Have a question for Marco?

Community Veteran
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On Thursday, March 21st, we'll be hosting a live Q&A with Thumbtack CEO and co-founder, Marco Zappacosta (@MarcoZ).
 
Post your question here for a chance to win $100 in Thumbtack credit. Terms apply.
 
Want to know what we're working on at Thumbtack? Interested in learning more about our vision and strategy?
 
Marco will answer some of your questions live during the Q&A on March 21st.
 
All other questions will get a written response in the days that follow. Our moderation team is on hand to answer support questions, too.
 
Thanks for all that you do!
348 responses
Community Manager
Community Manager

@MR yes. We will be sharing that sometime this week 🙂 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@kathy it was last Thursday. It was recorded and we'll be sharing that here in the Community sometime this week. Keep an eye out for that! 

Active Community Member
I agree, Debby.
TT was also a main source for my leads. I’ve gotten 2 leads this month (versus 30 to 40) and was ghosted on both.
I sometimes think than I am deliberately banned for speaking up.

Deborah
Active Community Member
There is also Home Guide. Exact same format, look etc.
Community Expert

@ReeseTee @CC33 I can assure you with the utmost certainty that this is not something we do at Thumbtack. There are those instances where a pro may be contacted from multiple customers to then not hear back and we understand how this can lead to feeling discouraged. Marco did mention in one of his answers during the Q&A that we're working to come up with solutions to try and make these occur less often. We'll be posting the recording of the Q&A soon. 

I also want to share that we've seen customer responsiveness increase a great deal for pros with a higher profile score, reviews, ranking, and response time. So working as hard as you can to improve these as you go will help you likely see a difference. Response time especially has been a huge indicator. When compared to responding after 2 hours or more, if a pro responds in one hour they are 20% more likely to hear back from the customer, and 50% more likely when within 5 minutes.

Lastly, in the case that pro may get a lead or job that seems a bit off,  please use these steps to let us know about it so we can help: https://help.thumbtack.com/article/reporting-suspicious-activity

Community Expert

@CLGPatrick this is something we've been doing and plan to continue. We've been able to have pros meet and interact with each other and our staff at these events and they've been a huge part of our efforts this year in 2019.

Community Expert

@Mrspantera11  We currently do advertise on a variety of different channels and plan to continue doing more as the year goes on. It's important to us that customers utilize Thumbtack because that ultimately means more jobs for you pros! 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@LindaZ we have a variety of different resources for pros who need any type of support from Thumbtack. This article here has more info on ways to get in contact with us. Upon that, we here in the Community are more than happy to help and partner with you in any way that we can. Feel free to send me a private message at any time with any questions or concerns! 

 

You will notice that you will see leads in your Jobs tab that are up to 150 miles away, those are called partial matches. We send those to you because we want to give you more options. We understand that there's jobs that you always want, but there also may be jobs that you don't do often, but are still open to. 

 

The calendar is for you to block of times that you aren’t available or have another job. If you’re getting charged for leads that you have blocked off on your calendar, please let us know so we can get you a refund.

 

Again, I’m happy to help with whatever you need. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any other questions! 

Community Expert

@aai-sanantonio  there have been a lot of changes and updates and they are all in an effort to make things better. Overall the marketplace has shown positive growth since the new model has been implemented. That said, we know it's not perfect and we're working hard to make further updates and make the experience even better. 

Community Expert

@LP @KevinSPhoto this is something that I've begun to hear from other pros as well. It's certainly a valid idea and I've made sure to pass along your feedback about it. 

Community Expert

@JasmineWorrell thank you so much for sharing! I could certainly see the advantage of sharing similar categories of pros to certain customers. As for events, we've had a few this year already have only just begun our efforts to have pro related events and functions so keep an eye out for more in the future. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@DPT when you promote your business, you tell us what jobs you always want and can do. That way, if a customer wants to work with you and their job details match their preferences, they can do so in just one click. When that customer reaches out to you, that’s when you’re charged. This video here does a great job at explaining how it works, be sure to check it out! 

Community Regular

I have actually added that there's a fee to my profile intro. And that I don't have insurance, which costs to reply to a propective client. I think it's working. 

Community Expert

@voicecoachlisa this is a really cool idea, thanks for sharing! I'll be forwarding this on for our product teams to look into. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@BrokawLawn @Atlas51 I understand how frustrating it can be when a customer doesn’t pay. @CLGPatrick, one of the pros here in the Community, shared some great advice on how to handle these situations. Be sure to check that out here!
Upon that, if a customer ever threatens that they’ll leave you a bad review to avoid payment, please take a screenshot of that communication and let us know. That’s definitely not something we want to happen and will see what we can do to help. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@appreciateit congrats on making it to Top Pro! We’re happy to hear that you’re finding so much success, and we’re glad to be a part of your journey. Keep up the amazing work! 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Great question @RickB! We’re always open for ways to make both the app and website more user-friendly. Do you have any specific suggestions for us? What do you wish the app had that you already see on the web?

