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GSA Releases HCD Evaluation, Buying Guide to Assist Federal Agencies Improve CX; Matt Ford Quoted

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The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has issued an Evaluation and Buying Guide to help federal agencies seeking Human-Centered Design (HCD) services to improve Customer Experience (CX), GSA announced on Friday.

“Agencies are making significant progress in building customer-centric services,” said GSA’s acting chief customer officer Matt Ford. “GSA developed this guide based on the needs agencies have expressed in structuring contracts and identifying the best industry partners to help accelerate their service transformations.”

The release of the HCD buying guide will support the President’s Management Agenda’s Cross-Agency Priority Goal on CX. The buying guide will also provide agencies with an overview of CX, principles for evaluating CX industry partners, questions for framing CX efforts and acquiring HCD services and a summary of the HCD RFI released last fall

In Jan. 2020, the GSA’s Center of Excellence (CoE) released a statement regarding the requirements of HCD and CX. The release stated that HCD is an approach to defining and solving problems from the perspective of the people who will depend on the developed solution.

For example, if an organization were to design an online application for federal grants, the HCD process would involve the people who request grants as well as the people who process grant applications.

Organizations would then observe and interview them as they interact with grants. In addition, companies would analyze challenges and explore new needs. CX work is more general in that it will generally involve the broader needs of an organization and more specific in that it focuses on a subset of users.

Organizations frequently use CX practice to aggregate existing efforts, including customer service, contact center operations and customer research. CX initiatives often operationalize several areas across the organization. Launching a CX initiative to introduce a new method of collecting feedback from customers could lead to an organization-wide strategy to retain customers.

About GSA

The mission of GSA is to deliver value and savings in real estate, acquisition, technology, and other mission-support services across government. One of its four strategic goals is to design and deliver expanded shared services within GSA and across the federal government to improve performance and save taxpayer money.