Greetings Professional Providers and Buyers,
October is such a beautiful month. I really enjoy the freshness it brings as the leaves turn color and the air is crisp in the morning. It is almost like Mother Earth is having a bit of a washdown before the winter sets in. Fall is a great time of year; a time of change – a good time for all of us to reflect on our summer and our accomplishments. James Taylor put out an album a few years back called October Road – check it out. Good fall music, in my opinion. And, lest we forget, the holidays are on the way!
Earlier this month, we announced updates to our Provider Quality Assurance Policy (PQAP), formerly known as the Provider Event Management System (PPEM). This policy enables us to maintain a top quality marketplace with accessibility to superior service providers, as well as the assurance of a high degree of professionalism when conducting and completing work orders. This not only helps establish lasting client relationships, but also benefits independent contractors utilizing Field Nation as they know exactly what is expected of them with regards to marketplace quality. I recommend you take the time to check it out on our blog, or on the Field Nation Legal page.
I want to go over a few things that came across my desk this week. When providers call me to express their apprehensions, I will immediately address those concerns, if possible. After all, there may be many who are experiencing the same situation, but only one or two who decide to vocalize their position; so for the betterment of the Field Nation community, I will address these herein.
First, I had a concern come my way regarding the fact that a service provider felt that buyers are putting out works orders below his normal service charge. There is a relatively simple answer to this query: the first step would be to make a counter offer; next, a message should be sent to the client explaining what is needed to do the job and why; and lastly, if the counter offer is not acceptable, then the provider should not get involved in the work order. Too many times, there are providers who make unprofessional remarks in work order messages about the rate of a job. This does no one any good and actually reveals to the buyer that they may not want to work with you not only on that immediate work order, but on any work order in the future. I have spoken before about buyers who have blocked providers solely on their conduct in the Field Nation group forums, and the same thing applies here, my friends. Always be professional and courteous because you may be causing damage to yourself without even realizing it.
Second order of business (and I know we have been here before) – spend limit increases. I have said this before and I will say it again – get the approval for the SLI in your messages. You need to ensure that the buyer has agreed to the spend limit increase in order to receive approval; you can even request that the buyer update the rate on the work order to accommodate the extra time and pay rate needed to complete the job. I have had many providers come to me at the end of the day and say, “Well, the buyer said to go ahead and change it,” however, this only short-changes yourself. Make sure you get the rate adjusted or approved in your messages so there is no doubt about the agreement between yourself and your clients. Buyers can always increase the rate on the work order; they just cannot reduce it without your consent and Field Nation actually has to do it unless you give a discount on the work order yourself.
I had announced last month that MaryAnn Tackett, our Sr. UX Architect would be dropping a few lines here as a guest this month, so here they are:
Hello! My name is Mary Ann. I am the Senior User Experience Architect here at Field Nation. My work here focuses on ensuring the usability and user needs alignment across the product. I spend a lot of my time talking with both buyers and providers, conducting usability studies on new and existing features, and working with the product team to ensure our product is meeting our user’s needs.
A lot has been happening in regards to improving the usability of Field Nation, and also in the creation of new features that improve the experience of our providers. We recently launched a string of insights-based features to the new work order layout, including: detailed drill-down views of buyer ratings and provider submitted comments, the amount of time it takes a buyer to approve 90% of their work orders, and aggregate information regarding how much work you have conducted with specific buyers and within specific types of work. Also within the new work order layout, we introduced more transparency that shows exactly what has changed in a work order once it has been assigned to you.
I have a favor to ask – we need volunteers! We will be conducting remote usability studies on some very big product prototypes that are specifically aimed at improving the usability and workflow for our users, as well as bringing more relevant and useful information to our providers. These studies will occur in both our native mobile apps and our desktop site. If you are interested in helping shape these future features, please send an email to email@example.com so you can be added to a recruitment email. Thank you again for all the feedback we have been receiving on our latest features, and do not hesitate to send feedback at any time regarding the platform to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I wrap up this month, I would like to remind everyone again about the rating system – I still see a large number of providers failing to rate the buyers they work with. Please take some time to do so, as it would be greatly appreciated by all. I would also like to remind buyers that when you experience a situation where a work order is sitting in work done and there is a reason as to why you cannot approve it, please use the system to your advantage. You can begin by going to the “approval and payment” tab, scrolling to the bottom of the page and selecting “tell provider that work order is incomplete.” Here is where you can explain the reason why the work order has not yet been approved and include any additional information before submitting back to the provider. This will not only push the work order back into an assigned status, but it will also alert the provider that there is an issue they need to resolve. This helps alleviate the issue of a work order sitting in the “work done” stage and not notifying the provider that there is still work to be done. This capability has been built into the system for you to use when there is an issue – and it is always much easier to deal directly with the provider. This is something you can do to help yourselves close out work orders quickly and efficiently and also lend clarity to the entire process.
As I have said many times my friends, we here at Field Nation are committed to you. We need you so we can grow and our success relies on your being successful together!
Please feel free to send me an email or give me a call if you want to join my group “VP Customer Service Corner” in Field Nation. I always enjoy hearing from everyone.
Thanks for all your continued support. And in all you do, BE SAFE.