4 Steps For Writing a Call Center RFP (+Where to Post It)

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If you’re looking to outsource your customer service operations, then finding the right call center to meet your needs is mission-critical. Likewise, if you’re looking to find the right call center to meet your needs, then creating an effective RFP (request for proposal) is just as important. 

There are many types of call centers that you can work with, so having a formal document outlining what your company needs from a potential outsourcing partner can make all the difference in the world. That’s exactly what a call center RFP is. It explains what services you need, the standards the call center should meet, and any specific goals you want to achieve as a result of the partnership. 

By sending around your RFP, you’re essentially asking different vendors to state their cases and explain why they’re the most qualified and cost-competitive candidate to handle your customer service operations.

But in order for this to work, you need to know how to write an effective RFP that makes your company an attractive one to partner with. 

Step 1: Start With a Short Intro of Your Company

Including a short but snappy intro to your company is an essential piece of a compelling call center RFP. 

It sets the stage for potential partners by giving them essential background information about your company so they can quickly assess their suitability and determine their level of interest. 

Top candidates are usually picky about who they’re willing to work with. They want to know that the partnership will be as good a fit for them as it is for you. It’s about creating a mutually beneficial relationship that aligns with the goals and values of both parties.

When writing your introduction, be professional and don’t go overboard with unnecessary information. You should include the following:

  1. Your company name
  2. What you do
  3. Your brand’s mission

Your brand’s mission is often the most essential part of your introduction, as it gives potential call center partners quick insight into your company’s culture and the things you prioritize—such as exceptional customer service, innovation, and sustainability. 

These kinds of things will give potential suitors a sense of whether or not you’ll be a good fit together. It also lets them tailor their eventual proposal to address your concerns and elaborate on how they can contribute to your mission.

Step 2: Detail Exactly What You Need From a Call Center

Outlining exactly what you need from your call center partner is one of the most critical steps in writing your RFP. 

By getting this section right, you can discourage call centers that either don’t check enough boxes or provide way too many services for your needs from even submitting proposals. This can save you time because you won’t have to sift through many under and overqualified respondents. 

The first step in this process is to connect with your team and identify the customer support tasks you intend to delegate to your outsourced partner. Keep an eye out for pain points like: 

  • Inability to keep up with call volumes
  • Greater need for omnichannel support
  • Assistance with back-office tasks

Also, be sure to highlight the goals your call center partner should help you achieve, such as generating more revenue and increasing customer satisfaction. 

Next, summarize your needs, the scope of the work, and the goals of your partnership.

Here’s an outline of what this section should include:

  • Service scope—Detail the specific services you need, such as inbound call handling, email support, live chat support, and any specialized services like technical support and order processing. 
  • Volume expectations—Estimate the volume of calls, emails, and chat interactions you anticipate needing to have handled. This helps potential partners assess their ability to fulfill your needs.
  • Operating Hours—Indicate the hours when you’ll require support. This includes any need for 24/7 service or coverage in multiple time zones.
  • Language Requirements—If you serve customers in multiple languages, list those languages here.
  • Technology and Integration—Outline any specific technologies you use and the need for integration with the call center’s systems. If you need multi-channel support, be sure to search for a contact center instead of a call center
  • Performance Metrics—Define the key performance indicators (KPIs) you will use to measure the call center’s effectiveness, such as average handle time, first-call resolution rate, and customer satisfaction scores. 

The following is an example of what this section could look like in real life:

“We’re seeking a call center partner to handle up to 200 incoming customer calls per day both inside and outside of our regular business hours. Most of these calls will involve purchases, processing exchanges or returns, and providing general company and product information. 

We also need back-office support, specifically data entry for customer information. We require 24/7 English and Spanish language support for our callers from all US time zones. By taking over these tasks, the call center we choose should double our inbound calling revenue and increase our customer satisfaction score by at least 20%. The ability to integrate with our Salesforce CRM platform is a must.”

Step 3: Talk About Your Ideal Call Center

Letting potential call center partners know what you’re looking for is vital, and this does not exclude you from considering things like operational capacity, cultural alignment, and technological sophistications that would foster a healthier partnership. 

