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How your MSP’s client onboarding process impacts growth

How your MSP’s client onboarding process impacts growth

As you look to grow your MSP business, it’s easy to worry about shrinking economies, expensive tech talent shortages, and the high cost of acquiring new customers. But growing your customer base is easier than you think. The best strategy for winning new clients is to take excellent care of the ones you have.

Creating happy customers can increase your profits by as much as 95%. This is partly because current customers spend 67% more than new ones. But it’s also because – when customers love you – they proselytize about you to their network.

Unfortunately, most companies blow it in the first interaction.

Over 90% of customers feel that the companies they buy from could do a better job of onboarding. One study found that this process can be absurdly manual and take as much as 100 days to complete.

Over 90% of customers feel that the companies they buy from could do a better job of onboarding

Failing at this crucial first moment is disastrous. This is the first impression a client gets of your team and processes and it’s difficult to recover from a bad first impression.

So, before you boost your marketing budget and sales staff, design an onboarding system that turns new customers into loyal ones.

Better onboarding builds loyalty

One survey found that, after a single positive interaction with a company, customers are less likely to be poached by the competition, more likely to advocate for that company among their peers, and more likely to spend more money with that company in the future.

The interaction they are often talking about is likely this first one, since 86% of people say they are likely to be loyal to a company with an onboarding system that welcomes and educates them. And, according to Gartner, customers define a positive interaction as one that adds value and is seamless and cohesive.

Every onboarding system needs to convey nitty gritty details, assign tasks, get paperwork completed, and establish a personal and technical relationship with the customer. Most of the published wisdom around onboarding starts and ends with a checklist.

The onboarding checklist

  • Have the customer fill out a questionnaire

  • Get customers signatures on a service contract

  • Send the customer a welcome kit and include some swag

  • Get customer setup in your system (PSA, RMM, etc.)

  • Have a kickoff meeting

  • User training

These are all excellent steps. But how do you communicate them to the customer?

Do you start with a PDF contract to collect digital signatures, follow that with a link to a Google form for the questionnaire and an introductory email that introduces the team? After that, perhaps you schedule a Zoom meeting so everyone can get to know each other.

This is a disjointed strategy. Using a patchwork of technologies, delivered in a variety of ways creates what Gartner calls a siloed user experience.

This many-stepped process puts the burden on the customer to keep track of email addresses, phone numbers, contact points, dates, and tasks.

This patched together checklist system is also cumbersome for you and makes it easy to miss a step.

86% of people say they are likely to be loyal to a company with an onboarding system that welcomes & educates them

Customers want a seamless experience

The onboarding experience in Moovila’s Perfect Project is simple and repeatable: Send the customer an invitation to join the project.

With one click on your invitation, they are part of your team.

Everything they need to do – all the paperwork they need to sign, the questions you need them to answer, the team they will be working with, and the dates of all the meetings – is right there in front of them in one seamless digital experience.

They can see pictures of everyone on the team. Ask a question or start a discussion with any or all of them. And when customers accept or complete tasks, that’s all they have to do. They don’t have to send a follow-up email or track down email addresses and names to do it.

Everything about your company is on your customer’s screen in one simple dashboard.

You want a system that’s easy to repeat & refine

Because Perfect Project lets you build templates for all your work processes, your onboarding system is repeatable and reliable.

Once your process is built into a template, executing it is a matter of sending the customer an invitation. With a few clicks, the customer is part of your team, knows what they need to do next, and is easy to reach. You can see when they have signed contracts, provided information, or asked questions. You can also see who answered those questions – no longer risking this important touchpoint to a lost email or missed message.

Best of all, once you build out your onboarding template, repeating the process is easy. Change any parameters that are special to a new project, add a team, and invite the customer.

Perhaps your standard template, for example, allows customers a few days to grant systems access and answer questions. But a new customer told you this will take them a couple of weeks. Quickly change that duration in the template, invite the customer, and your repeatable process looks as if it was custom made for them.

As your process evolves, so does your template.

Perhaps you expand your service offerings or discover you need additional signatures or approvals to work with a client’s third-party services, something you omitted when you built the template and had to chase down later.

Add these items to your template and, in the future, no steps will be missed. You can fine tune your repeatable onboarding process as you improve your processes, build out your offerings, or add steps.

Permission based access you can customize

You set the customer’s access to your project. So, though they feel they are a part of your team, they can’t see conversations, team members, or parts of the project you don’t want them to see.

Even the notes you leave on tasks are permission based. For example, you can leave a note on a customer task, welcoming them and thanking them for their speedy response while leaving a note on that same task only your team – or some members of your team – can see to call out a mistake or alert them to a pertinent detail. The permissions are customizable.

Being invited into the project – rather than having to reach out to you through a patchwork of communication tools – allows the customer to see progress in real time, rather than wonder who to ask for updates or wait for the next check-in meeting for a status. A quick glance tells them everything they need to know.

And there is a name and face attached to every person on the project – in your house and theirs – so customers feel connected to your firm. And it’s more than an impression. They are linked to your team with a constant thread.

Build strong connections with clients

This saves your customers time and effort and makes working with your team organized and easy. This is precisely the “added value” Gartner says customers are asking for in their interactions with service providers.

And it’s not a one-time link. Once a customer is linked to your company through this project, you can use the connection to engage with them through every phase of your relationship and every interaction, building deeper loyalty and connection – and all the ways that helps you grow your company – as you work together.

Want to see our onboarding templates in operation? Book a demo.


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