Question for my fellow pros - have you used Thumbtack as a customer? I firmly believe that one of the best things we can do as business owners on Thumbtack, is to use it as customers. It is important to understand the customer journey on Thumbtack, so that we can fully grasp what we as professionals can do to stand out.
I've used Thumbtack to hire: A web-developer to build my website, a plumber to remove a treebranch from a main line, a massage therapist to help me RELAX, a travel agent to get me and my kids to the beach, a carpet cleaner to make my bathroom tile look like NEW, a caterer for a big event (made the best food I have EVER had), a hair stylist to get rid of these awful gray hairs, and much more.
I have also submitted requests where I never got any quotes, had a few experiences with less than stellar customer service, and I've seen a wide range of prices and credentials across the board. From that I have learned how important it is to set myself apart from the get go, to help potential customers understand MY value up front, and to provide the best possible experience for my customers.
What have you used Thumbtack for? What insights did you gain as a customer, that you have taken to improve your experience as a pro?
I started with TT as a customer and still post projects today, mostly things I don't have skills for, like appliance repair or plumbing (I am still hoping one of the fireplace cleaning services would quote me ;-).
It's a great learning experience. Besides just meeting another Pro, learning about how they price services, what platform features they're using (or not) to win business, how they craft quote back to customer to minimize window shopping, and how to influence what people say in reviews.
It's also a great networking opportunity - for example, recent appliance repair person said they always get handyman requests once they're onsite, so they left with a few of my business cards for referrals.
I have tried to use Thumbtack 2 times as a customer.
1st time was for roofing replacement was very specific on what i wanted got five quotes from companies that did not bother to read what i put down so never responded to any.
2nd time was when a spring broke on my garge door got severalyfast replies checked reviews and hired someone that looked good,
ended up spending twice what was quoted however there was a lot more wrong with the door than just a broken spring.
My point is and why instant match at least in the appliance business is a complete joke EVREY! job is different 1 size does not fit all
Question: have any of you Pros actually tried using Thumbtack as a customer. I just did to see what would happen. It took my about a half hour of messaging with a customer service rep to figure out how to do it.
The "How To" says to enter some basic info on the left and hit submit. Trouble was, there was no "Submit" button to hit. Per the representative, i needed to click on one of the Pros that came up on the screen. Then i needed to click on their availability. That is when i was able to enter the details.
When I asked the representative how new potential customers were supposed to figure this out, this was her reply:
Lora: I apologize. We're gradually doing the updates and the How to instructions isn't updated yet. That's why I really appreciate you reaching out to us about this. I'll let our team know.
What?!? We've changed our site but haven't yet updated the instructions???
I also found, for my industry, a bunch of canned "Promote" responses with too low of price quotes came up first. I was the first to respond to my own job request and that was about 12 responses down.
It almost seems like it is a waste of time to respond specifically to a job request as it will most likely not even be viewed. I don't want to turn the "promote" on because i only want to respond to certain jobs. Because of this, I am being hugely penalized.
I've used it several times. I used to do photography for sessions out of tonwn and would use it a few times a season to find hair and makeup artists. Probably hired 7 different HMU. Mostly good experiences with one lady early on who was not as good of a fit. However, my budget may have been really off too. I still have pro relationships with a few of them and continue to hire them repeatedly. I have also hired within my profession for second shooters on events or for my own personal photos. Probably hired 12-15 times over the last 3 years.
Recently I went on to look for newborn photogs in my area and price range. I'm due with twins in May and while I do speciallize in newborn and family, I am not deluding myself into thinking I can shoot my own babies post birth and I definitely can't shoot my own family pics. Also, I have a pretty specific price range that I wanted to stay in. So I went on thumbtack as a customer again. I live in a major city so there are a plethera of photogs and searching could be a full time job.
I must say as a customer I hate the new format. If I wanted to look through 40+ profiles I would use google. Of the top 30 listed only 4 had photos of newborns (or even babies) in their portfolio. In all honesty, my own profile was number 25 on the list and was the only one that had multiple newborn shots. There were many who from the looks of it, solely do headshot, wedding, or fashion photography. There were photogs clearly just starting out charging $75 for the session with 2 photos of fashion shots on their portfolio, 2 hires, and a 5 star review that came up in the top 1-3 spots. To say the experience was frustrating is beyond an understatement.
As a pro, who used to get hired regularly and with a pretty good precentage rate, I have my own issues with the new format. But speaking solely as a customer, I don't understand how this is an improvement. Everything I loved about the service and the experience that I would reccomend is gone. I used to be able to put my exact details, including date, time frame, and budget in under 5 minutes and then I would have pros contact me that I could sort through. I have now spent HOURS on here looking through profiles, forgetting who I kind of liked, but maybe not really, searching back through 5 different profiles, and ultimately ending up on google. If I can't navigate the system and find even 2 suitable options in a field I am familiar with, why would I have any trust that the experience would be better in other services?
Back to google, yelp, and referals for me.