I figured out, what is happening and why our businesses have stopped receiving requests:
TT now works from the direction of the customers, not from the PROs. Let's make an example:
Someone - let's call her Maria - needs a voice teacher. In the "old system," every voice teacher in the travel area of Maria received her request. Back in 2015/16, only the quickest five PROs could send a quote to Maria. You had to be online all the time because sometimes potential customers, like Maria were taken quickly from you and you were not able to quote after she received the five quotes. You paid for every quote you sent.
Later in 2016 or 2017 TT changed that system: Maria could receive as many quotes, as possible within 24 or 48 or 72 (?? I don't remember the time frame). You had more time to quote, and you only paid if Maria answered you.
In 2017/18 TT introduced the Instant Match, but that was not something you had to choose. IM paired you with the right customer, sending them your profile as a first glimpse. The IM already headed toward this current system. I tried out IM, but it was not working for me, so I sent Maria my customized quote instead. This old system also fitted to my needs well, because when I needed new students, I spent more time on TT answering requests, but when my schedule was full, I did not care with TT for weeks. Although I did not like IM, at least you still could communicate with customers. Because you still could see, who was looking for a music teacher, who among the potential customers had not chosen any teacher - so you still could contact them with a "follow-up-message" and "convince' them to chose you. (My husband stuck with IM longer than me)
Now what I see, TT uses some kind of Instant Match but you won't see Maria anymore. Maria can see a list of PROs, in a "ranking" what who knows who decides why is ranked the way it is ranked??? (yeah, you can sign up for being promoted... I tried that, too... ha-ha...) You'll never know whether you are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 44th in the ranking! Maria definitely won't scroll down! She thinks that the ranking means something, and she definitely won't check, who is the 44th in the list. She will contact someone from the beginning of the list.
Moreover, I cannot reach out "the Marias" directly anymore! Even when they have not hired any voice teacher (because they only contacted them but then did not hire anyone) I don't know about it anymore. Therefore, I cannot contact Maria.
These are the reasons why I don't like this new TT system. It does not offer more, than YELP or craigslist where Maria can browse among businesses. TT started as a new, exciting, almost revolutionary tool for PROs but with these recent changes, it completely lost its uniqueness.
@ZsoficaGreat points! This is why I have never used Promote. TT values the non paying customer & tries to have you look at things from the non paying customers perspective. Are you kidding me? I don't care about the non paying customers perspective at all. I care about my perspective & my bottom line! Hey TT! How about looking at it from the paying service pros perspective for once? We are the ones that put money in your pockets every day! We are the ones that keep TT in business! I had moderate sucess when Instant Match was in play. I was able to send personalized e-mails & quotes from the customers that reached out to me using the starter questions. I had a lot of swings & misses with IM mind you. But I had some hits & landed some customers. Some who hired me for other events they had. I've been named a Top Pro in 2018 & 2019 mainly because of Instant Match. Alas I probably won't get that award in 2020 unless they blow up Promote & find a better way for all of us to have a fair shot of landing customers. One way to do that is to provide quality leads! What a novel concept! Hopefully the post by Michelle T is serious, heartfelt & she will be looking very seriously into fixing this product & not just providing lip service to us. Here's the link for those who may have missed it. https://community.thumbtack.com/t5/Find-more-jobs/Attention-Events-pros-is-promoting-your-profile-working-for-you/m-p/16612#M1680%2Fjump-to%2Ffirst-unread-message
@Hankster I can assure you that Michelle is taking all of the feedback seriously, she wants Thumbtack to work for pros, we all do! Thanks for the insight and suggestions you've brought to this conversation.
@MeckellThank you for your response back. Not to dispute what you are doing in assuring me but I would like to see that assurance coming from @MichelleT. What progress is being made so far in your research @MichelleT ? When is the research estimated to be completed? I along with many if not all of the service pros @MichelleT would appreciate the courtesy of a response when you have a moment. Thank you.
I recently joined the TT community so I'm catching up on some reviews. I've been a member for many years and I too am sad to say that my business has changed because of all the recent financial changes. I'm in the wedding business and I rarely send quotes these days because the prices are too high. I've noticed many things: You make bid and the people don't respond - The bids range in price of $14 - 22.00 each - I was matched with 2 accounts and I didn't respond because it said, "to accept I'd pay $21.84 for one and around $14 for another. TT is my #1 way of getting leades and earning money for my business. I'm a small independently owned business and it's just not paying off anymore. I've bid all winter 2018 and I don't have anything up coming for the summer except for a lead from my daughter.
I'd like to see the clients phone numbers be a required field, at lease then we'll have the opportunity to sell ourselves every time. Then TT can contact the clients to see who they hired and bill vendors accordingly. Just to assume we are hired because they make an initial contact is NOT always true. And yes, I too have noticed duplicate request from two people seeking the same info. It would probably help if the client knew vendors are being charged for their request.
@Ckowens1 We certainly understand that not every contact will lead to hire, but the idea is that pros are able to sell themselves and close the deal often enough to make up for those contacts that didn't work out. I'm sorry to hear that recently things haven't been going your way. Could you tell me more about what price you would believe to be fair for those two leads that you passed on? If you do feel that you're not getting enough contacts feel free to reach out to me in a direct message and I'd be happy to work with you to see how we can possibly increase your contact rate.
I also want to clear a few other things up that you mentioned. First is that we've decided not to require customer phone numbers and will allow them to provide them in their conversations with a pro at any time they feel ready. Some of them will do it right up front, but most of the time they feel more comfortable with it once they've engaged in conversation with a specific pro. In cases where the customer may have listed the job a second time, we will only charge pros for the initial contact from that person and not a second.
But your comments beg the question--how are pros going to sell themselves without the templates that were taken away and no phone numbers available to call the client? Your reply to @Ckowens1 does not address the reality that the pros are now facing with the new system. It simply is not working and the elevated prices to quote are only adding insult to injury.
This comment is probably not in the right section but this is a perfect example of what a lot of us Pros see. Please read the message below. It came from TT. I didn't respond because she can't afford the service but she wants our. ideas. It seems to me, if she gets the ideas she will take them and DIY. Not a good lead for me!
Planning a surprise 60th birthday party for my husband with a theme of 70's . I also wanted to inquire of an entertainment band tribute to beatles since he likes it. I'm afraid I cannot afford it but I would like to get an idea.