Client onboarding practices to swipe from Apple and Amazon

| By:
Brett Cheloff

Winning a new client is exciting.

After all that hard work, you are victorious. But soon after the celebration ends, onboarding begins. So the question becomes: How do you switch gears and keep the momentum going strong? Thankfully, retail and e-tail giants can help us solve this conundrum.

Think about your greatest customer experiences—the care that goes into an Apple purchase, the speed at which you get an Amazon delivery, the joy of streaming movies on demand from Netflix.

That’s the feeling you want to leave your clients with. While you may not have the seemingly infinite resources at your disposal that back these technology moguls, you can learn a thing (or three) from the service they give you.

Here are three practical ways to apply Apple and Amazon best practices to your client onboarding process:
1. Service-focused, not sales-focused

Of course you want your client to buy more from you. Who wouldn’t? But no one likes to be sold add-ons they don’t need. Be thoughtful in your recommendations. Focus on offering service/solving a problem instead of making another sale.

Action: Conduct a detailed business-needs analysis. This will help ensure you understand precisely what your client is trying to achieve, what they’re working with and if the solution you’re selling is actually able to resolve their issues. This way, it becomes clear that you’re looking out for their best interests.

2. Long-term, not short-term

When you’re in the business of generating recurring revenue, you have to start a relationship with your customer. Commitment comes with time. Amazon throws in free shipping for Prime members, Apple’s replacement policy is pretty amazing and Netflix delivers original content you just can’t get anywhere else.

We’re hooked. They’ve slowly won us over, and now they’re household names most of us use on a daily basis. They didn’t achieve this by nickel-and-diming customers upfront or making their pricing structure confusing. They offer straightforward products at straightforward prices.

Action: Perform a technology assessment. At this point, you should have a basic understanding of what your client does and how they do it, but now it’s time to see what they’re using. Use your RMM to perform the discovery and data-gathering functions necessary to adequately document your new client’s systems.

3. Personalization, not generalization

Do you get emails from Amazon and Apple that address you as ‘Customer’? No, they’d never do that because you’re on a first-name basis. The more you personalize your messages to clients, the more likely they’ll be to tune in.

Action: Share infrastructure upgrade needs and solutions. We recommend that all MSPs have basic client infrastructure requirements in place. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to communicate those to clients. Rather than delivering an overwhelming laundry list of things your new client needs to figure out how to address, make a list, personalize it and explain how making these upgrades will benefit them. And if you can’t perform the upgrades yourself, recommend someone who can.

As a technology service provider, you need to gather a sometimes substantial amount of data (RMM and PSA configuration requirements, billing and the communications systems and more) before you can you can begin to help solve a prospect’s technology woes. We get it.

But as you identify those pieces of information and put the puzzle together, focus on delivering a service-first experience, building a longer-term relationship and personalizing communications.

A successful onboarding process happens before you decide to start offering services. Start your journey into a better onboarding experience today by swiping the three proven onboarding practices from Apple and Amazon we talked about above. And for a deeper dive, read more posts about onboarding best practices.