Thanks for posting these links @MR, they provide some valuable insight into the reasoning for Thumbtack's decision to switch to the new Search/Promote platform.
"In fact, data showed that customers who rated high satisfaction used the platform less, while those scoring in the bottom two ramped up their use. It pointed to a crack in Thumbtack’s business model, where paying professionals would take relationships with established leads offline, so those happy customers with more leads were more likely to abandon their subscription."
I'm guessing that a lot of Pros started using Thumbtack to help kickstart their business and/or supplement their pre-existing lead generation efforts. Those Pros who found success with Thumbtack were able to grow to a point where repeat business from the customers they won and increased presence in their locale meant that they didn't need Thumbtack as they did when they first signed up. They reached a point where they were able to generate more profitable business opportunities organically off platform. Thumbtack has served its purpose.
Pros who weren't satisfied with Thumbtack were stuck in 'first gear' but they carried on using the platform because they needed to; they were probably getting a drip feed of leads and making some revenue from the platform. Not enough revenue to be satisfied but just enough to see room for improvement and future potential which is why they stuck with the platform.
"The manual quoting model made it hard to guarantee that there would be quotes for each and every customer request. While we had more paying pros than most of our competitors combined, the manual quoting model meant pros had to constantly monitor their phones. If you’re a busy pro who’s out on the job or managing your crew, it’s near impossible to constantly monitor your phone and jump on the right notification at the right time. Our product made it too difficult for pros to become successful and as a result many of our customers didn’t get the quotes they needed to make a purchase decision."
I can see the reasoning here but I don't see how the new system addressed these issues, if anything I think the new system has exacerbated them, especially the response rate of Pros to customers.
Imagine a small group of 20 Pros who are able to service a particular customer's request. Some Pros respond qucker, some Pros respond slower, but let's say that on average a Pro in this group responds to a customer request in 10 minutes of less on average only 20% of the time; I think that's a pretty low quick response rate.
With the old system when the customer leads were 'syndicated' the chances of at least one of those 20 Pros responding to the customer's request within 10 minutes of less would be 99%. There would have been only a 1% chance that the customer would not have been contacted by any Pro.
With the new system, and this same group of 20 Pros, let's say the customer does a Search and reaches out to three of those Pros directly. Now the chances of at least one of those Pros responding drops dramatically from 99% to a measly 49%. There's a 51% chance now that the customer will not be contacted by any Pro. That's not good.
The new system by design makes it FAR MORE LIKELY that a customer WILL NOT receive a timely response to their request which is the complete opposite of what the new system was designed to do.
If you’re a busy pro who’s out on the job or managing your crew, it’s near impossible to constantly monitor your phone and jump on the right notification at the right time.
That is correct. However, if you were a busy Pro and you saw that you were missing out on opportunities that your competitors were snapping up you had two options...
1. Shrug, complain and moan about it.
2. Do something about it.
I chose option 2. I found someone you can trust (i.e. my Wife, trust her about 50% of the time and that was enough) who knew my business and I would have her monitor my Thumbtack Inbox when I was busy. When a good lead same in she would bang out a reply bloody quickly because if she didn't then five of my competitors would and I miss the opportunity. If you wanted to compete and get business on Thumbtack then that's what you had to do, you had to put in the work.
When Instant Match was introduced it ensured that customers were guaranteed of a quick response. That was a step in the right direction for Thumbtack. I can't quite remember how it fully worked now, did Thumbtack send out two Instant Match quotes and then post the job to the Inboxes of all other suitable Pros or something like that?
Even with Instant Match you still needed to be on the ball and reply quickly to ANY AND ALL messages that a customer sent in response to your initial quote. That's just commonsense. If you're a busy Pro who cannot reply promptly to potential customers then guess what, your customer will find someone else to talk to. That was true of the old system and it's the same with the new system or any other system Thumbtack come up with in the future.
