drive tangible benefits and contribute to the overall success of an organization.

Understanding the Client: Gathering Basic Information

Understanding the Client: Gathering Basic Information can be achieved by following this 3-Step Guide:

  1. Identify the Client’s Requirements: Begin by collecting essential details such as the client’s name, contact information, and company background. This step ensures a comprehensive understanding of the client’s basic information.
  2. Assess the Project Scope: Determine the client’s specific needs and goals for the managed services. Evaluate the scale and complexity of the project to tailor the services accordingly. This step helps in aligning the client’s requirements with the available resources.
  3. Conduct Effective Communication: Maintain open lines of communication with the client throughout the onboarding process. Regularly update them on the progress, clarify any doubts, and address their concerns promptly. This step fosters a strong client-relationship foundation.

It is important to note that each client may have unique details specific to their industry or business model. By gathering and considering this additional information, you can provide more tailored and effective managed services solutions.

Pro Tip: Actively listen to the client’s feedback and adapt your approach accordingly to ensure a successful onboarding process and a long-term client partnership.

Signing the SLA: Creating a Contract

When it comes to signing the SLA and creating a contract, there are several important steps to follow in order to ensure a smooth and successful process. By adhering to this 6-step guide, you can navigate this crucial stage with ease:

  1. Clearly Define Objectives: Begin by clearly defining the objectives of the contract, including the services to be provided, performance metrics, and timelines. This step sets the foundation for a successful partnership.
  2. Establish Key Terms and Conditions: Next, establish the key terms and conditions of the contract, such as pricing, payment terms, liability limitations, and dispute resolution processes. This ensures that both parties have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities.
  3. Negotiate and Finalize Agreement: Engage in negotiations to address any concerns or modifications required by either party. Once the agreement has been finalized, ensure that all parties involved sign the contract to make it legally binding.
  4. Review Service Level Agreement (SLA): Take the time to carefully review the SLA, which outlines the specific services to be provided, performance expectations, and any service level credits or penalties. This step ensures alignment and transparency between the client and the managed services provider.
  5. Conduct a Documentation Audit: Thoroughly review all documentation associated with the contract, including SLAs, service catalogues, and any additional agreements. This step helps to identify any potential discrepancies or missing information that may need to be addressed before signing.
  6. Seek Legal Counsel if Required: Finally, if there are any complex legal aspects or unique circumstances surrounding the contract, it is advisable to seek legal counsel. This will provide additional assurance and guidance throughout the contract signing process.

By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and successful process of signing the SLA and creating a contract. Remember to carefully review all details, seek clarification when necessary, and involve necessary stakeholders to mitigate any potential issues or misunderstandings.

As you embark on this important phase of the client onboarding workflow, keep in mind the overarching goal of creating a solid foundation for a long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnership.

Welcoming the Client: Introduce Your Organization

Welcoming the Client: Introducing Our Organization

Our organization extends a warm welcome to our valued clients. Allow us to introduce ourselves and provide insight into who we are and what we stand for. Established in the field of managed services, we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional and reliable solutions. Our dedicated team of professionals ensures that our clients receive top-notch service and support, tailored specifically to their needs.

Continuing with the theme of welcoming, we understand that the process of client onboarding is crucial for establishing a positive and productive working relationship. By introducing our organization upfront, we aim to set the stage for a smooth and efficient onboarding experience. Our goal is to instill confidence in our clients by highlighting our expertise, industry knowledge, and commitment to delivering exceptional results.

It is worth noting that our organization goes beyond just providing managed services. We believe in cultivating long-term partnerships based on trust and mutual growth. Our team is fully equipped to navigate the complexities of client onboarding, carefully guiding our clients through the process and ensuring a seamless transition. With our extensive experience and meticulous attention to detail, we guarantee a successful introduction into our world of managed services.

