Management

GSA consolidates customer service contact points

hand on phone

GSA is developing optimized telephone and email customer support for those seeking acquisition help. (Stock image)

In yet another move aimed at streamlining its capabilities for federal agency customers and vendors, the General Services Administration is about to roll out optimized telephone and email contacts for those looking for acquisition help.

The agency said the new centralized contacts will improve users' experience with Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) contracts by winnowing the collection of toll-free customer-service telephone numbers to one and standardizing the contact email address.

The consolidation, performed under GSA's Schedules Modernization program and announced on the agency's Interact community website July 31, is called Enhanced Customer Service Delivery (ECSD).

"It will increase GSA's ability to respond and does away with individual points of contact," said Greg Rollins, acting director of GSA's Center for Acquisition Support, at the Coalition for Government Procurement's GSA Marketing Outreach Forum the day of the announcement.

GSA said its previous customer service model included seven toll-free phone numbers. The new ECSD model will offer one number for schedules when it comes online Aug. 1. The centralized number will be 1-800-488-3111.

Also on Aug. 1, several GSA.gov and eLibrary webpages will be revised to reflect the standard email address of mashelpdesk@gsa.gov as the point of contact regardless of the schedule or acquisition center.

The single phone number, said Tami Riggs, assistant commissioner of GSA's Office of Customer Accounts and Research, will give callers a human voice they can use to get in touch with the agency's subject-matter experts, as well as receive answers to procedural questions.

The goal is to ensure a consistent and high-quality experience for every customer seeking acquisition assistance or access to GSA's subject-matter experts.

The centralized ECSD telephone number, she said, is manned by Federal Acquisition Service employees.

According to GSA, its new centralized number is consistent with industry practice and uses the oldest National Customer Service Center telephone number. It will not increase the number of prompts in the agency's customer phone tree, the agency said.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a staff writer at FCW.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group