As the manager of the Top Pro program here at Thumbtack, I wanted to share an update with our Pro Community about two changes you might have heard about already.
First, we’re so excited to announce the launch of our brand new Top Pro tracker!
This new tool lives right in your Insights and will allow you to track your progress towards qualifying for the next Top Pro class. We qualify Top Pros twice a year -- once in January and once in July. From now on, the Top Pro tracker will always have your latest, most up-to-date stats, so you can see exactly what you need to make the cut.
Second, as you’ll see in the tracker, we’ve made some changes to the Top Pro qualification criteria.
Starting with the January 2020 Top Pro class, we will require Top Pros to:
We’re now asking Top Pros to respond within 4 business hours simply because our data tells us that customers are more likely to hire a pro when that pro responds quickly. In other words, getting a fast response makes customers happier. The longer a customer has to wait, the more likely he or she is to leave without hiring anyone at all.
We see that 4 hours is a meaningful cut off. Of course, responding faster than 4 hours will often lead to better results (responding within an hour, for example, makes you 50% more likely to turn a lead into a conversation). But we feel confident that the 4-hour mark sets an appropriately high bar for our Top Pros without being unrealistic or unattainable.
If that still feels like too short of a window, keep in mind that it’s 4 business hours, which we define as 8am to 8pm local time. There’s definitely no expectation that you stay glued to your app all day and all night! Also keep in mind that the 75% response rate means you can take longer than 4 hours every now and then and still qualify.
Starting with the January 2020 class, Top Pros will also be required to complete a free background check through Checkr, our free and accredited third-party provider. Background checks take only a matter of minutes to complete and help to build credibility and customer trust. Because Top Pros are meant to represent some of the best pros on Thumbtack, it’s important that customers know they can trust our Top Pros.
The Top Pro criteria requiring a 4.8 average star rating and 5 verified reviews have stayed the same (for more information, click here).
At the end of the day, our Top Pros are an elite group -- currently only 4% of all pros on Thumbtack qualify. As Thumbtack continues to evolve, so, too, will the Top Pro program. Top Pro will continue to set the standard for what it means to be a fantastic pro on Thumbtack.
Keep checking back here for more updates and don’t hesitate to reply below with any questions or feedback about this change.
Special shout-out to our July 2019 Top Pros for all of their incredible work!
For everyone else, we hope to welcome you into the Top Pro community soon.
I guess no one really thought this one through. Depending on what their specific business is, many Pros are working 4, 6, 8, etc. hours at a time and it would be VERY UNPROFESSIONAL if they stopped to answer a lead.
Not everyone sits at a computer all day and has access to do this.
Right on. I've had customers put in requests at 1 AM in the morning, and I usually don't check my email/phone until about 6 AM. This is kind of an unreasoable requirement.
So is the whole background check thing.
My lead comes at 5PM (a Prime Time for my business ) I reply to it at 9:30 PM, when I finish my classes. Boom, 4 hours have past and my response rate drops. My biz hours are different than office hours. Instead of working, I have to think and look at the phone if any leads came through Thumbtack. That is just insane!
The most ridiculous thing is not calculating a response rate (4 hour) from the day it was implemented , but applying it the past 12 month, when it was ok to answer in 24 hours. My response rate was 85% before 4 hour rule and now it dipped to 65 % because of this.
I also travel overseas a lot, I can't even reply to my leads from there, because Thumbtack blocks Ukraine, Russia (for example) from accessing it.
If a "customer" selects only me, is Thumbtack going to give me up to 4 hours to reply before sending that "customer" other Pros to choose from?
And as @cranichik said, many of us aren't able to sit by a laptop or phone waiting for leads to come in to reply within that 4 hour period, as it would be very unprofessional because many of us have a full time job, others are on hired jobs, family time, etc. I know if I'm DJing a 6 hour wedding, or just even spending time with my family, it's impossible for me to reply to any lead. And if we are Targeting, and keep pausing it on and off, that affects our ranking, true?
Do you have any suggestions to help us?
DJ Stevie 8-16-2019
@cranichik @DJStevie thanks for your feedback on 4 hour response time! Keep in mind that pros can have a saved reply that says something a long the lines of "I'm at a job right now, but will get back to you as soon as I can." That counts as a first response, the customer knows they're interested, and only takes a few seconds to send and pros can send that whenever they have a break or can get away from the job for a few seconds.
Thank you for your reply..
But my question is how do I reply to a lead when I'm DJing a 6 hour wedding? It's very unprofessional and rude of me to be on my phone or laptop replying to a lead at a job, even if it's for a saved reply. If I was DJ for your wedding, wouldn't you want me to concentrate on the job that you paid me to do, and not be on the internet with my phone or laptop?
And the other part of my question/concern, if a "customer" chooses only me, is Thumbtack going to wait for me to reply in that 4 hour time frame before sending that "customer" other Pros to choose from?
DJ Stevie 8-16-2019
@DJStevie Keep in mind that you have to respond to customers within 4 hours 75% of the time, so if it takes longer once in a while, you'll be fine. You currently have a response rate of 1 hour and 12 minutes (which is awesome by the way.) So, I'll turn this question to you. If customers are reaching out to you while you're DJing an event, how long does it take to respond? How have you been handling these in the past while maintaining such a quick response time?
Currently, customers are shown other pros when they reach out to others about their project. As you know, this is something we hear feedback on often in the Community and we'll continue to pass it along.
Thank you for clarification, whether I agree or not right now..I do hope that Thumbtack changes the "customer reached out to only me" to allow those Pros a given time to reply.
As for your question, I do not check any texts/emails until I am finished with an event. But the leads are far and few between for several months now and counting, which hasn't been hurting me.
DJ Stevie 8-16-2019