Respond within an hour = way more likely to hear back.

Thumbtack Employee dinal
Thumbtack Employee
3 48 4,576

Outlands_Responding (1).jpg

We looked at national data across all the services on Thumbtack and one thing is clear: Pros who reply to new leads in their inbox within 60 minutes are a lot more likely to get a response. Replying within 5 minutes is even better. But the longer you wait, the less likely you are to hear back.

And it makes sense, right? Customers came to Thumbtack looking for something done ASAP, they find you, get excited, reach out. And if they feel like you’re right there, eager to get started, they’re a lot more likely to choose you.

Other than making sure you’re getting notifications about new leads (emails and push notifications on your phone), there are a couple simple things you can do to make sure you’re moving as fast as possible:

Make some saved replies

If you often say the same thing to customers, you can now save those responses in the Thumbtack app and send them instantly.Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 3.26.37 PM.png

Tap and hold any reply to save it for later and sort through all your saved replies by hitting this little icon in a chat.

Focus on your inbox

There’s a lot going on in the Thumbtack app. And we’ve noticed pros spending a lot of time in the Jobs tab. That’s where you can contact customers in case the first pro they picked falls through.

But the jobs in the Jobs tab are a bit of a long shot. The customers in your inbox have picked you specifically and are waiting for you right now. So make sure that’s where you spend your time — catch any new leads as they come in and get back to customers quickly if you’re in the middle of a conversation.

If you don’t want the lead, decline it. Fast.

That way we can tell the customer you’re not available and you can move on to the next lead. There’s no penalty for declining. It’s actually really helpful — for you and for us. If you decline a lot of similar leads, we’ll show you lower in search results for those kinds of jobs. And if you do it quickly, we’ll consider you a responsive pro and give you a rank boost in search results.

What works for you when you respond to customers? Tell us in the comments below.

48 responses
uonlinetv
Level 5

Hi , but I noticed that even though I declined a request because I wasn’t going to be in the the days she needed the service. I still got charge. Why is that? 

Moderator Meckell
Moderator

@uonlinetv I'm happy to give you more clarification on this. Go ahead and send me a private message with the name of the customer and any other info you think would be helpful for us. 

EvaG
Level 6

Do the customers see our location when they are asking for when we are available?  I get a lot of them declining after I responded b/c I am not close enough to them.  

DJStevie
Level 12

@dinal 

I understand that as well as many other Pros, but because as I've said in other threads and hope this isn't deleted for repitition, we need a time frame(4-24hr) to reply to a customer. Some of us work, have family issues, doctor visits, etc so we can't reply in the hour time frame that you suggest. Suggestions please?

 

Moderator Meckell
Moderator

@EvaG yes, they see your city and state. If after reaching out to you a customer states that you're too far, be sure to request a refund by following these steps here: https://help.thumbtack.com/article/refunds#how-to-dispute-a-charge.

EvaG
Level 6

Thank you so much for that information...about requesting a refund.

 

Cyrus
Level 4

Hi 

This is Cyrus

With nobNo custom homes

I didn't do anything

Ur company charge me

$60._60$ .$59

I did call Mr sath

He said he will return

Nothing happened

Thanks

 

 

ReeseTee
Level 7

This is why so many of us are just incredibly angry.

Would you like it if your surgeon or dentist stopped to take a call on their cellphone in the middle of a procedure that you were paying for?

If you paid hard earned money to see one of those Broadway shows like CATS or HAMILTON, and one of the actors on stage, stopped mid-scene to take a cell phone call, would you like that?

AND, we know everyone hates those people at movie theaters who don’t turn off their cell phones.

Would you like it if your favorite NFL quarterback, during a close game, called a time-out, so he could talk to his agent on a cellphone?

If you went to see a concert performance by Nicki Minaj or Taylor Swift, and they stopped the show to talk on their cellphone, would you like that?

A common problem in the trades: We hire helpers in their early twenties, and they won’t get off the phone and do their job.  A year ago, I fired my 23 year old helper, in part, because of that. We were finishing the job. All of a sudden I feel cold air blowing through the house. The front door is wide open, and my helper; instead of loading cases into the van, is standing there, in the middle of the driveway looking at his phone.

