The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will spend nearly £160 million on replacing its customer service centre with new digital systems.
The plan is to launch a new Digital Channels Contact Centre (DC3), which will provide enhanced digital support to the public and promote better user welfare.
The department has published a Market Information Notice, indicating they are looking for a supplier to develop and deliver this system.
The DC3 will provide a number of new features including internet calling, web chat, interactive voice response, call recording and call transcription, all hosted on a cloud.
The initial contract will last for five years with two potential year long extensions. If it runs for the full seven years, the contract will be worth £159.2 million, plus VAT, to whichever supplier is chosen.
The DWP’s existing contact centre, which is to be overhauled, is one of the largest in Europe and the biggest of all the UK government departments. It currently has over 36,000 staff, 13,500 working concurrently, at around 200 locations.
Part of wider transformation plans
The DC3 will form part of the DWP’s Contact Centre Modernisation Programme (CCMP), which is introducing a number of new digital measures to improve communications with the public.
One example is the Modernising and Transforming Telephony Project, which was announced in April and will create a 'virtual agent' to analyse a customer’s telephone enquiry and route their call to the right person.
The DWP commented that the DC3 project is "directly aligned to the DWP strategy and departmental plans to transform our services and deliver an effective welfare system for citizens.”