Client Onboarding Checklist for an MSP

Client onboarding is the first real step you have with your clients to make an impression. And client onboarding is just not as simple as the word itself sounds. Every ‘new’ client you deal with is oblivious of the quality of your service and vice versa. It’s like getting into a relationship without an affirmative future, but trust. 

Now, that I have made the comparison easy, think if you as an MSP make the smallest of the mistake, how evident would it be? For any new client, your initial mistakes would be colossal. While your existing clients would still give you a chance to endure.

Therefore, we have come up with this onboarding checklist/guide which will educate you to quit making some of the common mistakes and foster your relationship for a longer and better term.

Every client you onboard, does not have the same requirement. And the onboarding checklist might differ from one another. We totally understand that! However, streamlining the entire onboarding process will help you in implementing a better framework and analyze the critical variables. 

So, let’s get on with it!

Get to know your client better

This is one of the most important steps you must perform when onboarding a new client. It is neither something new nor rocket science. Collecting basic information is done to familiarize yourself with the client’s needs. You will have a broad spectrum while creating the SLA and plan for the future services to provide. 

As every client is different and so are their requirements, always try to collect this basic information. 

1. Company name
2. Representative’s name
3. Service tier
4. Number & cost of servers
5. Number & cost of workstations
6. Managed services required 
  • Managed backup 
  • Cloud storage 
  • Help-desk 
  • Hardware procurement 
  • Systems security 
  • Systems management 
  • System monitoring 
7. Existing documentation
8. Send current setup questionnaire
9. Receive current setup questionnaire
10. Server and workstation specifications
11. Account passwords for all systems and equipment
12. Business-specific details (like working hours for each location, or information about computers that must not be restarted during working hours)
13. Details regarding third-party support for line-of-business applications, hardware warranties, and ISP accounts

Put across the contract  

Making a contract seems beautiful but, always remember that your contract should carefully detail the information on which both the parties have agreed upon. If the terms and conditions of acceptance are the same for multiple clients, then use the same format. When different, make sure to change the contract before putting it on the table. 

Note: Always sign the contract only after gathering information about the client mentioned in point 1. Do not sign the contract before understanding what you are getting into! 

Welcome the new client

Once the client has been onboarded with the initial steps, make them feel comfortable with the relationship they have stepped into. Instead of shoving work-related information at the beginning, introduce your organization in a beautiful PDF/word format, also known as a welcome document. 

The document should have,

1. Introductory information or summary about your organization

2. A description of the provisioning process

3. Introduction to your service offerings

4. Some useful reads/links

5. Customer testimonials to make the new client feel satisfied and confident

Try not to ask the same questions which you might have already put forward earlier. In case, you wish to collect some information, frame a questionnaire, different from the one in point 2, and send across. 

Let the teams meet   

As a managed service provider, you already know that a team member of yours is always interacting with the client. And most of us don’t really bother to introduce or make both the parties feel comfortable at first. Just a simple exchange of names is done over a call and the parties are left on their own. 

Its time to break the monotony and give the parties enough time to be comfortable and at pace with each other. Schedule a meeting so that the teams get to know the client’s requirements better. And finally, better communication can resolve most of the issues without becoming one!

1. Schedule and confirm the kickoff call

2. Schedule and confirm the setup date

3. Schedule and confirm the quality check/assessments

4. Review the status of the onboarding process

5. Review the weekly reporting and expectations

6. Schedule and confirm a monthly and quarterly reporting, too

7. Review the internal processes,

  • Use policy
  • Antivirus
  • Anti-spam
  • Website hosting
  • Go live date and expectations

Prepare and plan for the future 

These are the written and documented format of the information collected earlier. As per the data received, the project is framed step by step and the same should be shared with the client. 

1. Prepare the project task list

2. Prepare the project schedule

3. Send the planned documents

Create and provision the onboarding 

Now that you have your client onboarded on paper, it’s time to have their systems onboarded. This is also one of the most important steps while onboarding your client. A mistake can be a huge loss!

