In 2018, Secretary Wilkie made customer service and the Veterans’ customer experience (CX) VA’s top priority. He charged the Department to deliver its care, benefits and services with more ease, effectiveness, and emotional resonance to improve Veterans’ experience and increase their trust in, and their choice of, VA.
Meeting this priority required that VA further develop and deploy the capability to “listen to the voice of the Veteran” to better understand their needs and preferences, to execute service recovery, and to make program improvements.
VA – through the shared, best practices services of the Secretary’s Veterans Experience Office (VEO) – has developed and deployed data, tools and technology to listen, learn and lean in with corrective action and to reach out with connective information. Some of VA’s key CX actions include:
- Asking Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors in real time about their experience with care, benefits and memorial services. Since 2017, over 5 million VSignals surveys have been completed by Veterans and their supporters: https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5464
- Answering over 1 million Veterans’ calls and addressing their concerns 24/7 through the White House VA Hotline and MyVA311, combined.
- Completing the first 100,000+ Own the Moment trainings to support the delivery of easy, effective and emotionally connected customer service by all VA employees: https://vaww.blogstest.va.gov/VAntage/60050/va-working-build-trust-veterans-customer-experience-improvements/
- Taking insights from hundreds of Veteran interviews to create journey maps that identify the “Moments that Matter,” which led to patient experience improvements, like Red Coat Ambassador hospital navigators and care provider practices like Commit to Sit, Take Five and My Life My Story.
- Streamlining Veteran interactions with all VA benefits and services through VA Profile, which shares and synchronizes contact information for 14.7 million Veterans and family members across a myriad of VA systems. Over 650,000 Veterans have already self-updated their contact information on VA.gov.
- Providing seamless online interactions for more than 7.3 million registered eBenefits users in over 180 countries, and more than 5,000 registered users of the Stakeholder Enterprise Portal.
- Offering over 11 million Veterans news to use each week through the new VetResources e-newsletter
- Answering over 5,000 questions from Veterans through VetLive XL Events attended by more than 2.3 million.
- Sending more than 40 million tailored VetTexts messages to Veterans to ensure their safety and access to care during the COVID pandemic.
To ensure that VA’s commitment to Veterans and the delivery of an exceptional customer experience will be lasting, VEO is working with leadership and employees to institutionalize CX as a permanent part of VA culture. This means publishing VA’s first customer service policy; codifying CX principles in the Code of Federal Regulations; signing a VA-wide CX directive; creating the first employee experience journey map; and launching the first-in-government Customer Experience Institute (CXi) to build CX capacity at VA and across government.
VA and its nearly 400,000 dedicated employees will continue to work with, and for, our Veterans and their families, caregivers, survivors, to ensure their voices are heard, their needs understood, their requests met and their recommendations incorporated in our continued commitment to ensure the best care, benefits and memorial services experience for those who have served us all.
Written by Lynda Davis, Ph.D.
Dr. Davis is nationally recognized for her leadership in the development and implementation of significant and sustainable programs that successfully support the full spectrum of quality of life support and services for military personnel, Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors. A former Army Signal Officer and the mother of a Veteran, Dr. Davis serves as the Chief Veterans Experience Officer for VA.
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