Managed Services 101: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly of Client Onboarding

Written by George Lattimore on June 3, 2019

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When it comes to managed services, your relationship with the client is first and foremost. Providing IT, in particular, is all about building trust with your customers. Think about it—when the CEO of one of your client organizations wakes up worried in the middle of the night, they aren’t going to repeat a slog of security features and stats to fall back asleep. They’re going to wonder if their business is setup for success, if their employees have the resources they need, and will they be secure in an online world.

As an MSP, whether you’re a one-man-band with only a handful of clients or an IT technician that’s part of a global MSP servicing hundreds, onboarding is simply fundamental. It’s the first real experience clients have with your services, and therefore, ensuring a smooth experience is vital for maintaining a good reputation and facilitating business growth.

Mapping out the core facets of implementation for various IT environments and continually refining these steps in an ongoing template can help streamline your process and reduce friction. Whether or not you’ve heard of George Satayana, we’ve all heard this before: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” By learning from the mistakes of other managed service providers (MSPs), your business can emerge stronger, wiser, and more prepared for the clients ahead.

Okay, let’s get to it. We’ve done our due diligence to bring you the good, the bad, and the ugly of client on-boarding, taking stock of various Partner channels around the web.

The Good Client Onboarding Practices to Follow

Take it from Blondie (The Good), “I’ll sleep better knowing my good friend is by my side to protect me.” While these aren’t hard and fast rules for every MSP to strictly abide by, they can be thought of as guiding best practices that will help you and your clients sleep better.

  1. Listen closely to customer contact
  2. Ensure client needs can be met with your services
  3. Promote good security practices to meet regulation requirements as needed (HIPAA, SOC, GDPR, PCI, etc.)
  4. Build an implementation roadmap with formal checklist
  5. Communicate your plan clearly and transparently
  6. Connect clients with one point of contact
  7. Check in every 30 days
  8. Ensure fundamentals of setup and tooling are on-time
  9. Provide written documentation for the client whenever possible
  10. Use a cloud directory to accelerate onboarding time

The Bad & the Ugly of Client Onboarding to Avoid

As Tuco once said (The Ugly), “If you work for a living, why do you kill yourself working?” There are better ways and better tools out there for MSPs to leverage. If you’re guilty of making any of the following errors, consider how you can revise your onboarding process.

  1. Leaving out unencrypted backups
  2. Giving every user the same password
  3. Sharing zero support documentation
  4. Promising more than your services can deliver
  5. Overloading the client with products / services
  6. Reshaping client needs to fit your services
  7. Accidentally creating users as admins
  8. No RMM monitoring or identity management
  9. Not following up after
  10. Overwhelming client with multiple streams of communication

Some of the mistakes above boil down to lack of due diligence, but one way MSPs are streamlining and building their client onboarding process is by leveraging a cloud directory service as the foundation.

How JumpCloud® Can Help

If you don’t use JumpCloud already for your client onboarding and offboarding process, consider how much time and effort you’d save by integrating Directory-as-a-Service® into your tech stack. JumpCloud Partners receive free access to a Multi-Tenant Portal to help streamline client management across multiple sub-organizations. MSPs can perform core IT functions at scale across their entire clientele and save significant time by doing so.

Jan Kalkus, Lead Technician at Altitude Integrations, had this to say regarding how becoming a JumpCloud Partner has changed their client management:

“Most of the client feedback has been centered around how much quicker and easier it is to onboard a new hire. As long as the new hire has an email account, I can onboard them to any of the systems that are integrated with JumpCloud,” Jan said. “The client just has to tell their new hire to check their email and follow the instructions. After that, the new hire can log on to the machines that they need to and access network resources. That’s been the biggest feedback we’ve had, adding and even removing users has become quicker and simpler for us and for the client.”

Want to hear more about how a cloud directory can accelerate your client onboarding? Send our Partner Support team a note and we’ll get back to you with details. If you’re considering trying out the platform for yourself, go ahead and give it a go! For each client account, you get 10 users free, with the entire platform there at your fingertips.

George Lattimore

George is a writer at JumpCloud, a central source for authenticating, authorizing, and managing your IT infrastructure through the cloud. With a degree in Marketing and an MS in Public Communications and Technology, George enjoys writing about how the IT landscape is adapting to a diversified field of technology.

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