Tailor your contact center RFP document to select the perfect partner for your specific goals.
As your company grows, expanding your brand’s call center operation is crucial to maintaining a high standard of customer service. However, the process of selecting an outsourced partner isn’t a quick and easy one. You’ll need to start by crafting a request for proposal, or RFP, that articulates all of your requirements and expectations in a clear and concise manner. This document can then guide your process toward an optimal partnership that achieves your goals.
If you are new to the RFP process in the context of contact center outsourcing, or simply looking for a guide to sharpen your practices, here are six steps to get the most out of your call center RFP process and ensure customer satisfaction:
“An RFP should articulate all of your demands and expectations in a clear and concise manner.”
- Know your own needs: Before you begin to create a contact center RFP, reflect on exactly what you want from your call center services, especially if this is your first foray into outsourcing. Once you identify the challenges and goals unique to your organization, you will be able to develop an RFP that reflects the demands of your brand and sets clear expectations from the start. Examine metrics, training practices, customer testimonials and other data points to develop a thorough understanding of your operations.
- Learn about partners: Since no two outsourcing companies are the same, it’s essential that you thoroughly evaluate every potential partner for compatibility. As Lieber and Associates recommends, you should be ready to dive into a prospective partner’s operating philosophy, staff and management information, as well as details regarding relevant partnership history and case studies. Don’t hold back as you brainstorm questions and concerns for potential partners – the vetting process should be comprehensive by nature.
- Remember to talk tech: Today’s customers hold high expectations for service, and your call center must be equipped with the latest technology for maximizing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. A significant portion of your RFP should be dedicated to technological requirements, ranging from channels of support to advanced tools such as speech analytics. TechTarget listed 10 cutting-edge call center tech trends that you should keep handy while crafting your request for bids – even if only to make sure your future partner has a firm grip on the latest developments.
- Provide appropriate data: To prepare a proposal that properly reflects your program requirements, historical volumes and future growth are key data points to consider. Contact centers look for contact volume by channel, by day and by interval and are interested in promotions and seasonal patterns that are typically shown at a monthly level. Using average handle times by interaction type helps to develop a staffing profile. Hours of operations are also critical to ensuring adequate coverage. This coverage is required to deliver the service levels that you use to measure your business.
- Don’t forget about culture: Workforce management, solution details and technology tend to take center stage in RFP development. However, one must not overlook the critical component of culture when searching for your ideal call center companion. You want a partner to be a natural extension of your operation in order to promote the consistent, quality customer support the market has come to expect from your brand. According to Expivia Interaction Marketing Group CEO Tom Laird, this means prioritizing training, emphasizing dedicated roles and fostering a fun environment. And, of course, make sure to visit your prospective partner to get a true sense of their internal culture.
- Emphasize collaboration: When you enter a partnership with a call center services organization, you’ll want to ensure that the company is ready to take a flexible, team-based approach to your objectives. Get creative in your RFP by posing hypothetical questions and scenarios that will force vendors to think outside the box and prove that they are willing to achieve your goals together.