Is Thumbtack Losing Touch with its Contractors

In my professional experience, thumbtack has been great. However in recent years it’s seems to be less focused providing fair exchange. The leads are down for myself and everyone I talk to, they implement words like cheap right before some professions which send us bad clients who just want the lowest price. And the keep pushing instant book or thumbtack which frankly nobody wants contractors or clients, contractors already have a payment system usually crm like jobber and adding another payment isn’t helpful. Instant book doesn’t work with people’s schedules. Not to mention they don’t take care of you anymore when you get fake leads and by that I mean someone clicks on you and never messages you back. Please go back to the way you were doing it 2020, your turning into homeadvisor

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  • DustiO
    DustiO Administrator Posts: 1,387

    @Mitchell_Lawncare thank you for the great feedback. Hopefully you saw this — our newly announced Pro Advisory Board, which is comprised of 13 of our best pros from across the country and industries who have committed to meeting with us over the next year to share their insights and feedback and help us make Thumbtack better. Especially excited to have this board bring the pro voice to the table where decisions are being made. (You can chat with some of our Pro Advisors here in the Community - @ShaquealThomas @busyb @Alex_Tsymbal @Amery)

    Also, there are some improvements to instant book coming soon that should help solve some of the issues you brought up. And, wanted to make sure you were aware that you can actually integrate your Jobber (and other crms) with your Thumbtack account. You can see more info here.

    I'll be watching this poll, because I really want to hear what the other pros in our Community think.

    Thank you!

  • busyb
    busyb Posts: 45

    Thanks for tagging me @DustiO ... as always I am happy to chat with anyone about any of my Thumbtack experiences.

  • @Mitchell_Lawncare if you are up to and have time come to the thumbtack communitea this Thursday.

  • @ShaquealThomas how do I join ?

  • @Mitchell_Lawncare @AmericasFirstHauling the link is in events you can click on attend and join this Thursday

    @AmericasFirstHauling I agree with you I do believe the client should know we are being charged I think it would help the pros selected.

  • @DustiO are you able to post the link for communitea in this thread.

  • DustiO
    DustiO Administrator Posts: 1,387

    @ShaquealThomas @AmericasFirstHauling @Mitchell_Lawncare Here is the link for the CommuniTEA this week. Hope to see you there!

  • @AmericasFirstHauling The best way I’ve found to combat that problem is to make the service you want to get off the app so refined that you’ll very few leads but in turn your conversion will be high which is ideal. This worked for me for a couple years and I was able to bring in 40 k in additional revenue from projects which was fantastic. Most of my leads come from referrals, and google searches but having advertising spread out is critical. Now I’m dealing with fake leads which are clearly bots who don’t respond to phone calls or any message and thumbtack is not pushing as hard on google searches anymore or advertising on tv as much so traffic seems to be down,

  • @busyb

    I’m sure you already saw this but It doesn’t like they are listening to the advisory board. My time on thumbtack is unfortunately coming to an end because this change:

  • busyb
    busyb Posts: 45

    @Mitchell_Lawncare I am aware of Instant Booking and Thumbtack is aware that I am not a fan of it so far. I do not think it is actually working as well as they anticipated for many categories and as a member of the Pro Advisory Board I promise I am continuing to raise my concerns about it. @DustiO I really think Thumbtack needs to re-evaluate how this program is being handled. I have been charged more than what I would actually earn in some cases for a lead once I pay my team members. For example, I just paid almost $80 for a lead the other day that I responded to immediately and was then told it would only be a two hour job but our minimum is three so I'm not even sure why I got the lead plus I wasn't aware that I needed to specify our hours of operation with instant booking. My hours of operation have been set on Thumbtack since I first signed on three years ago so I don't know why Thumbtack would think the hours would be different for instant bookings. So even though I got the customer to agree to have my team member come on a different day then she originally booked and she agreed to the three hour minimum she still went and hired someone else the next day. And she thought it was funny when I told her that I had to pay for the instant booking that she then canceled. I just don't understand why the customers have so much control. I'm out at least $200 this week alone for 3 instant bookings that either hired someone else or never responded. My direct leads are usually less than $25 so big difference! It all seems really unfair to pros if a customer is still able to reach out to more than one even through instant booking. If I lower my max lead price I won't get any leads anymore. I was getting at least a dozen leads a week up until instant booking rolled out and in the past two months I've averaged only 2-3 at most so it seems like something is just really off and I hope a deeper dive into the issues will happen much sooner rather than later.