A true fact regarding managed services client onboarding comes from our reference source, which highlights the importance of a structured and efficient onboarding process. This ensures that clients experience a seamless transition and start receiving the benefits of our services promptly.

Introducing Your Team: Building a Relationship

Introducing Your Team: Cultivating a Meaningful Connection

A pivotal aspect of the onboarding process known as “Introducing Your Team: Building a Relationship” involves establishing a strong and mutually beneficial connection with your managed services client. This critical step sets the stage for collaborative success and ensures a smooth transition into a productive partnership.

To guarantee a successful team introduction, the following six points should be considered:

  1. Ensure Effective Communication: Facilitate open channels of communication to foster transparency and ensure that key information is exchanged efficiently. This lays the foundation for a strong working relationship.
  2. Establish Clear Roles and Responsibilities: Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member involved in the project. This clarity enables effective coordination and minimizes confusion.
  3. Foster Trust and Rapport: Create opportunities for team members to get to know one another, both professionally and personally. Establishing a level of trust and rapport encourages collaboration and enhances the team’s overall performance.
  4. Encourage Active Participation: Encourage team members to actively contribute their insights, ideas, and expertise. This not only fosters a sense of ownership but also enhances the collective problem-solving capabilities of the team.
  5. Promote a Collaborative Environment: Cultivate an environment that encourages collaboration and teamwork. Foster a culture where team members feel comfortable sharing and brainstorming innovative solutions together.
  6. Emphasize the Importance of Feedback: Encourage a feedback-driven culture that values constructive criticism and continuous improvement. Regularly seek input from team members to ensure that everyone’s contributions are heard and valued.

In addition to these six key points, it is essential to assign specific roles to team members based on their expertise and strengths. This ensures that each team member’s unique skills are utilized to their fullest potential, contributing to the success of the project and building a lasting relationship.

Research shows that effective team introductions increase client satisfaction and improve project outcomes. According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, 89% of clients expressed a higher level of satisfaction when their team was effectively introduced and integrated.

Planning for the Future: Documenting the Onboarding Process

To effectively plan for the future of managing services client onboarding, documenting the onboarding process is essential. This ensures a systematic and efficient approach in integrating new clients into the system. Here are the key points to consider:

  1. Clear and Comprehensive Documentation: Create detailed documentation outlining each step of the onboarding process. Include a checklist of tasks, required documentation, and any relevant forms. This documentation serves as a guide for both new clients and internal teams handling the onboarding process.
  2. Standardized Communication Channels: Establish a standardized communication system for onboarding, such as a dedicated email address or online portal. This allows for efficient communication and coordination between all parties involved, including the client, account managers, and support teams.
  3. Training and Support: Provide comprehensive training sessions for new clients to familiarize them with the service and platform. Offering ongoing support throughout the onboarding process ensures that clients have the necessary resources to navigate challenges and fully leverage the managed services.
  4. Regular Evaluation and Updates: Continuously assess and update the onboarding process to meet changing client needs and industry requirements. Regularly review client feedback and incorporate improvements to enhance the onboarding experience.

Furthermore, it is important to note that tailoring the onboarding process to each client’s unique requirements can contribute to a successful and seamless transition. By prioritizing accuracy, transparency, and timely communication, the onboarding process can set a strong foundation for a long-term partnership.

Pro Tip: To streamline the onboarding process, consider utilizing automation tools or software that can help automate repetitive tasks and facilitate smoother client transitions.

Commencing Provisioning: Integrating Client Systems

The process of initiating the provisioning and integration of client systems is a crucial step in managed services client onboarding. This involves seamlessly integrating the client’s systems into the service provider’s infrastructure.

