IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Customer Onboarding Success Secrets: Page 3 of 3

If you start a relationship off correctly, with a defined process and SOPs, it’s much more likely to be fruitful. By Jessica Meek
Reader ROI: 
THE FIRST 90 DAYS of a new customer relationship set the tone for the long-term health and profitability of that account.
BEST PRACTICES FOR AN ONBOARDING process include SOPs and documentation, as well as setting service-level expectations.
GET TO KNOW EVERYONE at the customer organization, from the mail room to the C-suite.
INVOLVE THE CUSTOMER in the onboarding process by offering them a checklist with a clear process to follow.

Ultimately, successful onboarding has “a rhythm of project management that’s tighter than usual,” Bickmore says. This can involve weekly team calls during the onboarding process, along with monthly check-ins with the client.

Matt Anciaux, Managing Partner, Monarchy IT

Anciaux recommends continued contact beyond the critical first 90 days as well. “Just because the contract is signed and the sale is closed, it doesn’t mean the onboarding is done,” he says. “You still need to dedicate time to the ‘soft’ side of onboarding, like taking donuts or stopping in to say hi. Onboarding never ends, as you’re always going to be competing against somebody walking in and trying to do it better than you do. This mindset is key.”

If you can get onboarding right, “it defines the reliability of the relationship before it even begins,” Anciaux continues, adding that it also offers the potential for future business. “Onboard correctly and you can get … referrals from those newly onboarded customers that are more likely to turn around than whatever you’re doing organically.”

It also helps MSPs prove their worth to new clients early on, according to Bickmore.

“It’s obvious that if you start a relationship off correctly, it’s much more likely to be successful,” he says. “Most of the time when you’re coming into a new client, there’s a lot of things that aren’t working quite right, and if your onboarding can fix those things, you’re going to be moving them from unprofitable service to profitable service, meaning they have fewer issues, so they’re happy and you’re happy.”

Image: iStock

About the Author

Jessica Meek's picture

JESSICA MEEK is a freelance technology and financial writer based in New York.

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