FOOT SOlDIER'S CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS AND RECOMMENDED 'BEST PRACTICES' 

For nearly 20 years, the Foot Soldiers have provided professional and reliable yard sweeping, trash management, and snow removal services to homeowners and property managers in Brooklyn, NY. We are the # 1 snow provider for snow clearing services of residential and commercial pedestrian walkways. Shovelers contract with the Foot Soldiers to help owners with their snow problems and share revenue from each sale.

 

 

  1. Customer expectations, using the app & cancelations

    1. Assignments & notifications

    2. Accepting shoveling assignments

    3. Using the app for "jobs"

    4. Using the app for GPS, property info & notes

    5. Shoveling & customer expectations

    6. Cancelations

  2. Customer rating system

  3. Equipment & supplies

  4. Payment

  • Assignments & Notifications

    • When snow is forecasted, Foot Soldiers sends a text to registered Shovelers for an opportunity to opt-in to work and prepare to shovel. 

    • Most of our Customers are pre-registered and receive automatic snow clearing services for the season. New customers can request snow removal services before, during, and after a storm. 

    • Participating properties, known as "Jobs," are typically assigned to the closest Shoveler who opted-in to work. Once Jobs are posted, details will show on the Foot Soldiers' app in the "Open Work" section. Foot Soldiers assign four to eight Jobs near the Shovelers preselected start location. Customers receive a text confirmation with the Shoveler's name, image, and up to a 2-hour arrival window.

    • The Foot Soldiers' staff monitors the weather closely. 3 - 7 days before snowfall is forecasted, Shovelers will have the opportunity to sign up and accept Jobs. They will receive estimated start times to pre-treat their accepted Jobs with Calcium Chloride. 

    • Upon notification, Shovelers should prepare to have their equipment, supplies, and wardrobe ready to go. It's also a great idea to make sure their cell phone is on a high volume ring mode instead of silent or vibrate. If the Shoveler misses a notification, they risk losing access to the Foot Soldier application. 

    • Near the end of the storm, Shovelers will receive an "OK to start shoveling" text notification from Foot Soldiers, which alerts them that they have 45 minutes to arrive at the first Job location that they accepted.

    • Our customers receive status notifications through our state of the art Foot Soldiers app, which builds their confidence in the Foot Soldiers Shovelers. When a Shoveler takes each of the following in-app steps, automatic status updates are sent to the Customer, building trust.

  • Using the App for Jobs

    • To begin, a Shoveler would 

    • Open HouseCall Pro, the Foot Soldiers app and login; 

    • On the dashboard under "Open Work," select the first Job. 

    • At the top of the Job are three tabs; 

    • Click the "On My Way" tab and head to your property. 

    • Upon arrival and before starting the Job 

    • Our Customers expect us, so there's no need to knock on any doors or ring bell, 

    • Click "Start" on the Foot Soldiers app,

    • Scroll down to the bottom of the app, 

    • Click attachments and upload at least three property photos, including all the areas you will clear. 

    • Important Note: Our images prove that we cleared the snow from all the areas expected areas. The photos help avoid unnecessary payment disputes based on work performance. The before and after property pictures must include all stairways, the entire sidewalk, front yard, and a profile shot, including all of the areas mentioned earlier. Correctly uploaded Job images will be visible on the bottom of the Foot Soldiers application.

  • Shoveling Jobs & Customer Expectations

    • There are three types of Jobs; pretreating, snow clearing, and emergency services; 

      • Please note, snow clearing is a three-part process that includes 

        • Pre-treating your assigned Jobs with calcium chloride, 

        • Snow clearing right after a snowfall, and

        • The application of calcium chloride after snow clearing.

      • For tracking purposes, we create two Jobs for one snow clearing service on the Foot Soldiers app.

        • 1st for pre-treating 

        • 2nd for snow clearing and post-treating.

    • Pre-treating is the pre and post-application of Calcium Chloride to disrupt the bonding process between snow and the surface. Our customers only allow the Foot Soldiers and our Shovelers to use Calcium Chloride pellets on their stairs, yards, and sidewalks. Shovelers pre-treat assigned Jobs with Calcium Chloride 12 - 16 hours before snowfall is forecasted to start. Foot Soldiers managers authorize Shovelers to initiate pretreatment via text 24 - 48 hours before a storm. In some cases, when the snow is forecast under two inches, pretreating is the only service provided. In those cases, Shovelers receive a pretreatment payment instead of a snow clearing payment. 

