Our Customer Service Caught the President’s Attention!

shawn-lynchThe White House announced winners of the first ever President’s Award for Customer Service, and we’re proud to share that one of our employees received this honor among four other government awardees.

Shawn Lynch, a claims representative from the Dothan, Alabama, field office, was recognized for her superior customer service. Among her many contributions, Shawn led efforts to reduce appointment wait times and increase the number of my Social Security registrations within her office. She also took the initiative to reach out to applicants before their appointments, giving them the opportunity to have their disability claims taken early. Shawn educated claimants on the Self Help PC as well. Furthermore, she showed her commitment to service by taking part in community outreach.

Receiving a prestigious service award, especially from the President, is a great achievement! It exemplifies — to other federal agencies and the nation — our driving mission to provide world-class customer service that meets the changing needs of the public.

We congratulate Shawn on her accomplishment, as well as improving lives within her community! We’re lucky to have such a valuable, resourceful member as a part of the Social Security team.

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101 thoughts on “Our Customer Service Caught the President’s Attention!

  1. Congratulations Shawn. As a soon to be retiree, I truly appreciate your “above & beyond” customer service. I have been dreading the process of filing my retirement papers and to go through the arduous process but people like yourself make it easier for soon to be retirees very hopeful! Thanks again. Hopefully, your work ethic and spirit will progress to other customer service reps across the country. Thanks so very much!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Dawn. I am truly honored to represent Team SSA and our hard working clients. Helping people is what I love most. The unveiling of SSA’s E-services brought with it tremendous opportunities to assist our well-deserved clients at an ever higher level. Without our clients, we wouldn’t be here nor have a need to be here. I sincerely consider myself blessed to come to work and do what I truly love doing.

  2. My congratulations Shawn.
    She will be a good example for others.
    Our president did the right thing and now whoever is the boss for this unit has to follow his foot step to keep this spirit..

    Chimanlal G. Patel.

    P.S. Hope I get an E-mail on this response.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I am truly honored to represent Team SSA and our hard working clients. Helping people is what I love most. The unveiling of SSA’s E-services brought with it tremendous opportunities to assist our well-deserved clients at an ever higher level. Without our clients, we wouldn’t be here nor have a need to be here. I sincerely consider myself blessed to come to work and do what I truly love doing.

  3. Nice to see there is still customer service in this tech age. Hopefully this will trickle down and inspire others. Congrats to you Shawn. Be blessed.

    • shawn, dito to the comments above … congrats.

      hope this type of service goes to ALL 50 states.

      those NOT giving this type of service, please let the federal SS know about your experiences so they can be CORRECTED.

      bettyg, iowa

      • i forgot to say, my LOCAL SS office were wonderful to work with and very ENCOURAGING on not giving up when trying to get SSDI, disability approved!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Diane. I am truly honored to represent Team SSA and our hard working clients. Helping people is what I love most. The unveiling of SSA’s E-services brought with it tremendous opportunities to assist our well-deserved clients at an ever higher level. Without our clients, we wouldn’t be here nor have a need to be here. I sincerely consider myself blessed to come to work and do what I truly love doing.

  4. Sadly, this is far from the normal level of service. The wait times on the phone, the inability to resolve anything once you get through, causes you to have to set a physical appointment to visit a local office. Of course the soonest available appointment is 7 weeks away. All this to change my mother’s mailing address who is 90 hears old, fell and after a week at a skilled nursing facility had to be moved to an assisted living facility.

    • Social Security checks have not been mailed to anyone for years – in part to save $$$, and in part to prevent the theft of paper checks from mail boxes or to prevent older folks from being assaulted and having their checks stolen. Social Security $$$ is deposited into checking/savings accounts or to a debit card that is set up through Social Security.

      [I[f you only need a change of address, that can easily be done online in a few minutes at socialsecurity.gov.

      • You are incorrect. They do still mail checks. My daughters check is mailed. I am unable to get it direct deposited because it has the wrong name on it. SSA keeps saying they will fix it but haven’t. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve gone into the local office with her paperwork and been told it will be fixed.

