VA To Codify Customer Experience As Part of Core Values

VA To Codify Customer Experience As Part of Core Values

The Veterans Affairs Department has been working to improve the experience it delivers to its customers—America’s veterans—and is set to enshrine a set of customer experience principles as part of its core values and ethics.


On Monday, the Office of Management and Budget will publish a final rule in the Federal Register officially adding the principles to the VA Core Values and Characteristics section of the Code of Federal Regulations, or CFR. The section will be renamed to reflect this, as well, with the new title “Core Values, Characteristics and Customer Experience Principles of the Department.”


“Maintaining a sustained organizational commitment to, and institutionalized focus on, the voice of the customer is a critical component of modernizing VA to meet the needs and expectations of veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors,” according to the rule change set for publication Monday. “Codifying these principles will ensure that they receive the proper emphasis at all levels within VA, are clearly understood by the workforce, and, most importantly, become an enduring part of the VA culture.”


While the emphasis on customer service has been pervading the department, Lynda Davis, chief of the Veterans Experience Office, noted priorities could change under future leaders and administrations.


“The commitment to a culture of ensuring the highest experience for our customers—who are our veterans, families, caregivers and survivors—that has to be permanent. That can’t be changing,” Davis told Nextgov.


The idea to include customer experience as a core department value came from Deputy Chief Veterans Experience Officer Barbara Morton, according to her boss.


“It was Barbara’s idea ..