I am quickly learning why this system is not conducive to a sustainable business model. It's like gambling. Not investing in paying leads.
From what I've been told, the old system isn't coming back. Over a month ago, besides myself, other pros gave suggestions to help improve this new system and make things work for Pros. Even though we were/are told that they hear us, I believe that they just listen, not hear us, or we would see some kind of improvement.
Not only is the new system not working for the Pro`s, its actully making ME look unprofessional. I have been with Thumbtack for years and have a 4.9 rating with over 100 reviews. Now I cant even get a professional looking quote to those looking for my service. I am also being charged for bids that are over 50 miles away for a $35 job. I have voiced sever concerns, no response. At this point, I see no other way but to look for another company to find customers. Thumtack knows we are unhappy, but seems unwilling to agree they broke a system that worked.
With this new system I do not like I get leads I pay before I hear from them and when I answer the lead I get no respond. I have lost so much money just trying to answer them. I wait for a call or a text nothing so I lose money and I can have 3-4 or more leads I answer and I don't get a call nor a text so I could lose 30.-40 dollars. I feel maybe to charge after we hear from the lead. This system does not work for me. bring the old one back I been with thumbtack a long time and i am good with my work. But can not pay and lose money. I am a very very small business trying to grow.
So I was curious to test out Thumbtack as a client trying to look for pros. I followed the process and I have to say I was really confused. It was tough to navigate, post a job, and even see messages from pros. An odd thing that I found was that the client has to message a pro first to post a job.
So here are a few solutions:
1. Go back: The solution to solve this would be to go back to the old system. The way it is now, inevitably, the client will get confused and pros will not get hired and leave TT (which is already starting to happen). For a successful marketplace to work, you need buyers and sellers. The way its going, both parties will stop using TT.
2. Contact info for a fee: Another solution would be to provide the phone# and email for a fee. Getting billed at the point of contact is not practical. The client closes window or app and then there is no way to get in contact. For a lot of clients, its probably their first time using thumbtack or they only have one project. Meaning, its not a daily thing for them to use thumbtack. Once they loose interest, they are gone.
3. Curated Pros in Batches: There can also be a limit on how many pros can purchase the lead and how many pros a client can contact. There would be a limit to how many pros will see this client's request, this way the client does not get bombarded with phone calls and emails. If the client feels like they have not found the right pro, they can request another batch.
TT - feel free to reach out to me for details on these processes. These are directly from other platforms that we use and have great success with.
@MidknightGenius thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas about these. I’ll be making sure to pass along your feedback to our product teams to consider. I do, however, want to clarify and give a further explanation about these topics.
1. We’re definitely glad to hear that you enjoyed and found success on the old system. The new system is working for pros and we don’t have any plans to change it back. We’ve actually been seeing much less confusion from customers in how they’re using the site and an overall increase in hires for pros. We want it to work for you too!
2. At this point in time, we've decided that we won't require a phone number from the customer. It was something we tried and it ultimately wasn't a good fit. Customers were being overwhelmed with messages, even when we had a 5 pro limit. After speaking with customers and hearing their feedback, we found that they wanted to be in control of when they gave their info to a professional.
3. This would, in turn, mean referring back to the old system which I've touched on. I'll also add that customers wanted more options than just the 5-10 we were giving before. Some were even going so far as to create multiple of the same job in order to see more pros. Search Results gives them more options, much faster and all the pros being shown on that list are being shown for free unless the customer decides to reach out.
Ummmmmmm.....I have major disagreements with points 2 & 3. First off on point number 2 TT NEVER included a customer's phone number and/or an e-mail address on ANY of the platforms that have been used. I've been using TT since 2009. I know what I've seen. Or should say HAVEN'T seen. Whether it was with paying for leads using credits, ProAssist, Instant Match & now Promote that information was NEVER included. What year was a customer's phone number tried & included in a request @Kameron? Mind sharing that with us?
Staying on point number 2. You say customers were being overwhelmed with messages even when there was a 5 pro limit. However you contradict your self on point number 3. "I'll also add that customers wanted more options than just the 5-10 we were giving before". So customers won't be overwhelemed if they recieve up to 15 e-mails with quotes? Are you kidding me? Customers that I've spoken to who hired me on TT found the entire process to be overwheleming. Not sure what customers you folks at TT speak to.
Going back to point number 2. "After speaking with customers and hearing their feedback, we found that they wanted to be in control of when they gave their info to a professional". I've said this multiple times now ad naseum. When the customer reaches out using any of the conversation starter questions then it should be MANDATORY that they provide not only a phone number but also an e-mail addesss. The customer is obviously (at least to me it's obvious) still in control & have narrowed down their choices as to which service pro they would like to contact. Or more importantly service pro they want to contact them. With me so far @Kameron? So at that point there should be no reluctance AT ALL from the customer to provide a phone number & e-mail address. Again this should be mandatory! You folks at TT CAN make this happen! It's just that you WON'T!!!!!!
What about hearing the service pros feedback? When are changes going to be made that benefit the service pro? I don't care anymore hearing about the customers feedback. They don't pay to use TT! WE THE SERVICE PRO DO! GOT IT! When is TT going to start hearing us? Tired of seeing NO RESULTS on these forums! All I see in these forums are pissed off & beyond angry service pros who want to see action & change from TT NOW! Not NEVER!
@Hankster although you yourself may not have seen it, requiring a phone number is certainly something we tried in enough areas to see the effect it had and make a decision. I’m sorry that my point about customers being contacted by pros seemed contradictory, but think about it from a customers experience. When I was looking for a pro to complete a project before I would get quotes and messages from all 5-10 pros, and that was even without including my phone number. On my last project, I was able to scroll through the results list and pick 1-2 pros to talk to and those were the only conversations I had to worry about.
What areas were they tried in? Certainly wasn't in the DJ category. The customer has never provided their phone number after viewing the quote when credits were used. Or in ProAssist, Instant Match or Promote. How recently or otherwise was this tried? Can you share those results with us? I don't need to think about from a customer experience. I've spoken to ACTUAL customers who used TT & hired me & they told me their negative experiences with using TT. Were you using TT for those 1 or 2 pros you reached out to? Did you provide your phone number or just used the conversation starter question. I get it. The old system ain't comng back. It's the current system that I & thousands upon thousands of other pros have been complaining about that needs fixing. Doesn't appear to me you didn't read my last post thoroughly.
I understand the intentions of the ideas that you implemented, but the end result as of now has been literally less leads and hires. I can't get to top pro status without getting hired. On the other platforms that I am refering to, I am closing about a lead a day. On TT, I am barely getting a lead a week, let alone closing.
If this was a scenario when Facebook came out with the newsfeed and there was some backlash. Mark had to decide that the newsfeed was good and everyone had to get used it. The people were wrong and it turned out great. It's not the case here. It's not a matter of getting used to it. Business from TT has drastically gone down to almost nil. It's not a matter of my opinion. Just looking at the data, its not working. Based on the community, other pros are having the same issues.
I would love to be involved with the process and help you find the right solution that is beneficial for all stakeholders; TT, client and pros. I implore you to have the product team involve me or other pros to figure this out asap. I am not making a false offer, please involve me in the process and solve this together.
I don't want this situation for TT to turn into a myspace, where it was messy and everyone left the platform because Facebook was better to use. You guys know this best, groups of people of leaving a marketplace is a virus in which its really hard to come back from.