    • I went to the local Social Security office in Panama City, worst service of any office I have ever been, horrible, could not answer any questions, even though rep over the phone said she could not answer and that questions would be answered at my appointment, total waste of time, sad our taxpayer $ are being wasted in such a big way!

      • As a SSI recipient, and therefore, a customer, I get your frustration/irritation. Have experienced same over the years as offices in affluent areas provided better service than those that served disadvantaged areas. However, over the last 2-3 years here in Southern California at the 20th and Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, CA office I’ve found much-improved service. The only problem for me now is the security guards, especially in the disadvantaged areas, who treat everything as if we live in a military state which stresses me a lot.

      • Hi Carol. We are sorry to hear you did not receive the level of customer service you expected, and we can understand your frustration. We respond to questions and provide general information on our Retirement, Survivors, Disability, Medicare and SSI programs. If you have a general question, we encourage you to ask here. But remember, never post personal information on social media. You can also create a my Social Security account to get estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, and review your earnings record and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid. We hope you try again. Thanks!

    • And this makes Ms. Lynch’s dedication to service all the more commendable. You went through a lot of bother to change an address. You could have done this on line.

    • You can do that online in 5 minutes if all you want is to change an address. Additionally, you can always walk into any local SS office without an appointment, just like a hair salon or barbershop. You may wait awhile depending on day of week/month, time of day, and the location of the office – my local office is never busy
      I walked in to get a replacement SS card when I lost mine and it took 30 minutes from the time I walked in till I had a new card. If you’re online on this site and read this blog, it’s impossible not to know you can do almost everything you need to online. I’ve seen this in every single blog post, Twitter,and even on all the correspondence they and Medicare send out. How much simpler can they make it? People are always so quick to blame the government for everything – they don’t do enough, they do too much, government is inefficient, etc . . . Yet they still get their noses out of joint when they’re can’t be bothered to do their part. Sheesh.

        • This was not an isolated or one-time occurrence. Since that time, I’ve had several more occasions that necessitated going into my local SSA office. As I’ve noted, some days I’ve waited longer than other days but never has a visit taken over an hour including wait time and service. In my experience, the DMV office is far more painful to deal with than SSA. Here’s a suggestion that might work for those of you who have busier offices than most: perhaps you could find another SSA branch office in relatively close proximity that isn’t as crowded? Alternatively, try to plan when you go; for instance, never go on a Monday or Friday (Tuesdays work well for me), go around 10-10:30 am or between 2:00 and 3:00 pm, and never go during the first 3 or 4 days of the month. I hope these suggestions might prove helpful to at least some here.

  5. Congratulations. I am sure that you have made important differences in
    many Americans. Clearly, you have
    the gift of compassion and empathy.
    Continue to excell, and if given an
    opportunity to change a wasteful, or
    unfair situation. Change it!
    Sincerely
    Lannie Wynn

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Lannie. I am truly honored to represent Team SSA and our hard working clients. Helping people is what I love most. The unveiling of SSA’s E-services brought with it tremendous opportunities to assist our well-deserved clients at an ever higher level. Without our clients, we wouldn’t be here nor have a need to be here. I sincerely consider myself blessed to come to work and do what I truly love doing.

  6. That’s great, but what about for the first time ever more $$ went for healthcare instead of into social security? I’m sure I won’t get a response from this.

    • I would like to see a source on that, as I don’t believe it is accurate. Additionally, that is some very poor phrasing – ambiguous.

      Whatever $$$ goes to healthcare typically helps folks on Social Security by reducing the costs of healthcare, procedures, tests, and prescription drugs… all of these areas are used far more extensively by people on Social Security than the general population.

    • FALSE. Social Security has no connection with any other government spending. It is self funded and has been since its inception. Health care spending comes from a completely different source. If you hsve enough time to post false claims about Social Security or any other topic for that matter, you have time to check for the FACTS.

  7. I have worked in customer service for 30 plus years both
    as a customer service representative and a Customer
    Service Manager. A company can have the best product
    or service there is but if they do not give ABOVE AVERAGE customer service they WILL those that
    customer to a company or person who DOES give ABOVE AVERAGE customer service. This day in age
    the customer has many choices and sometimes the deal breaker on the customer’s choice is where they
    feel they are receiving EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE.

