Zachary Taylor National Cemetery - 1 of 131 VA National Cemeteries

For the fifth consecutive time in 13 years, the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) received the highest ranking of any participating entity—public or private—on the American Customer Satisfaction Index  or ACSI. Our score of 96 surpassed the scores of industry leaders like Apple, Lincoln Motor Company and Coca-Cola, and was the highest ever attained in the history of the index. That’s pretty thrilling. What’s even more exciting to me, though, is that our performance on 2013’s survey was two points better than on 2010’s, meaning we haven’t rested on our laurels.

We take part in the ACSI process every three years, but we also survey next-of-kin and funeral directors annually. Results from the independent 2013 Survey of Satisfaction with National Cemeteries mirror what we see in the ACSI, with 98 percent of respondents agreeing the quality of service received from cemetery staff is excellent.

While it’s always gratifying to read where we’re succeeding, the most critical information we gain from these surveys centers around where we’re falling short of expectations. Focusing on those areas allows us to adjust our training programs, business planning and metrics to ensure we keep improving.

For example, goals in our strategic plan call for 100 percent of respondents to agree by 2015 that cemetery service and appearance are excellent. We still have some work to do to reach that mark but we’re making steady progress. A monthly scorecard posted at each cemetery shows staff members how their performance compares with other cemeteries in their region and across the nation, and serves as a daily reminder of their direct impact on customer satisfaction.

Some outside NCA have said 100 percent satisfaction is an unrealistic goal, but as the great Vince Lombardi once said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

I’m genuinely proud of our dedicated employees and volunteers, who keep finding new ways to express their compassion and professionalism. I know they agree that our greatest reward comes from hearing that we served Veterans and their families well on one of the toughest days of their lives. That’s what keeps us striving; that’s what fuels our pursuit of excellence.

For more information:

Steve Muro is the VA’s Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs


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Published on Feb. 10, 2014

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  1. Milton L. Lane Jr February 11, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Great job. Just wondering if you folks have ever tried to identify service members buried in other cemetery.

    I realize this would be a long and very difficult undertaking. There are other ways that you have, the only thing I can think of is doing a search of epitaph’s with the words service member, Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. A search of VA (Veterans Administration) records for headstones and flags issued over the years.

    Just a thought as I will in all likely join my Dad soon and as both of us will have our service name, years in service and any War information.

    Just a thought from an old man with to much time to remember some of the greatest years of my life and also some of the very worst.

    Either way you folks are doing a great job.

  2. site analiz February 11, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Very nice sharing, thanks..

  3. Thomas Cummings February 11, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    I have 2 grave sites in a private cemetary in Tampa Fl I am thinking of donating. Would like to see them go to a Vet but not sure how to go about this or who to contact. Can you give me some feed back on this situation.


  4. Alan Syler February 11, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Congrats! I know our National Cemetery in Chattanooga, TN is the greatest.
    It was established on Christmas Day 1863 by General Thomas.

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