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6 Keys to an Effective Call Center Request for Proposal (RFP)

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 providing a high standard of customer service and improving customer experience. The process of selecting an outsourced partner requires careful consideration. You’ll need to start by crafting a contact center request for proposal (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 will help you achieve your goals..

If you are new to the contact center RFP process in the context of outsourcing, or simply looking for a best practices guide, here are six steps to get the most out of the call center RFP process and ensure you are delivering a great experience to your customers:

  • Know your own needs 

Before you begin to create a contact center RFP, reflect on exactly what you want from your outsourced call center partnership, 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 a contact center RFP that reflects the demands of your brand and sets clear expectations from the start.

Examine key performance indicators (KPIs), 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 outsourced contact center must be equipped with the latest technology that will allow your brand to provide great customer experience, high levels of customer satisfaction and maintaining customer loyalty. A significant portion of your RFP should be dedicated to technology.

In order to deliver seamless customer experience, organizations are looking to support and integrate multiple channels of communication, allowing customers to obtain optimal service regardless of their channel of choice.

ICMI’s 2019 Trend Watch article highlights call center automation and how crucial it is for contact center leaders to be prepared to keep pace with evolving customer needs. Don’t hesitate to bring up topics such as chatbots, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and omnichannel support when preparing your contact center RFP.

  • 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 operation are also critical to ensuring adequate coverage. This coverage is required to deliver the service levels that you use to measure your business. Details and data are essential when building a call center RFP.

Details of a Call Center RFP
Details and data are essential when building a call center RFP.
  • 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 outsourced contact center partner.

You want a partner to be a natural extension of your operation in order to promote the consistent experience your customers expect from your brand in our highly competitive environment.

According to Tom Laird, CEO of Expivia Interaction Marketing Group, 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.

Understanding your partner’s internal values and culture can make a world of difference. Micah Solomon, customer service speaker and consultant, states that a motivated employee will be “contributing everything they’ve got toward making every service interaction shimmer and shine for your company’s customers” and adds that “employees will make their choice in part by considering how they feel they’re being treated, internally.”

  • Emphasize collaboration

When you enter a partnership with an outsourced contact center, you’ll want to ensure that the company is ready to take a flexible, team-based approach to your objectives.

Get creative in your contact center RFP by posing hypothetical questions and scenarios. Encourage vendors to think outside the box and demonstrate their willingness to work to achieve your goals together.

Contact us today to learn more about our outsourced contact center services.

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