    • You’re so right. I feel the same way, and (hopefully) sooner or later more major corporations will wake up to this fact also. Outstanding customer service is so valuable to me that I will remain loyal to the company providing it no matter the cost. Believe it or not, in my mind, Verizon Wireless is one such company. While it’s true Verizon has the best coverage, great phones, and seemingly limitless options available to tailor a plan for every need, that’s not why I’ve continued to keep my wireless service through them for more than 11 years and have no plans to ever switch for any reason. That’s not to say Verizon has never made a mistake with me; in fact I can think of 3 major problems I’ve faced with them that caused me no end of frustration, and numerous lesser ones. Additionally, Verizon is unarguably the priciest of the major wireless providers. Even so i choose to remain a Verizon customer because of their unmatched customer service that in almost every case goes far above and beyond the norm. In all these years through all the problems, never once have I spoken to a Verizon agent who wasn’t unfailingly polite, patient, attentive, and knowledgeable. What makes Verizon agents stand out from the rest however, is the way they genuinely care about the problem and are personally committed to solving it to the customer’s best advantage. I don’t know how they do it, but any company that fosters such a customer-centered culture deserves my support.

  8. THIS AWARD IS A JOKE, YOU CALL S.S. THE REPS ARE UNINFORMED, AGRESSIVE, LOOKS LIKE THEY HATE THEIR JOB, THEY BELIEVE THEY MAKE YOU A FAVOR ANSWERING YOUR CALL, WE PAISD FOR IT!!

    • It’s not a joke. It takes loving your job and loving people to stand out as she does,,,, and to be well received by everyone. Great job! And Ricardo should try to stop sniffin’ methane, once again. 🙂

    • I can imagine that it would be easy to hate your job if you had to deal with ignorant, belligerent people like you all day long.

  9. You go girl .We need you on our team >Wish they ask me how long I have been on line to this New Anthem blue cross.. Changed names now already
    I have scooter and your talking my legs. Taking there time on helping me and my medical devices.. Ready to file grievance

  10. CONGRATULATIONS. I am a retired District Manager and always believed Customer Service was critical. Many of my employee’s went the “extra mile” with our “Customers” by doing what you are doing. Keep up the the good work.Don Rugraff

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Don. I am truly honored to represent Team SSA and our hard working clients. Helping people is what I love most. The unveiling of SSA’s E-services brought with it tremendous opportunities to assist our well-deserved clients at an ever higher level. Without our clients, we wouldn’t be here nor have a need to be here. I sincerely consider myself blessed to come to work and do what I truly love doing.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I am truly honored to represent Team SSA and our hard working clients. Helping people is what I love most. The unveiling of SSA’s E-services brought with it tremendous opportunities to assist our well-deserved clients at an ever higher level. Without our clients, we wouldn’t be here nor have a need to be here. I sincerely consider myself blessed to come to work and do what I truly love doing.

  11. Thank you for your service! As a former account specialist, I can well relate to your hourly challenges!

    I hope you and your colleagues continue to share ways to maximize resources.

  12. I’m sorry but I don’t believe anyone deserves an award at social security for anything except making good people suffer, and allowing useless, lazy, and dishonest degenerates the opportunity to bleed the system dry with their feeling of entitlement having never contributed to anything in their lives. This recognition is a joke, and a slap in the face to hard working people who’ve had their lives turned upside down by social security and all its representatives.

    • Social Security did not cause you to suffer. Something however has turned your life upside down. I hope you seek and get the help you need.

  13. When I retired in 2010 I dreaded having to deal with a government agency. I dialed the SSA number and was greeted with a polite and very professional person who first put me at ease and in a matter of about 10 minutes had me signed up.
    Congratulations and thank you to the SSA and the people who answer the phones. You do a great job.