1. Set up the client in your Professional Services Automation (PSA) tool 

2. Set up the client in your accounting and billing systems

3. Set up the SLA agreement in your PSA tool

4. Send an announcement email introducing the new client to your company 

5. Obtain all contracts and warranties for hardware and software, including: 

  • IT hardware manufacturer and all warranty contracts 
  • IT software license contracts (operating system, anti-virus, proprietary applications, backup, etc.) 
  • IT communication and service contracts for the client

6. Enter the emergency support information into your PSA

7. Change administrative passwords wherever relevant. This may include: 

  • Gateway routers 
  • Firewall 
  • Wireless access devices 
  • Printers 
  • Switches (ethernet, fiber) 
  • NAS/SAN 
  • Virtual machines 
  • VOIP devices 
  • Windows service accounts (administrator, SQL, SA, Sharepoint) 
  • Workstations admin passwords 
  • Other network appliances 
  • Anti-virus console 
  • VPN access 
  • Web portals 
  • Remote assistance programs 

8. Discover all user, service and backdoor accounts and troubleshoot as needed 

9. Identify all admin and domain admin group members and troubleshoot as needed 

10. Identify all groups and membership for remote access 

11. Review PCs for local admin and service accounts 

12. Scan the network’s internal LAN for IP-enabled devices and review 

13. Register for web properties and DNS 

14. Review firewall rules and modify as needed

Setup the RMM  

Remote monitoring and management (RMM) is crucial for you to keep an eye on your client’s infrastructure remotely and respond when required. Therefore, have the RMM setup included in your onboarding process, too. 

Things that you must perform during your onboarding process should be,

1. Install RMM agents on the client’s servers, workstations, and mobile devices 

2. Make sure your RMM tool is compatible with any applicable antivirus programs and backup routines 

3. Test the monitoring and alerts to ensure they work

4. Install antivirus on the systems, servers and mobile devices

Educate the new client                                   

Your client’s employees are the ones who would be using the systems set by you. Therefore, there can be certain features that are new to them. In cases like these, conduct training to educate the employees. Schedule a webinar or an on-site meeting and try to keep the meeting concise. Do not deliver too much information that the employees/users get confused about. Ask questions and set clear expectations during the training session.

Take them live                                                 

The final step of the onboarding is to take the client live. Record every step of your completion in the PSA tool. Send across an email with the confirmation of going live and the SLAs set, just for the record. 

Check the clients for feedback

Now that the client has been onboarded, don’t just leave them treated as a customer. Take proper care and feedback from the client and its employees to understand where you stand. Request for onboarding feedback with all the questionnaires mentioned (that you wish to be specifically answered by the client). 

Conduct and send a 30-day progress review, followed by a 60-day progress review and finally a 90-day progress review. It should already be comprehended by an MSP that it takes a minimum of 60 to 90-days for the business and communication to get going. Therefore, it is also recommended to collect feedback from the clients until the 90-days of onboarding them. 

Summary/What should you actually be focused on

As a business owner, we totally understand that you have been trying to give your customers a better experience. After all, who wouldn’t? But a personalized service is what enlightens a customer. 

Onboarding is a very serious stage of client acquisition. The smallest of the mistakes can also lead to bigger damages. And therefore, it is very essential that you streamline your onboarding process so that things can fall in place without much confusion. 

To provide your customers with a positive experience, personalize and simplify the onboarding process. Create a first impression that is enjoyed by your customers!

Plan for an effective client onboarding process

Zomentum’s MSP sales platform gives you a key competitive advantage of streamlining your onboarding journey at an affordable price for any MSP. You don’t have to be ‘something different’ to get collaborative and implement forward-thinking in easing the entire and the most crucial process of client onboarding. 

Get in touch with us to have a bird’s eye view of an efficient client onboarding process. 

Reach us online or request a demo.