I just finished a JPSY job, as I was packing up. My customer complained that he received a whole bunch of emails from Pro’s he had no interest in. Happy to give you his name in private if you do not believe me.

I want 24 hours to respond to JSPY leads, before TT sends it to other Pro’s.

TT could do a little work to educate the job-posters that some Pro’s are very busy, and focused on their work, therefore an immediate response may not happen, and that if I do not respond in 24 hours, or pass on the job…then TT will forward the lead to other Pro’s for the option of bidding.

The current system is making me angry, it is making job-posters angry, and it is angering many in the pro-community.

TT wants to make money. Fine, we get that. It needs to feel like a partnership, and NOT like TT is trying to bleed us dry.

Because of my profile, I have passed on a lot of JPSY leads. My profile stands out, and I get selected for things I do not do, or things that I do-- but can’t work with the JP’s job time-window.

 It is NOT my fault that many Job-Posters do NOT look at the essay in my profile.

iModDesign
Level 4

I feel more comfortable clicking Pass in Jobs section than clicking Decline in Inbox. Pass feels like I am just not taking the job. But Decline feels like "I'm too good for you", and I don't mean to hurt anyone's feeling.

Many times I'm not Declining an inbox inqury does not mean the job does not fit me. It's just I'm not taking the job for a reason. 

Can you also use "Accept" and "Pass" in Inbox? and still sending me the same leads.

TomRubin
Level 4
When declining leads it would be AWESOME if we could say why we are declining the lead. Like, I'm booked during that time, or I'm out of their travel range. Honestly, I do NOT rely solely on TT for my leads. If I did, I'd be out of business. TT leads are supplementary to my business and sometimes I'm just booked solid with regular customers. Also, is it possible to turn off all leads for a period of time? I travel on business one week every quarter and getting and paying for TT leads when I'm out of town is not fair at all.
Rusty
Level 4
Sounds like it
Rusty
Level 4

Rates are astronomical, and its all on the pros to hurry up and decline??? I'm getting contacts from 100 s of miles away and I'm a landscaper. Wow.

 

MR
Level 10

@Rusty 

It's interesting, In my case TT has made me "sooo done" with them on their own I believe. I am not sure what happened but the lead generation engine has grinded to a halt and I have received no leads of value in the past couple of weeks or so. The system is absolutley stalled.

Now, I am a divorce and probate attorney, and it is Spring when new life abounds and love is in the air-- so maybe nobody is breaking up anymore and nobody has recently died???

The good news - I'm not spending money on ghost leads, the bad news, this seems to be the new normal here.

Moderator Kameron
Moderator

@ReeseTee you've definitely made a valid point here, I'll pass along your suggestion about doing more to tell customers that pros can be busy. It's a tough balance that we're trying to find. I've experienced first hand the need to hire a pro within 24 hours and I'll say that if I wasn't able to get a pro to respond to me for my job within an hour or two I likely would have begun to look elsewhere. I do think it can depend on the job being done itself as well. A cell phone repair can likely be scheduled and done the same day, whereas a new deck build will be something that customers are likely to be more methodical and patient with when finding a pro. 

Moderator Kameron
Moderator

@TomRubin paying for leads when you're not available or out of town is not what we want. In those instances be sure to block out your pro calendar to let us know when you won't be able to take those jobs. 

Moderator Kameron
Moderator

@Rusty when it comes to declining I want to clarify that it's only the ones that show up in your Inbox that pros should worry about and will have an effect on your response time when accepting or declining. You should feel no pressure when it comes to the jobs in the Jobs tab. 

TomRubin
Level 4
@Kameron Thanks for the info!
MR
Level 10

@Kameron Regarding your post above where you said "you've definitely made a valid point here, I'll pass along your suggestion about doing more to tell customers that pros can be busy." regarding perhaps putting a note to customers that a pro's response could be delayed a bit because they are serving other customers - Please also do not overlook the fact that the current system is very much in opposition to your agreement in that as soon as a lead posts for a job response, the system immediately gives the lead several more pros to consider "just in case." So this is bigger than just putting up a pop up to the lead... this really is about a change in mindset on how TT currently works.

