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topic id 32826: Raising prices but do not state what the prices are!!!!!
topic id 32384: Private Chef/Catering Pricing
topic id 26197: Paying twice for the same lead
topic id 25265: Pricing
topic id 24883: The purpose of promotion and set your budget in advance
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topic id 22064: Questionable leads
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topic id 19454: Marketing Executive From Thumbtack Chooses Promoted Lead, Then Radio Silence
topic id 18206: New Model?
Lar
Level 10

Competitive Disadvantage

When a potential lead performs a Search each Pro they see in the search results will have a 'tag' associated with them, either, "Great Value", "Responds Quickly", "In High Demand" or "New to Thumbtack".

These 'tags' are helpful to people searching for a Pro because they can see at a quick glance the relative merits of the Pros they see in Search.

When I perform a Search in my locale for my service a total of two Pros are tagged as being "In High Demand". Astonishingly in the last 6 months both of these Pros have only been hired once.

To advertize these Pros as being "In High Demand" is grossly misleading. Being hired once in 6 months is not indicative of someone being in "High Demand" and I would argue that the complete opposite is true. If a Pro has only been hired once in 6 months that would indicate a Pro who is in very low demand, one stop removed from being in no demand at all.

By that same measure, in the last 6 months I have been hired 8 times. I am not tagged as being "In High Demand". Why is this?

Based on this a potential lead comparing me at a glance to these supposedly "In High Demand" Pros will logically infer that those Pros are in "High Demand" and I am not. Consequently leads may perceive them as being a more attractive proposition to reach out to then myself. Some leads may only want to hire Pros who are in high demand in which case they may overlook me through no fault or my own. That's not right.

Thumbtack is choosing to place me at an unfair competative disadvantage to my competitors because I do not have the "In High Demand" tag.

By the same token some Pros have the "Responds Quickly" tag. This tag I believe is for Pros that have a response rate of less than 4 hours. I have an 18 minute response rate and yet I do not have a "Responds Quickly" tag.
 
Based on this a potential lead comparing me at a glance to Pros who "Respond Quickly" will conclude that I do not respond quickly when in fact the opposite is true. Some leads may only want to hire Pros who respond quickly in which case they may one again overlook me through no fault of my own. Once again Thumbtack is choosing to place me at an unfair disadvantage to my competitors?

The tag I do have is "Great Value".

To accurately present my business to potential leads I should have the "Great Value" tag AND the "Responds Quickly" tag AND the "In High Demand" tag. I work very hard to offer "Great Value", I respond on average in 18 minutes and I've been hired more times than any other Pro in my category in the last 6 months, if not the last 12 months.

I had a lengthy telephone conversation with a Thumbtack Support Representative today to voice my concerns about this. The Representative was not helpful at all. He was clearly unable to grasp one very simple fact that every Pro here knows all too well which is that I am COMPETING against every Pro who appears in Search. I am here to try and win every job that comes my way.

Being placed at an unfair disadvantage by Thumbtack against my competitors in the manner I have described above isn't right.

Regards,
Laurence.

8 responses

Re: Competitive Disadvantage

been @LarYou are 100% spot on. I have experiencing the very same. My tag changes sometimes from "great value" to "responds quickly". I assume the tag is based on the last accepted lead. The only times "great value" is added is after a Cooking Skills Instruction lead is accepted. Of three services, that is the only one that shows prices. The others do not; therefore no "great value" tag. I also get "High Demand" sometimes. too.

The policy of tagging newcomers and those with under 5 hires as "High Demand"  has never been explained. Concurrently, (as a tangential) this policy exists in the Insights too. Three other Pros are displayed as "also popular in my area". At least two will always be well beyond a 50 mile radius (or as the crow flies).

Some clarification ought to be given.

Lar
Level 10

Re: Competitive Disadvantage

@ChefOfAllSeason the following was from @JasonB posted in Thumbtack's own March roundup earlier this year...

A “Responds Quickly” tag in results: In addition to “Great Value” and “In High Demand,” we’ve added a “Responds Quickly” tag next to some pros, which customers will see when they search on Thumbtack. These tags help customers find the right pro for their project based on what is most important to them. To increase your chances of achieving this tag, focus on responding to customers as quickly as possible. This includes accepting jobs you’re interested in and declining jobs when they’re not a good fit.

Notice how @JasonB  says, "These tags help customers find the right pro for their project based on what is most important to them.

