Customer Service Software RFP: Writing the Modern Customer Service RFP

Writing customer service software RFPs are never fun. Check out our Essential Handbook to Writing the Modern Customer Service Platform RFP for a cheat sheet to RFP nirvana.

(Note: Customer Service RFP is also known as a  CRM RFP)

Being in the customer service software business, we spend a lot of time talking to companies about their approach to service—what their goals are, and what they view as the ideal experience for their customers. And a common thread that often arises in the course of these discussions, is that their ultimate vision around service doesn’t quite match up to the reality of what their service currently is. They know it. Their customers know it. And both sides are looking to innovate and deliver a more modern, personalized, and efficient customer service experience.

Many of the companies we’ve spoken to have been using the same customer service platform for more than 20 years, and feel constrained by the limitations inherent in these decades-old platforms and systems. They’re well and ready for a new platform. One that will help them deliver the seamless experience they want to deliver, no matter the channel. That will help their customers feel known and valued. And one that will empower their agents to deliver these seamless, personalized experiences at scale, in a way that isn’t onerous for them.

Writing the Customer Service RFP

But as they embark on a sizable project like this, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at just where to start. JetBlue, for example, had to work their way down a spreadsheet of hundreds of vendors before finally deciding on Gladly—that’s a sizable task for a company of any size.

Questions to Ask When Creating Your Customer Service RFP

Companies have to think about what requirements they should be looking for in a modern platform, especially given that the last time they looked at technology for their contact center could have been more than two decades ago.

  • How can they ensure they are thinking about what their customers expect of them, and the service they receive, and incorporate that perspective throughout the vendor selection and product evaluation process?
  • How can they identify and transcribe those requirements into an RFP document to start evaluating vendors?
  • Customer service is about connecting your customers with agents who can help them, so shouldn’t your customer service platform requirements represent both parties equally?

Common Customer Service and Call Center RFP Questions

After you’ve asked yourself the above questions, you’ll want to determine what questions you should ask in your customer service RFP. These are the questions that you want customer service software and call center platforms to answer, so that you can determine if they will be the right fit for your business.

Sample Customer Service and Call Center RFP Questions

  • How does your system route customers by default? What configuration options are available?
  • How does your platform maintain continuity between a customer and the last agent they interacted with?
  • How does your customer service and call center platform integrate with external CRM systems to pull contextual information about the customer in real time? Once pulled in, where does it live on your platform and how easily can agents access it? Please provide a screenshot of your agent’s view of key customer information.
  • How does your platform support the creation of custom attributes/fields about a customer?
  • Does your voice offering come built-in with an IVR, and does it include speech recognition capabilities? If so, please describe how it works. If not, how does it get added on?
  • How much time, on average, does it take to train a single agent on your platform. And how much time does it take to train on each additional channel as they get added / introduced?
  • Does your knowledge base automatically suggest answers that your agents can use to respond to a customer? If so, please describe how your platform decides which answers to surface.
  • Does your platform display the current trending topics and issues in your contact center? If yes, please provide screenshots of the user view.

Questions like these are why we started the Essential Handbook series; as a way to share the knowledge and lessons we’ve gathered from our experience working with B2C companies, and help other companies with the information they need to align their vision for service with the reality of their own operations.

To find even more sample RFP questions as well as a detailed checklist, you’ll want to download Writing the Modern Customer Service RFP.

Writing the Modern Customer Service RFP is a handbook designed to help companies with the seemingly daunting task of putting together an RFP for a modern customer service platform. 

What You’ll find in the Customer Service RFP Handbook

  • Jumpstart your customer support RFP process with detailed requirements and sample RFP questions
  • Start a discussion around your company’s vision for service, and the infrastructure you need to get there
  • Plan your customer service platform project for 2019
  • Identify the characteristics of a modern platform built with today’s consumer in mind
  • Discuss the ideas and requirements you’re looking for in your next platform with your contact center operational team

Download a copy of the RFP Handbook here.

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