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April 27, 2020

The Keys to Onboarding Clients for Your MSP


Building trust here is a big factor – and part of that is making sure that your onboarding practices are efficient and effective.

The Keys to Onboarding Clients for Your MSP

Managed Service Providers, or MSPs, tend to onboard clients in different ways. Building trust here is a big factor – and part of that is making sure that your onboarding practices are efficient and effective.

Before you get to dive into the exciting stuff with your clients, you’ll need to go through some routine onboarding motions. This can be a bore – so we’ve created an MSP onboarding checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Checklist for MSP Onboarding

1. Build an onboarding roadmap and task scheduling

For MSP onboarding best practices, setting out a roadmap is critical. You need to identify a plan and lay it out clearly to see what you need to accomplish for the process to be successful. Setting up a task schedule is also something that needs to happen early on.

This break down of everything boosts efficiency as it shows you when onboarding tasks need to be completed. By seeing this, you can delegate tasks effectively.

2. Load monitoring agent and install antivirus

Although it may sound obvious, MSP onboarding software is an easily overlooked component of the process. Examples include your monitoring agent and antivirus. These will work in harmony to ensure your computers are working efficiently and without any threats to the system. Antivirus, in particular, protects the computers used in the process from viruses and so on – and should not be forgotten about.

3. Communicate and set expectations

Communication is the foundation of all projects – it’s key to success and critical in the onboarding process. Your customers need to feel valued, and a relationship that is built on trust is important. They must be updated on the process, and informed of what is expected of them.

Setting clear expectations reduces the potential for conflict, and increases your chance of success. This is a point to keep in mind before the process has even begun. Your clients must know that they can ask for clarification and support.

4. Select a project manager

A strong project manager will act as a point of contact for your clients. This streamlines communication, as they know who to turn to if they have any queries about the process. Your project manager will also be able to let them know of any disruptions, whilst making sure that the onboarding process – and the project in general – is running smoothly.

5. Create a plan to go live

When planning to go live with the services, creating both a plan and a chart of all the necessary tasks will be to your advantage. Communicating with the customer is very important in this phase, as you’ll need their approval on the plan.

This might take a while, as your plan may not get approved in one shot. You might have to go back to the drawing board and look for an alternative. However, it’s an important step and the client can’t rush into something they are not completely happy with. Expectations also come into play here – it’s important to know exactly what you’re expected to do.

6. Execute a quality network assessment

If you’re using this MSP checklist template, now is the time to perform a quality network assessment. This is crucial in the sales period, as it allows for a good understanding of the customer’s network and operation.

All in all, this step aids in understanding the environment the client operates in, which is necessary to be aware of in case there is a disruption in the onboarding process.

7. Meet the employees

After the MSP onboarding checklist has been followed, and the onboarding tasks have been completed, you should set up a meeting with the employees. This step is crucial in building a relationship with the people you’re going to be working with.

You may want to include a welcome book, or another form of content, that will give them information on how to get in contact with certain people on your team (such as IT support), and what they can expect from those communications.

8. Use correct metrics

Making use of correct metrics is an important part of your MSP onboarding checklist. These need to be gathered so that they can be shared with the customer at critical points in the relationship – such as business review meetings. These will show that your customer’s business has improved, and it will allow them to evaluate your services more efficiently.  

9. Document all relevant information

A checklist for MSP always includes this step. The larger the amount of information gathered during the onboarding process, the better prepared you are. If a customer contacts you with a problem, your first-call resolution will be more accurate and effective if you have documented as much information as possible.

10. Create a successful onboarding process

Before you’ve even submitted a proposal, the onboarding process is underway. When providing technical support to your clients, it is critical that they can reach you easily. Your client needs to know that they are being kept in the loop and that you are there to walk through this process with them.

An MSP checklist makes the onboarding process simple, and easy to follow. Having expectations, communication and plans will all aid in the success of your onboarding process.