The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) today released the VA Customer Experience Accomplishments Report detailing 71 major initiatives to improve customer service for Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors.
Improving customer service as a top priority at VA was established in 2018 and it challenged the department to rethink VA customer interactions, designating the Veterans Experience Office as the ”voice of the Veteran.”
“The goal is to provide Veterans a modern, streamlined and responsive customer experience,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA actively engages in efforts that maximize the collective impact of stakeholders delivering federal, state and local services for improving outcomes where Veterans live, work and raise their families.”
Veterans have validated VA’s efforts with trust in VA health care reaching an all-time high in April and VA-wide trust up 16 points since January 2016. Relying on 5.7 million real-time responses from 66 customer feedback surveys to improve service recovery and guide program improvements, the report shares the accomplishments representing major achievements in the strategic deployment of VEO’s shared CX capabilities to include:
- Implementing a new electronic health record system providing seamless Veteran patient records access between Department of Defense, community care providers and VA.
- Connecting with transitioning Veterans during their first year of separation via Solid Start.
- Honoring nearly 4 million Veterans interred at VA national cemeteries with a digital memorial space.
- Improving access to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals with virtual hearings.
- Connecting Veterans to resources more than 238 million times via VA’s weekly e-mail.
- Answering close to 3 million customer calls via 800-MyVA411 and the White House VA Hotline which both offer general assistance agents available immediately.
VA has integrated this culture of customer service for creating the department’s first customer service policy and CX directive, codifying customer experience principles in the Code of Federal Regulations and publishing a practitioner’s guide — the CX cookbook to help other government agencies adopt customer-centric principles as part of its role as the Lead Agency Partner for the President’s Management Agenda Cross-Agency Priority Goal on Improving Customer Experience with Federal Services.