  14. I did customer service for 12 years and I realize there can be employees who want to be helpful but are bogged down by inefficient policies or technology. I have been trying to resolve 2 issues since 2014. One was money owed that was never sent. I got my congressman involved last year, this week the money showed up.
    The other issue is my daughters check comes in her birth name. She was adopted at age 3, I applied for disability in 2012 when she was 7. She has a social security card in her adopted name, how they even messed this up in the first place is baffling. I go in frequently with all her paper work and try to get it fixed. Each person says they will fix it. The last rep said he could get it changed and updated on one system but the other wouldn’t update until the next day. He said he would check it and call me to verify it was done. He did call to say it didn’t update, he doesn’t know why and he will keep working on it. It still isn’t fixed.

    Years to get this done is not good customer service regardless of intentions.

  15. Dear Ms. S. Lynch

    We, the citizens of U.S.A congratulate you for your dedication. I am a retiree and went to SSA office recently and it was crowded . People like you can make our lives more happy.

    With Best Wishes

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I am truly honored to represent Team SSA and our hard working clients. Helping people is what I love most. The unveiling of SSA’s E-services brought with it tremendous opportunities to assist our well-deserved clients at an ever higher level. Without our clients, we wouldn’t be here nor have a need to be here. I sincerely consider myself blessed to come to work and do what I truly love doing.

  16. I went to the Social Security Office a few weeks ago on Detroit Ave. in Cleveland, Ohio. I was so impressed how quick they were at taking care of the customers. Also the Security Officer was very professional and knowledgeable.

  17. Congrats Shawn! It’s people like you that lead others by example and show them how to treat our seniors, disabled and others who need SS assistance. Dothan is a lucky city.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I am truly honored to represent Team SSA and our hard working clients. Helping people is what I love most. The unveiling of SSA’s E-services brought with it tremendous opportunities to assist our well-deserved clients at an ever higher level. Without our clients, we wouldn’t be here nor have a need to be here. I sincerely consider myself blessed to come to work and do what I truly love doing.

  18. Congratulations Shawn. As a government professional, I know that recognition is not easily given especially at that level. You should feel very proud of your accomplishment. Hopefully, you can spread some of your knowledge to others. Again, Congratulations!!!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Dean. I am truly honored to represent Team SSA and our hard working clients. Helping people is what I love most. The unveiling of SSA’s E-services brought with it tremendous opportunities to assist our well-deserved clients at an ever higher level. Without our clients, we wouldn’t be here nor have a need to be here. I sincerely consider myself blessed to come to work and do what I truly love doing.

  19. Congratulatioms Shawn, and THANK YOU for your service!

    People are People and bottomlime, WE The People, will always have Excellent to Bad Quality of Service and Life, No Matter The Industry and or State and City. Why? Because PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE and That Is LIFE.

    Collectively, WE The People could do more to stem the tide of Negativity because it is energy, which festers and grows.

    I know for a FACT, WE The People have all had Excellent to Bad experiences throughout our lives.

    This is a PUBLIC FORUM and unfortunately, Some Of YOU SO-CALLED ADULTS do monitor your CHILDRENS ONLINE ACCESS. Children are Learning To HATE, BULLY, RANT, RAVE, CURSE, DISREPECT THEMSELVES AND EACH OTHER, every waking moment, be WE The People Collectively Teach This.

    1/2 of these Comments are horrid and so profoundly disrepect High Esteemed Recognition of Excellent Quality Service. Thank Goodness such service is worthy of recognition.

    Please, let it serve as an Example for Each and Every SINGLE, Individual, to reflect on How We Can Do Better.

    I know I Can. I thank my Custom Service Rep, on the phone and face to face, MORE and hesitate to complain any more because They Are Providing a Service I Need and They Do Not Have To. Respect. Courtesy, Kindness, Morals Ethics, Yields those qualities back.

    All Service Organizations across all industries, local, city and state, are doing more, handling More WE THE PEOPLE SERVICE AND PRODUCT REQUESTS AND DEMANDS with Less Personnel.

    Let Us All Do Our Part Too. It Is Our Collective Children and Veterans Lifes and Futures at Stake. We Need LIVE Customer Service Reps, not more computer voice activated Bots. Support your Rep. Just say THANK YOU, HAVE A NICE DAY, JOB WELL DONE, a little more. Fill out and take those paper and electronic and telephonic Surveys to VOICE Your Individual Experiences, Privately. These Public Forums are becoming more and more Toxic and there is Absolutely No Value In Spewing, and Reading BAD.

