Your idea about charging the client a dollar to send out an email and then receive it back once a job has been found is a great way to seperate the active customers oppsed to the curios. Thumbtack needs to look out for their pros and this is a great way. Good idea!
Rank the job posters on a positive/negative scale.
Years on Thumbtack
Number of hires per request with a range from Zero to One. It will never be higher than one, but it should never be Zero after the first request has reached maturity.
Response time. Low number wins. High Number is negative. Find the average response time and rank the Job Poster based on above/below the average. No response is a ghosting and an automatic request to answer a few questions like "why?"
Number of times the Job Poster has ghosted a pro.
Number of Pros contacted and were required to pay.
Number of times the Job Poster had a budget below the minimum set by a Pro.
Average review rating given by the Job Poster. Calculate the number above the average or below the average review rating.
While Ghosting is one risk to be avoided, a ranking system that rates the Job Posters gives those Pros who find their leads on the Jobs Tab a way to assess the risk of responding to Job Posters who have a low rating. And Those pros who use Promote could enhance their selection criterial by setting preferences for the customers they wish to be promoted to in addition to setting their job preferences.
Business owners use many tools to choose their customers. And many Pros are using the Jobs Tab to reduce their risk of being presented to high risk customers or low profit jobs.
If a ranking system were in place for those customers posting leads, I would quadruple what I spend with TT! Imagine the satisfaction of not pursuing a blind alley, but rather, be given the choice of contacting (or getting acquainted, as this is an intoductory service) the type of people who have shown themselves to have a history of follow through. This would be difficult for a first time customer, but the more information they provide, the better their chances. Just like the more info we provide on our profiles the better our chances.
I know that eliminating the one click nebulous choices at present would inspire me to spend more. Why not require a potential customer to explain in their own words what it is they want? That's what people do when they make most purchases, such as homes, cars, dogs, clothes, vacations, etc. I have successfully run restaurants for many years and never did I provide a menu with so few choices as will be found on the jobs requests found on TT. Anyway, these ideas would solve a lot of problems and inspire more spending from pros.
@traviswardvideo : You have spoken my history with bark to a tee. I have had great success with them. When TT started boosting the lead rates and their quality simultaneously plummeted, I looked around for a replacement. I started with TT 5 years ago and got hired for long term ongoing comittments within my first 5 accepted leads. From then on until early 2018 it was a beautiful streak of success and top reviews. I choose not to report all my TT hires; but that's another topic altogether.
When I started using Bark, it was like the old days at TT but better! A $1000 catering job cost $12-15 for the lead. Included is a deluxe contact package of email, phone number, home address, filters that show degrees of committment, and written text authored by the customer that gives details. Roughly, 70% of my respondes lead to hires. 10% are declined by the customer and the rest are ghosted. Not too shabby. As if that weren't good as is, ALL ghosts are instantly refunded upon request without argument. I speak to a real live human being, it takes 3-4 minutes, and that's it. This ROI and success rate is how it used to be at TT.
What I still like best about TT is the wide parameters allowed for building a great profile. I won't comment on "promote", "target", "preferences" and the like; it's all been said by fellow professionals who have thoughtfully shared their insights. But, to be fair, I do like the way my profile is set up.
Now, not everything is for everybody, of course. However, it behooves one to ponder who would NOT want to pay less for solid leads and receive full refunds on ghosts.
To conclude: This post is written as a response that agrees with @traviswardvideo and makes note that the best feedback I could offer is that Thumbtack return to it's original model. I am still hangin' in there and remain optimistic that something will be done that addresses the problems abundantly mentioned in these community posts.
Many years ago: During the credit system, Some leads would say "This customer has hired 3 Thumbtack Pro's" meaning they had posted, and marked as hired, a TT Pro on three different occasions. It was a helpful bit of data, too bad they took it away.
Better yet, charge the customer a nominal fee ranging from $0.25 to $1 to send an inquiry. More revenue for TT, and customer has at least a symbolic (if not mental) association with having some skin in the game. =)
I have a ghoster and am forced to pay the fees which I feel is a loss to me since the person hasn't given me any further details to where the job is located. Now I have to pay a fee and this has been since January and still no updates or further information. This needs to be addressed immediately and we as pros should not have to take a loss due to people responding and never giving anymore details as to when the work will be ready to start. I have kept the responses so any one can read them. If they do respond I will add a few grand to the end total due to ghosting me.