What to do if a customer ghosts you.

Thumbtack Employee dinal
Thumbtack Employee
4 29 738

Outlands_Ghost (1).jpg

They contact you, then they disappear. So what can you do to get them back?

It’s so, so infuriating. A customer reaches out, you pay, you respond, then… nothing. Silence. You have no idea what went wrong. Maybe the customer hired a different pro, maybe they decided to do this project later, maybe their kid broke her leg and they’ve got bigger things to worry about right now. Whatever it is, we know it’s frustrating for you.

There’s no way to stop ghosting from happening completely, but there are a few things that can help.

1. Reply fast. And follow up.

The faster you get back to them, the more likely they are to respond. Try to reply within 5 minutes. And if you don’t hear back within 12 hours, try again. You can even try one more time the next day. Sales and marketing pros often point out that it often takes multiple "touches" for people to consider making a purchase. Not sure what to say? Keep reading.

2. Give them a reason to respond.

People are nervous about being "sold," so give customers a compelling reason to call or respond.

"I'm available to give an estimate right now." is good, but getting an estimate isn't a compelling reason to respond if I'm sitting on the fence. A better approach might be, "Hi again! You probably have a lot of questions about hiring someone for your event. I'm available to answer your questions right now if you have a few minutes."

3. Try giving quick pointers.

Customers don't know what they don't know, so use follow-ups to offer quick pointers that most "new" customers never consider, and then close with a call to action. For example: "Hi Bob! Did you know that how far away a moving van has to park from a property may affect the amount of time a move takes? That, and other "hidden" factors can impact the total cost of your move, and you deserve to know the cost up front. I'm happy to answer your questions, so give me a call!"

4. Leave them with a good impression. Just in case.

Some customers may not be ready to hire now, but they may be ready to hire later. Those customers often remember who took the time to follow-up and educate them and will reach out to that pro first.

5. If nothing works, move on.

It’s human nature to focus on the one that got away, but if you tried everything listed above and you still don’t hear back, it’s probably not worth it to keep trying. Your time is the most valuable thing you have and there’s no return on investment when you’re chasing an unresponsive customer for longer than a day or two. Get back to your inbox or the Jobs tab and win those jobs.

How did you win back a customer after they stopped responding? Share your tips in the comments below.

29 responses
DJStevie
Level 9

@dinal 

I was able to win customers after they stopped responding by looking at "customer viewed quote" and replying with a personable message which includes mentioning how they viewed my quote and I was just following up. They really loved that.

But recently,  that tool was taken away from us for some unknown reason. I'm hoping it comes back after last week's thread and frustration comments by myself and other Pros. It was a very helpful tool, and I'm sure it helped many Pros win customers as well.

 

 

AutumnElectric
Level 8

Bring back the 'customer viewed' feature.....otherwise we have no idea if the client knows we even quoted!!

davidjscott88
Level 5

We shouldn't have to pay if they're just window shopping.  I've gotten ghosted 3 times now, and that's like, $60 bucks that could've gone to a client that actually wants my service.  I don't mind paying for leads, but if they're not going to respond to me even asking about the kind of service they want, why am I wasting money?

Hankster
Level 8

We already know all of these tips! Why in the heck would TT remove the 'customer viewed' feature? What purpose does that serve? Why does TT constantly take away features that help the service pro? We the service pro are TT customers as well!

TXArchitect
Level 5

I agree with the above replies.  The 'customer viewed' feature would best serve the Pros using the site.  Please reinstate.  Thank you.

Woody
Level 5

I seems TT now decides which leads are good for me and charges me for them at a greatly increased price per lead. 

Moderator Meckell
Moderator

@DJStevie @AutumnElectric @Hankster @TXArchitect thanks for reaching out about the customer viewing your quote feature that was recently removed. I hear that you guys have concerns about this being removed, but let me give you a little more context behind why this change was made. Ultimately, we want you to focus your time where customers focus their time.

 

 

Seeing whether a customer viewed your quote isn't very valuable now that you only pay when a customer contacts you. It's less about views now and more about focusing on responses — that's what you pay for, and those customers have the most potential.

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.

DJStevie
Level 9

@Meckell 

Again, any sarcastic or angry comments isn't directed at your personally, but the higher ups, Hopefully message will get to them.

Sorry to disagree, but that was and still is a very valuable tool for not only myself, the 3 other Pros you mentioned but for many Pros who have voiced their concerns about this. We were able to see if customer viewed quote/message and try to seal the deal. That's communication! Now we have to sit back and wait. That's not a way I've done business and not something I plan to do for the rest of my career. I'm a go-getter, not one to sit back and wait. That's why I've been successful, I've explained my success to you, @DustiO and many others.

