You said a while back: I want to assure you that we and everyone else at Thumbtack are listening. Each piece of feedback is valuable to us and each idea is put under review. We do keep track of multiple pros making the same suggestions to then look into it further, do research to verify that there is an issue, and then propose solutions. From there, we see if it makes sense to implement a change, all the while keeping in mind the other hundreds of thousands of pros on the site and how certain changes can affect everyone. Not all feedback from pros is implemented, and if it is, it will take time.
Any chance you can tell us the top 5 things that are on the consideration list based on what you wrote? If not, I have the feeling that this thread does not believe a word that you wrote. You really need to start giving some substantive responses to keep the hope alive that you (TT) are really listening. Most pros are not going to operate on blind faith for long.
Thank you for your reply Meckell,
Great question! We removed the “View” label from sent custom quotes because we want you to focus your time where customers focus their time.
So you removed the ability for us to see whether or not a lead has actually READ a message/quote/whatever we send to them because you want us to focus our time where customers focus their time?
That's like taking your car in to be serviced, picking it up and noticing that your speedometer is gone.
You: Hey, why did you take my speedometer out, that was really useful to me.
Mechanic: Oh, that speedometer thingamjig on your dashboard. Yeah, I took out your speedometer because I think it's a bit of a distraction. Trust me, you'll be far safer and a much better driver if you focused your attention on the road while you're driving. No need to thank me, it's all part of the service."
With the greatest of respect Meckell the rationale you give for removing the ability for us to see if our responses are being read by leads is nonsensical.
Because the customer might not see those messages, we do not want you to waste your time crafting or following up on messages.
Trust me. In the past whenever I saw that a lead hadn't read my last two messages to them I didn't waste my time sending any more follow-ups. I considered the lead to be dead. My rationale was that they weren't reading my messages because they weren't interested anymore (if they ever really were). This was the clearest indication that sending more follow ups was likely going to be a waste of time.
Now though, because you removed the ability for us to know whether or not our messages to a lead were actually being read we are totally in the dark.
Maybe a lead does actually read my message. Maybe they don't. I used to know but I don't know anymore. TT knows though.
Meckell, seriously, if your intention is to make me more productive and how many times would you recommend that I 'craft a follow-up' message to a lead without receiving a reply before I consider the lead to be dead?
Should I send three follow-ups? Five? How about ten, that's a nice round number? You tell me.
You say that you don't want me to waste my time crafting follow-up messages but that's precisely what the removal of the particular feature is making happen. If a lead isn't replying to my messages I'm now utterly clueless as to why that might be. Maybe they ARE reading my replies but they are still deciding what to do. Maybe they haven't read any of my messages at all. I used to know the answer to that question, now I don't.
At least before if I saw they they weren't reading my messages I could make an informed decision that the lead wasn't worth persuing and SAVE TIME.
You also said...
We know this is a shift, but our goal is to ensure you have productive and valuable interactions with customers, and the direct requests you receive from customers are more likely to lead to that desired outcome than custom quotes.
It doesn't matter to me HOW the lead reached out to me in TT. What do you mean by 'custom quotes' anyway? I fail to see any distinction. I'm paying TT for the lead regardless of how I obtain the lead. Each lead is different, some are more valuable than others, but they share one very important thing in common - each lead is a potential future customer and I treat every lead as such.
There is a clearly a significant disconnect here in our discussion Meckell. Maybe I'm not properly getting my point across. Maybe I'm misunderstanding yours. I don't know anymore.
I simply find the rationale you gave for TT removing this very useful feature to be totally incomprehensible and somewhat bizarre. Sorry.
And another issue is startingto come to mind. This is beginning to be all about TRUST - a key ingredient in the customer's belief that the supplier of a service is worthy of our money. This is something we have to work on every day - we have to keep the trust of out clients.
So many people have pleaded for the read receipt function to be restored. TT has yet to respond in a manner that is believable and trustable.
Now, even if this function were to be restored, do we still have what is left to actually trust the data we receive from the restored functionality?
The way I see it, the lack of response has turned this into a real question. The fact that a moderator says "we would never do that" actually has little hope of surviving when the foundation below it is so fractured.
I really hope leadership is listening.
Meckell said that the reason for removing the ability to know when our messages had been viewed was...
Customers now spend their time reaching out directly to the pros who they want to work with and pay attention to those anticipated responses. Customers are no longer engaging with quotes from pros who they did not message initially. This means they might not see your custom quote messages.
Because the customer might not see those messages, we do not want you to waste your time crafting or following up on messages. We know this is a shift, but our goal is to ensure you have productive and valuable interactions with customers, and the direct requests you receive from customers are more likely to lead to that desired outcome than custom quotes.
I can't wrap my head around this at all, it's really bizarre.
Is, 'customers are no longer engaging with quotes from pros who they did not message initially' a statement of fact, if so do you have any statistics you can share with us that you used to base this conclusion on?
Think about it for a moment. Whenever you send a quote to a customer in your Jobs tab you are sending your quote to a customer who did not initially message you. If that's the case and if 'customers are no longer engaging with quotes from pros who they did not message initially' then are we more than likely just wasting our time sending quotes to customers in your Jobs tab?
"Because the customer might not see those messages, we do not want you to waste your time crafting or following up on messages."
If that's true then when we reach out to a customer via the Jobs tab (i.e. to a customer who did not initially message us) they might not see our message/quote because as you say, 'customers are no longer engaging with quotes from pros who they did not message initially'.
If you don't want us to waste our time crafting a quote/message to a customer who did not initially message us then surely the best way to do that would be to remove the Jobs tab completely?
@Lar Honestly, I can't follow this logic at all. If you take all of the answers we have received discussing this it goes in circles with really no beginning or end... there is no strategy that I can see that has the interests of the pros in mind.
This is the closest I've come to getting any insight into what's going on at Thumbtack.
"I only want to charge you guys for leads that are worth your time and money. If I’m sending you something and you’re looking at it saying ‘not worth my time, not worth my money’ we haven’t done our jobs right. I acknowledge that we have a challenge where there are clients who come in and never respond, never engage back, which is incredibly frustrating , and there’s the cost aspect which is certainly annoying but it’s the pain of having done the work and sent the message and then not getting anything back and having that burden completely on you. So we are working really hard right now to mitigate this problem, to avoid you having to waste your time and money on things that you have no shot of winning. That’s not how we’re trying to make our fees; that’s not what we think you should be investing your money in, so it’s something we are working very hard on."
Marco Zappacosta, Thumbtack CEO, Thursday March 21, 2019
The issues Marco mentions are not new issues; they've been present for at least as far back as 2015 which is when I joined Thumbtack. If anything the now defunct Instant Match and its successor Search/Promote have only made things worse, not better.
Maybe Marco has the same problem we have?
Maybe he has a whole bunch of wonderful ideas, suggestions and feedback that he relays to his development team but they don't listen and they never get back to him. That's the only explanation I can come up with.