Community Manager
Community Manager

This is a great suggestion @AndrewHEDPM! We'll be sure to pass along the feedback to our Product team. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi there @StvRich. It's great to hear that you're such a fan of Thumbtack, we're happy to have you. I also want to congratulate you on your current Top Pro status, definitely something to be proud of! Keep up the amazing work. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@Coolrunning once you hit decline, there's not an option to retrieve it. Let me know if you have any other questions! 

Community Expert

@Kohnnymac congratulations on your success and opening a 2nd location! I'm sorry to say that reviews are not transferable between accounts and profiles. I can suggest asking previous customers to help you get started by sharing the public review link from your new account/profile to help you get started: https://help.thumbtack.com/article/ask-for-reviews.

You can also refer customers to your current profile and reviews and explain that you've just started up a second location in your bio. 

Community Expert

@Jesm this is a great question! Since we moved to the new system and customer experience a lot of the information on the Insights pages from before were not in line with the new updates. Was there something in particular that you'd like to suggest adding?

Community Manager
Community Manager

@sm00thm00d I'm truly sorry to hear that you haven't had great experiences with our support team. We strive to deliver the best experience possible and would love any feedback regarding your situation. Please send me a private message with more details and I'd be happy to talk through it with you. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@ckiffney This article here has a lot of helpful information regarding how customers find pros on Thumbtack. Be sure to check it out! Another way to get familiar with the system is by using Thumbtack from the customer side. The next time you have a project you need to hire a pro for, use Thumbtack. We'd love to hear how it goes! 

Community Expert

@nancykenright I'm happy to help provide some context. 

  • Great value:
    • Correlates with the pro having slightly lower prices than others in their area, along with a higher review score than the average pro in their area.
  • In high demand 
    • Means that the Pro historically has more contacts from customers than other pros on the list

  • Review order
    The most complete, recent, and verified reviews will appear first. For example, a recent verified review with a photo of the job will appear before an older unverified review without an image. We do this to show customers the most complete and robust reviews that your profile has to offer and this is the way it's done for every pro on Thumbtack. When you're logged in and viewing your profile, we'll show you your reviews in chronological order so that you can keep track of your reviews in the order and time that they came in.
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hey everyone, thank you for all your great questions and participation in this live event. The recording of the Q&A has been uploaded and it's available for viewing here

 

Active Community Member

At 20:13 of the live chat video Marco said "If I'm sending you something that you look at and say 'Not worth my time, not worth my money', we haven't done our jobs right."

I've been asking Thumbtack to stop sending me Wedding Videography leads for 2 months now.

What say you Marco?

Community Veteran

Hi @Travis_Turner 

Thank you for posting for all to see. So that it gets better visibility to all pros, would it be possible to post this in the front page of the Thumbtack Community Site perhaos as a highlight or something that the users can see when they enter the community pages?

Thanks in advance.

Active Community Member

So: That would be a "NO"? Marco Z will not submit to an independant polygraph exam regarding the issue of someone within Thumbtack deliberately generating fake leads?

It was a pretty straightforward question.  Did not need a lot of hype about statistics.

This is a sore point with a tremendous number of Thumbtack Pro's. Ignoring me is not going to make the issue go away.

Reese T. March 25, 2019

Community Veteran

Great idea, @MR ! We can definitely do that!

Community Veteran

I have to chime in on this. While I have posted several posts describing issues where TT can improve, I am in the camp that firmly believes that TT is not sending me fake leads. If they did, and when that is truly proven, they would find themselves headed out of business really fast. The lead generation space is extremely competitive and there are a lot of good players. The pressure to excel increases every day. I am very certain that if they were fabricating leads, that would be the beginning of the end. TT's competition would love nothing more for this to be true.. and if it were I am confident it would have been surfaced by now.

That said, I agree that there are issues with ghost leads and perhaps leads not returning to the site to followup with pros. That does seem to be a big problem that Marco did briefly acknowledge in the recent webinar.  Fixing something like that is not easy because it is more than a system issue - but it does need to be fixed.

Anyway, my point is that I for one am confident the ghost leads are not TT generated. They are real leads just  getting lost somehow in a system that needs to be improved.

