The General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service is responsible for purchasing billions of dollars of goods and services for the federal government, and not surprisingly, it gets many customer calls.
Just shy of 1 million calls annually, according to a press statement from telecommunications contractor CenturyLink, which announced a $1.3 million contract award this week to improve FAS’ customer service.
CenturyLink will provide a hosted contact center and voice-over-IP services to FAS as part of its contact center modernization project, which will significantly upgrade the existing systems of several FAS contact centers.
The biggest beneficiaries will be the GSA’s National Customer Service Center, its Fleet Accident Management Center and its Maintenance Control Center—FAS’ largest customers.
FAS Deputy Commissioner Kevin Youel Page told Nextgov in a statement the contract—awarded via GSA’s IT Schedule 70 —came after a meticulous effort to “understand the challenges [customers] face while streamlining their experiences.”
That effort included numerous customer interviews and focus groups as well as annual and transactional surveys.
“The customer has always been at the core of GSA’s mission and vision," Youel Page said. "We listen to our customers—federal agencies, industry partners and employees—and started mapping out customer journeys across key FAS products. Adding innovative hosted VoIP services to our GSA National Customer Service Center, GSA Fleet Accident Management Center and Maintenance Control Center allows us to modernize and update the systems currently in use by these call centers and improve our customer service.”
If the contract indeed improves FAS’ customer service, its $1.3 million, 1-year value could increase, as GSA could exercise as many as four one-year options, boosting its potential value to more than $6 million.
Later this year, GSA is expected to again bid out its Multi-Channel Contact Center Contract, which Deltek estimates could be worth $2.5 billion. The existing USA Contact currently serves as a resource for at least 10 agencies to access a broad range of contact center services, including customer service representatives.
A GSA representative clarified to Nextgov that because the newly announced contact center modernization project did not require certain support services, such as customer service representatives, the procurement was conducted via Schedule 70 instead of the USA Contact vehicle.