    • Exactly. So many people think it’s ok to treat customer service reps as rudely as they want because they know that agent is at their mercy and can’t defend themselves. It’s a disgrace. And these miserable, negative people treat everyone they deal with like this then complain about society and how bad this country is. Here’s a suggestion – try the GOLDEN RULE! Be POLITE. Show some common courtesy. You are no better than that person waiting on you.

  20. Congratulations Shawn! SSA needs many more like you! I was lucky enough to have a knowledgeable professional help me when I applied at Alexander City, Alabama last July. I wish you’d back track and find out the lady’s name and tell her I’d nominate her for an award like this.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Veronica. I am truly honored to represent Team SSA and our hard working clients. Helping people is what I love most. The unveiling of SSA’s E-services brought with it tremendous opportunities to assist our well-deserved clients at an ever higher level. Without our clients, we wouldn’t be here nor have a need to be here. I sincerely consider myself blessed to come to work and do what I truly love doing.

    • Thank you John! Your thoughts are important to us and we’re pleased when feedback is positive. We try hard to provide the best possible service to our customers and your satisfaction is our reward.

    • Thanks for your comment Barbara! We appreciate your thoughts. We are committed to providing the public with the best service possible.

  21. Congrats Shawn! You earned it. The whole nation and me too are proud of your diligence, initiatives, and super duper deluxe customer service and the break-through you made. What a wonderful achievement and what a superior role model you have been blessed to be for us all, particularly the younger generation. Again, hearty congratulations!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I am truly honored to represent Team SSA and our hard working clients. Helping people is what I love most. The unveiling of SSA’s E-services brought with it tremendous opportunities to assist our well-deserved clients at an ever higher level. Without our clients, we wouldn’t be here nor have a need to be here. I sincerely consider myself blessed to come to work and do what I truly love doing.

  22. Congratulations Shawn, and thank your for your kind service. It doesn’t take anything from anyone to be know and and courteous. You may not realize this, but being kind to someone may be just what that person may have needed to make an otherwise situation stressful.Thank you for treating others as you wish to be treated. . Bless you .

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Amelia. I am truly honored to represent Team SSA and our hard working clients. Helping people is what I love most. The unveiling of SSA’s E-services brought with it tremendous opportunities to assist our well-deserved clients at an ever higher level. Without our clients, we wouldn’t be here nor have a need to be here. I sincerely consider myself blessed to come to work and do what I truly love doing.

  23. I was in the Mount Holly NJ office yesterday and was very impressed. Very organized. Wait time to see someone was short. The worker answered all my questions.The web site is easy to use and navigate. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you Clarice! Your thoughts are important to us and we’re pleased when feedback is positive. We try hard to provide the best possible service to our customers and your satisfaction is our reward.

  24. I wish Shawn worked on updating benefit payment info. It took at least 4 plus calls plus online tries to get our payment information updated as we had to close the receiving account….. and this after WAITING on the phone for 40 to 55 minutes for most of the calls.
    This has been ongoing for at least 5 months!
    ONLY ONE call did ask us to leave a call-back number.
    Shameful but SS is SS with apparently no oversight!

  25. I am totally disgusted with SS. In Feb. I had a name change and went with all paperwork to the SS office. My old name still appears on letters from SS. My medicare card can’t be changed because SS does not make the name change. Trying to change banks for SS direct deposit is still not accomplished after 8 months, so I cannot close the old bank. This is the most disgusting agency I have ever worked with. I have called and visited the offices and worked with the supervisor. All is at a stand still. What a mess.
    Can anyone put in touch with the top person?

  26. What a great thing to notice an employee is making a difference!! None of my bosses ever did. Here in Bend, Oregon, I have never waited more than 20 minutes to get really excellent service. Got Widow’s
    SS adjustment in 10 days, new Medicare card in 10 days. Many times extensive wait is due to the client not having any or all of required documents! Most of us really do appreciate and express our thanks to those effecient workers we meet.

