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

What is managed services client onboarding?

MSC 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.

MSC 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 MSC onboarding best practices will help you avoid mistakes that will cause your business to lose clients. 

In our long involvement with client onboarding, we have learned that there are MSP best 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 MSC onboarding process template

We’ve broken the MSC 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.

MSC 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.

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