I can see where you're coming from, and thank you for pointing the reasons you feel it's progress.
I guess my frustration with this is that Thumbtack should have fixed it from a software point of view a long time ago. Not give us a reason that reviews have guidelines for posting(characters, length, etc)
And one customer mentioning to me if I had recent reviews, made me think if customer really read my profile in entirety, or not even saw this sorting review tab. One customer shouldn't sway me, but it's the frustration of the new system that has me and many Pros frustrated
Guess time will tell if all customers figure out the review sorting tab, so I will take a step back and see if it's going to work. Meantime, I add that one customer to my statistics, and just wait and see.
I have repeatedly suggested, what I believe to be one of the most important missing features on Thumbtack.com - a client PHONE NUMBER. Once we've paid for a lead I believe we're entitled to be able to contact that client directly. There is absolutely no reason why we do not get that information. On Bark.com we're given both the direct email and the phone number of the client as soon as we've paid. Responding to a lead by the message system only is a weak and ineffective way to secure that client's project. If Thumbtack.com was really interested in our success they would jump at the chance to insure that we are given every possible means of securing the contract. I pay a small fortune every week for leads. I'm a Thumbtack.com top pro, I have more reviews than, I would say, at least 85% of my direct competition. I should be getting better results. If a client shows interest in my profile and I pay for that, the least I should get out of it is a phone number. I hope others have addressed this issue and I really hope we see some progress in this area, I can't continue to pay over $300 per week and not get better results!
@LorrayDigital thanks for your insight about this! Requiring a customer to leave their phone number is something we required in the past. When we did that, we saw that customers dropped off the request form once they got to that question. We got the feedback that they weren't comfortable leaving their contact info because they didn't want to be bombarded with phone calls. That's why we currently give Customers the option to give their phone number to pros once they feel ready. However, I see where you're coming from. Our CEO Marco addressed this in a recent Q&A as it's a concern other pros have voiced. Be sure to check that out here.
Many of the Pros have voiced the same concern about having the customer provide at least one piece of contact information(either email or phone). After the Pros pays for the lead, we should be able to reach out to customer, not keep dialogue here on Thumbtack. If that's the case, then we shouldn't be charged until after we correspond a few times and see if it leads to a hire.
@LorrayDigitalthanks for your insight about this! Requiring a customer to leave their phone number is something we required in the past. When we did that, we saw that customers dropped off the request form once they got to that question. We got the feedback that they weren't comfortable leaving their contact info because they didn't want to be bombarded with phone calls. That's why we currently give Customers the option to give their phone number to pros once they feel ready. However, I see where you're coming from. Our CEO Marco addressed this in a recent Q&A as it's a concern other pros have voiced. Be sure to check that out here.
Are the potential job posters serious or not?
Leave a phone number or email (that works) and they are more probably serious.
Leave no off Thumbtack contact (and the overwhelming majority of the time they don't) then they are most likely not serious.
This is a point where the potential client needs to make the choice between kicking-the-tires or commitment.
That can be hard for them to do, but it's a classic way of qualification for clients in the more formal sales world. Pros, have to have a way of working out who to go after and this is one way to do that, yet our own phone numbers are blanked out in replies to these initial inquiries? Doesn't seem right somehow, does it?
I worked with a number of large product salesmen in the first part of my career where we did multi-million dollar deals and we were always suspicious of those who were really only after a price or brochure (pre-internet days) or talk to someone who knew about the product. It's the classic, "Prospect" to "Suspect" to "Lead" pipeline. Linkedin has a good description of how this works: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/difference-between-suspect-prospect-lead-hawk-mikado/
Unfortunately Thumbtack does not differentiate between any of these categories. It appears to me that Thumbtack treats every job poster as a pre-qualified Lead instead of mere Suspects, which is what the majority of inquiries are. We wouldn't be ghosted as much as we Pros are if they were pre-qualified.
Unfortunately, it is us Pro's who are forced to pay for all of these suspects/tire-kickers and that for me is probably why there is such a high level of bitching about Thumbtack from us Pros on here. We need more information about the potential client so we can make informed decissions, not less information. AFTER ALL, WE (the Pros) ARE THE ONES PAYING FOR IT...
While these changes are a start, they by no means go to some of the most important challenges faced by other caterers. I have been with Thumbtack for years and have practically begged for some of these changes to go into effect. Whoever it was who said in this thread that months go by without a word on where the suggested changes are; in the queue, discarded, in the cloud... was spot on. I just feel like most of what I have said in the past three years has gone into the circular file.
PROMOTE as an advantage: Nothing could be farther from the truth!! I give my word that when I turned it on, the "20% advantage" was eaten up by a week of charges over $1000! And, the criteria used to send a lead to us? Well, any logical person would assume that it would be the price range desired by the pro. Why bib on anything that would not net a profit. NOOOO, instead what do they use? Standard or premium ingredients. If they are checked, and we would want them checked, you are given leads that are totally out of your price range. Those terms are is vague, non-specific, unclear: clients do not know what is meant by premium vs standard (most tell me they think premium means organic,) and Thumbtack cannot define these terms. Believe me, I tried. Yet, they run up the charges like the caterer is made of gold. You see, if they were to use the very clear, definitive category of price we prefer, they would certainly lose money. Why, there would be far fewer leads being sent to us that with Promote, you much pay. They put the money loss totally on the pro and rake in money by charging us for useless leads. Then, when you turn Promote off, "you get kicked to the curb" in your placement. Even though I am a To-Pro and have been so for nearly the full time I have been a member. Top-Pro is far less meaningful now that it was when I started.
Honestly, I could go on and on with clear cut reasons that Thumbtack initiates changes when they mostly benefit themselves or the client. Thumbtack: CHANGE PROMOTE CRITERIA FOR SENDING US A LEAD TO SYNC WITH THE PRICE RANGE WE WANT. THEN, I'LL BE BACK!