@DefiningImagery I really want to hear your thoughts on what you think the cost is that customers should expect in your area. Will you send me a private message with any info about this that you think will be helpful for us? I'm not promising this will get implemented right away, but I want to send it to our product team as it will be super helpful to us as we make changes in the future. I look forward to hearing from you.
@Nick, you're right, we would be nothing without you pros and we do genuinely care about your success. Requiring phone numbers from customers is something we tried in the past. What we saw happen was a huge decrease in requests that were coming in because customers didn't feel safe leaving that info. When we make changes and updates, we make them in efforts to better our platform to get you connected with new customers.
We are looking out for you and I want your business to find success with Thumbtack. If there's anything I can help you with, please reach out to me. I'm more than happy to look over your account or even take your feedback as I know sometimes it feels better just letting your thoughts out. Either way, I'm here to help!
This article is very insightful for the upcoming future as a business owner and service provider. However, I have to agree with a lot of the other owners and vendors. A lot of the perspective clients I come across feel like a person just "window shopping" or no where near serious enough to embark on the service they are seeking.
While we can expect everyone does their own due diligence, these "clients" end up costing us leads that go nowhere. Numerous times, I have been charged because a "client" cancelled a project. Is this a scam? No way for us vendors & pro's to know for sure. But thumbtack needs to do better, we appreciate the platform and what it offers, however their needs to be a better screening model for those seeking us and our industries.
Why would a client not feel safe leaving a phone number for a pro, who they are supposedly looking to hire? That is not the reason you saw the decrease in requests! What you were doing was called "pre-qualifying". As a business, you should be aware of this simple concept. By asking a client for thier phone number, you INTENTIONALLY weed out the serious clients from the lookers and the just curious.
If Thumbtack's intention was to provide us the highest quality source of leads, all of your pros would be very happy campers. What everyone is screaming about is that they think the "leads" are bogus. That's because you haven't made any type of barrier to entry that would weed out the people that are tire kickers. We pros find it hard to believe that TT wouldn't understand such a basic concept of business. Therefore, it leads us all to believe that they do know this, but TT chooses only cares about pumping through as many names as possible, qualified or not, to make the most revenue off of each name. That's also why we now have 15 bidders instead of 5. It's much higher revenue for TT.
So, you said you didn't request phone numbers because the customers didn't feel safe, yet you have all these pros who feel unsafe because we don't know when a request is a serious client or a bogus browser. I don't feel safe when I respond to requests for boudoir photography and now just gave all MY contact info to a "potential client: who turns out to be perve who then harasses me for months! I've been with TT 4.5 years and I only just put my own photo in my account, because I didn't want to be harassed by perverts who could see that I'm a woman. Where's my margin of safety? Who is protecting me as a pro?
We pros need to feel that our bank accounts are safe! You have access to charge us whatever undisclosed willy-nilly fees you want. Do we not at least deserve to have a direct contact phone number in return? How many times have we paid you, only to have the client close their account, or cancel their request, and now we no longer have access to the lead we paid for! Then we call in for a refund and TT says, "You paid for the introduction." What good is an introduction if all you get to do is say hello and then get locked out of being able to contact them?
The basis for all this uprise and anger is that WE PROS do not feel safe! But, again, as appears with every answer, it's all about the customer experience and TT disregards the fact that WE are the paying customers and nothing is done on our behalf. It's truly a shame that Marco is not realizing who his actual customers are. If he were to ever look at the system from our point of view, he would see the fear. It's time to share the love and work as a team.
@DefiningImageryThank you for your comment and candor. Exactly my point of view as well. You totally nailed it.
I have contacted TT so many times for bogus leads that I had to pay for. I have since turned off instant match and rather be selective.
As for feeling safe - no, not at all! As for barely breaking even - yes, barely.
Its more of a hobby now than a business. A nice way to occupy my time and not get bored.
I'm actually looking for a regular 9-5 job with a paycheck now. Its less frustrating (even if it is something I don't love to do).
Awww, that's sweet. Thank you very much. 🙂
TT should be very happy to have every pro, however, as their clients, none of of seem to feel any sense of appreciation. In fact, they don't even acknowledge us as their clients - they think the users are their clients. WE are the ones paying them, that makes us their clients. I don't hold my breath awaiting appreciation from them! LOL! So, it's nice to hear that from a fellow pro. 🙂
When Thumbtack has been in business as long as we have I will consider this advice that right now I find ridiculous. I do not change my business model 6 times in 4 years. I have the same model now that I had 20+ years ago and that is consistent excellent quality (always 5 star) at fair and competitive prices. I process 40-50 photo shoots per year and none are now with Thumbtack. I used Thumbtack successfully and easily became a Top Pro. I have not had an order converted from a quote with Thumbtack in two years. However our business volume has over doubled. I would suggest Thumbtack take some advice from those businesses that have been successful with or without them. Get it back together Thumbtack! Advising people to try to inch out every penny possible may not be such a good long term strategy except for Thumbtack. And maybe not for them either over the long term.