Simply put, there's only so much a pro can do to compete now. Once the profile is right--promoted with 10 reviews and everything else--it's now a sit-back-and-wait game. Without messages from customers, responsiveness doesn't exist, nor do hires and additional reviews.
That's so right.
72 Profile Views in the last 4 weeks - 0 leads. Unless customers reach out to me I cannot sell my services to them. The "sit back and wait for the customer to reach out to you' isn't working, not in my business anyway.
With the old system the customer would specify the details of their job and within less than 10 minutes they would have received a personalized reply from me and we would have the beginnings of a proper conversation. I was able to INITIATE a conversation with the customer with a tailored and personal response with the intention of building a RAPPORT. I was able to give then a REASON to be excited about hiring ME for their job. Responsiveness + Rapport + Reason = Opportunity = Potential Hire.
The only pre-requisite needed in the old system for me to start a conversation with a potential customer was the customer's willingness to provide some job details. That was it. No boundaries and no hurdles to jump over. The customer's details would end up in my Inbox (and the Inbox's of my fellow Pros) and I'd be knocking on the door pretty much straight away. My responsiveness and the content of my first message to the customer were what mattered. They determined whether the customer opened the door and invited me in or not. My success was in my own hands.
With the new system there are a bunch of pre-requisites that must be overcome before I can even TALK to a potential customer.
The customer first needs to find me in Search. I have limited control over that and it is fraught with the pitfalls and issues that @WerkFitnessSD mentioned. Next, the customer needs to choose to click on my picture rather one of my competitors. Then they need to decide as they are looking at my Profile right there and then whether they want to reach out to me. Finally, the customer needs to enter the details of the job. If all of those things happen then I can start a converstation with the customer.
It's crystal clear why I'm getting fewer leads.
I'm sick to death of being told that Thumbtack chose to change their system because they found that only 20% of their customers ever got to see a Pro (i.e. were able to receive a response from a Pro). Back then I got to see 20% of customers and start conversations with them.
Newsflash. There's a reason that 80% of customers didn't talk to a Pro in the old system. That's because 80% of customers couldn't be bothered to enter their job details. Would you want to talk to someone who couldn't be bothered to tell you about their job? No, me neither, and that suited me just fine. The old system weeded out a lot of the ghosts right from the get go.
For the last 4 weeks 0% of customers get to talk to me; that's the statistic I care about.
I know some of the fellow Pros in my category, its a small community and we talk. From my conversations with them I know that my experience is no different to theirs. Greatly reduced leads, far fewer hires with the new system. I estimate that in the last 6 months (based on Views) I estimate that there must have been 1000-1500 customers visiting Thumbtack looking for a Magician in the areas I serve. I bet that only around 1% of those turned into actual hires. It's abysmal and after 6 momths of this nonsense I'm reasonably confident that it's not.
I joined this community a little over a month ago @WerkFitnessSD, and I haven't been able to get reasonable answers to many of my questions. I hope you have better luck than I did.
The other day I got a "lead" — someone asking my availablity — to which I responded within 5 minutes. I get dinged for $11 with nothing to show for it! It would be different if we had a discussion and I was turned down, but I don't even get a response and I still have to pay. How does this quailify as a lead?? It's bad enough to make quotes based on next to nothing for project details, but having to pay for what amounts to simply logging on is totally bogus!
My stats are better than most in my industry, but lately I have been getting no jobs. Unless I keep TT open and active 24/7, I can't respond to notices fast enough to even make a quote! I hear a lot about how TT is reviewing Pro comments, but any changes I have seen have been to TT advantage and do nothing for me.
@TSCreative sorry to hear that customer hasn't got back to you. These customers are considered a lead because they had the level of interest to find you in the search results, compare to other pros, click on your profile, and then reach out OR respond to a quote you sent them from the Jobs tab. I know that it can be frustrating to have this happen and we're currently working on ways to help these happen less. Did you happen to try following up with the customer in a second response? If not, I'd give this a try as we've seen many pros who have landed the job after sending a simple reminder to the customer.
Thanks for responding Kameron, but I find your platitudes less than helpful. If you really want to help Pros, go bckc to the old system where you were only charged when you were hired. Being charged for leads or quotes serves no one, but Thumbtack, that should be painfully obvious from the vast majority of responses and comment you get from Pros. And yes, I did send a second response to the customer, within 24 hours.
Enough with the vacuous homilies, if TT is not going to do anything to address the issue, just come out and be honest about it and save us the empty promises and JV cheerleading.
@TSCreative I want to be clear that there has never been a system in place where we would only charge pros when they were hired. Before, pros would send quotes through the jobs tab for jobs they were interested in and we would charge for every quote they sent, regardless if the customer ever responded. I hate to hear that you feel these are empty promises, however, to find and implement changes to help with this sort of thing will take time. I'd recommend taking a look at this response from our CEO in a recent Q&A HERE about this topic.
@Kameron regarding your comment "however, to find and implement changes to help with this sort of thing will take time." I think I speak for most here when I say that we acknowledge that and understand.
What we do not understand is that we have received no insight into what changes may be on the horizon or what timeline we are looking at.
If it is in the next week, we can certainly wait. If it is not until the 4th quarter, it would be helpful to know so that we can seek alternatives such that our business do not suffer as we wait for change.
I understand that keeping that info close to the vest may be thought of as a competitive advantage, but there is the argument that hinting at changes that will delight the customer (a/k/a pros) can be even more of a competitive advantage.
@MR certainly understandable, however, I don't have any specifics that I can share at this time. We won't be able to share updates until they're finalized. I'd recommend keeping an eye on our monthly product updates along with any other specific updates being posted as they come.
Following up with a customer is more difficult now for us. We don't see when a customer has viewed our quotes/messages. And in another thread you commented that a customer has the option of turning off notifications. So if we do follow up, odds are against us that the cusotmer will read our follow ups.
Perhaps "turn off" options shouldn't be available to cusotmer until after they hire someone? And maybe we can have the customer viewed option back? Just suggestions to help with follow ups
@DJStevie pros will be able to send follow up messages to any customer that has reached out to them or responded to their quote sent from the Jobs tab. We simply removed the ability to send follow up messages for quotes you sent from the Jobs tab where the customer has not yet responded. When it comes to notifications, we simply can't force customers into receiving notifications and need to give them the option to turn off ones that they don't want. However, the base settings customers have when they first open an account will notify them of each message or quote sent to them from a pro.
Please explain further. You said "When it comes to notifications, we simply can't force customers into receiving notifications and need to give them the option to turn off ones that they don't want. However, the base settings customers have when they first open an account will notify them of each message or quote sent to them from a pro. "
So, customers can get notices of a Pro's message with the notificiations off? How is that?