 

DJStevie
Level 12

@MR 

So true!!!@Kameron and @Meckell and other reps may agree with us, and pass on our feedback, but unless the mindset of TT changes, we will continue to always have this discussion and at times arguments with the moderators, who aren't at fault.

mm
Level 7

How can we respond quickly to the jobs tab requests when we aren’t notified they are there? I see posts that are hours old and I get no notification of them anymore.

Moderator Kameron
Moderator

@mm @DJStevie

Jobs Tab- How quickly pros react to jobs in the Jobs tab will not affect their responsiveness. The only time responsiveness will be measured in reference to those jobs is if the customer responds to the quote you sent. The amount of time it takes for the pro to respond back for the first time is what will factor into your score.  

Leads in your Inbox- Declining a lead is considered a response, so declining quickly will be better than taking a long time to decline. When presented with the option to accept or decline a lead be sure to choose one and not leave the customer hanging, as doing nothing will reflect negatively on your response time. If you choose to accept a lead then you'll want to send a timely message in response to the customer. 

MR
Level 10

@Kameron That doesnt answer @mm 's question.

He asked "How can we respond quickly to the jobs tab requests when we aren’t notified they are there? I see posts that are hours old and I get no notification of them anymore."

This is about the pro's ability to win jobs by responding quickly to a lead in the Jobs Tab since there is no way to receive an alert.

Can we get alerts when a new job lands in the Jobs Tab?

 

DJStevie
Level 12

@Kameron 

I understand how the response time works with Promote on. I thought that @mm was asking why he doesn't see any jobs in the jobs tab. Just explaining that we only receive grouped emails, unless he sits by his computer or phone 24/7 to see the jobs come in. Not many of us have that luxury because of work, school, family issues, etc.

As for Promote, several of us have mentioned that we need a time frame before being penalized for not responding to customers, as well as other suggestions

Moderator Kameron
Moderator

@MR as we've discussed before, we are putting less emphasis on the jobs shown in the Jobs tab since it's more of a secondary way for pros to express interest in jobs where another pro has already been directly contacted. When pros need to keep how quickly they respond in mind, are when customers reach out to them directly as a new lead or when they respond to a quote. These are where we're seeing a quick response really make a difference. 

Moderator Kameron
Moderator

@DJStevie the explanation I gave is how response time is factored as a whole and is not dependent on if a pro is promoting or not. The only thing I would add to that explanation for pros promoting is that if they have a new lead in their inbox they'll either need to type out a reply or decline the lead. 

mm
Level 7

A pro contacted doesn’t mean they’ve responded so I would have a better chance of engaging that customer and winning the job if I know right away the lead exists, even as a secondary vendor. 

If you’re not going to notify me then why even bother with the jobs tab at all?

Additionally, I though TT was all about getting as many pros to respond as quickly as possible? Would it not be best for the end-user if an engaged pro like myself responded to them quicker than the one they chose?

MR
Level 10

@Kameron   I just dont follow the logic. This one actually makes me angry. Put yourself in the pro's shoes, not TT.. 

Everyting you do for pros contributes to a value proposition. Where you do well for a pro, you raise value. Where you second guess a pro's priorities incorrectly, you lower your value.

Any lead, and I mean any lead, regardless of what box it is in represents an opportunity for a pro to be hired and make money. The pro could not care less what box it is in. It is a (presumably) live lead that the pro would love to win. That's how he stays in business. If you (TT) presents a lead, we want the ability to win the lead's business.  Its that simple. It has nothing to do about TT's algorithm for rankings, etc in this context.

Your placing of priority on one box vs another is just not consistent to where the pro's mindset is in pursuing business.  Regardless of the box they are in, they represent EXACTLY the same potential earnings for a Pro.

Lar
Level 9

Communicating our problems and issues to TT is apparently all one-way. We can make our points, the moderators help as much as they can, and they submit our feedback to someone else in TT. That's as far as it goes.

We rarely hear anything back, not even an acknowledgement from whoever receives our feedback that Thumbtack actually recognize that the issues we are reporting are issues that could/should/will be even addressed.

MR said...

Please also do not overlook the fact that the current system is very much in opposition to your agreement in that as soon as a lead posts for a job response, the system immediately gives the lead several more pros to consider "just in case." So this is bigger than just putting up a pop up to the lead... this really is about a change in mindset on how TT currently works.

