According to Loopio, “Companies respond to an average of 150 RFPs per year”. In the business world, call center outsourcing RFP is a common tool.

Despite being so common, a call center proposal often confuses some business professionals when it comes to choosing the questions to ask in the RFP. 

However, you don’t need to be stressed. In this article, we’ll inform you about the concept of RFP for outsourcing and the questions that you should be asking in your RFP template. 

In this post we’ll cover the following:

What is RFP for call center outsourcing?

Techopedia defines RPF as, “A document issued by a business or an organization to request vendor bids for products, solutions, and services”.

Simply put, RFP or Request For Proposal can be defined as a formal document that indicates an organization’s interest to purchase a good/service.

In the RFP, the organization asks various questions that help the vendors recognize their needs. After analyzing the organization’s RFP, vendors respond to it by issuing a proposal. The proposal consists of the answers to the organization’s questions and how their services are ideal for them. 

6 steps involved in successful RFP for outsourcing

Have a look at the 5 major steps that are involved in RFP for outsourcing:

1. Analyze your needs

Before coming up with an RFP, you must be aware of the current needs and requirements of your company.

You need to properly analyze your business model, customer base, financial statistics, and your current place in the market. This will help you come up with appropriate questions for your RFP.

2. Drafting and Issuing of RFP

Once you have a clear outlook of your business goals and objectives, start drafting your RFP accordingly. Next, prepare a mailing list of vendors you want to send your RFP to. After the mailing list of vendors is ready, issue your RFP accordingly. 

3. Get vendors to respond

The next step after issuing an RFP is to gather vendor responses. For that, you can send your RFP to the vendors on your list or you can make a public announcement in the form of bidding services. This will help your RFP reach a lot of vendors. 

4. Score the responses

Once you gather all the vendor responses, you must score them. You must try to come up with an appropriate scoring system that helps find the vendor that best suits your needs and requirements.

5. Shortlist vendors

After evaluating all the responses, you might have a clear look at vendors that best suit your needs. Make a list of the top 3 or top 5 vendors you think would be the best for your company.

6. Final selection and contract signing

After interacting with your shortlisted vendors, discuss with your team and decide upon the result. Once you make the final decision, inform them and then come up with an appropriate contract. Make sure that the contract is in both party’s best interests. 

Call center RFP template examples with important questions to ask:

The following are types of RFP templates with questions that you need to ask: 

1. General information template

The general information template is mainly targeted to better understand the background of a vendor.

It gives you an insight into a vendor’s past deals and their overall experience in the market. It helps you analyze whether a vendor is a right fit for your company or not.

– Questions you should be asking:

  • When was your company established?
  • Where is your company headquartered, and how many branches do you have?
  • Any location you wish to expand your services?
  • How many employees do you have in each branch?
  • Name the 3 biggest clients that you have served.
  • What makes you different from the competing call center agencies?
  • Do you currently serve a client that is our competitor?
  • Can you list some successful customer testimonies?
  • How do you distinguish your company from the others in the market?
  • What makes your company ideal for our business?

2. Operational Information template

In the operation information template, your questions are directed towards the basic functioning of the vendor’s call center. It will give you an insight into the hierarchy of the call center, workflow, and the way they will interact with your customers. It can also act as an RFP marketing template, where you can ask questions to better understand their marketing strategies. 

– Questions you should be asking:

  • What are the average work hours of your agents?
  • How many agents do you have in each branch?
  • Who supervises the overall performance of your agents?
  • What type of marketing strategies do you generally use?
  • What is your average agent to manager ratio?
  • Mention the number of agents who work in-office and remote.
  • What are your agents’ rotational shift timings?
  • How did your company manage hours amidst the pandemic?
  • Do you think a work-from-home setup is effective?
  • Can you ensure regular quality services from agents who work from home due to the pandemic?

3. Recruitment Details template

To better understand third-party customer service providers, you should know about their recruitment process. The recruitment details template can help you know whether a third-party call center comprises a strong recruitment process or not.

Additionally, it tells you about the traits and experience they look for while recruiting a candidate, giving you clarity on whether the vendor’s recruitment process suits your needs or not. 

– Questions you should be asking:

  • What is your basic recruitment procedure?
  • What are the traits that you look for in a candidate?
  • What is your idea of an ideal candidate?
  • How long is your recruitment process?
  • How do you approach negotiations with the shortlisted candidates?
  • What training procedures or workshops do you give out to the selected candidates?
  • What is the average percent of agents in your company that can converse fluently in English and [native language]?
  • What is the one quality that you sought the most in a candidate?
  • How many work hours do you expect from a fresher candidate?
  • What is the average stipend you offer to a fresher candidate?

4. Service Details template

This service details or RFP agency template is generally used to understand the various services that the agents of the call center offer.

This RFP template gives you a basic insight into the effectiveness of the services that they offer. This can be used as an RFP pricing template as well. In it, you can also ask the vendor questions about their annual turnover. 

– Questions you should be asking:

  • What are the basic outsourced customer support services that you offer?
  • How did you manage to offer your services during the pandemic?
  • Please mention your agent attrition rate.
  • What is your process of calculating the agent attrition rate?
  • What factors do you think lead to churn?
  • What’s your strategy to tackle churn?
  • What was the turnover of your company last year?
  • What is your average turnover since your company was established?
  • How do you plan on increasing your turnover?
  • Will you be able to provide 80/30 service levels?
  • Do you have requirements for hourly commitments from your agents? 

5. Technology Used template

As the title suggests, in the technology-used template you can ask questions about the technology that a vendor uses in their call center.

This RFP template can be used for acquiring SaaS or IT services as well. It will help you determine whether the call center is updated with the latest customer service tools or not. 

– Questions you should be asking:

  • What technology do you currently use?
  • Are your agents adequately trained to use this technology?
  • When was the last time you updated your system to the latest version?
  • What tools do you use for customer interaction?
  • What according to you is the best customer service tool?
  • Do you provide proper training to your agents for adjusting to new technology?
  • Will you be able to adjust to the technology that we use?
  • How often do you update your system to the latest trends?
  • How long do your agents usually take to adjust to new technology?

Conclusion

Having the right team to support you during this cutthroat competition in the business world is a real blessing. Customer service and interaction form the crux of your company. To ensure that, you must have a top-notch call center team. RFP for outsourcing can work wonders in this scenario. Coming up with a proper RFP template can help you put forward a good customer service team.

If you still feel overwhelmed, you can always delegate your call support to Helplama’s US-based customer service professionals starting from a few hundred dollars per month.

Also, you can try the Helplama Helpdesk – the customer service software that can help you automate and scale your customer support.