I offered this feedback today when I declined a lead. I thought I'd share.
"The lead prices for this level of conversation is way too high.
I'm thinking this process for communicating with leads and having to pay what we are at these beginning stages will be too much for myself and many Pros to continue with Thumbtack at the same level.
These changes you've made in the last 6-12 months are producing less business with more cost.
Please consider redoing this so it's more "fair" and has "value." I'm putting those words in quotes because they are words Thumbtack likes to use to describe how they are working with Pros.
Unfortunately many of us do not think the way you're doing it is "fair" or assessing the "value" of a lead appropriately.
I would like to suggest that you have a webinar or open dialogue of some kind and let us talk.
Let us talk about how things happen for us on our end.
Let us talk about the impact your changes make, particularly when they are implemented with little to no communication from you. This creates a lot of stress and affects our business. I'm sure you must be able to appreciate this.
Let us talk about the specific changes we would like to see happen and why.
Is it possible there's a better way to have a dialogue than these feedback boxes and the Thumbtack community? I believe there is.
There are many of us who have questions and concerns.
Please remember, we are actually your Customers. Yes?
We are the ones you need to keep your platform up and running, yes? Without the Pros, you have no people to provide services for. We pay for and provide the services the current "Customers." Could we please be considered more in the process?
I used to have my own Success Manager. That was great. He fielded lots of questions, concerns, ideas, and though he couldn't do everything I wanted, of course, I actually felt like he wanted to partner with Pros.
That was taken away and I'm making it mean certain things about the way Thumbtack cares about the success of the Pros.
I wonder if there's ever been a conversation with Pros specifically to lay out all of the concerns, in a conversation, and possibly build something that works for most.
Could that happen?"
@MLCC thanks so much for sharing and starting this discussion. I'd like to do my best to answer and address some of the questions and points that you've raised.
In reference to lead prices, keep the feedback coming. Anytime you have a specific lead come in where you feel the price isn't in line with what you'd expect let us know, and be as specific as you can. What about that lead made you feel that it was of less value? Was it certain details of the job, lack of details, or customer intent? Along with that what price would you feel is fair? We're always hungry for feedback and details like this as we continue to try and grow on being fair and adding value.
The opportunity for pros to share their voices is exactly why the Pro Community was implemented in the first place. We wholeheartedly recognize that pros are also our customers and that without pros there would be no Thumbtack. Along with that pros don't only have to exist on the site they need to succeed. Pros don't only need to get leads in order for Thumbtack to see success, they have to get hired in order to see that ROI and keep coming back. In an attempt to bring pro voices to the table even further we do from time to time host Q&A discussions here in the Community. Be sure to check out our most recent one with our CEO where pros covered a very wide variety of topics. Here are links to the Q&A recording and the Q&A thread.
At times I, along with many of our Pro peers, have felt that Thumbtack in general(not the moderators) feel that we aren't their customers. After all, we pay for the service, not the job posters.
I agree that we need someplace to talk, voice our concerns, give suggestions, etc. It does seem lately that when a Pro posts a concern, tough questions, ideas, etc, most get edited and/or deleted, and it's becoming more frustrating than ever to try and get answers.
I also agree that the changes Thumbtack has made in the last 6-12 months have produced less jobs for the Pros, and the lead costs have increased. More power has been given to the job posters, for some reason. When the Pros had control, we were able to sift through the jobs that were a great fit for us(after all, we know our business better than anyone, even with the preferences that both Pros and Job Posters fill out) Yes, we had ghosting, but not as much as we do now.
I had suggested a few times that Pros be kept abreast of changes before they are implemented, but don't know what happened to that suggestion. Perhaps your input of having us be more considered in the process of things will be heard.
I don't know if there's ever been a conversation with Pros to lay out all of the concerns. It just seems to me that every time we post a concern, we feel that we aren't being heard. It's one thing to listen to us, but to hear us is another. Perhaps, the moderators should follow up on those feedbacks that were supposedly pass one to Product Teams, and to keep us posted. We don't have the reference numbers, or we would check ourselves. But a weekly/bi-weekly update of feedback is a starting point.
If the Forum, now Water Cooler, is a place for Pros to voice their concerns, ask questions, give ideas, helpfullness to other Pros, etc, then we should be allowed to be heard and not have those posts deleted. So, to expand on your suggestion in your last point, there should be a place for Pros to lay out all of our concerns, in a conversation, and build on it, not be told "feedback is being passed on". Maybe a Thumbtack Product Team Rep be a part of that conversation to work with us, instead of a Moderator, such as @Kameron @Meckell, becaus they have enough on their plate already
There are some great suggestions in here so I'm looking forward to having more of a productive conversation.
It's just a matter of time before Pros become too exasperated and leave Thumbtack completely. If we can have more deliberate, intentional conversation across a variety of issues impacting our businesses, that will help a lot. I love my clients and hope to continue, but everyone has a breaking point.
Thank you, Moderators, for fielding questions and passing concerns.
I have a question. I'm new here, so I'm still learning about this Community.
Why would posts be deleted and how often does that happen?? Are these conversations censored somehow?
The moderators delete posts all the time, and ban people from the forum, if they do not like what people say. They say they want constructive criticism, yet if it is not all positive, they delete it. According to some people, the mods even block private messages between members. There is a facebook page (not run by thumbtack) where we all can actually speak our mind and voice our concerns with the dissatisfaction of the way thumbtack is now being run. We are not censored there.
@cranichik you'll find plenty of posts in the Community where pros have expressed frustrations and yet those have been left or responded to because they were not in violation. As we’ve mentioned previously, the Community is a place for pros to learn from each other. We always welcome criticism and your honest feedback. However, we ask that posts remain constructive and focused on solutions, so that we can move the conversation forward, together. I'll also mention that we in no way block direct messages between members. If a pro is experiencing troubles with this let us know and we'll be happy to see what we can do to help.
Sometimes frustrations can seem negative, I'm sure. Sometimes they genuinely are! I think what we all want is productive conversation so we see the changes that make everyone successful. That's why I love the idea of a more comprehensive coversation that covers a lot of the issues and to see Thumbtack talking with Pros about how to be helpful to all the industries/businesses you're trying to manage.
I remain confident this can happen. We are definitely frustrated, to be sure. I am, I know.
I also know I love my clients and always want to serve more of them. If I can do that through Thumbtack, that would be fantastic.
Thanks to all of you who are engaged in the process to find the best ways to meet the needs of all of us using this particular platform.
Looking forward to helpful conversation and great solutions we just haven't found yet.
In the past four months, I have spent close to $150. on leads that got me two $175. officiating jobs. I get supposed "leads" that tell me "I'm the only one the customer reached out to" so I bet on the fact that they've already reviewed my pricing, read my reviews and/or looked at my work. (I advertise photography as well as officiating) I paid $38.00 to bid on such a photography job....after I sent my payment, I heard nothing from the customer. I reached out twice. Nothing. As for officiating wedding ceremonies...I've responded to several potential customers who reached out and heard back from them, planned a date to meet, only to be told days later that someone in their family was going to perform the ceremony or something similar. Maybe if Thumbtack had the clients split the cost of the mutual "lead" as Airbnb does between guest and host, all of us "pros" using the site would be happier and it would cause the potential clients to pause before reaching out to us and then not keeping their end of the bargain. Frankly, I'm getting ready to quit Thumbtack altogether. It's getting ridiculously expensive and I'm getting more leads by word of mouth than I am on this site.