So very true. I raised twice on this board, my feedback was passed on for review. No response.

Thumbtack automatically charge me for a Promoted lead and then immediately encourage my lead (the one I just paid for) to consider contacting other Pros and helpfully provides my lead with a list of my competitors before I've had an opportunity to contact my lead.

Are Thumbtack invested in my success when they do that? I don't think so.

Thumbtack automatically charge me for a Promoted lead and then post details about my lead (the one I just paid for) on my competitors Jobs tabs encouraging my competitors to compete against me before I've had an opportunity to contact my lead. How does that demonstrate to me that Thumbtack are invested in my success?

Are Thumbtack invested in my success when they do that? I don't think so.

When my feedback is continually ignored and Thumbtack's system is designed in a way that deliberately interferes with my ability to turn the leads I purchase from Thumbtack into customers I can only conclude that Thumbtack aren't invested in my success. I'm sorry but that's how I see it.

I'm sure that Thumbtack would 'like' me to be successful but the system isn't really designed with that goal in mind. If it were then we wouldn't be having this discussion. 

Regards,
Laurence.

mrs
Level 6
I completely agree, "a quick response to an inquiry leads to more conversions to customers." Which is exactly why I don't use Promote now or Insta Match previously. Does no-one else see the inherent contradiction?
Moderator Meckell
Moderator

@mrs When you promote your business you can still give customers a quick response. Can you expand more about why you think this is a contradiction?

mrs
Level 6

@MeckellOf course a Pro can still reply quickly, Promote doesn't somehow prohibit replying quickly. The contradiction is that with promote on a pro will be one of the first seen(and availible to the customers perspective) at any time of the day; while they sleep, drive on the highway, are performing services for another client or even just set down their phone for 10 minutes. Perhaps pros are showing in the top 20 when they haven't been on TT in days? we don't know the exact criteria for list position.  Promote doesn't ask us to tell it when we're available to respond. Suggesting a 5 minute response time in conjunction with a system that does not have an "opt-in when available" filter is only providing 1/2 the tool. I am aware of the pause feature but that feature seems to never be mentioned when Promote and reply times are discussed.

Moderator Meckell
Moderator

@mrs Where you rank on a customers search is determined by the following criteria: reviews, making sure your prices are filled out, having a complete profile, being responsive, and promoting your business. This article here has a lot of helpful information about this. 
We encourage pros to respond as quickly as they can. As of right now there isn't the option for you guys to tell us when you're not near your phone and can't respond. That's a great idea though! I'll be sure to pass this along to our Product Team. 

MR
Level 10

@Meckell In those cases, what about the possibility of an auto response that gives the lead some information about the pro's avaailability and their contact information? When the lead picks a promoted pro, they get back an auto response created in advance by the pro so at least a response is given back to the lead quickly.

DJStevie
Level 12

@Meckell 

In a thread from last week, we were commenting how a time frame would be welcomed(4-24 hours), Whatever is chosen is fine with us.

Many of us aren't by our phones or computers 24/7 because of many reasons that I stated last week,(work, driving, and family issues being 2 of them). We get a conversation starter, but then the customers gets a list of other Pros to choose from "just in case". By the time we reach out to the customer, it's too late as we weren't given the courtesy of a time frame, especially if a customer specifically chose a particular Pro.

DJStevie
Level 12

@MR 

Your suggestion for an automated response is one I didn't think of. I think that it would work.

Moderator Meckell
Moderator

@MR @DJStevie all great suggestions. Thanks for sharing! 

MR
Level 10

@Meckell @DJStevie   Thanks. On my other lead services I get an email from the service that provides the phone number, email address and brief description of the issue for the lead. I use Zapier to autogenerate a "customized" email and text message that includes their name and looks like it was created just for them. The response rate of leads back to those messages is very high because they get the message and text less than a minute after they made the request... and it all happens automatically so I dont have to be at my computer or phone to initiate the conversation.

I pay for the lead to the lead genereator.. after that, its up to me and the lead and the lead generator is out of the picture.

MR
Level 10

@Meckell I'll just add that Zapier integration with TT would be a huge win for the pros!  As would the ability to parse the lead information to auto load into a CRM tool.