Less about views, and more on focusing on responses? How can we respond using manual system if we don't see the view? Unless the manual system is going to be taken away from us as well.

Hankster
Level 8

Sorry @Meckell I have to disagree with you. It's valuable to me as a service pro to see if a lead has viewed my quote & I'm sure the others on this thread will agree. At least seeing that the lead viewed my quote puts me in the game & give me a chance to sell myself. It's hard enough to interact with customers who don't provide any contact information in order to interact with them. Why does TT consistently take away features that benefit the service pro? TT is soooooooo concerned about their customers who don't pay to use TT. It would be nice to see that same concern & respect from TT for their service pros who do pay for leads on TT. We the service pro are your customers too! 

Moderator Meckell
Moderator

@DJStevie you can still respond to customers quotes through the jobs tab, that's not taken away. However, if a customer doesn't respond to you, we don't want you to focus on that customer, but rather customers who are responding and engaging.

 

Again, thanks for always sharing your thoughts with us! 

DJStevie
Level 9

@Meckell 

That's not what I was referring to. I know I can respond to customer using Jobs Tabs. I've had success with that again this week(2 more bookings). It's the "viewed" option that was very helpful to me and the other Pros mentioned here and alot of Pros on other threads as well. That's where I was able to seal the deal. Now I'm in the dark if a customer has viewed my quote/message

Moderator Meckell
Moderator

@Hankster We truly do value our pros and care about their successes, I apologize if it ever comes across otherwise. Something to keep in mind is if we don't care about customers or the customer experience, we wouldn't be doing the job of getting pros connected with customers. If we don't keep customers in mind, you pros wouldn't be getting leads. 

You always bring great points to the table and we really appreciate your thoughts and suggestions. As you know, when we make changes, pro feedback is super important for us to hear.

Hankster
Level 8

Yes @Meckell I more than understand that. Without customers there wouldn't be a TT. The same needs to be done for the service pro experience as well. Any topic on any posted thread you look at the majority of the service pros are unhappy. This is where Thumbtack falls short in my opinion. I sound like a broken record here but we are Thumbtack customers as well. Only difference is we pay to use TT. Without service pros being satisfied they will leave TT as some already have & find other lead service platforms to use. 

gkvideoguy
Level 5

@Meckell  >" if a customer doesn't respond to you, we don't want you to focus on that customer,<"

Excuse me? If I paid for a lead, especially if it was through Promote and I had no choice for that specific lead, I should just walk away from the money it cost me?
That sounds to me more like a tip from a Thumbtack Theory Coffee Break Group than what we have to consider out here in the REAL world.

Gary

 

Moderator Kameron
Moderator

@gkvideoguy What Meckell was commenting on there is a bit more in reference to customers that you have not yet paid to connect with when pros quote manually through the Jobs tab and then continue to send follow-ups to customers that haven't been responding. That said, yes at some point when customers haven't been responding even when you've already paid for the lead, there are going to be times where it may be best to focus on the next one. 

Cyndi-Via
Level 5

Probably like many others on Thumbtack look at the previews to determine weather the potential customer is in contact with someone already. If that is the case I do not undercut someone who is already make contact if no one is in contact with them then I reach out. I use it as a tool to make a decision on whether or not it is a viable customer are not a viable customer. It is one of my most helpful tools and dealing with thumbtack considering we have no tools to work with we said we wait we respond. That's it oh excuse me wepay and we pay and we pay and we pay and then we get a lead. The ability to see what is going on behind the scenes is very important to the people who are trying to decide how to run their business because we have very little if any control over our very own business. I do not quite understand why Thumbtack does not deem us as important enough to be involved and our own business. Thumbtack is a tool to accumulate customers for our business but we cannot utilize the tool in any way shape or form other than putting our information up there and wait and see what happens. I would welcome any input on this matter. Thank you all so very much no offences to thumbtack but please consider what we're trying to do as a small business.

LeakProofBen
Level 5

If I was on the recieving end of truckloads of small business money I would probably say this too, "if a customer doesn't respond to you, we don't want you to focus on that customer, but rather customers who are responding and engaging".
I have been using TT for several years noq
I have a good profile,good rviews, and respond pretty quickly to all leads I recieve. Up until about four or five months ago I did fine. I understood that about four out of ten leads would be no good but the other six would be actual, "real" people "seriously" looking for a pro. Yes expensive but it was understood that its the price to play the game and out of the five or six leads that were real people Id close half so it covered the loss of the other leads. It barely fit into the budget but it fit. The past several months did not at all! Prices changed, procedures changed, customer service hasn't been much help, and the amount of spam leads h as s quadrupled!!! Seems to me that TT does not care what benefits us pros at all! If they did they would listen to the thousands of Pro complaints! I just went through the past three months of TT leads and I am in complete shock!! I have loved TT in the past I hate to say it but if it keeps going this way not only my company but the other 11 family owned companies in my group will have to say goodbye and send our money somewhere else! Somewhere that looks out for their assets (THE PROFESSIONALS PAYING THEM)
I mean dang, I have spent an average of $900 a week one out of 10 leads that have responded after the initial inquiry. Out of the last fifty leads I payed for only three ended up with an onsite estimates! The rest ghosted after the initial "can you give me an estimate" message!! Thumbtack are you planning on looking out for us or have you gotten so big that you dont care anymore??