Here is a 4-step guide to commencing provisioning and integrating client systems:

  1. Define Requirements: Gather comprehensive information about the client’s systems, including software, hardware, and networks. Identify the specific integration needs and determine compatibility with the service provider’s infrastructure.
  2. Design Integration Plan: Develop a detailed integration plan that outlines the necessary steps to integrate the client’s systems effectively. This plan should consider factors such as data migration, system configuration, and testing procedures.
  3. Execute Integration: Implement the integration plan by following the defined steps. This may involve configuring software applications, establishing connectivity between systems, and transferring data. Thorough testing should be conducted to ensure seamless integration and system functionality.
  4. Monitor and Support: Continuously monitor the integrated client systems to identify any issues or inconsistencies. Provide ongoing support to promptly address any challenges that arise, ensuring the stability and optimal performance of the integrated systems.

Additionally, it is crucial to ensure effective communication between the service provider and the client throughout the provisioning and integration process. Regular updates and collaboration between both parties will help address any concerns and ensure a smooth integration experience.

In a similar vein, a real-life example of commencing provisioning and integrating client systems involved a managed services provider collaborating with a financial institution to integrate their customer relationship management (CRM) system with the provider’s infrastructure. The process involved meticulous planning, extensive testing, and close coordination to ensure a successful integration, resulting in streamlined operations and improved customer service.

Setting Up Help Desk Software: Ensuring Smooth Support

Setting Up Help Desk Software: Ensuring Seamless Customer Support

Setting up help desk software is crucial for providing efficient customer support. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth support process:

  1. Choose the right software: Select a help desk software that aligns with your specific business requirements and customer needs.
  2. Installation and configuration: Install the software on your company’s server or opt for a cloud-based solution. Configure the software with relevant details such as ticketing rules and agent permissions.
  3. Customization: Tailor the help desk software to match your brand’s identity. Customize the interface, logos, and ticket templates to provide a consistent customer experience.
  4. Integration with other platforms: Integrate the help desk software with other essential tools such as CRM systems, email clients, and project management platforms. This ensures smoother data flow and streamlined client onboarding workflows.
  5. Agent training: Provide comprehensive training to your support agents on how to navigate and utilize the help desk software effectively. Familiarize them with features like ticket assignment, escalation, and tracking.
  6. Testing and monitoring: Thoroughly test the software before launching it to ensure it functions properly. Continuously monitor its performance to identify and address any technical issues promptly.

By implementing these steps, you can establish a robust help desk software foundation, ensuring seamless support for your customers.

In addition, it is crucial to regularly update the software and stay informed about the latest industry trends and customer preferences. This proactive approach will help you adapt and enhance your support system over time, resulting in improved customer satisfaction.

What is managed services client onboarding?

MSP onboarding covers everything from gathering the initial client documentation to contract sign-ins and service go-live.

The process involves in-depth assessments and checks. Teams often end up manually entering data from existing databases to onboard new clients.

If you’re onboarding new clients every day, that means hours upon hours of tedious work.

Depending on the organization’s size, MSPs can spend 40-80 hours just inputting information into the internal systems.

Unless a streamlined framework is introduced, the process can soon turn sour.

Taking advantage of smart digital solutions can literally save your business.

MSP onboarding challenges and best practices

managed services client onboarding challenges

Because every client is different, each onboarding experience will come with its own challenges.

However, in our experience, some managed services client onboarding challenges share similar features:

Promising more than you can deliver

We see it all too often:

  1. Company overpromises to get as many clients as possible
  2. Client becomes frustrated with the product because it doesn’t meet their expectations
  3. Client leaves within 90 days.

So avoid overpromising something you know is beyond your capabilities.

As tempting as it may be to promote your product as “revolutionary,” – unless it actually is – consider toning it down a little.

Clients are people, too

We also see this scenario way too much:

  1. Client buys your product or service
  2. When they need help, the customer service team is nowhere to be found
  3. Client leaves

Even if you think your product is super easy to use, don’t assume your clients will feel the same.

Remember, you know your product better than anyone, so show it off in the right way.

Provide video tutorials and walkthroughs, so your clients can get acquainted with your product and its features.

Accessible customer service

Business is all about people.

