Call Center RFP Template – The Most Useful Questions to Ask

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    [Updated January 25, 2022]

    So, you’re looking for call center / contact center outsourcing options for 2022…

    Evaluating business process outsourcing 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.  The success in forging a partnership with the right organization can depend on several factors. One of the requirements when considering outsourcing your customer support is creating an RFP.  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 the locations of all your offices.
    3. Please share the 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 the 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 workforce management strategy like?
    6. What performance-based incentives do you offer the agents?
    7. What is your call center’s hour of operation?
    8. What is your call center’s agent to manager ratio?
    9. How are your call center agents scheduled?
    10. How many at-home agents do you currently employ?
    11. Would agents be dedicated to our company?
    12. What is your at-home agent to manager ratio?
    13. What are your hours of operation for at-home agents?
    14. What is your at-home agent payment model? 
    15. How are your at-home agents scheduled?
    16. In what shifts are your agents scheduled ?
    17. What is your contingency plan for emergency situations like the  COVID-19 pandemic?
    18. What training is available for the agents when setting up a work-from-home workspace?
    19. How do we ensure that the agents continue to provide quality customer service experience when working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic?
    20. How is productivity measured in a work-from-home setup?

    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 do you leverage your human capital?
    6. Do you offer continuing learning opportunities to agents?
    7. What career advancement programs do you offer to attract and motivate agents?
    8. How many hours on average are your agents working per week?
    9. What percentage of your agents can speak Spanish? What percentage can speak French-Canadian?
    10. What criteria do you use to determine if an agent is a good fit for your customer?
    11. Are your agents’ independent contractors? 
    12. Do you provide your agents with a choice of which companies to work for?
    13. Describe your process to hire agents for customers that have a language requirement.
    14. 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 full-time equivalent (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.