At the end of April, Thumbtack removed one question from the category of Home Inspection that diminished my ability to accurately price the job. The question was/is critical to knowing if the job was one I even wanted to bid on.
The way it was written in my notification was: "Which ages of homes do you work with?" And what I was not told was the question that TT removed from the questions that the Job Poster "gets stuck on"?
If in the past Thumbtack asked the question of the JP "How old is the house that will be inspected?", did TT offer an answer of "Do not know / Do not wish to answer"? Was that even considered as a solution? (I presume the questions were multiple choice.)
But really now.... the age of the house is in the real estate listing. How could they not know?
When the JP got stuck on that question, just give them the option to not answer or say they do not know. This would always be a job I do not want to bid on.
When I have a rough idea of the age of the home, I can price accordingly with reduced risk of pricing it too low or too high. And when the JP does not answer that question, I might price the job at the highest price assuming the house is very old to insure that I would not lose money if the house is much older than average. Old houses cost more to inspect. They simply take longer and the inspection report is more complex.
And the question for the Pro is wrong. I am very concerned that TT has not polled the Pros on this issue. It is NOT about what age homes I work with, but how I do pricing.
Rather than removing questions TT should work to learn how to help the JP answer the question.
If TT has any real evidence that a JP "gets stuck on that question", please show me the evidence they got stuck. Or just let that JP go. They are very likely not the customer that any Pro wants.
I think that one of the reasons Thumbtack started removing questions was to lessen the chance of a customer backing out of their job request. The fewer questions there are the less chance there is of the customer backing out and the greater the chance that Thumbtack will be able to charge a Pro for the contact.
It wouldn't surprise me if we start to see more and more questions removed over the next few months ostensibly to improve the 'customer experience'.
@Lar It is curious that you used the phrase: "to lessen the chance of a customer backing out". I am unsure that TT has done a thorough risk analysis of the flip side. Losing Pros or having no Pros bid on jobs will diminish the "customer experience" and increase the chance of customers backing out forever. There are only so many customers in the world.
All sound business practice is a constant search for a balance between the customer's need(s) and the ability of the business to fulfill those needs. Some needs are not real and they are mear "expectations". The closer a business comes to meeting expectations the stronger the foundation is on which to build the future and grow.
I, too, have seen a very useful question removed. Really only pertains to my profession, though. I am a pet sitter/dog walker. I set a 5 mile radius. There used to be "what are your cross streets?"
This was very helpful in determining if I could do the job. Some of our zip code areas are so wide that it could take me 45 minutes to get to the job. For $15-$20 it is not worth it to me, especially when the customer wants 3 visits a day.
Because I don't use promote, I get job requests 2, 3, 4 hours away, which I have to ignore. It must get as annoying to the customer to not get any response, due to being sent to the wrong Pros, as it it is to us being sent the wrong customer.
I used to love thumbtack, but I have not gotten a job in over a year.
Just an addendum........Thumbtack seems to have forgotten that the Pros are the PAYING customers here. We should be treated as such.......