What would happen if Thumbtack told all the customers that their quotes would arrive 5 minutes from the time their Requests were posted? A delay of 5 minutes would set the expectation appropriately that quality quotes take at least five minutes. All quotes in 5 minutes would allow the best of the Custom Quotes to arrive at the same time as the Instant Match Quotes. This will benefit the customers.
If a customer cannot wait 5 minutes, they will eventually be difficult customers for the pros to please and they will blame Thumbtack for it. Think of your reputation. They will want their party guests to arrive before the invitations are sent out. They will want their wedding cake before the oven is even warm. They will want their wedding photos before they get their clothes off on their honeymoon night.
If you cater only to the customers who cannot wait, they will run off to find another site before Marco can even make it to the office the next morning.
I understand what you're getting at, but you can actually use those that use a "generic response" to your advantage. While the other inquiries before yours were generic, you're actually giving them a personalized response based on their inquiry. Unlike the others that were not personalized.
@jamminjack I wish this were true. With limited number of examples to look at, 2/3 or 66% of of the requests that I have bid within 5 minutes are never viewed by the customer. I do not know why they stop after they read the first ten quotes. I can guess the reason but the facts show me that the customers more often than not do not read new quotes after they have looked at the Instant Match quotes.
Now, to address your thoughts that a custom quote is even something I write, it is not. The way Thumbtack thinks we should "customise" the quote is to go into my profile and edit the introduction of my profile. This then remains in my profile until I change it again. So, if I had the customer name and mention their project like this: "Hello Sally, I would be happy to inspect your home on Wednesday." That is now in my profile for any casual reader to find until I edit it again in a few hours of days after I am sure that Sally read my quote. Thumbtack has suggests to me that the way to customizing a quote is to append more messages to the stock quote that already looks exactly like the Instant Match quotes from everyone else. Those IM quotes are simply Price and Profile. So, I write an additional message that tells Sally: "Please see an example of my Inspection Report which is attached." I do this because Thumbtack does not provide a method for us to attach a file to the original quote. They have told me: "The customer can download a samples report from your website."
Now, the question of whether the customers read my profile and get to know me or just make a decision on price alone is not known. No assurance from Thumbtack convinces me that a customer who viewed 10 quotes in 3 minutes ever read any of the profiles. No proof at all. Thumbtack uses phrases like "We talked to customers and this is what they told us." to support their decision to no longer allow us to use our own custom templates. I question the value of what Thumbtack was told by the customers when TT does nothing to validate that statement.
So, if they do not read more than ten IM quotes they will never read my additional messages anyway. Regardless of how well I communicate, the customers have already turned off the computer (or cell phone) never to return.
@GermanTutorRB that's great that you're responding as quickly as you can! A lot of pros are quick to respond, just like you. It's likely that other pros are jumping on new leads just as quickly as you are and are getting a quote to a customer just a few seconds before you.