Provider Guide - Get Started

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Setting up shop

You've joined Service Central! You're able to jump straight into finding jobs and competing to win the work already, but setting up shop is important, so remember to come back to this!

First things first is to make sure you're compliant - you'll need to upload your certificate of currency and licenses. One of the most important things that keeps customers coming back to Service Central is the knowledge that all our registered providers are appropriately licensed and insured. There's also something in it for you, because you won't be competing with cowboys!

You should also set up your online web profile, which is your personalised website. Setting up your web profile is easy, and you should definitely set aside some time to do it - if you think about it, your web profile is like your shop front, and is an important tool to win the work!

Once you've done those two things, you're ready to go - but take a few seconds to check your contact details and validate your email address and mobile phone number.

Getting jobs

Service Central's marketing activities captures potential customer's attention and converts this interest into a job opportunity for you to decide whether you want to accept the job opportunity or not.

You can get job opportunities in different ways through Service Central. For our Premium members, you'll have job opportunities sent to your mobile phone or email, depending on which option works best for your business. As a Premium member you can also find more job opportunities than those sent to you based on your job matching profile by searching for job opportunities on the Open Jobs Board online. Our Jobs Board members don't receive notifications matching to their profile, but can search for jobs online in all categories.

You'll be charged a referral fee when you accept the job opportunity. The amount is deducted from your pre-funded account when the customer's details are sent to you. If the job was already taken by the time you accepted it, you will be told that the job is closed and will not be charged a fee. The cost of the referral credit is calculated based on the size of the job.

Then it's all up to you to contact the customer within 24 hours (or sooner) and win the work. You'll be competing against one or two other Service Central businesses for this work. Making sure your online web profile is attractive and informative can help you compete, but your superior customer service skills are most important!

When you've accepted a job opportunity, the customer can provide feedback on your business that shows on your web profile for all of your customers to see. You can remind your customers to provide feedback through your website, provided they have an email address registered with Service Central.

Managing your finances

Your pre-funded account is almost like a pre-paid mobile phone - when the money runs out, you can't make any more calls. Similarly, when the money in your account is too low to afford a job opportunity, you'll not receive the notification or be able to pick up the job on the Open Jobs Board. We will notify you that your account is too low, by sending you a message about the jobs you're missing.

There are 4 ways to top up your account. You can also view your balance online and we'll send you a message when your balance is less than $60. You can choose how much you want to fund your account with. Remember that you can set up an automatic top-up to help you manage this, and any EFT deposits take 3 working days to show in your account.

You'll be able to access your monthly statements online, and every month we'll send you a reminder when your new statement for the previous month is ready.

Learning the lingo

Hopefully it's not too different to 'normal' language, but it's helpful to understand a few terms that you'll commonly hear from Service Central.

Job opportunities are simply that, sometimes also called 'referrals', or 'notifications'. We'll usually call the people that want jobs to be done 'Consumers'. They're also referred to as 'Customers' or 'job posters'. Your business is generally 'a Provider' or 'a Business' or more formally, a 'Service Central Registered Service Provider'.

Your website is called your 'portal' (it takes you wherever you need to go!) or 'dashboard' (it shows you what you need to see). We called the website the 'ISM' internally but will usually call it the 'website' outside of our walls. The 'post a job page' is the smart web form that gathers all the information about the jobs, and your 'job matching profile' or 'jobs profile' refers to the profile you've set up that tells us which kind of jobs you want! There are also different types of profiles and these shouldn't be confused with your business's online web profile.

'Referral fees' are what you pay for every job opportunity you accept, and your 'referral credit account' is where this money is kept to pay for those referrals.

'Traffic' refers to the people that visit our website, which is also called 'hits'. People who come back to our site all the time are called 'repeat users' and people that come to our site for the first time are called 'unique visitors'.

The code of conduct governs your behavior as a member of Service Central, and the dispute resolution process refers to the actions that Service Central can take if it all goes horribly wrong. The 'Provider agreement' is the legal agreement between Service Central and your business.

When things go wrong

We all know that in business sometimes the wheels fall off or we have to change direction without warning! This will happen for your business and for ours, but we know that by using the tools available to us we'll usually find a way forward.

If you receive negative feedback on your web profile, it's not the end of the world. A bit of customer service and a practical solution to the problem will often help, and if not then you have a right of reply online - not to sling the mud back, but to make sure any future customers know that you can deal with problems that might come your way.

If your star rating is consistently lower than 3 stars, you'll need to do some work on improving your star rating, as registered businesses with less than a 3 star rating concern us greatly!

If we get a formal complaint, Service Central will always approach your business to see if we can smooth it out by being a go-between for you and the customer. If that fails, Service Central's actions are governed by the Dispute Resolution process. Because we're picky about who we accept membership from, we have very few complaints.

Service Central also has a returns policy for referrals, when the information that Service Central provides you with prevents you from contacting the customer to quote. We call returns/refunds 'rollbacks' and as with most businesses, the refund policy is governed by rules. Most importantly, you can only apply for a rollback online and within 30 days of accepting the job opportunity. Of course, because our main aim is to give you high quality referrals, we'll always scrutinise each application to make sure nothing more could be done to connect you with the customer.

Every business that joins Service Central has expectations when you join - and Service Central normally meets and exceeds those expectations. If you are a Jobs Board member with a free Premium trial, and you aren't receiving any SMS's, you might want to check that your account has been correctly set up. Reviewing your job matching profile is also helpful if you're receiving less job opportunities than you expected, and checking your contact details is important if you haven't received ANY communication from Service Central.