2019 Year-End Pro Town Hall with Marco

Community Manager
Community Manager
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2019 has been quite a year for pros on Thumbtack. We introduced new product features for pros, like Price Assurance. Thumbtack employees connected in person with hundreds of pros at events from Atlanta to Los Angeles. And millions of customers brought their projects to Thumbtack. 

As we wind down the year, we’re excited to bring the first ever Year-End Pro Town Hall with Marco (Thumbtack’s CEO) to the Pro Community. Earlier this month, Marco asked you to submit your questions for our first ever Pro Town Hall. We received over 300 submissions, with topics ranging from leads and advertising plans to why background checks are important. And of course, we recorded the answers.

69 responses
Active Community Member

@Kameron  No, a checkmark that you are calling a read receipt helps very little. That checkmark could appear at any time. Even appearing after 48 hours. So using a read receipt that has no time stamp on it to substantiate that a credit is due is of no value to us.

The only need for auditing the elapsed time is due to the low trust factor that I have of the Thumbtack software system.

Please add this as a request to make the elapsed time to view by the job poster a feature to help the Pros.

And what is to prevent the job poster from viewing the quote that we send after they have hired someone else? Again, this is unauditable.

Community Expert

@InspectionsJCH certainly a valid point. I'll go ahead and put in your feedback and request for a read time to be added to the read receipts.

Community Regular
I understand Thumbtacks stance on situations such as this and not charging us for quotes that do not produce a job.
It's a profit oriented business. They can't scare off customers and if they keep refunding money it isn't profitable for them.
HOWEVER....for most of us on here we are on the lower end of the income level, maybe UN-licensed or we wouldn't be on here.
But if we weren't here there would be no Thumbtack.
So I think they do need to be more liberal in crediting us for jobs we don't get hired for.
But how do they know that person won't contact us later and then TT is cut out of the deal.
HOWEVER....Thumbtack does not put the money BACK into my bank account. It will stay with TT earning interest until the next lead comes along. So the money isn't lost to either party.
Gotta be a way to resolve this problem! Come on braniacs out there....figure this out.
Active Community Member

Thanks for at least starting to answer my question.

First off, i think this should be a monthly event. The more feedback WE get, the better OUR suggestions can be. And feel more involved with what we're paying for.

You said that feedback is used to influence what's being done to the platform.

I've been making the same 'suggestions' for YEARS. Granularity is severely lacking. Wedding photography should not be in the same sub-category as Events. I DO events, but you couldn't PAY me enought to do a wedding. And all I get back from support is' I'll pass it on'.

I do agree with another commenter that the requestors need to see what winning quote prices are for the services they want. I also think that the requestors need skin in the game, so that tire kickers don't suck up our quote budgets.

 

 

Community Regular

I came back to check on the status of the conversation here. I had 2 responses that had both gotten a number of Kudos; I know because I kept getting "badges" for the interactions. They were in relation to how TT doesn't display my address on my profile (despite having me give that information to them)... this leads to me getting and responding to quotes that have chose

Both of those responses are gone. They were deleted from this thread without any expression to me as to any violation at all on my behalf. I had quoted the video and responded directly to the statements in the video. I had pointed out glaring flaws in TT's system that were either A) a drastic need for correction or B) a blatant predatory tactic to cost me more money. My responses were deleted, not responded to, not addressed... DELETED. I suppose I know which of those two options I have to assume TT represents.

I will come back to this thread regularly to repost this message if it is deleted. 

Community Regular

Thumbtack will tell you that reviews are the most important part of your profile...

The most important review you can obtain is a Google review. While it was hard to find I was able to create a link to review Thumbtack on Google. No surpries they have a 3.1 star rating on Google. 

If you're really looking to impact Thumbtack in a way that will both educate both businesses and customers looking to use Thumbtack, post a review of their business on Google. https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=ChIJAxiZRCh-j4ARxTJ9_QW_QK8

That link will take you DIRECTLY to your Google Review. Give them a star rating and type a very honest description of what Thumbtack does right and what they do wrong. You can adjust and correct your review at any time so if Thumbtack updates their UI to fix your issues you can change your review to reflect that.

Take Thumbtacks advice. Reviews are the best way to earn more business. Review them on Google!!!

Active Community Member

I suggest caution if one chooses to travel down this path:

I am the admin of a Facebook group of Thumbtack Pro's. We are unofficial and private. This image is from our group's FAQ.

Reese T. Dec 30, 2019

TT Google.jpg

Community Newcomer

Hate to keep beating a dead horse on the review thing, but hear I go with the bat.  I'm cool with the "everything out there" policy and that we do get to put a detailed response to said review.  That definitely helps and yes, I get that clients will see these.  Here's the big however:  what about the Top Pro requirement of 4.8?  One or two poor, false, non factual reviews can ruin your Top Pro status for the next six months to a year, greatly effecting the amount of business that you will be able to obtain with that badge that client's believe in.  It's just like trying to get a GPA back up...you can get another 15 five stars for that one-1 star, but it won't move the needle back up...it'll take MANY more five stars, so your stuck in "non Top Pro" purgatory because of one or two clients that either blatently lied in their review OR did just not comprehend the service that they requested was not the service that they needed, even after explaining it to them again and again.  Many of the other apps like this (don't get me wrong, TbT is still my 90% go to have favorite overall) remove the lowest review once a year or something along those lines...or investigate with the client what happened when the client won't respond to us.  If the client doens't respond, review removed....like a credit report.  This is soooooo important in today's online world.  Again, one or two poor views that ARE NOT factual can kill a business.  What do we do then?  Thanks....promise, I'll put my bat away now.  😉

Community Regular

@ReeseTee Why am I not surprised that TT pulls profiles of people that don't give them great reviews.

