70 Customer Care RFP Questions (An Updated List + RFP Template)
(This is updated version of our most popular blogs: 52 RFP Questions (2013), 51 RFP Questions (2016), 60 RFP Questions (2020))
Every few years we update our recommended list of contact center RFP Questions. With every evolution in technology, workforce trends, and consumer expectations, the questions shift—which is testament to why generic, boilerplate RFPs never work for outsourcing customer care.
You’re welcome to pick and choose from the questions below, tailoring to your unique business needs. We hope this makes your RFP process a little smoother!
You can also download our customizable RFP template here.
The first pages of your RFP will always be the “get to know you” section. You want to find out the history and organization of a vendor to establish a foundation for their capacity to deliver on the scope and become a long-term partner.
List Company Facts
- How long have you been in business?
- How many full-time employees do you have?
- How many physical centers do you operate? (List address & number of employees for each location)
- What percent of your workforce is remote/work-at-home?
- What languages do you currently support?
- What awards or recognition has your company received in the past three years?
- What is the average length of your client relationships?
- Name your five largest clients, and list how long they have been clients.
- What percent of total annual revenue comes from your two largest clients?
- Do you serve any clients who would be considered a competitor to our company?
- Describe your corporate culture including how it is differentiated from your competition.
- Define your mission statement and company values.
- How does your corporate culture align with your understanding of our own company, values, and culture?
- What strategies have you deployed to maintain and nurture your culture with a mix of on-premises, remote, and/or hybrid employees?
- Describe your initiatives regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion within your organization. Detail roles and responsibilities, policies, and measurements.
- Provide any relevant ESG certification, rankings, or third-party verification.
An outsourcer’s ability to attract and retain the right people for your brand and your service requirements is essential.
- Describe your primary labor market including post-secondary education rates and unemployment rates. What percentage of your employees live within an hour of your primary market?
- Describe your company’s competitive differentiators within your labor market.
- Outline your attraction and recruitment strategies, processes, and success measurements, including results for hiring for the past 12 months.
- Describe your training structure (team, facilities, Learning Management Systems, remote platforms, etc.) and outline your approach to new hire training.
- What is unique about your agent training regimen?
- What’s your maximum class training size for in-person training? For remote training?
- What percentage of new hires graduate from training to production?
- What percentage of agents are still with the company six months after graduating from training?
- How have you evolved your training program to accommodate remote and/or hybrid work environments?
- How do your success ratios differ in remote/hybrid work circumstances versus on-premises training?
- What ongoing developmental or career development training do you offer?
- What is your annual agent attrition rate companywide (list both voluntary and involuntary turnover numbers)?
- What are the attrition rates for the program that most resemble our requirements?
- Describe your employee engagement strategies and measurement processes. Provide detail on employee engagement results, companywide, for the past three years and for the program that most closely resembles our requirements in size and scope for the past 12 months.
- How have your employee engagement strategies evolved to support remote and/or hybrid work environments?
- What percentage of your new hires comes from employee referrals?
- What is your average tenure of salaried staff? Hourly staff?
- How do you profile your agents and assess skills?
- What percent of agents have some post-secondary education?
Your customer care program may accumulate more data than any other part of your organization. Find out which vendors stick to standard call measures (AHT, ASA, FCR) and which go the extra mile to provide business insight and analysis that will help you make informed business decisions.
Capabilities and Experience in Information Services
- Describe your information services team including number of personnel, specializations.
- Provide an example of how you have used reporting to positively impact a client’s business.
- Do you offer conversational intelligence as a standard offering to clients? If yes, provide details on the platform, available insights, and reporting standards.
- What reports form the foundation of your quarterly business reviews?
- Who on your management team reviews client reports on a regular basis?
Reporting Customization and Client Access
- What custom reporting capabilities do you have?
- How do your clients access reporting in real-time or near real-time?
- Provide examples of standard and custom reporting.
Who will you be interfacing with once you’ve partnered up with an outsourcer? Now’s the time to ensure you will have the right makeup of project management resources to sync up with your own internal team.
- What percentage of the project manager(s)’s time will be dedicated to our project?
- Provide an organization chart and bios of senior leadership and program management resources who could be assigned to our program.
- What members of senior management are located on the same site as the location proposed for our program?
- Describe your governance model including details on senior management involvement on our account.
- What differentiators have contributed to your successful strategic partnerships and what gaps or barriers were contributing factors in your least successful?
Again, think about what’s important to you. For example, if relationship management has been a struggle with your current provider, you’ll want to make sure you understand how a new partner might offer something more aligned with your expectations. And on the flipside, if you’re a first-time outsourcer, you’ll want to understand how the client/outsourcer relationship will be managed, what you can expect from your partner, and what they will expect of you.
A vendor’s technology stack is the make-or-break factor in their capacity to pivot and adapt to situations like the recent pandemic. You need to get the full picture of their everyday technology capabilities and integrations – as well as their business continuity and redundancy plans.
- Describe your experience integrating with the telephony and CRM/CTI systems described in our requirements.
- Detail your business continuity plans and redundancy practices.
- How do you support the remote and/or hybrid environment from a technology perspective?
- What options do you provide to clients for program-specific redundancy or contingency plans? (Provide details on which options are included in your pricing model.)
- Detail your ability to pivot from an in-office solution to a primarily remote solution and vice versa from a technology perspective.
- Describe your current AI capabilities and services.
- How long have you been delivering AI solutions as part of your contact center services?
- If you are using conversational intelligence, describe the implementation, ingestion, and insight timeline for a new client. How long will it take for a new client to benefit from the machine-learning attributes of your system?
- What KPIs/metrics do you measure in tracking the effectiveness of your escalations from AI to live agents?
- What IT resources can you provide to support the migration and integration of AI into our customer service solutions?
- How do you measure the impact and effectiveness of your AI strategy?
- What steps do you take when outcomes of your AI strategy are falling short of expectations?
- What similar projects are you currently using AI technology for? What results have you seen?
Contact center pricing models vary from vendor to vendor. It’s easier to get an apples-to-apples comparison when providing specific scenarios (i.e. call volume) using the economic model you prefer, such as cost per call, cost per minute, cost per headcount, etc.
- Detail one-time costs associated with startup.
- What is the estimated annual cost of the solution detailed in your proposal?
- Detail your pricing model by channel using the volumes and SLAs provided in this RFP.
- What services and features are included in this pricing? Include team/project management resources as well as technology and reporting.
- What performance guarantees are included in this pricing?
- Are there any volume discounts you can provide?
- Are licensing costs for all required platforms such as your conversational intelligence platform, and/or your telephony platform included? If not, please detail how direct costs are billed.
- Describe any risk/reward bonus-penalty structure you offer.
- If you were to suggest an alternative pricing model within the same volume parameters as the scenario provided, what would you suggest?
Being able to accurately compare one bidder’s offering to another is the key here – how the bidder reached the number they are presenting is as important as the number itself. Always ask for a breakdown of their pricing and note features and services that one vendor may offer over another. As much as possible, you want a true comparison so you can make an accurate, fair evaluation.