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Onboarding for MSPs: Crucial Steps for Client Success

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    Joe Rojas: Hey everyone, Joe and Jeff here from the Start, Grow Manage Podcast. We’re kicking off the year with a discussion about goal setting.

    Jeff Loehr: It’s the beginning of the year and I can’t believe it. It feels like just yesterday we were deciding to do the Summit Live back in September, and now it’s already been a month since we finished it. I don’t know how it happened so fast, but here we are.

    Joe Rojas: It feels like time has been flying by since the beginning of December. As I get closer to the summit, it’s like I’m entering a black hole – the closer I get, the faster it goes.

    Jeff Loehr: Today I want to talk about onboarding.

    Joe Rojas: Okay, so what do you want to say about onboarding?

    Jeff Loehr: Well I got an interesting email the other day.

    Joe Rojas: The one that was from a Nigerian prince?

    Jeff Loehr: No, no, no, I took care of that one. But I did think this one was a scam.

    Joe Rojas: But it was an actual message.

    Jeff Loehr: Right. The one that was that was that was true. That was a a genuine plea for help.

    Joe Rojas: Some context here. I’ve been through a lot in the MSP industry – buying and selling a bunch of different ones. Around 2012 or 2014, I had to sell off a lot of clients because they weren’t a good fit for us – they weren’t in our avatar. That was 11 years ago?”

    Jeff Loehr: Nine years ago. So I got this email is for an old MSP. They’re trying to talk to Joe about a domain that’s gone expired. They’re trying to email him to verify the ownership, but it doesn’t exist anymore. It’s not registered to anyone, let alone Joe. So they’re stuck, their website’s not working, and they’ve gone through two MSP transitions without ever updating the technical contact information. Crazy, right?

    Joe Rojas: It wasn’t really the MSPs fault, it was just the tech guy ghosted him. So now they have no way of getting into the domain expired. They’re a reasonably sized company and nobody’s getting email.

    Jeff Loehr: The interesting thing about that is the onboarding process. In this case, it was the client, years later, who is affected. I was once skeptical about the importance of an onboarding process, but Joe convinced me that it was necessary. We learned that if you don’t have an onboarding process, it can have long-term effects, especially for clients.

    Joe Rojas: Luckily I’m still listed with that domain so I was able to help them get back in. Without me, they would have had to wait 75 days for the domain to expire and then hope to buy it back.

    Jeff Loehr: This leads to a problem you have Joe. Joe has been getting a lot of calls for MSP services because he’s the guy who solves the problem. But it’s not that hard to create a process to make sure you have all the information you need. Gathering all the info, transferring technical contacts, domains, and ownership. Create a detailed step-by-step process that you can take new clients through.

    Joe Rojas: Right. When onboarding a client, it’s important to pay attention to the little things like domain names, web hosting, firewall servers, and SaaS software accounts. If you don’t get the logins and technical context for the line of business applications, you’ll be stuck if something goes wrong. It’s worth taking the time to get all the contact information during the onboarding process, so you’re prepared for any issues that arise. Especially if your client is maybe less tech savvy, taking the time to get what you need is crucial.

    Jeff Loehr: If you’re in a situation where your client’s domain has expired and you never bothered to get the information to rescue it, this means their website is not functioning, and it’s going to take at least a week to get a resolution. That time has a cost. But hey Joe, quick question – you’re gathering all the passwords. Where do you save them?

    Joe Rojas: You need great password software. As an MSP you’re probably using IT Glue or something similar. I personally prefer to use a password manager like LastPass or 1Password, so that the client can store all their own passwords and give us access to them as needed. We also often need to harden their cybersecurity profile, as often the same password is used across the board, which is a security risk. We need to do a dark web scan to make sure the password isn’t already out there.

    Going back to onboarding then: Onboarding is also crucial part of setting up a successful helpdesk team. If the team doesn’t have the information they need when they go to troubleshoot, they’ll be in trouble. It’s essential to get the security posture of the client right so the helpdesk team can do their job properly.

    Jeff Loehr: We’ll put some resources together on the website, as least for our client community, to help with this. Remember that onboarding is key, get all of your stuff onboarded and get your clients on board.

    Joe Rojas: And remember that you are loved.

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