Without being too verbose, be specific in this section to ensure potential partners can recognize if there’s a deeper fit.

Here are some examples of criteria you might outline to describe your ideal call center:

  • Its culture is rooted in agent well-being, providing high-quality support, and growing employee capabilities. 
  • It has a history of long-tenured clients, demonstrating reliability and a deep commitment to meeting each client’s unique needs. 
  • Its agent turnover rate is under 30 percent, indicating a track record of attracting and retaining talent to provide a stable, experienced workforce. 
  • It has a modern business phone system and IT infrastructure that allows for flexible and efficient customer service across various channels. 
  • It has a portfolio of positive reviews from callers and clients, highlighting its strengths and abilities in delivering consistently high-quality service. 

Step 4: Outline the Proposal Process and Instructions for Submission

Setting a deadline for proposals is a critical step that ensures your procurement process stays on schedule and communicates a sense of urgency to potential call center partners.

Once again, you should be clear and specific with this. 

An example deadline looks like this:

All proposals must be submitted by 6pm EST on May 2, 2024. Proposals received after this deadline will not be considered.”

In addition to the deadline, your RFP must provide clear instructions regarding how and where to submit proposals. These directions might include specifying the file format (such as a DOCX or PDF), the email address where they can send proposals, and a link to an online submission form for any additional materials. 

This info request might look as follows:

Please submit your proposal in PDF format to [email address] or via our submission portal at [website link].”

Depending on your specific requirements, be sure to invite prospects to include relevant materials and components such as company info, detailed service offerings, pricing models, case studies, and other references.  

Finally, to keep things as straightforward as possible, include a list of the next steps for keeping applicants informed about the process after application. 

Here are some examples of those elements you can include in your RFP:

Confirmation of receipt:Upon submitting your proposal, you’ll receive an automated confirmation email acknowledging your submission. If you don’t receive this confirmation within 24 hours, please get in touch with us at [email address] or [phone number].”

Review process:After the submission deadline, our selection committee will start a detailed review process that will take approximately four weeks. During this time, we may reach out with additional questions or requests for clarification.”

Interviews and deeper discussions:Based on our initial review, we’ll select a small number of proposals for a round of interviews and deeper discussions. These sessions are intended to provide both parties with a better understanding of potential partnership opportunities and to clear up any outstanding questions.”

Final decision:We expect to make our decision within one week of conducting final interviews. We’ll proceed to the contract negotiation stage and notify all participants when the terms have been formalized.”

Where to Post a Call Center RFP to Attract Interest From Good Matches

Putting all of that time and effort into creating a killer call center RFP won’t do you any good unless it’s seen by qualified potential partners. 

Here are some strategic locations in which you can share your RFP to find the best match.

RFP Sites

RFP sites are online platforms specializing in aggregating and distributing RFPs across various industries. This makes them a valuable resource for connecting with potential service partners. 

Two platforms you should consider are InstantMarkets and RFP Mart.

InstantMarkets: This is a vast marketplace where businesses post their RFPs in various service categories, including call center services. It offers features like bid notifications and contract awards, making managing your RFP process easier. 

RFPMart: This is another streamlined platform for circulating your RFP. It caters to a wide range of service providers, including call centers. 

Your Website

Along with the above platform, you should create a dedicated landing page on your website to host your call center RFP. 

This will give you your own personal space to share information about your RFP that you can’t accomplish on other platforms. After reviewing your RFP, potential partners can browse through your website to learn more about your brand and its values. 


You can also use marketing techniques, social media campaigns, email newsletters, and digital ads to drive traffic to your RFP landing page or marketplace listing. 

For example, you could create a series of LinkedIn posts about your company’s expansion plans and share the link to your landing page whenever you mention your plans to partner with a call center. 

By adopting this multi-channel approach to spreading the news about your call center RFP, you’re significantly increasing the chances that it will be seen by the right partners. This added visibility can be critical for attracting proposals from vendors that align with your expectations, culture, and long-term goals.

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