So, if it is 'most important' for a customer to find a Pro who responds quickly then I may potentially lose out because Thumbtack choose to not tag me as 'Responds Quickly' even though I do in fact respond quickly.

Likewise, if it is 'most important' for a customer to find a Pro who is In High Demand then I may potentially lose out because Thumbtack choose to not tag me as 'In High Demand' even though I am in high demand, higher demand than any of my competitors.

When customers do a Search I'm sure they expect Thumbtack to present them with search results that accurately reflect the relative merits of the Pros that match their criteria so that they can make an informed and educated choice as to which Pros to contact.

That's not what happens with Thumbtack because the search results do not accurately represent the relative merits of its Pros. 

Regards,
Laurence.

Moderator Meckell
Moderator

Re: Competitive Disadvantage

@Lar the tags on the profile update pretty often. Pros can't request specific tags, and can only have one tag at a time. Here's a breakdown of the tags and how pros may see them on their profile in search results: 

Great Value: Customers love when they get a quality service for a great price. Along with having a great price, make sure you have a lot of 4- and 5-star reviews that highlight the great customer experience you provide. 

In High Demand: The more customers that contact you, the more likely you are to have the “In High Demand” tag in search results. Focus on responding to leads quickly, building a strong profile complete with pictures and reviews, and targeting the right jobs. 

Responds Quickly: The sooner you respond to customers, the better. This includes accepting jobs you’re interested in and declining jobs when they’re not a good fit.

0 Kudos
Royalmspro
Level 5

Re: Competitive Disadvantage

Thumbtack "tags" are unfairly misleading to both the client and Pro. It's unfair to label me with one tag when I fit all tags. I have 68 hires and 65+ 5-star reviews.... Yet I'm ranked under others in search who have a fraction (truly... 5 hires-3 reviews) of that.

Why not just set the order by hires (+/-) review/rating...? Wouldn't that be more fair to both the client looking for the established Pro and for the Pro who has spent the time , effort and costs to get to that spot?
0 Kudos

Re: Competitive Disadvantage

@Meckell In the Personal Chef service category in my zipcode,  Pro A is ranked #1 and I am #2. I am ok with that. My question is:

Pro A's tag says "Responds quickly" and mine says "In high demand". Wouldn't logic dictate that I would rank higher? I have my Targets set, my reviews far exceed Pro A's and my response time is the quickest. 

What is the explanation for how this ranking is set up? It appears inconsistent with policy.

Highlighted
DJStevie
Level 12

Re: Competitive Disadvantage

@Meckell 

Why would I only have the tag "responds quickly", when I feel that my prices are of great value, and I work with "customers'" budgets, and I even have a Christmas discount at the moment?

Your definition of great value is "Along with having a great price, make sure you have a lot of 4 and 5-star reviews that highlight the great customer experience you provide." I have all 5 star reviews and I've been DJ donating my time for Tim Tebow Foundation, Trustbridge Hospice and Autism Speaks, all in my profile, that should be taken into consideration as "great value". As well as working with "customers" when they explain their financial situation to me. They are receiving a great value, excellent service!!!

DJ Stevie 11-14-2019

ladypants
Level 5

Re: Competitive Disadvantage

I totally agree with this. We respond very fast, offer a great price and often have to close our schedule because we just get soo busy. And we have "Responds quickly" tag which in my mind is less important than "In high demand" or "Great Value" so I totally see where you are coming from.

In my type of business, customers often just want to get the best price, they don't care if I respond quickly, they want to spend less! I often see "opportunities" showing that customers contacted others instead and I really wonder why (not). 

Lar
Level 10

Re: Competitive Disadvantage

@ladypants@Royalmspro@ChefOfAllSeason thank for all your constructive feedback on this issue.

What is baffling to me is that Thumbtack constantly remind us of the importance of having a complete and informative profile, good photos, response times, etc, so that we a Pros stand out from the crowd and get noticed by prospective customers.

Then we see the way Thumbtack is deliberately using 'tags' to mislead prospective customers and at the same time place Pros who are doing all the right things at an unfair disadvantage to their competition. 

The contradtiction here is obvious and Thumbtack's lack of constructive engagement with regard to the issues I raised is exceptionally disappointing.

Thank you again @ladypants@Royalmspro@ChefOfAllSeason for your well reasoned and thoughtful responses as well as your willingness to engage in constructive discussion.

Regards,
Laurence