 

Community Regular
I have too… And I seem to be getting less ghosting or tire kickers. I put it right up front that Thumbtack charges me and to please only contact me if they are serious about looking for my services. I was spending way too much money on people just kicking my tires
Community Expert

@StoriesUpSTL I know that this is something you've discussed and shared frustrations about with our teams on more than one occasion. I just want you to know that your feedback has been passed on for review. 

Active Community Member

@Kameron,

That is one of the most frustrating things about Thumbtack.  I complain about something that:

A)  Is a waste of MY time

B) Wouldn't be that hard for your coding team to fix. 

Over and over again, you and @Meckell say my "feedback has been passed on for review."

I'm not bidding on these jobs.  I don't have Promote turned on for Wedding and Event Videography.  So this has ZERO monetary effect on Thumbtack.  In fact, I'm guessing that the time you are spending responding to me and reading this message is greater than the time it would take your coding team to create and impliment a change.

I've tried many different things to solve this issue on my end because the "team" is of no help.  I'm going to say that I charge $10K/hr for Wedding Videography and see if that stops them coming to my inbox.  It is absurd that I should have to do something like this rather than you creating a system where I get to opt out of the type of jobs that I don't want to see (both in notification form and having customer ask me for a quote).  

Active Community Member

@Kameron I'll also add that MANYThumbtackPromoteSettings.png videographers do corporate events and DON'T DO weddings.  Now you've updated the system to where we Pros can't fine tune the settings (Travel areas, Job types, and times) unless we choose Promote.  Ok, then separate Corporate Event Videography from Wedding Videography.  I'll turn Promote on for Corporate Videography if you let me set a minimum budget.   I could then remove Wedding Videography as an active service.  Many pros have been asking for this for months and you guys are not changing it.  

Thumbtack Events Prices.png

 

Community Veteran
I am a still photographer AND a videographer. I do everything from children’s parties taking simple photos - to working with corporate customers creating promotional videos. So I see a variety of leads. I’ve seen the triple increase in cost to us and it’s not justified from my viewpoint. However, I do belive that the leads are legit people now - much more confident in that than I was about two years ago. I do belive ONE of the reasons the ghosting people are experiencing is because the customer has way too many pros in front of them so they contact as many as they want. They want quick responses so if you don’t answer quick enough they will move on to another pros profile. They are not going to respond back to you to tell you that either. So pros must see that as a fact. Since we can’t see anymore if they customer ever actually hired someone anymore. I’ve seen 7, 8 and 9 pros being contacted on a job. You think the customer has time to reply back to all those? And if your information is not clear in your profile they will ask a simple question and you’ll get charged - then spend the time trying to get a refund. In addition, Being that I cover video and photos I will agree that wedding photographer wedding videographer are completely different from corporate and completely different from events and must be separated. Weddings need to stand alone. I’ve seen this request many many times. Also, not fair that I can not put a weekly budget on some of the video services. Pros should have the ability to regulate their budget in every single category that is available.
Active Community Member

In some cases; the system will tell you if the job-poster hired another TT Pro.--- Reese T.

Community Veteran

If you've got time go back and look at the last 100 leads you received on Thumbtack. Open each one up, scroll down and see just how of those leads ended up hiring another Pro on Thumbtack. I bet you'll be surprised at how few there are.

Regards,
Laurence.

 

Community Veteran

I'm a DJ service pro in AZ. The last lead that hired a different pro on TT was on January 9th of this year. Either these leads have hired service pros outside of TT or TT is not sharing tht information with us any more. They no longer show us when a lead views your quote as of February of this year. Wouldn't surprise me if they also took this feature away.

Community Veteran

Over the last 12 months (March 2018 to March 2019) I received 102 leads and I was hired by 10 of them. That leaves 92 leads that didn't hire me. Of those 92 leads 10 of them hired another Pro.

Therefore of the leads I received 11% of them hired another Thumbtack Pro and the rest (i.e. 89% of them) didn't hire any Thumbtack Pro at all; those are some very grim stats.

The last time one of my leads was hired by another Pro was back on November 16, 2018. I suppose it is possible that Thumbtack stopped notifying us when one of our leads was hired by another Pro and neglected to tell us.

Maybe one of the moderators could chime in and let us know if Thumbtack still notifies us when one of our leads is hired by another Pro.

Regards,
Laurence.

