The Managed Services Provider (MSP) industry is a dynamic landscape, where efficiency, consistency, and customer satisfaction are key. To provide optimal service and maintain healthy business relationships, MSPs need to master the art of onboarding – a process that sets the tone for future interactions and can significantly impact client retention. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss how ScopeStack, surveys, questionnaires, and programmatic approaches can turn your MSP onboarding into a consistent and predictable process.

Defining MSP Onboarding

MSP onboarding is a crucial process that begins when a service agreement is signed and ends when the offered services are successfully implemented. It’s a stage that embodies excitement, anticipation, and a fair share of challenges. The onboarding process lays the groundwork for the business relationship between the MSP and the client, making it a critical touchpoint that requires a well-thought-out strategy.

The duration of the onboarding phase can vary, with MSPs typically spending between 40 to 80 hours to successfully onboard each new client. Given the unique needs and circumstances of each client, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to onboarding. Therefore, MSPs must develop an internal, customizable onboarding process that reflects their clients’ unique needs and challenges.

The Power of Predefined Forms: Surveys and Questionnaires

Predefined forms such as surveys and questionnaires are instrumental tools in the MSP onboarding journey. They offer an efficient way to collect critical information about your clients that may not have been discussed during the sales process. By understanding your client better, you can plan more effectively and align your services with their goals.

Most MSPs leverage Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or marketing automation tools to create these forms. If you’re using a CRM platform, you can directly sync the responses to your client’s account in the CRM. In the absence of a CRM or similar tool, you can resort to platforms like Survey Monkey or Google Forms to create your questionnaire.

An onboarding questionnaire should generally collect the following information:

  • Client’s company name
  • Point of contact (POC) name
  • Service level/agreement tier
  • Quantities and costs of hardware and devices
  • Managed services required
  • Information about existing services or third-parties involved in IT management
  • Any existing documentation
  • Server and workstation specifications
  • Client role definitions and access permissions
  • Business-specific details

Upon receiving the completed survey, you can then proceed to the next steps of your documented onboarding process.

The Role of ScopeStack in MSP Onboarding

ScopeStack plays a vital role in driving predictable professional services onboarding for your MSP. It’s a sales automation platform designed to streamline the pricing and scoping process of technology services. By leveraging ScopeStack, MSPs can enhance service delivery, reduce turnaround time, and increase project profitability.

ScopeStack allows MSPs to standardize and automate the scoping process, ensuring consistent and accurate pricing. It enables the creation of custom templates, eliminating the need for manual data entry and reducing the risk of errors. The platform also offers real-time reporting and analytics, providing valuable insights into sales performance and project profitability.

Essential Components of an MSP Onboarding Checklist

Creating an onboarding checklist can serve as a roadmap for effective client management. It outlines the necessary steps to ensure a smooth transition from the sales process to service delivery. Here are some critical components that should be included in your MSP onboarding checklist:

1. Assign Team Members to The Account

Identify the appropriate team members who will manage the client’s account. This will generally include an account manager who will oversee the entire onboarding process. It’s crucial that these individuals are well-versed with the details of the client’s business, including their goals, requirements, technologies, and people.

2. Send Client a Welcome Kit

A welcome kit serves as an excellent tool to reinforce your brand and set the tone for the working relationship. It should contain essential information about your company, services, processes, and support resources. The kit can be digital or physical, depending on your preference and the client’s needs.

3. Schedule a Kickoff Meeting

The kickoff meeting is a critical step in the onboarding process. It’s an opportunity to introduce your team to the client’s stakeholders and review the client’s expectations. The meeting should include a discussion of project objectives, timelines, and requirements.

4. Import Data

Importing the client’s data is a significant step in the onboarding process. This involves gathering all necessary information from the client, including network topology, server and workstation configurations, and software applications.

5. Setup the RMM

Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) is a crucial component of managing your clients’ systems. Setting up the RMM involves installing RMM agents on the client’s servers, workstations, and mobile devices, and ensuring compatibility with client software and hardware.

6. Go Live

Once all the steps in the onboarding process are completed, it’s time to go live. This means that your team begins delivering the agreed-upon managed services and establishes regular communication channels with the client.

Why a Consistent Onboarding Process Matters

A consistent onboarding process is vital for various reasons:

  • Efficiency: A consistent process ensures that the onboarding is completed quickly and efficiently, reducing downtime and minimizing disruption to the client’s operations.
  • Customer Satisfaction: A smooth onboarding process translates into higher customer satisfaction. Clients are more likely to be content with your service if the transition is seamless and hassle-free.
  • Retention: A successful onboarding process can increase retention, as clients are more likely to continue working with your business when they have a positive initial experience.
  • Cost Savings: A streamlined onboarding process can also result in cost savings for both parties by reducing the time and resources required for onboarding.

After Onboarding: The Next Steps

Once the onboarding process is completed, it’s essential to maintain a proactive, customer-centric approach to managed services. Some key actions to consider include establishing regular communication, continuously monitoring and managing the client’s IT infrastructure, optimizing services over time, and periodically reviewing and revising your Service Level Agreement (SLA) to ensure it accurately reflects the client’s current needs and expectations.

In conclusion, a successful MSP onboarding process requires careful planning, consistent execution, and an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. By leveraging tools like ScopeStack, surveys, questionnaires, and a programmatic approach, MSPs can transform their onboarding process into a consistent, predictable, and efficient journey that effectively sets the stage for a fruitful, long-term business relationship.