Customer’s Corner June 2016

6.28.2016, Written by Nora Hartman
Art Jenkin, Field Nation Vice President of Customer Service
Art Jenkin, Field Nation Vice President of Customer Service

Greetings Professional Freelancers and Service Buyers,

Summer is definitely here in Missouri, my friends. It has been 90° and above for the third week in a row now, and the heat index has been as high as 105°. I don’t know about you, but the heat does not bother me as much as the humidity. Many fires are raging across our great country, and there has been a lot of flooding as well. Please keep the victims of these disasters in mind. It is hard to believe anyone can endure such tragedies. But it is our nature, our human nature to survive. Bless all of those who are suffering the actions of a most fickle Mother Nature this summer.

I know sometimes it must seem like old Art just harps about the same things, but realistically, it is often the same things that prevent us from moving forward together. If we keep some simple processes in mind and exercise them, then we can see better results for all. Remember: this blog is for both service buyers, business professionals, and freelancers.

Let’s kick things off by talking about getting work orders approved. As everyone knows, the cutoff for payment processing is 12:00n CST on Tuesdays and Fridays. That being said, every Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, and then again every Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, my phone, as well as those of our support staff, are ringing off the hook with the same question: “Why has my work order not been approved?” Well, there are several potential reasons. Be sure to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the work order complete?
  • Is it in “work done” status?
  • Did you upload all required deliverables?
  • Did you mark “ready to go” and confirmed?
  • Is your time on site entered correctly? If you had to check in or out with the service buyer, does the time match what you have entered in Field Nation?
  • Have you received authorization for a spend limit increase request if you entered one?

Remember to communicate with the buyer, whether it be utilizing messages in the work order or picking up the phone to talk. Yes, there will be times when you have done all of this and your work order is still not approved. But, did you look in the statement of work and see if there is a time frame given for approval? If a work order has only been sitting in “work done” for two days, but the SOW states it will take ten days to approve, then you know you can expect to wait several more days before receiving payment.

In the meantime, if you are still waiting for your work order to be approved, here are three steps that you can take to help expedite the process:

  1. Utilize the message system within the confines of the work order.
  2. If there is no response to your message, call the work order manager.
  3. If your phone call has not been returned, reach out to Field Nation Support for assistance; we will reach out to the buyer for you if you have not received a response to your inquiry.

In general, we do need to give people time to review the work. Getting upset, yelling at people, and sword fighting in messages is never a good idea. Remember, a calm and professional approach always works best. If it becomes necessary, Field Nation will facilitate a discussion between freelancers and buyers to resolve any disputes.

Don’t forget that you can message a buyer without requesting a work order. If you see something you are interested in but want more information before requesting, go ahead and send them a message. Keep it brief and professional, like: “Can this be done at a later date? I live five miles from this location and have worked with you on a similar project before.” An even better option is to request that the buyer place you on their Preferred Providers list. There is a special indicator that communicates to buyers that you are one of their best technicians whenever you request a work order.

Friends, we really do care about both buyers and freelancers and we want your experience here to be the best. We want you to think of Field Nation whenever you need that extra reach. Relationship management is what we are all about, and that is how we get things done “The Field Nation Way.”

Buyers, I want everyone to know that the “problem” button is getting pressed too often when the power is right there in your hands to notify the freelancer that there is an issue. When you have a situation where a work order is sitting in work done and there is an issue as to why you cannot approve it, use the system to your advantage. Here is what to do to notify a freelancer of a problem.

  • In classic, go to the approval and payment tab and scroll to the bottom of the page where you will see “tell provider that work order is incomplete.” Then, place the reason you cannot approve the work order in the dialog box and submit. This will not only push the work order back into assigned status, but it will also alert the freelancer that there is an issue needing to get resolved.
  • In elevate, go to the provider tab and on the right side, you will see “not completed.” Click here and same thing applies as it did in classic.

Buyers, please let freelancers know what is wrong and what else is needed. You do not have to report a problem to Field Nation staff. In most cases, you just need to use the tools we have provided for you. I will say, a lot of time could be saved if you just approach the freelancer yourself with the tools we have provided.

Be sure to give Field Nation Elevate a try. Put a work order or two out there and have your dispatchers test it and give Field Nation feedback so we can improve the platform even more. We are here to help. Need training? Let us know!

One last thing, my friends: we here at Field Nation are committed to you. We need you so we can grow and you are the reason we have grown. We need your ideas, so keep them coming. We rely on each other so we can all be successful together. Both buyers and freelancers are a part of our Field Nation Team. Finally, a huge “thanks” to everyone for all you do every day. We could not do this without you.

Please feel free to send me an email or call me at (952) 955-7426. And let me know if you are interested in joining my group, “Customer Service Corner” in Field Nation; I always enjoy hearing from everyone.

That is it for this month. My plants are dying outside, so I have to go water them some more! It is even too hot to ride the Harley – so that is hot!

Thanks to all for your continued support of Field Nation, and as always, BE SAFE.