The new instant book feature is really disheartning for non-instant book pros. We've worked very hard over the last sevaral months to get reviews, build a successful business, and earn our Top Pro status. We work about 12 hours per day 6-7 days a week. Now with the release of the new "Instant Book" feature customers can't see an in depth view of our business. Instead we're relegated to a photo and a badge, segrated from the instant book pros.
Thanks thumbtack for discarding all of our hard work. Luckly we've invested in other platforms and will be leaving the platform. It's been a nice sevaral months, but it seems Profit > Community and like Uber you have zero respect for the pros that bust their backs to service your customers. It's a particularly hard pill to swallow since we're the ones paying you to operate the platform, yet we play second fiddle the the customers who search for us.
@removellc your hustle is clear from your post about your first day on Thumbtack. It looks like you’ve put in the time and effort to make your profile stand out so I understand why you’re disheartened to see it below an Instant Book pro.
I want to mention that we’re still ironing out the details of Instant Book, and it is not fully rolled out yet. Your feedback is enormously helpful and I’ve sent this post to the team in charge, along with why you said Instant Book is not a good fit for you (nuance and complexity of the work). We can do a better job of carefully considering how great pros like yourself are impacted by this feature and we will strive to do better in the future.
I want to also use this as a learning opportunity for pros who do feel Instant Book will save them time and add value to their business. Where available, any pro that qualifies can turn on Instant Book and try it out for yourselves.
@Drew thank you for the reply, it does mean alot. I don't envy the difficult the position Thumbtack is between giving clients an easy to use platform and pros a platform to run their business. Previous to starting this business I was a software engineer 10 years (needed a new challenge). I've worked for companies around the globe and even spent 5 years in the bay. Even just prior to REMOVE I built a similar platform to Thumbtack for the entertainment industry and we struggled with this exact feature, though the number of variables we had to juggle were far less complex. Ultimately we decided that networking and direct communication was a better solution.
For traveling pros scheduling is very convoluted. We have to estimate project timelines, traffic, staffing and a multitude of other aspects in order to provide exceptional service to our customers. I saw Instant Book become available some time ago, but chose not to use it as it would negatively impact my customer service as it sets unrealistic expecations to customers for the services REMOVE provides. Even if Thumbtack did take into account customer locations and computed travel times for me between jobs we still arrive at the final challenge of sizing jobs and estimating time to completion. These things can only be determined by working with the client directly and understanding all aspects of a job. There's no measuring stick for demolition or junk removal and it's unrealistic to assume customers can accurately size their projects without consultation. If other pros (regardless of industry) want to offer Instant Booking that should be their choice, but I don't think it should play into ranking and ordering in any way.
Regarding the benefits of the Instant Book, I can see how it would work well for pros that offer services on a rigid schedule (think appointments in an office). It likely helps them tremendously in terms of streamlining their business practices and would be something that makes their lives much easier and saves them money on calendaring software.
I also left some comments on another post regarding the same topic here.
Why is Thumbtack introducing Instant Book to a few Pros and their categories, while still ironing out the details? Shouldn't the new program be introduced to Pros when it's complete first?
In my almost 3 years on the platform, I've seen changes(Instant Match, Promote/Target and now Instant Book), where changes were implemented without notifying Pros, and then Thumbtack realizing after hearing many complaints that the changes weren't good for majority of the Pros.
With Instant Book, I don't want to see my category added to this. Call me "old school", but I need to communicate with a "customer" to see if they are a good fit for me, and vice versa, and get a feel for each other via phone. Wouldn't you rather speak with a Pro on the phone to see what they offer, confirm that they have license/insurance, etc. Even though it's in writing, I would rather confirm all that, even pricing and what is offered and what can they do for me before booking a Pro. On line booking doesn't work for my category, at least not for me.
DJ Stevie 2-27-2020
@removellc I appreciate the thoughtful and insightful comments- you’ve sparked an ongoing debate among the team and we’ll be sure to keep the community updated.
@DJStevie as @removellc mentioned this is an extremely complex problem we’re trying to solve, and it can be impactful for many pros. Accordingly, pros that qualify are able to turn Instant Book on. I can assure you we do our due diligence before any product launch and communicate updates to pros that are affected. To the earlier point, we understand Instant Book is likely not for all categories. One thing I think we can agree on is that features like this are a step closer to attracting qualified leads that are interested in booking a job.
The last thing I’ll add is that this conversation is a great example of how the Share Ideas section will be for in the new Pro Community. I’m excited for it to bring transparency and dialogue to the feedback we receive.
Thank you for replying.
Prior to the changes that I mentioned in my previous comment in this thread we were receiving qualified leads, but those leads have dwindled with each change, and lately, at least in my category, they are far and few between. Perhaps there a few categories the qualified leads are there, but for majority of us, they aren't.
As I also mentioned, I hope Instant Book doesn't come into play for my category, for reasons that I stated.
DJ Stevie 2-28-2020