I am a personal trainer in the Bay Area. I get a lot of business from online marketing, specifically yelp, google, the gyms I work out of and, of course, thumbtack.
Recently I have been getting a huge surge in tire-kickers and time-wasters. Let me elaborate:
I have been in the industry for over 12 years. I know my services are hard to sell and that my profession is saturated. But I do well for myself. The clients I received from the anywhere but thumbtack are reliable, courteous and considerate. I have at least 80% retention for 6 month or longer in my customers from my website, yelp and google inquiries. They respect my price point, too.
Customers from thumbtack, however, are a completely different ball game. I find them to be super flaky, cheap, inconsiderate at best and then completely disrespectful at worst. I don't know what it is about Thumbtack that draws this kind of customer, but they are the absolute worst customers. These customers will fall off the face of the Earth after 4 sessions without any word from them as to why.
One client I showed up for for a 7 am appointment and he wasn't there. No text, phone call, email, nothing. I looked at my schedule to make sure I was not losing my mind and he had cancelled all of our ongoing appointments. I call him, he doesn't pick up. He then texts me immediately after the phone call to tell me he can't afford it anymore and that's not going to continue. But no forewarning whatsoever. And this is the better of the scenarios.
Others will just drop off with no explanation, just gone. Or the TT customer will coincidentally run into financing problems and need to drop off after a few sessions and a lot of late minute cancellations. This will be after I have devised a program, meal plans, discounted my rates and accommodated them on my schedule and shifted my appointments around. These customers are THE ABSOLUTE WORST!
This wouldn't be so infuriating but times are desperate for me and a lot of people in my industry. Does anyone else get this? Maybe this is just an issue for professionals in fitness, but I doubt carpenters, chefs, handymen get this.
Let me know your experiences, whether or not you're a PT.