  27. PLEASSE HELP US AGED AMERICAN CITIZENS!
    MANY OF US ARE OLD WITH DEMENTIA, DIABETES, BAD BALANCE/EYESIGHT/ MEDICAL CARE/ TRANSPORTATION, LIVE ALONE, HAVE NO SUPPORTIVE FAMILY…NO BODY GIVES A DAMN, EVEN THOUGH:
    WE WERE BORN OR EMIGATED HERE, SERVED OUR COUNTRY IN THE U.S. ARMED FORCES, HELPED BUILD THE UNIONS, TOOK CARE OF OUR PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS, THE CLERGY, THE CHURCHES, BOUGHT CARS & FILLED THE POCKETS OF BANKS,AUTO DEALOR, AUTO MANUFACTURERS, AUTO INSTURERS, & WE PAID TAXES, WENT TO SCHOOL HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE, OR HAD TO GO TO WORK AT 16-18 WITH NO EDUCATION, TRAINING, OR SUPPORT OF ANY KIND! ETC.COME ON! GEORGE WASHINGTON ABE LINCOLN & JESUS DON’T LIKE WHAT IS GOING ON! “REGARDE BIEN”!

  28. Sincere Congratulations May Your. Actions. To Better Your. Aera. Become. Completely Contagious. Throughout America’s Entire Government. and Public. Sector…Great Customer Service. Is. One. Of. The. GREATESS. KEYS. To SUPER SUCCESS !!!

  29. Wow. Job well done. Shows a lot about this person when it involved the community. New Orleans need a member like herself.Tremendous job.

  30. SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT APPLICATION SITE IS NOT WORKING (IT HAS BEEN MONTHS, OUT OF COMMISSION) ..
    I want to apply for my social security benefits, since I am almost at full retirement age. Your system will not let anyone apply on line, and you cannot get an appointment with social security, even the phone call application, for over a month. I was told not to apply, until after first of the year. Now, I fear the paperwork will not be processed in time. One of the local SS offices, will not even answer the phone. I still work full time, so I cannot go down to the office and wait in line all day. This is really not acceptable. I kept trying to get on line, thinking it was just a glitch, that would be fixed soon, but after 6 weeks of trying to get on, I don’t anticipate you fixing this serious problem, anytime soon. If it is this hard to apply, just how long is it going to take, for the paperwork to be processed. I have worked hard, to get to this point. It should not be this hard to access services that I am paying for !

    • Hi Terry, we are sorry to hear you are having trouble applying online. The site appears to be up and running, please try again. Call 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Representatives can assist you with your application online. They can also help you schedule an appointment with your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting, and it establishes a protective filing date that protects your future benefits. Generally, it’s best if you call later in the day or later in the week.

  31. Congratulations Shawn, where applicants usually complain about the system and how difficult it is to apply and navigate, it is refreshing to have people like you making a difference. Not only have you made a difference to applicants, but you caught our President’s attention. We are all proud of you.

    Keep up the good work!

    Moses Hernandez

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Moses. I am truly honored to represent Team SSA and our hard working clients. Helping people is what I love most. The unveiling of SSA’s E-services brought with it tremendous opportunities to assist our well-deserved clients at an ever higher level. Without our clients, we wouldn’t be here nor have a need to be here. I sincerely consider myself blessed to come to work and do what I truly love doing.

  32. Too bad he didn’t decide to give retirees a raise this year!!! Nothing like holding those who worked all their lives from a small monthly raise each year. I hope the congress and President are all proud of that also!

  33. I know people working at SSA are all working hard. Just that Ms. Shawn really went the extra mile. I pray she is able to share to her colleagues or co-workers her best practices. CONGRATULATIONS! You gotta duplicate yourself, ma’am! All the best!

  34. Only person in Social Security Department that does her job. Great Lady and very thankful that she cared enough to go the extra mile.

  35. Congratulations! Shawn – I wish we had someone like you here in my local office. My husband has been trying to correct an error in his benefit calculations and it’s an on going struggle. He delayed benefits for a full 24 months and not getting the correct credit and amount. The office rep told him it will probably take 3 months to correct. Well, the 3 months have passed and we are still waiting. It is very frustrating. I’m glad you are as caring as you are and there to help people in your area.

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