I just got my first Request for a real Home Inspection in my service area since I turned off Instant match and returned to Custom Quoting. As I move quickly to be one of the only remaining 5 custom quotes, I am faced with only one way to quote this Request. It is an EXACT COPY of what the Instant Match quote would look like to the customer. I am not allowed to use a template. The only way to interact with this customer is to immediately start typing a message to them as a follow-up.
Once I have apologized to the customer for the quote looking no different than any of the 10 Instant Match quotes, I frantically go looking for my templates. The only way to use it is to copy/paste it into a message. Now that this is done, I cannot figure out why Thumbtack disabled the automation of templates.
And I never saw how much it will cost me. This is the screen I was given to quote with:
I should clarify this. Of course I should because Thumbtack didn't. I tried to do a custom quote in the Home Inspection Category. Being one of 10 Instant Match pros was not appealing to me. But as I was begining to quote this Request, nothing seemed right. Thumbtack had prepaired a quote for me that looked identical to an Instant Match quote. I looked for a way to use one of my temples. That feature has been removed. After sending the "Price and Profile Only" quote that Thumbtack forced me to use, I quickly did a follow up message to the customer appoligizing for the way Thumbtack created all of the Instant Match (watered down and identical) quotes I had to do a copy/paste of the REAL quote that I wanted to send. This took a total of 7 minutes. I explained to the customer all the options that may cause the price to be different than any Instant Match quote. This is needed because Thumbtack does not collect that information and only allows a few broad range of house square footage. No Wood Decks. No Finished Basements. These items take time and will cost additional. But Thumbtack makes me put this into followup messages.
So, Thumbtack believes they have insight about Home Inspection customers that all they want is Price and Profile. When I contacted support about this they repeated this belief. I asked the support person what evidence they had. The support person could not (or would not) tell me. I asked what question they had asked customers to determine that Home Inspections is a category that does not deserve to be Custom Quoted. I was not given any answer.
This is why Thumbtack has lost all trust with me. When they will not (or can not) answer a direct question, the impression received is one of deceit. The credibility of Thumbtack is diminished to the point of laughability.
My question is simple: "How do you know?" How does Thumbtack know that Home Inspection customers do not want a custom quote? I think they used a dart board and shot their decision arrow from 30 ft away. They just made up the answer. Do they even know how many profiles of the ten Instant Match quotes a customer actually will read?
At this point, just take away all Custom Quoting ability and reduce the number of Instant Match quotes to 6 or 8. Even if you leave it at 10 Instant Match quotes at least EVERYONE will know they have been quoted by an algorithm, not a human. But the odds go down with Instant Match. I want better odds than 28%. A custom quotes gives me 50%+ odds of being among the bidders. So I play the better odds.
@HansenJC The reason that templates are going away is that customers are more engaged with being shown pricing reviews and profile info. We’ve done large amounts of research and analysis on this, along with simply just asking customers what they would rather see. You shouldn’t feel the need to apologize for the view of the quote as it’s what the majority of customers have told and shown us that it’s what they would prefer to see up front, and it’s what they’ll be seeing from the other pros on that same job. Customers have also expressed that once they’ve decided to engage with a pro, that is when they are interested in hearing more about the pros experience and what they can do specifically for them. Your profile is essentially becoming your quote template. Being sure to include your pricing information and experience there is what will take place of your templates.
To see how much a contact will cost you click on “View Details”, then just below the customer's name you’ll see “You’ll only pay if the customer responds. See how much: Learn More”. Click on the “Learn More” to be shown the price.
When I see "Learn More", I expect to see the same thing I had always seen. It has always shown a range from $XX to $XX. What would ever make me go down that rabbit hole more than a few times and expect to find anything new or more accurate? Change those words to something like: "Click here to see EXACTLY what this quote will cost you"
And then let me see that exact cost after the quote. It feels like a game of "Hide and Seak".