How VA listens and responds to Veteran feedback

This is the VA-wide customer service commitment


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Veterans and their families contact VA millions of times per year. This happens in-person, via phone, letters, e-mail, through VA.gov, and by responding to digital surveys. Each contact – whether a question, concern, recommendation, or complement – is unique, important and deserves respect. And, when appropriate, that contact deserves a timely, relevant and informed response.

This is VA’s priority commitment to ensuring the best Veteran customer experience (CX).

VA is listening more by inviting customers to provide feedback through multiple channels, and then adding channels where they are missing. Where does this listening occur?

It could be a comment sent to a Red Coat Ambassador at a VA medical facility, the Veterans Signals (VSignals) surveys (6 million last year), or calls to VA contact centers, including the White House/VA Hotline and 1-800-MyVA411 (18 million last year). These and other channels are the critical front door for Veterans to participate in VA’s growing feedback-driven culture of customer service.

But an equally important part of listening is responding.

For example, the wife of a Vietnam Veteran from Florida contacted VA’s Office of Client Relations because she wanted to accompany her husband to his medical appointments. Due to COVID-19, she was told she couldn’t. The client relations representative learned that the woman’s husband suffers from a cognitive disorder and that she needed to assist him. This is the detail that was missing from her previous requests. But because that feedback was fully captured, VA could respond. Capturing this minor detail made all the difference and paved the way for home health physical therapy services, medication prescriptions, and an adaptive housing evaluation.

VA is also using automated tools to quickly triage cases needing immediate assistance. When Veterans leave a survey comment that indicates they might be at risk for suicide and/or homelessness, VSignals uses natural language processing and artificial intelligence to route the message to the team best suited to respond, such as the Veterans Crisis Line or National Call Center for Homeless Veterans.

If concerns or recommendations show a certain trend, then we institute program improvement or targeted outreach.

VA hosts special outreach efforts to share educational information on high interest topics and offer resources to address emergent trends. In the last two years, VA hosted 17 Veteran Experience Live events reaching 2.45M viewers whose 10,000 questions were publicly answered by VA and community experts.

“To meet its customer service commitment, VA has increased its ability to listen – to capture valuable feedback from millions of Veterans through multiple listening channels, like hotlines and VSignals surveys. Also, to respond quickly and consistently to Veterans’ concerns, [we implemented] recommendations and compliments with VA’s Service Recovery Council and a unified customer relationship manager platform.” – Dr. Lynda Davis, VA’s Chief Veterans Experience Officer

Honoring Veteran feedback by listening and then responding with action leads VA’s customer service modernization efforts. The newly established VA-wide Service Recovery Council brings leaders and experts from across the department to identify not only patterns and trends but the processes and platforms needed to ensure the best Veteran customer experience.

Through this critical feedback loop of listening and responding, VA is continuing its commitment to meet the ever-changing needs of its Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors.

Author

Tim Hudak

  joined the VA in December 2013 and is on the Veterans Experience Office team. Tim, a Chicago-land native enlisted in the Marine Corps straight out of high school. As an intelligence analyst he deployed to Al Anbar province, Iraq with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 in 2006 and 2008. After the Marine Corps, Tim used the GI Bill to earn a degree in Intelligence Studies from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., and co-founded the university’s first student Veteran organization. Tim is active in many Veteran organizations.

Comments

  1. Tommy Lemons    

    I’am 75 in April and have COPD and I still have not heard
    A word about the shot and it seems like everyone is getting the shot. Can someone please let me know what I have to do
    To protect myself and others.!

    1. Pita    

      The Vantage point is a smoke screen . The same persons in the group or committee are the same persons that keep vital information from the Director or the Director turns his cheek instead of showing leadership.. It takes an act of Congress to meet with the Director. There is no quality control, every dept does their own thing and veterans walk around with a target on their backs if complaining about employees. Some employees shouldn’t be working for the VA, they wouldn’t make it on the outside. They chose to work for the VA to help veterans, not to collect a check.

  2. James W Schwab    

    The Spokane va audiologist office is closed. We are supposed to leave our hearing aids in a box outside. They will fix and mail them back to us. That will not work forThose of us that are deaf. With out hearing aids I cannot communicate with other’s in person, talk on my cell phone or hear the TV. The eye glass office has always been open so why can’t the audio office? If they don’t want to serve the veterans then they should look for another job.

  3. Gerald Dajnowicz    

    My experience has been that VA ,staff works for the VA and not the veterans, the so called patient advocates are the worst offenders

  4. Wyman Hoyt Shermann    

    The clinic I go to in Macon, Ga. is nothing but a laugh. About 3 years ago I went there because my scoliosis had started getting worse. All the Dr. said was there was nothing they could do. The Dr. went on and showed me his leg where he was stubbed enough to get his leg under a mower. And he said you have problem look at my leg. Then he got up and left. Didn’t ask me nothing else. Well today my scoliosis is much worse and I think back if he had only prescribe me a collor or something, maybe I would be in less pain now. I never went back to that Dr. but I think they have sight me another Dr. I am an old Vietnam Vet. 77 years old
    Wyman H. Sherman

  5. SW    

    I don’t agree either.

Comments are closed.