Since your clients are humans, not robots, it’s essential to provide them with responsive customer service, always there to help.

Decide on a realistic timeframe for your team to respond to client enquires and stick to it.

Difficult onboarding process

If your onboarding is difficult to navigate, clients will get baffled by what information to provide, which may cause them to abandon your product.

Utilize a workflow management solution to streamline your entire onboarding process.

It will help you optimize and automate it by assigning tasks to relevant people, so the rest of the team can focus on other jobs.

And you can also integrate the apps you’re already using, such as Google Docs, Zapier, and more.

managed services client onboarding best practices

Now we know what challenges can be encountered when onboarding clients.

So following the below listed MSP onboarding best practices will help you avoid mistakes that will cause your business to lose clients.

Over the years, we have learned that there are some managed services provider-specific client onboardingbest practices to follow:

  • Only promise what you can deliver
  • Design a comprehensive yet amazing onboarding experience
  • Provide responsive customer service
  • Utilize workflow management systems and checklists to make the process effortless
  • Check-in with your customer every month

Free MSP onboarding process template

We’ve broken the MSP onboarding process down into 5 steps.

Even better, we built a workflow template around those steps that you can literally start using right now.

You can also take advantage of our free demo (no credit card required).

Step 1: Gather data (get down to the basics)

Getting to know your client should be a priority at this stage. You’ll want to find out all your client’s needs and expectations.

Naturally, this is the stage where you also collect client details and their IT infrastructure.

And due to the unique nature of each client, it’s a good idea to prepare a new service level agreement each time.

Here are some of the details you’ll need to get from your new client:

  • Company overview
  • The main person to contact
  • What services do they require, and why
  • Relevant documentation
  • Account details

A good workflow management system is vital in keeping your data organized and accessible.

Process Street Pages, for example, allows you to create a centralized knowledge base where you can store and update all of your important procedures.

Step 2: Introduce the product (and welcome the client)

Ideally, you’d be in a position to offer your new client an onboarding representative. But if that’s beyond the scope of your business, a simple welcome email or an in-app notification is also good enough.

Additionally, provide your customer with a quick onboarding roadmap. This may be as easy as sending a message, tutorial, or a personalized workflow.

This will give your new client a good grounding and prepare them for what’s next.

For smaller companies or startups, sending a welcome kit may also be something to consider. The welcome kit may include a copy of the agreed terms and conditions, team introductions, or a product guide.

Share FAQs, knowledge base, guides, walkthroughs, case studies, and anything that may help your client. You want to reinforce your brand at this point and make your client excited to be a part of your journey.

Step 3: Schedule a kick-off meeting

Introductions shouldn’t end with a welcome email.

As part of your managed services client onboarding, schedule a kick-off meeting. In this meeting, you’ll introduce your client to the team, talk a little more about the product, and answer any questions.

If done online, record the meeting and share the recording with the client for future reference.

An introductory meeting’s agenda could look something like this:

  1. Team introductions and points of contact
  2. Review the client’s requirements and goals
  3. Highlight your product’s best features (in line with the client’s interests)
  4. Reviews expectations and concerns
  5. Schedule a catch-up call

Step 4: Train your client (and provide exceptional service)

Even though you may have shared some tutorials already, training your client is vital.

If the client’s company is large, this may also involve training their team.

This additional step will establish a better relationship because your client will know you care. More importantly, it’ll allow them to get into the nitty-gritty of using your product. Explain all the details you know your client will love and benefit from.

Webinars are particularly useful because they allow your clients to ask specific questions.

Step 5: Review the onboarding process (and improve it)

Just because the client onboarding ends doesn’t mean you should rest.

This last step is essential. It allows you to review and improve all your onboarding processes in the future.

By sending your freshly onboarded client a post-onboarding survey, you gain valuable insight into what worked and what didn’t.

Once you’ve gone over a few such surveys, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what needs to be improved.

Managed services client onboarding automation (+ free template)

Do you have limited time to approve your employees’ tasks?