  • Matt
    Matt Posts: 122

    @busyb I really think transparency needs to be first and foremost to the clients selecting the Pro’s. I have had so many tire kickers just reach out and I pay $85 for “i actually don’t know what I want, I was just thinking it would be cool to get a mural and I reached out”, and they never get back in contact with me. I have spent thousands of dollars to get about 5 or so confirmed jobs. Thankfully my job price is high, but the reach out to hire rate is very poor.

  • busyb
    busyb Posts: 45

    @Matt I had another call with some Thumbtack managers last week to discuss instant booking and I know they heard me express some issues that they are going to look into especially the cost of a lead vs the estimated cost of the job. I think it's all a "work in progress" and while it's not exactly ideal that we have to suffer through the growing pains I am still confident Thumbtack wants Pros to "win".

  • AlexP
    AlexP Posts: 2
    edited November 4

    @busyb The fact that they are pushing an unrefined and VERY costly experiment on their customers (us pros), is truly sad and aggravating. this alone would bring me to believe they really could care less if we succeed or not. Instant booking was available before as a CHOICE. Now it’s mandatory. Seems pretty obvious why. Leads are almost 3x as much. Additionally, over HALF the pros in my area have deactivated their accounts since implementation. That just shows you how out-of-touch they are with the pros.

  • Everyone just needs to turn off their accounts until the cut this bs

  • busyb
    busyb Posts: 45

    @Mitchell_Lawncare I'm not sure that is the answer. I am not saying I like instant booking but as I know @DustiO has said in this forum that it is a work in progress and they are listening to the feedback pros are providing so I would recommend continuing to engage here and let your voice be heard. I am definitely not getting as many leads as I used to but I am starting to see that the ones I am getting are generally ready to move forward and commit. Even though my conversion rate was really high with direct leads, I am diversifying more in terms of marketing and therefore not keeping all of my eggs in this one basket anymore so luckily I am continuing to be able to keep my team busy enough. Would I like more days with multiple jobs so I can continue to grow my team? Sure, but right now I am finding a decent balance.

  • I've been using thumbtack as my primary lead gen this year and have maintained top pro status for the majority of the year, however over the last 2-3 months I've gone from getting 5-10 leads a month to barely getting 2-3 leads. I don't know if this is because I'm not using instant booking, but from the comments I'm seeing and the way I run my onboarding process, it doesn't sound like something that I would get much benefit in using.

    As a user I'm finding that my experience is volatile in that sometimes thumbtack is an amazing app and I've grown my business due to that, and other times I'm starving to get a single lead. Not to mention how hard of a time I've had trying to contact customer support.

  • busyb
    busyb Posts: 45

    @versedfitness you don't have a choice re: instant booking. Thumbtack is deciding which categories are currently part of it and as I am sure you have seen in comments on this forum that many of us are really struggling with it. As a pro advisory board member I am trying to use my voice to help Thumbtack make reasonable adjustments but highly recommend you join the biweekly CommuniTea that @DustiO facilitates. She genuinely takes the feedback from those Zoom calls and gives them to those that need to see what pros are really thinking and saying. Trust me, I am very frustrated by the significant drop in leads and have no clue who is getting them instead of me but my guess is other home organizers in my area are willing to keep their max price higher than me. I'm not willing to right now until I see how everything really flushes out and have opted to diversify my lead gen sources and am starting to advertise on Google and Facebook, something I haven't needed to do because TT was providing me so many leads up until recently. I'm happy to pay a reasonable amount for leads but until they fix some of the flaws that I have showed them that make it impossible for me to make any profit once I pay the high lead cost that comes with an instant booking and send out team members to do the job, especially when a potential customer doesn't read that I have a 4 hour minimum and the refund guidelines have become too restricted so that I can't even request one, I have just had to go to setting a 7 day lead time for any job. I will still get direct leads that way because no one ever unchecks the "open to other dates pro suggests" box and that means even if they are looking for help in the next week I will still get the lead and can then work with them on a mutually available date. Hope that helps but if not feel free to send me a private message and we can try to coordinate a time to meet via Zoom to see if I have any other suggestions.

  • Thumbtack does not care about the pros all they care about is the money. Instant book is nothing but a cash grab that is crazy overpriced leads. I’ve talked to pro support about this till I’m blue in the face and all I get i from the thumbtack robots is same paragraph script they taught to say adjust max lead prices. We all need to remove our businesses from this platform until they stop price gouging lead prices and remove instant book feature.

  • busyb
    busyb Posts: 45

    @Jeff_jtv2020 I really do understand your frustration so please feel free to reach out to me so I can try to help you. I honestly don't believe that they see instant booking as a "cash grab". I think they have to continue to innovate and figure out ways to make the experience fair for all parties concerned but I can assure you they are taking all of the comments in this community very seriously.