Customer’s Corner September 2015

9.25.2015, Written by Annie Wang
Field Nation's Vice President of Customer Service, Art Jenkin
Field Nation’s Vice President of Customer Service, Art Jenkin

Greetings Professional Providers and Buyers,

Fall is here and a lot of things are starting to taper off, although the temperature changes are certainly welcome. There are lots of exciting things happening with buyers and providers here at Field Nation as well. I hope everyone is preparing for the winter, as it has a tendency to sneak up on us before we know it, so enjoy this beautiful fall weather while you can.

I still do not see many providers rating buyers. Remember: this is a two way street available to all. Buyers rate providers all the time and the vast majority of them are positive, so providers – let’s get to it and see some more ratings of the buyers as well. This helps both sides better understand the other and helps to manage expectations.

I also wanted to mention an addition that was made to the work order counter offer feature. There have been many inquiries as to why this update was made, so let me explain: Field Nation’s goal is to maintain an orderly and efficient marketplace where both buyers and providers have transparency to the expectations and requirements of a work order. We found that some providers would use the explanation field to insert aggressive and unreasonable terms that would be difficult or impossible to enforce. These actions led to instances of conflict that we believe are best resolved by limiting the scope of terms that can be included in a counter offer.  I hope everyone understands that we have to protect the integrity of the marketplace and therefore can understand the rationale behind these changes.

I know I have mentioned this in the last two blogs, but I will mention it again – there are some very exciting changes coming soon.  All of these updates are meant to enhance the relationship between all users on our platform. We all know that things take getting used to when you have been doing them a certain way for a long time, but like anything, give it time and it will grow on you! I was going to have Mary Ann Tackett, our Sr. UX Architect, join us this month, but we will have to postpone until next month. Having her join us will be well worth the wait, I assure you. As stated last month, Mary Ann will explain why we make certain changes and why we do not make others, etc., so hopefully the insight will shed understanding on the method behind the madness.

Let’s talk about getting work orders approved, since I know this is an important part of the work process for everyone. As you all know, the cutoff for payment processing is 12n CST on Tuesday and Friday. Every Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, and then again Thursday afternoon and Friday mornings, my phone and many of our Support Staff’s phones are ringing off the hook with the same question: “Why has my work order not been approved?” There can be several reasons why a work order has not yet been approved. Ask yourself these questions – is the work order complete? 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 and out with the buyer, does the time match what you have entered into Field Nation? You should also make sure you have received authorization for a spend limit increase request if you have entered one. Remember, communicate with the buyer. Utilize messages in the work order and pick up the phone. 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 SOW and see if a time frame is given for approval? I had a provider call me last week asking to assist him and when I reviewed the work order, he had just marked it work done two days before – yet the statement of work clearly read that the buyer would take up to 10 days to approve. So let’s all make sure we read the entire work order.

If you find that all of the requirements have been met, then this is when you should reach out to our Support Team for assistance. We will reach out to the buyer for you if you are not getting a response from them regarding your inquiry for an update. And remember, we are all human and many buyers are dealing with literally hundreds of work orders on a weekly or even daily basis. I always tell providers that they should expect a 5 to 7 day turnaround at a minimum for approvals. If you get approval quicker than this, great! If you are a seasoned professional who has worked with the buyer many times before and you always have your ducks in a row, you will most likely get approval faster than this. But we do need to give people time to review. Please keep in mind that getting upset, yelling at people and sword-fighting in messages is never a good idea. Threatening to go to the end-user and things of that nature do not work either and are very harmful to the relationship between a buyer and a provider, and not to mention that doing so not only violates the Field Nation Legal Agreement, but is also known as Tortious Interference and is illegal. So call us to discuss things before you go off the deep end. The calm professional approach always works best, my friends. Additionally, we can always do an arbitration if necessary where Field Nation will have both parties on a conference call and get it all squared away.

The last feature I wanted to discuss is one that came up in a conversation I had with a provider the other day who did not realize you can message a buyer without requesting the work order. You can absolutely do this, so if you see something in the marketplace and are interested but would like more information before requesting it, go ahead and send the buyer a message! This is a great way to get more information before committing to a work order and can help you make a good first impression as well.

We here at Field Nation care about both the buyer and provider and want all of your experiences to be the best. We want you to think of us whenever you need that extra reach. The field of work has changed since I carried a tool bag, but I am still able to understand where you are all coming from. Oh yes, my friends, many of you may not know that I was in the field for 26 years. I started by fixing Keypunch machines back in the 70’s and worked on all the old IBM unit record machines. I’ve done everything from laptops to water-cooled mainframes for the U.S. government as well, including small, mid-range and large systems. I know what it is like to work in the field. I know first-hand what it is like from both the buyer and provider perspective. I will tell you that I have seen so much change, it is hard to believe. I remember when I first got a pager and people would ask my wife is your husband a doctor? Things sure have changed; but I firmly believe it has all changed for the better. Our lives are certainly still complicated to an extent, but communication is always at our fingertips. This is what makes this an exciting time to live in – we can get things done in seconds that used to take hours to complete.

Remember one thing, my friends: we here at Field Nation are committed to you. We are only as successful as our users and you are the reason we have grown so rapidly in such a short period of time. We love getting your feedback and discussing your ideas, so please keep them coming. We rely on each other so we can all be successful together and both buyers and providers are a part of the Field Nation Team! Thank you for all you do every day – we could not do this without you!

I always mention exciting things that are happening at Field Nation, and here is a great story that we announced this past month in case any of you missed it.

That is it for this month. Please feel free to send me an email, or call me if you want to join my group “VP Customer Service Corner” in Field Nation. I always enjoy hearing from everyone.

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