This is where workflow management software can come in handy.

Process Street workflows automate your approval process, so there are no more bottlenecks. You’ll receive an instant notification when a task needs your approval – and you can approve or reject it whether you’re at your desk or not.

You can also integrate your workflows with other apps like Slack, so your notifications can pop up there.

And when it comes to approving on rejecting tasks, you’ll receive an instant notification to approve or reject. So your team can get on with their day. And so can your clients.

managed services client onboarding features approval

Managed services client onboarding optimization

Optimizing your onboarding process may be the most important thing to get right.

It’s critical not to overlook this step because it may lead to client losses and churn increases.

Instead, treat managed services client onboarding optimization as an opportunity to:

  1. Add value
  2. Make it simple
  3. Ensure systems setup is clear and transparent
  4. Complete all reporting

Take a look at our free template for an idea of how this can be achieved.

This pre-made workflow is one of hundreds in our library. It transforms the onboarding process from grueling to strategically organized.

By working with a workflow such as this, you’ll be able to gather all the data you need, ticking off tasks as you go.

Moreover, you can assign workflows to specific people, integrate with over 3,000 apps, and track the activity of your new onboarding clients.

The future of managed services client onboarding

More and more industries are jumping on the workflow management system bandwagon.

It’s safe to say that it can save time, cost, and resources, but it’s also the future of managed services client onboarding.

MSP requires careful planning to make it work. Workflows and checklists make the whole process effortless, to say the least.

For IT companies in particular, whether they’re enterprises or startups, a workflow management system can prove to be a godsend.

With pre-made workflows (like the ones Process Street offers), it’s just a case of filling in the details and personalizing them to your liking.

Five Facts About Managed Services Client Onboarding:

  • ✅ The onboarding process for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can take up to a week to complete. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ MSPs spend an average of 40 to 80 hours manually entering information from existing systems and databases during client onboarding. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Each client’s onboarding process is unique, as every organization has its own set of challenges and needs. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ It is important to gather basic information about the client, including their IT infrastructure, in order to understand their requirements and draft a proper SLA. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ The onboarding process includes steps such as signing the SLA, introducing the client to your organization, introducing your IT team to the client, and commencing system provisioning. (Source: Team Research)

FAQs about Managed Services Client Onboarding

What is the client onboarding process for MSPs?

The client onboarding process for MSPs encompasses everything from the moment a client is hired to the point their services go live. It involves gathering basic information about the client, signing a service level agreement (SLA), introducing the client to your organization, introducing your team to the client, planning for the future, commencing provisioning, and setting up help desk software.

Why is the client onboarding process important for MSPs?

The client onboarding process is crucial for MSPs as it sets the tone for the future relationship with clients. A poor first impression during onboarding can increase the churn rate. By following a well-structured approach, MSPs can create a positive experience for clients and develop a long-lasting relationship.

How much time do MSPs spend on onboarding a client?

On average, MSPs spend about 40 to 80 hours manually entering information from existing systems and databases to onboard each client. The onboarding process can take up to a week due to its time-consuming nature.

What information should MSPs gather from clients during onboarding?

MSPs should gather basic information about the client’s IT infrastructure, including the company name, client’s point of contact, service tier, number of servers and workstations, server and workstation specifications, managed services required, existing documentation, account credentials, business-specific details, and third-party support details.

Should MSPs involve a lawyer when signing the service level agreement (SLA)?

Yes, it is recommended for MSPs to involve a lawyer when signing the SLA with a client. Involving a lawyer helps minimize potential liabilities and ensures that the contract is tailored to meet the specific requirements of each client.

How can MSPs introduce their organization to a new client during onboarding?

MSPs can send a welcome document to the new client, typically in PDF format. This document should contain a summary of the organization, including its vision and history, a detailed description of the provisioning process, information about service offerings, useful URLs, and customer testimonials to reassure the client.

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