@Kameron I think you are conveniently ignoring the fact that you work for Thumbtack, so you know what to expect and what to look for. Someone who doesn't work for Thumbtack isn't going to know that "Other Pros who have shown interest" means that a Pro sent a quote. App notifications don't always stay on smartphone home screen for more than 10 seconds. Someone walks away from their phone and they never see the message you are talking about. There are a lot of factors at play here (phone manufacturer, OS, version of the Thumbtack app).
If Thumbtack would just send them an email every time a Pro sent a manual quote, that would solve this issue. And put the quote in their inbox, while you are at it. It's not a "misconception". You are hiding our quotes/messages if you are not putting them in their inbox. Does your postal carrier get to put your mail on your back porch?
I've sent over 185 manual messages since 1/20/19 where I have not gotten a reply from the customer. Many of these, I just asked a question of the customer so you can't say that my price scared them off. To my knowlege, the vast majority of these have not cancelled their project or hired another Pro. Even if 90% of those are not serious buyers, that's 19 customers that Thumbtack doesn't really care about following up on. If you did, then you would make sure they saw my quote/message.
I can handle the rejection of people that say I'm too expensive or that they just decided to go with someone else. But this lack of follow through from Thumbtack really makes my blood boil. You guys always respond with "Oh, we don't want to overwhelm the customer.". My data shows that these people aren't hiring on Thumbtack anyway. So who cares what they think about a few extra emails.
You are desiging your UI based on non-paying customers that aren't really using your platform to it's full potential. All the while, us PAYING customers are jumping up and down like Jack Russell Terriers on speed saying "fix your platform!". Again, all of this would mean more money in Thumbtack's bank account.
"Help me, help you, Rod!"
Great posts @StoriesUpSTL,
I'm sure Thumbtack do care IF a customer hires a Pro, but I think that what really matters to them is WHEN a customer hires a Pro.
Every customer who visits Thumbtack looking to hire a Pro is a revenue generating asset for the company. Whenever a customer 'reaches out' to a Pro the customer generates revenue for Thumbtack because the company will charge Pros for the privilege of engaging with the customer. That's the foundation of Thumbtack's revenue model.
Knowing that, which scenario below do you think is optimal for Thumbtack in terms of revenue generation?
(a) A customer reaches out to a single Pro and then hires that Pro without reaching out to any other Pros?
(b) A customer reaches out to 15 Pros before deciding to hire one of them?
Going out on a limb here but I'll say option (b) is optimal for Thumbtack's revenue because 15 Pros have paid to engage with one customer. Thumbtack need to be profitable for their investors, as profitable as possible. It stands to reason then that Thumbtack will strive to maximize each customer's revenue generating potential for the company by wanting them reach out to as many Pros as possible, 15 is a nice number.
Here's an example of how the system is designed to do that. As a Promoted Pro after a customer reaches out to you (and you automatically pay Thumbtack for that lead) Thumbtack will immediately present your newly purchased lead a list of your competitors and suggest to your lead that they should reach out to your competitors 'just in case' you're not the right fit for the job or 'just in case' you don't reply to them.
It seems like Thumbtack don't want you to get hired! And you'd be absolutely right, they don't. If the customer hires you then the customer ceases to be a revenue generating asset for the Thumbtack. That's not optimal for the company because to maximize the revenue generating potential of the customer you just paid they need that customer to reach out to other Pros.
Thumbtack do not want a customer to make a hasty decision and hire a Pro too soon. The longer Thumbtack can keep a customer reaching out to Pros in their search for the 'right' Pro the more money that customer will generate for the company.
How does this fit into what @StoriesUpSTL is saying. Why would Thumbtack design their system so that it hides/obscures manual quotes that Pros send to customers via the Jobs tab?
Well, if a customer was immediately notified via email when @StoriesUpSTL sent his manual quote to them via the Jobs tab then the customer might like the quote, stop reaching out to other Pros and hire @StoriesUpSTL. That's a great outcome for @StoriesUpSTL because he got hired, and it's a great outcome for the customer because their search for the 'right' Pro was a success.
That's not ideal for Thumbtack though because the customer would cease to be a revenue generating asset. Thumbtack don't want the customer to hire anyone too soon, they want the customer to keep on reaching out to as many Pros as possible and to keep on generating revenue for Thumbtack when they do.
If @StoriesUpSTL's customer does eventually stumble upon his quote (let's say a day or two after he sent it) the customer could have conceivably have reached out to other Pros in that intervening period of time which is good for Thumbtack because the customer generated revenue for Thumbtack every time they reach out to those other Pros. If the customer had been immediately notified of @StoriesUpSTL's quote then the customer could have see it, liked the quote and then stopped reaching out to other Pros.
That's not ideal for Thumbtack because the customer would cease to be a revenue generating asset. Thumbtack don't want the customer to hire @StoriesUpSTL too soon, they want the customer to keep on reaching out to as many Pros as possible and to keep on generating revenue for Thumbtack when they do.