 

 

MYteddydog1
Level 6

Bring customer view back ! I think TT has forgotten that we are their real customers ! What do I do when I get a request for a bid for a plumbing repair leak and then what they really wanted was someone to dry their carpeting ! I hate spending twenty bucks for a response when I certainly don't list carpet cleaning as one of my trades ! What kind of questions are being asked of these people ? Evidently not the proper ones ! I feel I should have gotten a refund for that response ! But it certainly doesn't seem there is anyway to ask for one as you will never get e reply from TT

Bjh262
Level 4

I have decided unless the customer who messaged me directly has a very detailed request I'm not responding anymore  Responded to a handful of these and had literally no response. I didn't even send a quote  just a hello and introduction message. No thanks. These are not good leads

MR
Level 7

Would love to have the ability to see whether or not the customer has viewed my response. Then we pros have a better idea if we need to work on our responses for the future leads, or if the lead is not even returning to TT to see the pro's responses.

 

Lar
Level 6

MR, this used to be a feature in TT. You used to be able to see when a message you sent to a lead had been Viewed.

TT decided to remove this feature recently. I tried to get a response from Thumbtack to explain why this very useful feature had been removed, see this thread...

Why did TT remove the ability to see if a quote or message had been read?

The explanation I received from Meckell regarding the removal of this feature was nonsensical and bizarre. 

I believe the reason Thumbtack removed our our ability to see if our replies are being viewed by a lead is because Thumbtack don't want us to know when we are paying them for dud leads who don't even bother to read our replies.

Regards,
Laurence.

 

MR
Level 7

@Lar Thank you for the info. 

I do remember when the functionality existed and found it very useful. Hopefully this can be turned back on. I know that I use read receipts on emails to leads from other lead generation services I use and find it hugely beneficial to know if/when a lead has read my response. I have found that a quick followup after a lead reads my response but doesn't respond has a pretty high positive return. In fact, I tailor my followup responses based on whether I know if the person read my response or not - which also I have found to be very beneficial. 

Moderator Meckell
Moderator

@MYteddydog1 I am more than happy to look into this charge for you. Please send me a private message with the name of the customer. 

icandeephoto
Level 5

Please bring back customer view.  And  remember where your money comes from.   The Pros!  And how about making it mandatory that clients give Pros a little bit of info about their job vs making that section optional.  I would like a phone number too but I know they would through out a bogus number so let's not waste our time on wishful dreams.  

Pearlpro
Level 5

Im tired of the Ghosting, Fake Leads from no one and charges for nothing, Im about to say goodbye to TT, it was doing well but too many changes and charges, Yes Ive gotten refunds and I stay on top of my leads, I respond quickly, I had three Promoted leads, none of them were real people, TT Get your act together, go back to the simple App you were in the beginning, we all made money, your ruining the platform.

Moderator Meckell
Moderator

@Pearlpro You mention that you're getting leads from people who aren't real. Can you elaborate more on that? I'm happy to look into those contacts and give you some clarification.

MR
Level 7

@Meckell This happens a lot to all of us. This is why it would be great to at least get a read receipt from the lead to see if they even came back to TT to read our responses. Without that, we are completely in the dark as to whether the lead ever saw our response or not.

As I said in another post, I use email read receipts on emails I send to leads from other lead generation services and it is of HUGE benefit to know if the lead even read my invitation to continue discussions.

 

Pearlpro
Level 5

I recently got three leads that said the customer had chosen me and wanted a Quote, I always answer my leads even if I'm busy with thanks for selecting me and please call me to discuss your Job, WAITED, Nothing, Replied with a quote even though I didn't have enough info to be accurate, WAITED, the Third replay, Are you still interested ?? NOTHING, CHARGED...NO JOB...But TT got $$$$

MR
Level 7

Based on PearlPro's situation, I wonder if TT can actually see in their system if the user even re-visited the site and looked at the pro's response. 

I am having exactly this issue right now.. lead asked "when am I available" - I responded in 10 seconds.. and now no response... really seems fishy that this happens as often as it does. 

 

About the Author
Hi. I'm Dina. I work and write for Thumbtack. Other interests include: reading, feeding my baby radishes, demanding that everyone know that my baby likes radishes, and considering and then declining exercise.