 

Community Veteran
Just yesterday a customer , who contacted me - I paid for it because of promote, also contact 6 other pro at the cost of $26 to each of us. I felt confident he would hire me after our phone conversation. He needed to check with boss first. I waited to hear back then decided to follow up. My messaging feed with the customer said Hired Another Pro. I was shocked. I waited a few hours then said screw this. I’m calling the customer. I was very polite and professional and asked if he made any decision yet - he said no and that he was still waiting for his boss. I told him that TT posted in my feed that you hired someone else and he said no. Later in the day he got back to me and we are moving forward with them hiring me. This error can not happen again. What if I believed the the message he hired another pro and never follow up? Please TT - support us. I keep reading the same problems over and over. Also - help us increase our odds of being booked and feel satisfied with the increase in cost by solving a lot of these issues. My biggest concern this week is that TT should cap off the amount of pros a customer can contact. Help us by doing that. Show your support by capping it off to 3 or 4 free pros they can contact. They shows us that you care about our odds of being hired rather that TT profit. You have to know that we pros are upset when we see 7-8-9 other pros contacted and they all responded.
Community Veteran

@jcp This is a HUGE problem as the system allows pros to unilateraly state that they have been hired. What needs to happen is the pro should be able to click a box stating that "Hired, waiting for customer to confirm".. and only until BOTH the pro and customer have clicked hired, will the status of the job change. 

 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Happy to clarify @Lar! If a customer updates the status of their project and indicates that they're working with another pro, it will notify you that they hired another pro. You only get notified if the customer updates the status of their project. We encourage customers do this, but it doesn't always happen. There's a good possibility that there are some customers who you reached out to who did hire another pro but just didn't update the status. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@jcp that's odd. Can you send me a private message with the name of the customer so I can look into this? Once I get that, I'll be able to give you more clarification. 

Community Veteran
Yes I agree. The “in process” doesn’t make sense. You’re either hired or your not. Once my client signs the agreement and pays deposit I marked them as .... well, my only choice is “in progress” - when it should be “hired”. Job “completed” is when you send a review to review the work you finished and your were hired for. It’s simple. Why does the system need to know if the job is done or not. Hired. Period. Next. Why make it complicated. And both parties should be required to confirm. A job is available until hired. Progress? At what point does one mark themselves as in progress? Doesn’t make sense.
Thumbtack Employee
Thumbtack Employee

Thanks for your question, @RejWrksCarolina.  And congratulations on being a Top Pro. 

I understand how frustrating it can be when potential clients don’t respond. I also understand that, as a small business owner, the money you spend is not an insignificant amount.

We are working hard to make sure that we get you the best leads possible, including improving targeting and the client experience, refining pricing and preferences, and much more. Our work is in service of ensuring that you have a solid return on your investment in Thumbtack.

Unfortunately, no matter what we do, there will always be clients who don’t respond - it’s just a fact of life. We are doing our best to make sure this happens less, but when it does happen, here are some tips.

The key is to make sure you are winning enough jobs overall to make your investment in Thumbtack worthwile, even if some individual leads don't pan out.

Our team is also available to offer tips and recommendations that might help you see more responses from customers. Send a private message to @Meckell or @Kameron if you're interested. At the end of the day, we want you to get hired!


Thanks to the other pros who asked related questions about unresponsive customers: 

@Lai @GailGutenmann @Patriotdoor @Kelvin @Peoplespainter @AAW @Kathryn @MR @Soe @rgyanks @Fee @BrokawLawn @MeridithAlexand @Mad_Dash_Art @JHampOfficiant @NickCavallaro @EJ @WendeePease @805_AV_Design @Chef_Aneva @RickB @ChefTanya @KevinSPhoto @Travelagent01 @Markoharps @Bdservices @Kayticlayton @wincincala2 @lclifephotos @handsonmusicllc @Blanche @CharlesL @RD @JakeCarter @StoriesUpSTL 

Thumbtack Employee
Thumbtack Employee

Thanks for your question, @RD.  And thanks for your service.   

Thumbtack’s ultimate goal is the same as yours - we want to help you get to the next step with your customer. And we understand that sometimes the fastest way to get a potential client to commit to a next step is through phone call or email. However, we currently do not require a phone number, because many clients are not interested in starting conversations that way.  

We believe a better way to get to that key next step is to gather all the job information we can from the potential clients up front, provide that information to you, and then help connect you to the potential clients. We are working hard to get more clients connected to you right in the app, where you can seal the deal and win the job. After all, when clients connect with and hire amazing pros - whether it's in the app or over the phone - we all win.

Thanks to the other pros who asked related questions about getting contact information from customers:

@TanaCorporon @AFPMAGIC512 @SunsetPhoto @eliascurtis @Hankster @thebabyfish1 @RD @Stetnie 

Thumbtack Employee
Thumbtack Employee

There were a few questions related to quick replies, so I thought I'd address those here.