A few Pros have complained about the fact that Thumbtack recently removed their ability to send follow up messages to customers that they previously quoted via the Jobs tab. Pros can't figure out why Thumbtack would do that because it's not helpful to the Pros.
Removing the ability to send follow up messages to customers that were previously quoted via the Jobs tab was not meant to be helpful to the Pros, it was meant to be helpful to Thumbtack. It makes sense for Thumbtack to prevent Pros from sending follow up messages to customers that they quote via the Jobs tab because they don't want those Pros to get hired by those customers. They need those customers to keep reaching out to other Pros and generating revenue for Thumbtack.
In the unlikely event that a customer stumbles upon a Pro's original Jobs tab quote, then any follow up messages the Pro sent to the customer (if he were still allowed to send them) might increase the Pro's chances of being hired. These follow up messages would suggest to the customer that the Pro was diligent and interested in working with them which might push the right buttons and cause the customer to hire the Pro.
As before, that's not ideal for Thumbtack because the customer would cease to be a revenue generating asset. Thumbtack don't want customers to hire Pros who quote via the Jobs tab because they would prefer that those customers keep reaching out to as many Pros as possible and keep on generating revenue for the company.
Why don't Thumbtack remove the Jobs tab then?
Thumbtack appear to be slowly eroding the usefulness of the Jobs tab, so it's possible that they might remove it entirely in the future or maybe Pros will stop using it once they suss out that they're not getting hired enough to make it worth their time and money. Who knows.
The Jobs tab is a warm and fuzzy throwback to the old system where leads were syndicated. It should be a really useful lead source for Pros but as @StoriesUpSTL and lots of Pros have discovered and documented in this community it's a mirage and a mostly of a waste of time.
Leads that Pros quote via the Jobs tab are far less likely to reply because they didn't contact the Pro directly. We've been told that this is the case by the moderators here. By the time a lead appears in the Jobs tab other Pros will most likely may already have responded to the lead. Other Pros have beaten you to the punch, you're throwing your hat into the ring too late in the game to be noticed. The customer won't be immediately notified via email when you send them a quote via the Jobs tab and you can't send follow ups to remind them about your quote. In a lot of cases the customer won't reply to you because they won't even be aware that you quoted them in the first place. You don't know if the customer viewed your quote or not (that feature was also removed by Thumbtack) but it's a moot point now since you can't follow up on your quote anyway.
Thumbtack has diluited the efficacy of the Jobs tab bit by bit which is why the Jobs tab has become a very poor lead source for Pros.
That's what I suspect... Thanks for the write-up. I was about to go make a job to bid on myself and see what the client sees.
I'm glad I only wasted a few days on the jobs tab I should have known it looked too good to be true. Maybe a few years ago. I do small jobs with a very high conversion rate, I knew something was wrong after there was absolutely nothing.
Really though if you think about it isn't it fairly obvious? They are doing a HARD push to use promote. I notice my listing didn't even show. I mean wasn't there at all. Period. Which isn't what they said if I turned to promote off. I asked about it since I read the listing was free and the rank was based on Promote and stats.
The customer service rep was like "Yeah well that's probably promote"
This way they get in my field 3 pro's for sure paying for each lead which also obligates us all to try harder for each job. They figure more profit for them and happier customers who get more pro attention. Its a move in the direction of the Home Advisor business model.
Unfortunately, I notice that they did it poorly and a lot of customers aren't contacting enough pro's to get a response and if they push for that then they admit they are triple billing for each job like HA well they push for 6 -__-
Anyways it's not surprising and I'm sure they will make promote mandatory soon. I mean they already did basically unless you want your profile invisible and your quotes buried. I can get more leads off Craigslist than the jobs tab...
I don't have a problem with them raising their rates and streamlining the processes so long as it works. If they don't get Promote ironed out balanced soon though I'll just drop them from my lead generation options. It's too bad it looked good.
Anyhow thanks for confirming the Job's tab is dead. Bummed I missed it.
@StoriesUpSTL In your recent post you said "I can handle the rejection of people that say I'm too expensive or that they just decided to go with someone else. But this lack of follow through from Thumbtack really makes my blood boil."
This is so true!!!
We pros should be the ones getting in the way of our own success by doing things like charging too much, not responding, not being attentive to the lead.
Thumbtack should not be the primary reason we are having problems finding success on the Thumbtack system
surprised shocked and appaled that this is not seen as an issue by TT after all of the information that they have received on the baords that they created inviting feedback on their system.
Thank you for researching and bring this information to light. I too have been wondering the same thing. I submitted quotes to customers who were seeking my services but did not receive any response. I checked the competition and noted that no one had responded to the customer.
Come on Thumbtack, if the customer responds to our messages you still get paid, win-win. Please fix this immediately. All quotes should be visible to the customers.
Usually the "moderators" delete the posts, not the "system". Then they send you a nice generic letter stating essentially that they only want happy thoughts in the forum.