Improving the Customer Experience for Veterans at VA

Customer Experience Week is October 5-9, 2020


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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:

Listening
  • 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.
Learning
  • 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://www.blogs.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.
Leaning In
  • 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.
 Reaching Out
  • 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.

Join us on Facebook for two special presentations:

October 15th at 12pm-1pm ET

cx event oct 15

October 20th at 12pm-1pm ET

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Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. SW    

    Oh, there’s another big freaking issue. Why does VA do EVERYTHING on face book?? I don’t use face book and never will. I want in person events and appointments!!! You claim you are listening to veterans the problem is YOU ARE NOT HEARING US.

  2. SW    

    VA Choice is a joke. You get sent “down town” to see a provider and than the va or the “insurance” program, Tri-West or Optum, DENIES the bill and refuses to pay it claiming either there was no PA number or that the vet went there as emergent or non-emergent. They deny the payment under a different section of 38CFR than the section that requires va to send vets in to the community for care it can’t provide.

    As the LISTENING, it doesn’t happen! I don’t want to be checking in and doing travel on a damn machine, I don’t want video appointments. The kiosks are a VIOLATION of every veterans’ HIPAA rights. They are also the VA VIOLATING their obligation under 45CFR to protect veterans’ PII.

    All they are doing is pushing veterans OUT.

  3. Theodore M Simmons    

    Don’t believe anything the VA tells you. They lie all the time. Was sent to a ER at an outside Hospital by the VA on a Sunday in 2019. They refused to pay the co-pay. So I paid it before the hospital gave me a bad credit. I appealed and it wass refused again. I filed with the DAV again and now it hangs in limbo with the same people who denied it the first time. I currently need surgery for severe carpal tunnel in both wrist. My neurologist who doesn’t work for the VA sent me for tests because I have Parkinsons disease. I started going to her because VA had no neurologist in Lebanon. When they hired a neurologist I was supposed to drop my doctor and go to there doctor. I refused and pay formky care myself. I personally think your service sucks. Its your way or the highway.

  4. ALvin M Takata    

    In my opinion the VA Choice is a joke. There is only a performa choice. The choice of doctor must be from a approved list of physicians willing to be part of the TRICARE system. Many times the physician of choice is not on the approved list and chooses not to be part of TRICARE. In my case I used my MEDICARE benefit. The TRICARE system is broken. Physicians complain that payment from TRICARE is very slow and paperwork cumbersome. Additionally the amounts allowed for services is insufficient.

  5. Sharon    

    It’s time to fix the Veteran’s Choice program !! It takes weeks to get an authorization number, then to learn there are no providers within a reasonable travel distance. Then it takes weeks for a scheduled appointment at the local VAMC. So we are still 8-12 weeks to seeing a doctor. There are local physicians and specialty providers willing to work with the VA’s very slow payment process, and see veterans, but their certification process takes over 2 months. Then, if they have the bad luck of starting their application process at the end of the administrator’s contract period, they have to start from the beginning with the new provider. Isn’t it time to let that hard earned VA card work like a Medicare card ? Allow veterans to go to the provider of their choice. They can still come to their VAMC, but could also go elsewhere if they choose to ! Our veterans deserve better attention than they are currently getting !

  6. noel tichy    

    What is your view of this effort?

Comments are closed.