I think Thumbtack have really miscalculated HOW their customers would use the new system. Thumbtack know how their customers should be using the system but I think customers aren't using the system as intended. Judging by the overwhelming feedback on this board Thumbtack has become ineffective at doing what it was intended to do, i.e. connecting customers to Pros. I have a feeling that the number crunchers and bean counters at Thumbtack may in the coming months reach that same conclusion if they haven't done so already. I guess we'll wait and see.
@Lar The way I see it, TT has created sort of a video game with no good chance of winning - sort of a slot machine of sorts. A lead comes in, lots of people reply to the lead (in jobs tab) and TT gets paid. Every rare once in a while, the lead turns into a hire for the pro... but that is rare.
For promote - you pay to get more likely pulls at the slot machine.... every time a lead comes in, you have a chance to gamble to see if you can win a job... but here you pay just to have the chance. The shear prospect of winning that job keeps us hitting that button - over and over again - even though we know well that the odds of winning are small.
A whole city in southern Nevada has prospered on this psychological human desire.
So-- the more people that post jobs to the most pros the better off TT is... its really a losing proposition for the pro and the customer - both are incentified to "hit the button" as much as possible with little hope of winning - but TT wins no matter what - they get paid for every press of the button.
Until people stop playing this slot machine, I fear we will not see change.
It all depends on what lens you look through. If this is about revenue to TT, things are working very well.
But is the new system meeting Thumbtack's revenue expectations? If so then where is this additional revenue coming from?
I know it's not coming from me, or you, or Stevie or many of the Pros here. My Thumbtack spending is way way down. For Thumbtack's new revenue model to work they need customers to 'reach out' to Pros in numbers. I don't think that's happening. I think that customers aren't 'reaching out' to Pros in sufficient numbers and if that's the case then Thumbtack must be taking a revenue hit.
A lead comes in, lots of people reply to the lead (in jobs tab) and TT gets paid. Every rare once in a while, the lead turns into a hire for the pro... but that is rare.
Thumbtack don't get paid when a Pro responds to a lead in the Jobs tab. Thumbtack will only get paid by the Pro IF the lead responds to the Pro's quote and we all know that leads quoted via the Jobs tab very rarely respond to Pros. I don't think Thumbtack is relying too much on Pros spending money on Jobs tab leads. If they are then they're in trouble.
This is a very interesting read!! It was published in Sept of 2018, just about when my leads dropped 6 weeks later.
"While we had more paying pros than most of our competitors combined, the manual quoting model meant pros had to constantly monitor their phones. If you’re a busy pro who’s out on the job or managing your crew, it’s near impossible to constantly monitor your phone and jump on the right notification at the right time. Our product made it too difficult for pros to become successful and as a result many of our customers didn’t get the quotes they needed to make a purchase decision."--
So, the above change happened because it was near impossible for Pros to constantly monitor their phones and jump on the notifications? Isn't it almost the same now? We can't jump on our phones for a conversation starter as we can be with a client, in court, at a gig, etc. And if we don't jump in on those starters right away we get punished with not replying right away. So what has really changed in that aspect?
"We’re far from done, but I’m happy to report that the new Thumbtack is working well and growing. We see significantly more customer engagement with the new experience and pros who turn on the new bidding tools get many more customers."
If Thumbtack is working well and growing, why are there so many disgruntled Pros? It's not working well for me, you and many others @MR. I don't see alot of customer engagement. Or am I missing something? It could be either a software issue as they update their system? Or not enough customers now? or whatever the case may be. But we are told as Billy Joel sings, "Keeping The Faith". Let's hope that changes are in the works for us. We shall see.
Having time to reflect on your comment, I agree with you. I know that I get concerned about my revenue, as we all do, but as long as TT revenue is coming in, that seems all that they worried about, or we would see major changes happening to help the Pros(after all, they do say they care for us?) Maybe changes are coming as promised? Who knows, but how much longer can we keep the faith and trust?
My faith and trust have run out. For now TT has lost another pro. When I can get to my computer promote is being shut off until I see signs of change. Although I do not spend much on TT now,it is still money that can be better spent elsewhere and for more productive things.