The Department of Veterans Affairs has endured some bad publicity in recent years, including incidents of inadequate healthcare at the nation’s VA medical centers. In the midst of creating its strategic plan for the next two years, the agency had concerns about public opinion with regard to its programs.
Using sophisticated tracking tools and human analysts, Synoptos conducted a small, informative study analyzing what patients and VA’s own employees were saying about the agency on social media across a sample of 5,000 public comments.
The research showed that while only 5% of commenters complained of receiving inadequate healthcare, 50% complained of receiving poor customer service at VA facilities. This alerted the VA to the presence of a major issue in their customer service, providing the insights to support shifting some funding from healthcare to service initiatives. The study also flagged seven specific facilities where complaints were the highest and four facilities where customers noted improved customer service. Additional research at these four facilities would reveal the policy shifts that triggered these online compliments.