I recently spoke with a few Pro friends of mine, and they asked if I received a survey for Instant Book? I didn't receive such a survey, but can someone explain what Instant Book is and when will it be implemented?
If it's what I think it is, I would need to discuss with a "customer" about their event, see if they're a good fit for me, and how my DJ servies can make their event special, before I even think of having them hire me.
DJ Stevie 2-17-2020
@DJStevie Instant Book is something pros have to sign up for and is only available for TV mounting pros and junk removal pros. How it works is pros select times on their calendar when they’re available to be booked instantly by customers. From there, customers are able to pick from those times when they’re contacting the pro from search results.
As we learn more about what pros and customers like when it comes to booking pros instantly, we’ll invite more pros to participate.
So, Instant Book is the latest change to Thumbtack? IF this expands to all categories, how is this supposed to benefit Pros, such as myself, who want to communicate with the "customers" prior to booking? After all, I know which "customers" would be a great fit for me, not just having someone book me instantly, without knowing my pricing and my availability changes daily.
Also, when will ALL Pros be notified of this latest change, especially since this is going to be a major change?
DJ Stevie 2-21-2020
@DJStevie It’s a feature that pros have to sign up for. It’s only available in a couple of categories and the pros in those categories don’t have to use it. All pros that are involved have been notified and we’ll continue to notify other pros as we expand to their categories.
To be transparent, Instant Book isn’t currently being worked on for the DJ category (likely for the reasons you mentioned). It is also not the only form of booking we’re looking at making improvements to. Details and research are currently being worked on, but when/if we make a change like Instant Book to your categories, you will be informed.
It was added to the Junk Removal category and for the same reasons as a DJ service it doesn't work well for the industry. The logistics of managing even a single truck requires us to manage a complex supply chain of recyclers and donation services that we coordinate with to ensure that we're actually solving a problem vs. making it worse by concetrating everything in landfills.
We don't simply load items into a truck a dump them. Items have to be sorted for donation and by type to make sure they end up at the correct destinations. Customers receive discounts and price adjustments based on their location and the items we remove. To add to this, most customers also grossly misjudge how much stuff they have so it's usually a quick back and forth to make sure that the photos provided are accurate and the customer knows what kind of service to expect.
Pro's are not just a resource that Thumbtack should use to make money. We're individual brands with goals and motives for why we do what we do. Turning us into on-demand services weakens our own brand and removes what makes each pro unique. It hampers our ability to distiniquish ourselves and create brands and repeatable business.
I understand the need for Thumbtack to introduce methods of disintermediation, but there are better ways to keep customers coming back to Thumbtack (even if they're hiring the same Pro again). Even as a pro I recommend customers re-hire us via Thumbtack as it streamlines our operations. As the single point of contact for Thumbtack to their user base we should be able to work together to create a community of clients and pros that adds real value to both sides.