This week the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) took a key step in its digital modernization effort by revamping its website accessed by 10 million customers per month who use VA’s tools and content online.
To improve this experience VA’s Veterans Experience Office and VA Digital Service gathered feedback from more than 5,000 Veterans, service members, their families, caregivers and survivors.
Many customers said they were having a frustrating experience, encountering a complicated collection of websites, forms, logins and tools. Through feedback, VA learned that many of them struggled to find what they needed. By listening to Veterans and working across VA organizational boundaries, the new VA.gov website shifts from a “VA as an organization” to a “customer-first” platform.
“Veterans, their families, caregivers and our many customers have successful online transactions in their day-to-day lives,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “They should expect the same exceptional digital experience when coming to VA. Our customers will receive a more simple and intuitive experience when accessing our online front door – the new VA.gov.”
The new site contains homepage content that focuses on the top 20 tasks that 80 percent of VA’s customer’s need, the ability to login to receive a personalized experience and easy to understand plain language content. Logged in customers will find a dashboard summarizing the current status of services they receive from VA, whether those services are provided by the Veterans Health Administration – such as prescription refills or the Veterans Benefits Administration – such as claim status. Customers can also update their contact information in one location rather than visiting multiple VA websites or making multiple calls.
VA is demonstrating that it is possible for Federal agencies to give the American people the online experience they expect and deserve. VA has been identified as the “co-lead” of the White House cross-agency priority goal on improving customer service.