Community Newcomer

Hi, thanks for the Town Hall.. finally got chance to watch.

Some thoughts/ concerns: One of my beefs is that pros don't get phone numbers or email addresses to follow up with our quotes AFTER paying these fees. Some of the other services I am listed with all provide phone numbers after quoting, but in those cases they ask for a fee once booked (I am a caricaturist) versus the way Thumbtack does it, BUT they also have yearly "membership" fees. I do prefer to not have an additional membership fee and be charged this way, but I do wish their fees were at least a little more transparent rather than having to look in various places to find. There has to be a way to improve ..agreed with another pros reply.

Another thing I find it hard to deal with is this calendar updating. I'm not going to put my whole life in a thumbtack calendar with blocking times for everything I have going on, plus max travel time (due to request being too close in time to previous booking though technically "open") and frankly it's hard to remember to put every single booking I get elsewhere here or end up paying when a customer seeks me out when I fall into the rest of their needs. I know this seems a convenience for potential customer and pro, but not easy nor desirable to keep up with when self-employed individual. Not sure what the answer is here because I know I have lost credit (fees) for that.

Additionally, the fact that I think you have a charge to get a background check (and or maybe it was just having to provide a Social Security number?) prompted my inaction thus far. I was going to provide a background check that I had done for an area agency who books me from events and needed one for a college, and was able to get a hold of the document but it was not accepted by Thumbtack. Based on the reply of another professional, she said that she believes that SS number only should be provided for financial background checks and or the like, and is not necessary for a criminal. I have a lot of good reviews online via Facebook, Yelp, Thunbtack and some of the other sites that I am listed with and or in general so I'm not too concerned at this time. It is my hope that a few of these things mentioned above may be addressed and or improved in the future. Here is to a better next year...after all we will be seeing 2020 😂!

Community Regular
I ....think I agree with you James but you gotta re-write your question.
It's like a jigsaw puzzle of words.
Active Community Member

@FilipeThere are some Pros who have what Thumbtack calls 'Success Managers'. Once you get to know them, you will find that their tast is to sell you on the latest new program that Thumbtack has rolled out. Thumbtack will have multiple changes every few months. Get ready for a bumpy ride. They will also repeat all the advice you have already heard. 1) Get 10 reviews. 2) add photos to your profile. 3) add a profile photo of yourself. 4) answer all the profile questions. 5) add pricing to your profile. Be careful with this last one. Your competition will be looking at your pricing too.

Community Manager
Community Manager

@ReeseTee I want to give a little clarification on this. Pros are not removed from Thumbtack for leaving negative reviews. If you have any follow up questions about this, please let me know! 

Active Community Member

Hi:  Not what I've been hearing.  I'm the admin of an unofficial Facebook group of almost 2,000 pros.
A few of our group members claim to have been kicked off the Thumbtack Platform because they made negative comments on Thumbtacks Facebook Profile or Thumbtack's paid Facebook ads.  Perhaps those people were lying and made false claims?
Or perhaps you are not aware of everything that goes on at Thumbtack Corporate?

 

Community Regular

I don't understand how I get a 5 star rating, a very awesome comment from the customer and ends up being a 4.8 ?????

Community Regular
Thanks but we pros do have an issue...the following is a recurring problem we presented via customer service chat and has already surfaced on pro forums quite a bit from what we’ve seen, Mr Zappacosta:

“Suggesting or assuming that we, the pros, need to follow up on leads as an automatic response is ludicrous. We achieved Top Pro in less than 3 months...We do follow up! This started happening ever since then, 3 customers have inquired in the last week then disappear and never answer follow up messages! Then, after several attempts to reach them, they answer saying they will pass after leading us on and tying up our calendars...If the competition or any other fool is shopping around or doing this to us by asking or “going along” with the process, and suddenly dropping off without explanation... we lose money! This is seriously increasing the chances that we want to stop using your services all together. You may want to consider charging “shoppers” some fee to discourage this strange practice of not answering for days after we DO follow up and then drop us after we pay for a lead.”
Bottom line is we’re all in this for a profit...
Active Community Member

2018-2019 TT price increases stopped the show for us. Our net profit after fullfilling the project would not allow for the cost of the leads. We are on the side lines watching for future direction. 

Active Community Member
Reese,
How do I find your Facebook group?
Active Community Member

@MarcoZ  Forgive me if this was mentioned by another Pro here on this forum thread.

At 1:55 in the video, you said "We factor in things like:  proximity, fit to that customer, quality of the profile, quality of the reviews for that specific searcher, budget, all the things that we need to take in account to make sure the customer is seeing the right Pros for them."

How is that possible when "video project type" and zip code are the only two filters shown for the "Video Production" category?  (see pic)

I understand that the budget question is eventually asked when the Job Poster selects a Pro and starts the process of creating a job post. 

But I'm confused why you would make the above statement when budget is not asked prior to a Job Poster selecting a Pro.  And therefore it is impossible for Thumbtack to control if they are seeing the right Pro for them.

Real world example:  I don't do much video work for less than $1000.  Many people come to Thumbtack with budgets of "under $400" and "$400-$700" for video production projects.  

My profile should not be shown to them.  Show them profiles of Pros who do work in those price ranges.ThumbtackSearchVideo63088.jpeg