Many companies are nervous about starting with a new IT services company. They’re concerned about the time they’ll need to commit to a transition, possible disruption in workflow and potential downtime to the system.
Over the past 15 years, Atlas has onboarded hundreds of new clients. We’ve continually refined our processes and procedures to make things easy and painless for our new customers.
“So often after onboarding new clients we hear them say, ‘That was so easy,’ and ‘I didn’t expect that to be so smooth,’” said Kim Shimer, Director of Professional Services at Atlas. “Our goal is to remove any fears and complications.”
If your business is transitioning to a new IT services company, here are seven things the vendor can do to ensure an easy transition. These are based on the tried-and-true methods we follow at Atlas.
The most important thing a new IT services company can do is listen to the new client, especially to their concerns. They should understand your priorities, what you’re worried about and how your existing managed service provider (MSP) is falling short.
“At Atlas, listening is key,” Shimer said. “We ask customers how we can remove any fears and avoid problems they’ve experienced in the past. That enables us to move forward in a way that works best for that organization.”
Have a process – but be flexible
After hearing a new client’s concerns, the IT services company should make an onboarding plan. Ideally, the MSP will have well-defined, established protocols and processes to drive the effort. However, it’s also important for the MSP to be flexible enough to work within your company’s unique parameters.
“We have a structured process and work-plan four sheets deep for onboarding new clients,” Shimer said. “But after listening to the customer, we adjust the process as needed to best fit their preferences.”
Identify immediate needs
When the transition to the new IT service company begins, the MSP should assess your IT infrastructure and identify immediate needs. This includes things like installing or updating cybersecurity software, creating or updating password policies, and running data backups.
“Not every client is the same,” Shimer said. “We have to uncover what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, and act accordingly to immediately address any problem areas.”
Making sure your new MSP has you covered is especially important if your existing MSP cuts off services early. This sometimes happens when the relationship has soured.
Communicate with the outgoing IT services company
When existing MSPs are willing, we like to work directly with them to ensure a smooth transition for our clients. This helps to confirm no coverage lapses early. It also makes things easier for our clients, because they don’t have to play middle-man.
“Our goal is to make sure the transition impacts the client as little as possible – preferably not at all,” Shimer said.
Willingness to work with multiple members of your team
Ideally, your new IT service company will be willing to work with as many people at your organization as needed. Some MSPs only want to work with one or two points of contact. That can work in some cases. But, it can put a lot of burden on one person. Also, an MSP that will work with multiple people at an organization could be more effective, depending on the situation.
“Relationships and collaboration are literally two of Atlas’ core values,” Shimer said. “We’ll work with as few or as many people as our clients want, during onboarding and moving forward.”
Help communicating changes with end-users
Another hurdle business leaders sometimes perceive when switching to a new IT service company is getting employees up to speed on the change. The right MSP will make things easier by helping you communicate updates to your end-users. For example, at Atlas, we provide new clients with communications materials for employees.
“We aim to make things effortless for our points of contact,” Shimer said. “We give them templates to update with information for employees, about Atlas and how to reach us for support.”
Offer full transparency
The more information and transparency an IT service company provides to its clients, the better. This is true both during the initial ramp-up phase as well as the ongoing relationship. For example, MSPs should give clients the ability to see service ticket status, response times and survey responses from end-users.
“We want our clients to know how we’re doing,” Shimer said. “When they see the high survey scores and quick response times on tickets, it gives them confidence they’ve made the right choice in engaging Atlas.”