Federal News Network: How VBA turned customer feedback into new legislation in two weeks

“The Department of Veterans Affairs has been collecting feedback from its customers for years, but those phone surveys and comments from veterans took on new meaning in the early days of the pandemic.”

“The Veterans Benefits Administration heard from student veterans earlier this spring, who had expressed concerns about their basic housing allowances as colleges and universities pivoted to virtual instruction.”

“Veterans receive housing stipends based on where they attend school, and allowances are significantly smaller for veterans who take online classes.”

“VA took those concerns to Congress, which drafted legislation giving the department the authority to continue dispersing housing benefits to veterans during the pandemic — even if their classes are technically virtual…”

“VA has been able to solicit veterans’ feedback, in part, through a longstanding survey program. VA has been using VSignals, a structured series of questions that collect veteran feedback on a particular agency service, over the last five years.”

“The system pulls information in from these surveys, as well as veterans’ social media posts, open-ended comments and interviews and focus groups. VA added virus-related tags and keywords to the feedback system when the pandemic hit…” Read the full article here.

Source: How VBA turned customer feedback into new legislation in two weeks – By Nicole Ogrysko, October 8, 2020. Federal News Network.

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