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Call Center RFP Template – The Most Useful Questions to Ask

[Updated 10/28/2020]

So, you’re looking for call center / contact center outsourcing options for 2021…

Evaluating these  vendors can be a tricky and time-consuming process. We’ve consolidated the most useful questions and templates into this sheet for you.

For a general overview of RFPs in this industry, see this page.

The current state of customer service requires more flexibility and variability than ever. It’s critical to partner with an outsourcer that will adhere rapid-fire response times on digital channels so that no customer is neglected.

How long does it take to host a call center RFP?

Choosing and evaluating multiple vendors can take months.  When hosting an RFP, consider the following timeline as a general roadmap/template:

DescriptionTimeframe (from previous deadline)
Request for Proposal (RFP) Issued Initial date
Respondents may ask clarifying questions2 weeks
Deadline for Written Proposals (including Price)3 weeks
Down selection and Invitation to Presentations3 weeks
Supplier Presentations3 weeks
Down Selection Decision2 weeks
Scope of Work (SOW) Issued1-6 months
Deadline to Respond to SOW1 week
Final Decision3 weeks

RFP Template and Common Questions in the Call Center business:

It’s important to be as thorough as possible when evaluating outsourcers, particularly traditional call centers.  Here are the categories and questions you should be asking, in addition to these five essential questions

General Company Information Template

  1.  Please share your annual revenue for the past 2 years.
  2. Where are your HQs located? Please share locations of all your offices.
  3. Please share number of employees by location.
  4. Name your five largest clients.
  5. Do you have any clients who are known for their excellent customer service?
  6.  What is it that you do best and differentiates you from other agencies?
  7.  Why is your agency the right fit for our company?
  8.  Do you serve any clients who would be considered a competitor to our company?
  9.  What is an area you consider an opportunity to improve within your agency?

Operational Information Template

  1. How would you describe the culture of your call center?
  2. Where are your call centers located? Please share locations of all your call centers.
  3. How many call center agents are there at each location?
  4. How much can these locations scale up to accommodate our needs?
  5. What is your call center’s hour of operation?
  6.  What is your call center’s agent to manager ratio?
  7. How are your call center agents scheduled?
  8.  How many at-home agents do you currently employ?
  9. Would agents be dedicated to our company?
  10. What is your at-home agent to manager ratio?
  11. What are your hours of operation for at-home agents?
  12.  What is your at-home agent payment model? 
  13.  How are your at-home agents scheduled?
  14.  In what shifts are your agents scheduled ?

Recruitment Template

  1. Please outline your approach to recruiting talent.
  2. How long is your recruitment process?
  3. Identify your top three agent recruitment sources.
  4. How do you profile your agents?
  5. How many hours on average are your agents working per week?
  6. What percentage of your agents can speak Spanish? What percentage can speak French-Canadian?
  7. What criteria do you use to determine if an agent is a good fit for your customer?
  8. Are your agents’ independent contractors? 
  9. Do you provide your agents with a choice of which companies to work for?
  10. Describe your process to hire agents for customers that have a language requirement.
  11. Are you able to recruit Spanish-speaking and French-Canadian agents?

Turnover & Service Template

  1.     What is your agent attrition rate?
  2.     How do you determine your agent attrition rate?
  3.     Are you able to provide 80/30 Service Levels?
  4.     How quickly and frequently can agents be scaled? 
  5.     Do you have any hour commitment requirements?
  6.     Do you have any FTE/agent commitment requirements?
  7.     What channels do you service?
  8.     For multi-brand customers are your agents typically dedicated to one brand in the portfolio or are they trained cross-brand? Discuss the differences.

The contact center RFP process can be laborious (but it doesn’t have to be).  Asking the right questions and ensuring that your business partners with a compatible supplier can have a great impact for your CX team and your customers. 

About Simplr

Simplr® offers companies a human-first, machine-enabled customer experience solution that meets the demands of the NOW Customer across all digital channels. Offering a combination of a uniquely talented, flexible, and scalable staffing pool, AI-based technology, and actionable intelligence, Simplr allows companies to immediately expand their customer service capacity and engage customers with speed, empathy, and precision. With Simplr’s NOW CX solution, premium brands are eradicating customer neglect, turning browsers into buyers, and turning NOW Customers into fans. Simplr is funded by Asurion, which continues to support its growth.