Futher to my previous post you now are offering up to 15 designers to one lead, (yes, I said "Lead") because that's what they are.
One client actually told me he was still looking at the 15 pros sent to him, and actually going through each profile. I thought he was crazy to waste that time, and that Thumtack is crazy.
You should give a "lead" no more than 3 to choose from, people get confused and can't make decisions. That basic Marketing/Sales 101.
Thumbtack has been great to me in the past, but it's becoming more difficult to get new customers. And one reason i suspect is lack of relevant information from the customer's end. I think sometimes customers may become fed up with back and forth messages and forgoe the whole thing.
I do computer repairs, and here's an example of some of my interactions. CUSTOMER: I have a computer that is not working, how much to fix it? ME: Can i get the make and model of it, and can you tell me in detail exactly what happened??
And, I never hear from the customer again. But, I think that if I had all the relavant information at first, like make and model and so on... I could then reply to them, the first time with the exact cost of the project and how long it would take to complete. So, I think that asking more relevant questions from the customers upfront, will benefit us all.
Many of the reps claim that there are many many pros who like this new format, even gave me and other pros a statistic, yet they don't provide us with that proof so we can see for ourselves. I've given them suggestions how to improve Promote, but it falls on deaf ears or something would have been done by now.
I do hope TT makes changes to their platform, which is why I will take the time to give meaningful feedback here.
The TT platform will only work if pros, those who offer services, are actively using the platform. Anyone can come to TT looking for help, but without pros offering a service, there will be no transactions. That being said, it has to be mutually beneficial for both TT and the pros, as customers have no real skin in the game. Customers can come and shop around but not hire anyone, and that's okay and should be encouraged. Unfortunately, it's not only not okay, its certainly not encouraged from the side of pros. I no longer bid on jobs when I see they have already contacted a pro. I figure, why waste either my money or another pro's money, as we both cant land the same job. TT is the only one winning when a customer contacts multiple pros...and that shouldn't be the case. It's just bad business and unethical. Pros should only be charged if they land the job. TT wants a big piece of the pie, but is getting this big piece of a much smaller pie. Wouldn't TT want a smaller piece of a much larger pie? This business model is not sustainable along with the unreasonably high fees TT charges.
I'm being charged almost 20% of what I make off each job. Meaning, 4 bad leads and 1 good lead....I break even. I actually lose money as I am losing time completing the jobs to break even.
Hypothetically, let's say someone comes to TT in hopes to hire someone. Let's say they talk to 10 different pros but doesnt hire anyone. Dont charge anyone!!! No harm no foul. And most importantly, no hard feelings. Given the same situation and charging each pro $20 each now makes TT $200 and 10 different pros make -$20. I say again, its unethical and just not right.
I've tremendously cut back using TT. Which I've heard many others are as well. If you feel this business model is successful and most importantly sustainable, ignore my post and keep doing what you're doing. If I'm even slightly right, consider doing the right thing before your pros switch to another platform or worse yet, someone creates a better platform after hearing the same complaints and steals all your business.
Hoping to be more thankful in the future...
@JayDeihl @MarcoZ @Meckell, I wish I could kudo Jay's post 100 times. I have seen so many pros take the time to write similar complaints and watched Thumbtack ignore them and make changes to benefit Thumbtack. I'm frankly surprised you didn't pull Jay's post down yet because of your policy that keeps pulling down posts for negativity, but if you pay attention to all the negativity, you might just realize why you're having to deal with all of it. I'm trying to be as constructive and not negative as I can in this post, but it's very hard when you see something happening that is as simple as 2+2 and reading so many similar opinions and watching a company ignore them or just say "I'm sorry you're having issues, please feel free to contact me in a private message". Have you guys noticed how many of those reponses you give on each forum post you start? I see a lot of them....
Anyway, there are multiple solutions that would be great and here are two constructive examples.
1. Charge a small amount for people to take a chance on a lead, BUT let them see the amount before they decide to quote (sound familiar?). On this one I would say that you could also collect more information from the end customer so that pros can make a more informed decision on whether to quote. Since you say that so many end customers never talked to a pro the old way, maybe your time would have been better spent refining your questionaires to end users to give pros more information so they would better know if the customer was serious before they decide to quote and thus more serious customers would actually be talking to serious pros.... simple..... it certainly wouldn't make ANY of the pros upset if they got better information prior to deciding to spend their money and they would likely spend their money more often... smart.
OR, 2. charge a larger amount BUT only to the pro who lands the job (you haven't tried this one yet.... but if you read Jay's post again, you'll see that he, and many others would agree with this model). This one might be tough to implement and enforce due to people trying to not get marked as hired by clients etc..., but more pros would be happy and would likely contact more customers knowing they weren't going to get screwed if they didn't get hired, or worse receive no contact at all from the end user and still get charged.... More contacted customers means more hires which means more money for you from happy people and not from disgruntled people.....
I'm 99% sure that almost every pro who's ever considered thumbtack would like either of those solutions.
I'm also 99% sure that NOBODY wants to be charged arbitrary amounts (automatically) based on what someone outside of their business decides to charge them. Especially on leads that they didn't get to see before they were even chosen for them..... nobody anywhere in any industry wants this....
Lastly, the only thing in Jay's post that I may partially disagree with is the part about customers being able to contact multiple pros (and I'm not sure I fully understood how he feels on that one to be honest), I do believe it's fair for customers to be able to contact multiple pros, but 5 pros is certainly plenty of pros to make an informed decision, like the way you used to do it. More than that makes it just not sensible. When you buy a washer and dryer, do you shop at ten stores? No. Nobody does. When you do a google search, do you scour through pages and pages of the results? No. Nobody does. I think letting the 5 pros who are quickest to respond be the ones who have a shot at landing the job is very fair....
Now, all of this being said (again, and again and again by so many people - sorry, I know that's a bit negative, but it is hard like I mentioned earlier, but this is the most important part of my post, please read it!), don't you think that it would be a better business model if you made a small amount of money from tons of people who are happy, rather than gouging as many as you can until they all leave your service from being unhappy with it? Sounds simple to me.
Hi Marco. I teach private lessons on guitar, piano, bass, banjo, and music theory in my studio in Dallas. I have lately been receiving requests from North Carolina and other states. Obviously, they are not going to drive to my studio so it is just a waste of my time to have to pass on these requests. I don't ever travel to customers' sites. I have written to Thumbtack several times about setting a "travel preference" distance limit for Pros who don't travel. It seems to me that if you can set a limit on how far a Pro will travel, you could just as easily set a limit on how far away a client will travel to a Pro. Yes, you have a "Willling to Travel" selection of 5 miles, 10 miles, 15 miles, but I repeat that I get requests from other states saying they are willing to travel 15 miles. That's kind of ridiculous. I don't want to even see those. Can't you please set up a limit on how far away from a Pro the Pro is willing to consider sending a quote?
I've never gotten positive feedback on this issue. Please reply.
I just saw a job for wedding photography where the user put a ridiculous low $500 budget for five hours of photography. Sometimes I submit on these because when they see the quality of work they can expect for their budget they realize what's what. But in this case, it said 14 pros contacted. Yikes!!!! How much money did TT make off this customer sending probably quick messages to everyone? A lot more than their photographer will make that's for sure.