Customers are NOT seeing manually sent messages by Pros. If you aren't contacted directly by the customer (via Promote or a profile that catches their eye) and you send them a quote/message, that message does NOT show up in their inbox on their Thumbtack account ***See Pic 1***. The only way for them to see your quote/message is to go under "View Quotes", pick a project, and at the bottom of that page, they will see a "Pros who match your project" ***See Pic 2***. They then have to click on your profile to see your quote/message to them. I have been on Thumbtack for 2 years. My quote/message viewed rate is less than 20%. Now I understand why. But I don't understand Thumbtack's logic in doing it this way. Thumbtack can't charge me if the customer doesn't contact me. They can't contact me if they don't see my quote. Why not just send the quotes directly to their account inbox? I estimate that Thumbtack has lost over $1000 from me alone because of how manually sent quote/messages are shared (really not shared) with the customer.
title edited by moderator on 03/10/2020 for clarity
I've noticed the same thing with me sending out manual quotes. Because we aren't using Promote, customers aren't going to see our quotes/messages. It's very rare that I receive a customer reaching out to my quote. I've voiced my concerns and suggestions, as have many Pros, for a few months now...but seems we aren't being heard..If we were, then we would see some changes or at the least an acknowledgement and proof that improvements will be made.
@StoriesUpSTL I wanted to first mention that the Jobs Tab is still definitely useful and a great way for pros to express interest in certain jobs. However, it’s become more of a secondary way to meet customers and land hires. The main goal is to now show up in Search Results and have customers reaching out to you directly.
When customers search on Thumbtack, they instantly see pros who can take on the job. They can reach out to any pros they’re interested in, but they’ve told us it’s confusing to hear from a pro they haven’t contacted yet. Similar to if you searched for a restaurant on Google for dinner and then all of the sudden those restaurants started to call you. That’s how customers have told us they feel when they’re contacted by a pro they didn’t specifically choose. If the customer reaches out to a pro and then starts hearing back from up to 10 other pros it can be an awkward/overwhelming experience for the customer.
In most instances, customers will get a notification that there are other pros that could also a good match for the job. After a certain period of time we’ll also follow up on behalf of pros to remind the customer and encourage them to move forward with their job.
With your current system, a customer looking for a specific service, say corporate video production in the $2K-$5K price range (which is what I do) will see videographers that specialize in weddings, music videos, long form documentaries, etc. All of these pros say that they do “Commercial/promotional” work, they checked the box on their profile, but a lot of them don’t have samples to prove that they do. Just because the customer selects "Commercial/promotional" doesn't mean that is the correct category for their project or that I want to make a connection with them. Someone could want to make a promotional video for their self published book and have a budget of $200. I am not interested in making that connection.
So you ask the customer what type of video they are looking for and a bunch of Pros come up. The customer contacts 1-4 Pros just as a shot in the dark and then I reach out manually. The customer is not very likely to see my quote/message because Thumbtack is hiding it from the customer. I or another Pro not using Promote may be the best Pro for the job. But at this point, it's not about connecting the customer with the best Pro for the job. I don't have a problem competing with other Pros for jobs. Just don't blindfold me, tie my hands behind my back, and tell me that I have to start the race 10 seconds behind everyone else.
Here is a real world example: I saw a customer from Miami, OK post for a "Commercial/promotional video" with a $1500-$2000 budget. I answered his post and mentioned that I had done work in Miami, OK before at the Newell Coach factory. Turns out, the post was from the GM of Newell Coach! He never saw my quote or responded to me on Thumbtack. I found an email from him from 4 years ago and reached out that way. We connected, he hired me via Thumbtack and I made an awesome video for his company. Was I the best Pro for the job? Of course! Did the Thumbtack system almost cause us to miss the connection? Yes! If I hadn't done work with them 4 years prior, and didn't have an old email from him, I likely wouldn't have been able to connect. Customer walks away thinking "Well, that Thumbtack site doesn't really work."
I would gladly pay for Promote to be turned on, but you don’t have a way to filter out jobs by customer’s budget. I'm happy to pay to contact business customers who have budgets of $1500+, but I don't want to pay $25 to get a message from a customer that has a budget of $250. Why are customer budgets an option only under "Wedding and Event Videography" and not "Video Production"? Why are you not requiring customers to state their budgets? People who can afford a used Honda Accord should not walk into a Lamborghini showroom.
I've spent $500+ a month with Thumbtack for the past 2 years. If you don't want my money anymore, I can give it to another company. It just seems that these recent changes are about pushing Promote, not about better connecting customers with Pros that are the best fit for their project. Sometimes customers need more guidence to get to the right place than just throwing a bunch of profiles in their face.
All I hear from Thumbtack customer service is "customers have told us", "we've heard from customers", Customers aren't paying Thumbtack any money. I am. I am Thumbtack's customer. Please fix the system if you want to KEEP me as a customer.
@StoriesUpSTL I can certainly see where you're coming from. We know there are improvements that can be made and your example is one that I'm happy to share with our product teams. Thank you for taking the time to explain and share your point of view on this with us.
As another example, I had a customer in WI that wanted corporate/industrial video production. I tried to respond to their post, but too many pros had already contacted them so I was locked out from quoting messaging. The customer mentioned their company name in the post. So I searched for company, called them and asked for the name of the person on the post. As you know, I only had their first name and last initial. I was able to get in contact with that person, get hired and do a video project that was over $3K. Again, was I the best Pro for the job? I think so. They saw 10-15 other quotes on Thumbtack and didn't hire any of those Pros. My theory is that at least half of those Pros really weren't qualified (right experience, right equipment, samples to prove that) to do the work. That was under the old system, well before Promote was rolled out, but the point is still the same: Thumbtack is not always connecting the customer with the right Pro for the job.
Ummmm....sounds to me like it's becoming Weddingwire.com. If responding to requests as they come in is pointless then all I have to do is set up my profile and sit back and wait for customers to contact me...just like Weddingwire. But that's not what I signed up for when I joined Thumbtack. Thumbtack was originally great because I only had 4 other competitors at a time, not the whole list of available DJs. And the more work you put into responding to requests the better results. THAT WORKED!
If you're making more of a focus on this new style then just switch it over completely, don't half-ass it and pretend like we should still be putting in the work to respond to general requests. That was my bread and butter and now that I know it's pointless I will put more focus on other things.
@ProfoundEnt there's certainly still value in the jobs to quote on through in the jobs page in conjunction with the search results contacts that pros may receive. @DJStevie actually just let me know that two of his most recent jobs he landed were through manual quotes that he sent.