How to Create Call Center Outsourcing RFP (Request for Proposal)

Tips to Create the Best Call Center Outsourcing RFP (Request for Proposal)
Tips to Create the Best Call Center Outsourcing RFP (Request for Proposal)

A Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Quote (RFQ) is the preliminary step for companies to outsource work to external firms. When a company needs the services of an external specialist vendor, it creates an RFP document for identifying potential service providers. This document primarily contains scope of work with all required technical specifications. Further, it can also ask for other details such as financial condition, technical capacity and past records for accessing the suitability of the external company.

The external businesses that provide such services study this scope of work and provide information related to other terms, thus creating the proposal document.  This proposal document is then analyzed by the primary company to shortlist potential suppliers.  A properly created and objectively used RFP document makes the task of outsourcing simple, less time consuming and assures selection of the most appropriate vendor.

In order to meet its objectives, any basic RFP document needs to include certain components, listed below:

  • Scope of Work:

    The scope of work part includes a detailed explanation of services or products that are required.

  • Technical Specifications:

    This part mentions all the technical specification of products along with required service standards.

  • Schedule:

    RFP document mentions the outline of major activities and timeline for completion.

  • Qualification Details:  

    This part of RFP contains details with respect to technical, financial and commercial requirements for external companies to be able to bid for the opportunity. Any pre-required certifications etc are also mentioned.

  • Contract Terms and Conditions:

    These contain specific and general policies of the business for any procurement.

  • Format of Proposal:

    The RFP also tells bidders how they need to respond for the project. This ensures that all the received proposals are in a similar format which makes job of analysis and selection comparatively easier. These can also be mentioned as submission guidelines at the end of proposal.

Request for Proposal for Outsourced Call Center

In a business, a need for outsourcing associated call center activities may arise due to various reasons including swift growth of business, higher in-house costs or the need to focus operations on core objectives.  Whatever may be the reason, the preliminary step in process of outsourcing call center activities is creation of Call Center Request for Proposal.  The process of creation and using of such RFP document may seem long and complicated at first instance; however, it becomes quite simple and streamlined if certain best practices are followed.

Best Practices for Creating a Call Center RFP

  1. List Work Requirements:

    Before starting to look for a call center outsourcing services vendor, it is important to have a detailed understanding of exactly what services are required from external company and the extent of each of these. For this, an in-depth reflection of the current state of affairs within the company and the objectives of customer service must be done. Metrics, testimonials of customers, feedback of operations managers, and other data points should be analyzed to develop a comprehensive understanding about the CRM practices of the business and to establish the expectations from the outsourcing project. Further, technical specification and service standards should be mentioned in the RFP document.

  2. Establish Contractor Credentials:

    Post understanding the requirements of work, the next step is identifying basic technical as well as financial qualifications that need to be fulfilled by the Supplier/Contractor.  While the technical qualifications provide assurance for quality, financial and commercial qualifications minimize risk relating to project affordability.

  3. Define Commercial Terms and Conditions:

    Each company has own way of doing things. Hence, it is necessary that commercial terms and conditions relating to payment, delays and associated penalties are clear before the start of project itself. Further, complete knowledge about commercial terms also allows firms to calculate their costs in a more structured manner.

  4. Dig Deeper than Technical and Financial:

    The aim of the RFP document should be larger than finding the best technical solution provider at the lowest cost; it should be able to identify traits of a company’s work culture, their approach, their operating philosophy , their employee management, level of customer satisfaction they are able to provide etc. A company may not be technically the best or may not offer a solution at the lowest price, but if it is ready to go extra mile for customer satisfaction, this company may be a better choice than others. The RFP document provides an opportunity to find out such details about the vendor.

  5. Give Importance to Collaboration:

    Flexibility and a team-based approach are important characteristics in a call center outsourcing partner. In order to assess the collaborative capability of a vendor, the RFP should pose hypothetical questions and situations which will elicit responses from the outsourcing companies. The responses that match the expectations of the business will enable the selection of a vendor who will view the deal as a partnership.

  6. Lay Down KPIs:

    Usual contact center Key Performance Indicators include talk time, average handle time, first call resolution and others. If the outsourcer company has unique KPIs that are particular to the industry or the business model, these should be communicated in the RFP to determine if the vendor will be able to satisfy them. Specific examples should be included.

  7. Define Proposal Format:

    While it is important to seek all desired information related to judging suitability of service provider, it is equally important to define the format in which this information is received. An RFP document with no ‘submission guidelines’ results in proposals with information in random order which becomes very complicated to analyze.

Companies around the world are discovering the benefits of outsourcing, and a well-crafted RFP is the best way to weed out an unsuitable vendor from an expert. The document displays the requirements to vendors and provides platform for selection of most suitable ones. However, the scope of the document should not be limited to finding the lowest commercial bidder or most technologically advanced solution provider, instead the document should be used as a tool to identify the vendor who is most compatible technically, commercially, culturally and philosophically.

Read  Also Related  Call Center Articles:

Sl.No Article
1 How to Use Live Chat to Increase Sales Conversions
2 How to Choose a Call Center Outsourcing Partner
3 In-House Vs Outsourced Call Center: Advantages and Disadvantages

For more information on how Invensis Technologies will effectively manage your Customer Service requirement through our  Call Center Outsourcing Services, please contact our team on US +1-302-261-9036; UK +44-203-411-0183; AUS +61-3-8820-5183; IND +91-80-4115-5233; or write to us at sales {at} invensis {dot} net


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