    • Snow clearing is about preparation, safety, and documentation; 

      • We prepare by pre-treating our Jobs with Calcium Chloride 12 - 16 hours before snowfall. The proper application saves Shovelers time and energy when it's time to clear snow.  

      • When it's time to clear snow, a Shoveler's efficiency reduces the chance for ice and ensures that customers and their tenants can safely enter and leave their homes. Based on our contract with our Customers and Shovelers, Shovelers typically have 5-hours once the snowfall has ended to clear snow from their assigned Jobs. Customers expect that Shovelers:

        • Use plastic shovels to avoid any potential property damage to stairways. Accordingly, plastic shovels are the only acceptable tools for clearing stairway snow for all Jobs

        • Clear 75% of the sidewalk, and

        • Clear a path in the front yard and to the trash area. 

    • Emergency services are not typically a service for automatic customers who planned snow clearing; emergency services generally are for new customers who did not prepare. Without Foot Soldiers pretreatment, these Jobs typically are icy and more difficult. Emergency Jobs take longer and require skill and metal choppers, but Shovelers earn more money for their extra work. We have dealt with ice for a while; here are some best practice suggestions:

      • Clear movable surface snow with a plastic shovel; 

      • On the ice that remains, apply a healthy amount of calcium chloride evenly to the surface, then allow it to sit for 20 - 30 minutes. 

      • When it makes sense, service another scheduled nearby Job and visit the treated property after to get through the ice easier during this wait time. 

      • Calcium chloride pellets create little holes in the ice, disrupting it from the surface. We have found that Shovelers exert less energy by sliding their choppers under the ice to pick it up in chunks. 

      • To avoid chipping and damage, we rarely, if ever, use metal on staircases; in those rare cases, Shovelers should use extreme care. 

      • Customers expect the safest standards for their families and tenants. After a completed snow clearing or emergency Job, customers expect Shovelers to spread calcium chloride pellets evenly on all cleared surfaces to melt residual snow and prevent ice from surface moisture. 

    • Once the snow is cleared, a Shoveler must document their completed work by:

      • Opening our app and clicking on the Job,

      • Scrolling down to attachments and upload multiple photos as evidence of your completed work, including stairways, front yard, sidewalk, walkways, and a front-facing profile shot of the property (including as much of the property as possible). 

      • Once the photos are uploaded, select "Finish" at the top of the Foot Soldiers app; repeat this process for all assigned Jobs.

    • Our systems are thorough; we have dispatchers available for any questions about Jobs or app usage that may arise. 

  • Customer Rating

    • After every completed Job, the Customer can leave a rating, feedback, and tip, as you see here.

    • Our customers prefer to use Shovelers, with ratings of 4 and 5 stars. They trust us with selecting the best Shoveler contractors. Shovelers who fall below customer expectations may lose access to the Foot Soldiers application.

    • Fortunately, there are many ways for Shovelers to remain 5-star providers. Foot Soldiers' staff are always ready to use and share feedback to help Shovelers.

    • Wanna know more about how to satisfy our customers? Following these tips can help you get started on the right foot and make sure you consistently impress your clients.

      • Clear 75% of the sidewalk and 100 % of all stairways 

      • Clear a yard path to the front gate and trash area

      • Evenly distribute Calcium Chloride on all cleared areas. Do not leave chunks of calcium chloride on Jobs; spread it evenly.

      • Upload proper before and after photos

    • The top reasons property owners and managers like using Contractors through the Foot Soldiers services are our reliability, consistency, communication, and documentation. For example, many Customers do not live at the properties we shovel. The notifications, photos, and work quality help build their confidence in us and ease their minds of the hazards that snow brings; our documentation also helps owners fight ECB summonses and other liability issues. Shovelers need to meet Customer's snow clearing expectations. Forgetting to clear an area like the sidewalk, stairs, or yard is hazardous; arriving five-hours after a snowfall and dark or unclear photos are some of the most common reasons Customers give low ratings. 

    • Here's another best practice. Customers notice and tend to rate and tip Shovelers more generously who go above and beyond their duties by clearing snow off the garbage tops, hand railings, and fences. Don't forget to take photos of all the work you do. 