There is no way around it - we all expect a quick and easy experience whenever we go online. Potential clients on Thumbtack are no different, which means we need to provide them with the tools they need to get to you as quickly as possible. They are busy just like you! That's why we created quick replies; to make it easier for them to reach out and move to hire pros like you. 

We also provide pros like you with similarly convenient tools - Saved Replies - so that you can save time when responding to clients. We know you wear a lot of hats and that your time is limited, and we have incorporated that feedback into this new tool. You can see more information about that change here.

Some of the frustration around quick replies is often related to frustration around customer responsiveness more broadly.  We understand how frustrating it can be when a potential client doesn’t respond after they have sent a reply - whether it's a quick reply or a custom reply. We are working on ways to better engage our customers and better connect them to you. We have heard some great feedback on this topic from our pros - and we are working to incorporate that feedback to make Thumbtack even better for you. In the meantime, check out this helpful article. And keep the feedback coming! We're listening closely on this topic in particular. 

Thanks to these pros who asked related questions and shared their thoughts about quick replies:

@Kathryn @Marty_Stump @Hankster @DJStevie @lclifephotos @zona5101 @StoriesUpSTL 

Thumbtack Employee
Thumbtack Employee

Thanks for this question, @Batkitty5961. And congrats on those 144 hires, that's awesome!

Our Community moderators, @Meckell and @Kameron, can look at your account and provide more information, but I wanted to respond more broadly on your point about setting preferences.

Ultimately, we want to make sure you get the jobs you want. The best way to do that is to set your preferences.  When you set your preferences, you are telling us exactly which jobs you always want to do.

And when you tell us which jobs you always want, we know that means you’ll respond quickly and provide great customer service. So we’ll know to show you in search results for the right customers. When you get a lead that exactly matches your preferences, you’ll pay automatically and get 20% off. This works well for many of our pros - and it will continue to get better and better.

But we also understand that it doesn’t work for everyone and that we have a lot to do to make it better. In the meantime, we want all of our pros to have as many opportunities as possible. Your travel radius will be automatically set at 150 miles if your preferences are not set.  But you still have all of the freedom you had before to pick and choose only the jobs you want to do.  You just might need to pass or decline those that you don't want.  Put another way, without setting your preferences, you’ll still get leads, but they may not be exactly what you want (and you’ll pay full price).

I'll also note that because of feedback from pros like you, in the next few weeks, we’re adding the capability to sort the opportunities you see in the Jobs tab by distance. Hopefully this helps, too.

For more info check out this article.


Thanks to the other pros who asked related questions about preferences and travel area: 

@Lai @ChefZacki @Raptorvalley @Buster @MeridithAlexand @Phil65011 @EJ @805_AV_Design @Bossbabe @DJStevie @1Silverfox @Kartisme01 @Howardlbca @sttnyc @Stetnie @bev @StoriesUpSTL @LindaZ 


Thumbtack Employee
Thumbtack Employee

Thanks, @davidwarner . And congrats on being a Top Pro!

I know there have been a lot of questions about our pricing, so I'll do my best to answer them all together.

Just as I’m sure you’re often fine tuning your pricing for your customers, we are doing the same. Today our pricing is based on a few things: what types of jobs are being requested, what those jobs are worth to our pros, how many pros offer those services, how many customers are requesting those services, and how serious the customer is. We know it isn’t perfect, and in some cases our prices are too high.  But we’re doing our best to find a fair price, that makes good business sense for our pros, and for Thumbtack.

However, we are not experts in every single category, and that is where your feedback is so important. If you feel prices are too high, tell us why. Use this online forum to explain how you price jobs, how often you need to bid on a job to get a hire, how good your ROI is on Thumbtack, etc.  Everything you post gets back to the team. We’re listening.

Finally, this isn't directed at you, @davidwarner, but for other pros who might be struggling: I suggest using all of the tools at your disposal here in this forum, as well as in our Help Center, to make sure you are getting the most out of Thumbtack. Make sure you are doing everything you can to win the job whenever you get a new lead, to make the price worthy of your investment!  I’d suggest this article on polishing your profile and this one on responding to customers as great places to start.

But most importantly, please keep the feedback coming on pricing. We're working hard on this front in particular. 


Thanks to the other pros who asked related questions about what goes into pricing:

@Puneetsghai @Kelvin @AAW @davidwarner @Kathryn @ChefZacki @SaraO @TanaCorporon @Sandman @EJ @SunsetPhoto @Chef_Aneva @WideOpen0097 @sm00thm00d @RickB @ChefTanya @Travelagent01 @Vegasminister @mrnatural803 @Lekco @wincincala2 @luckynlove @jcp @Patriotdoor @djeasycee @jrcgolf @HLProductions @Peoplespainter