Article submitted by the Department of Veterans Affairs
The National Cemetery Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will soon conduct its annual customer satisfaction surveys: the Survey of Satisfaction with National Cemeteries and the Memorial Products Survey. The opinions and feedback of funeral directors who serve Veteran families at their time of need is critical to the success of these surveys. NCA invites and encourages our funeral industry partners to respond to this opportunity to share your experience with us.
NCA continually seeks customer feedback for the purpose of maintaining standards of excellence. Monitoring the perceptions and satisfaction of Veterans, their families and the funeral directors who act as their agents allows NCA to make the changes necessary to provide the best possible benefits and services.
NCA began the Survey of Satisfaction with National Cemeteries in 2001. Surveys are sent to a random sample of families who recently interred their loved one in a national cemetery and to all of the funeral directors who have worked with national cemeteries in the last year. The survey focuses on a number of operational areas aimed at achieving and maintaining world-class service within the national cemeteries. In 2012, over 3,000 funeral directors and 42,000 next of kin were polled.
Results from the funeral directors who responded to the 2012 survey told us that:
• 96% rated the quality of service received by the cemetery staff as excellent
• 98% rated the cemetery appearance as excellent
• 97% would recommend the national cemetery to Veteran families during their time of need
The Memorial Products Survey collects data from family members of recently deceased Veterans and the funeral directors who serve those families at private cemeteries. The purpose of the survey is to assess customer awareness, knowledge, and satisfaction with products and services provided by NCA such as headstones, markers and medallions to mark the graves of Veterans and the Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC). In 2012, 2,500 funeral directors and Veteran next of kin were asked to respond.
Results from the 2012 survey told us that 59% of Next of Kin requested their memorial benefit through their funeral director.
In addition, funeral director’s results revealed that:
• 92% were satisfied with their experiences with the VA Memorial Programs Service products and services
• 92% were satisfied with the process used to order the headstone, marker or medallion
• 92% were satisfied with the service received from the 800 number service representatives
• 85% were satisfied with the amount of time it takes to receive the headstone, marker or medallion
• 78% were satisfied with the quality of the VA headstones or markers received compared to those in previous years
NCA uses the data from all of its respondents of each survey to develop best practices in customer satisfaction and operations nationwide. Please continue to share your experiences with NCA by responding to the survey during its annual distribution from June through August 2013. Your feedback helps NCA meet its mission—honoring Veterans and their families with final resting places in national shrines and with lasting tributes that commemorate their service and sacrifice to our Nation. And thank you for your part in ensuring that our nation’s veterans receive the very best—they earned it.
For more information on VA burial benefits contact your local national cemetery office, visit the website at www.cem.va.gov or call the VA Regional office at 1-800-827-1000. During the time of need, call the VA Scheduling Office at 1-800-535-1117 to make burial arrangements.
Posted June 4, 2013