    • Asking customers to rate 5-stars has resulted in Shovelers' negative ratings as customers do not see that as professional.

  • Equipment and Supplies Quality

    • Our customers expect that Shovelers use plastic equipment and always use calcium chloride. Customers expect shovelers only to use metal equipment for deicing sidewalks.

  • Accepting Shoveling Assignments

    • Foot Soldiers initially assign up to eight Jobs per Shoveler.

    • Active Shovelers are awarded more Jobs.

    • Exceptional Shovelers can request and accept additional Jobs while in the field.

    • Shovelers receive a text message to confirm their availability to work during approaching storms. 

    • When you accept work, you are typically the closest person to the Customer.

    • If you do not accept, your shoveling opportunities will go to another Shoveler.

    • Foot Soldiers provide snow removal service 24/7, including the day, nights, weekends, and holidays. As a result, specific jobs will be available at "off-peak" hours. Because such jobs are often less desirable, these assignments have a pay bump, described later. 

  • Cancelations

    • Once a Shoveler opts-in for a particular snowfall, they can cancel 24 hours before the snowfall is forecasted to begin by emailing services@myfootsoldiers.com or texting 718.684.1014. 

    • If a Shoveler cannot complete their assigned Jobs, notify the dispatcher through the Foot Soldier app or call 718.684.1014 ext 2 immediately. For support, a Dispatcher is assigned to every Job. Click their name and call them so that we can ensure the Customer receives services. Shovelers who cancel Jobs without sufficient notice may lose access to the Foot Soldier app. 

    • If you arrive at a property to shovel and it's already cleared, we require photo documentation for every Job. Take and upload photos showing the sidewalk, yard, and stairs. Write a private note on the Job, stating that "Snow was already cleared upon arrival." Don't worry; in those few cases, we don't waste time; we earn a smaller "trip fee." 

    • Here are options for Shovelers who arrive at a property that is already partially cleared. Let's say someone already shoveled the sidewalk, but the stairs and yard are still full of snow; take the before photos, clear the yard and stairways; we will charge the Customer for either a full or partial-service, depending on the amount of snow the Shoveler removed. To avoid payment issues, be sure to write a private note on the Job stating that the property was already partially completed upon arrival.

    • If your cancellations bring your rating below customer expectations, you may lose access to the app.

    • Foot Soldiers and Customers reserve the right to cancel a Shoveler's assigned Job at any time.

  • Using the App for GPS, Property Info & Notes

    • Shovelers have already learned how to notify customers about Job statuses through the app. Let's dive a little deeper into viewing the Job. 

      • For testing and familiarization purposes, once you have contracted with the Foot Soldiers, open the HouseCall Pro app dashboard and view the "Upcoming" Job named 123 Test Property Ave. 

      • If you do not see the Job, please write a request to be added to the Foot Soldiers by emailing services@myfootsoldiers.com.

    • Scroll down, and in most cases, you will see a google map front-facing photo of the property and its address; GPS settings are built right into our app, 

    • Click the blue location icon, and you will be able to receive GPS directions to your Job.

    • Once you're on the Job, make sure you have all the information you need to understand the Job. 

      • Scroll down to the blue Job tags to see information about the property and the private notes that may have specific instructions. 

      • Corner Jobs earn more money and require more work. If you have any questions about the app that this video hasn't explained, text 718.684.1014, and a representative will reach out to you. If snow is in the forecast, our responses may be slower.

  • Payment 

    • Foot Soldiers utilize a mobile-based payment platform. Customers have two days to review your work, manually make their electronic payments, including any discretionary tips. Tips are not required and at the sole discretion of the Customer. You receive 100% of any customer tip.

    • Shovelers shall receive payment fourteen days after Jobs are completed.

    • Direct Deposit 

    • Shovelers have consented to direct deposit in their agreement. All Shovelers are paid via direct deposit within fourteen days of Job completion.

    • To set up your direct deposit, complete the electronic W-9 form emailed to you. 

    • If the name on the form is an individual, a social security card and government-issued photo ID is required. 

    • If you did not receive this email, please email services@myfootsoldiers.com.

    • Foot Soldiers shares revenue with Shovelers according to fee structures that are determined by the type of assignment that was completed and whether or not the assignment was eligible for a special premium payment (e.g., because the Job was at night, between 8 p.m. and - 5:59 a.m. EST, or on a federally recognized holiday).​