SMore
Level 4

I respond right away but most often will get an email reminder after I've declined the request.  I'll decline again and will get another reminder.  Can you not decline on the app?  Do I need to be logged into my computer on the full site?

Moderator Meckell
Moderator

@SMore yes, you can decline on the app. The next time this happens, will you send me a private message with a screenshot of the notification you received? I want to see what's going on. 

Lar
Level 9

We looked at national data across all the services on Thumbtack and one thing is clear: Pros who reply to new leads in their inbox within 60 minutes are a lot more likely to get a response.

That's brilliant!

When you say, 'a lot more likely' it's a little vague to me.

How would you define, 'a lot more likely'?

When you looked at your national data across all services on Thumbtack and CLEARLY found that Pros who reply to new leads within 60 minutes are a 'lot more likely' to get a response did you find that they were twice as likely, three times as likely, ten times as likely, a hundred times as likely?

What does 'a lot more likely' actually mean? Could you elaborate?

Regards,
Laurence.

 

Moderator Meckell
Moderator

Great question @Lar! We've seen that if a pro responds to a customer within one hour, they're 20% more likely to hear back from a customer. If they respond within five minutes, they're 50% more likely to hear back.  

Lar
Level 9

Thanks Meckell, those are useful stats to know.

Cheers,
Laurence.

Chaplain
Level 4

A quick reply helps us both.  The lead gets rapid information and the pro gets a boost in rankings.   

MLCC
Level 6

If you don’t want the lead, decline it. Fast.

That way we can tell the customer you’re not available and you can move on to the next lead. There’s no penalty for declining. It’s actually really helpful — for you and for us. If you decline a lot of similar leads, we’ll show you lower in search results for those kinds of jobs. And if you do it quickly, we’ll consider you a responsive pro and give you a rank boost in search results.

Question: Does there have to be a connection between declining leads and being determined non-responsive? 

I'm a little confused...I think what you're saying here is if you decline leads we'll lower your rank. But then if we do it quickly, we get a rank?

What if we think that price is way too high and we don't want to pay for that? It might have nothing to do with the type of job actually. 

In my category, the jobs are essentially the same (Marriage/Relationship Counseling). Yes, each couple is different, but with Thumback's initial collection of information, they are all the same! And yet there can be a $10 range in terms of pricing.

So, I'm asking, why do you lower our rank just because we've declined a lead?

We still have the same "credentials" to keep us high in the ranks. Sounds like "punishment" for declining leads we think are too expensive.

Thanks for the clarity; I might just be missing what you're saying. 

 

Moderator Meckell
Moderator

@MLCC I'm happy to clarify! It is important to take action on any lead you get whether that's accepting or declining. If you're declining leads that match your preferences often, that tells us that you aren't as available for those jobs. We want customers to get in contact with pros quickly. If customers are reaching out to a pro who declines their lead, they have to find another pro to reach out to. So, if we see a pro is declining often, it's not the best customer experience and might see their ranking go down. 

DJStevie
Level 12

@Meckell 

But there are many factors why a Pro is declining, isn't that why there is a short survey as to why we decline leads? Doesn't Thumbtack take that into consideration?

There have been times where I get called from one of my regular venues if I was available to DJ on a certain date. Several weeks ago, it happened to me, twice. I then get a lead asking my availability for those dates that I booked a few hours prior with my venues. After declining and filling out that survey, I received emails from 2 Thumbtack reps telling me how to use the calendar, booking, gave me links..They didn't understand that I was just booked prior to receiving those leads..

And I guess I was punished because at the time, I dropped in ranking.

That isn't fair at all!

DJ Stevie

5-8-2019

DJStevie
Level 12

@MLCC 

When we are Promoting, we don't see the lead cost until after we get a "conversation starter", and there have been times I felt that the pricing was too high for a 3 hour DJ job. Many times I was ghosted after I replied.

As for rank, I said it earlier in this thread that we had discussed in a previous  thread for a time frame(4hr-24hr) for a Pro to reply because of daily circumstances(work, family issues, driving, sleep, school, etc). But don't know if that feedback was ever passed on and/or what the status is if it was passed on

DJ Stevie

5-8-2019