March’s product roundup

Community Veteran
6 17 2,961

Last month, in an effort to increase transparency into what we’re working on, we posted our first monthly list of product changes.

Below is an updated list for the month of March. We’d love to hear what you think and we want your feedback!

Don’t see your idea on this list? That doesn’t mean we aren’t working on it. Some features are much more complicated than they seem and take time to implement. Have other ideas? Reply below to share your suggestion and you may see it in a future update!

Major updates for pros in March:

  • Refund requests right from your account: After hearing your feedback, we’re now giving pros the ability to request refunds directly from your Thumbtack account. This means you no longer have to spend time calling our support team when there is a problem with a charge. Once you dispute your charge through the Help with a charge link, you can get back to running your business while we look into your case.  Then, we’ll email you in 2-3 business days to let you know if your charge qualifies for a refund under our policy.  Learn more about this update here.

Smaller changes for pros:

  • Improved targeting: The best way to target the right customers is to set job preferences. You can get the exact kinds of jobs you want, while also getting a rank boost in search results. When you get a lead that matches your exact preferences, you’ll pay automatically and receive a 20% discount.  If you don’t set your preferences, you’ll still get leads, but they may not be exactly what you want (and you’ll pay full price). Learn more about this update here.
  • Listing the number of pros who’ve responded: We’ve started listing the number of pros who have responded to a given job (in addition to the number of pros who have been contacted) in order to give you a more accurate picture of what’s going on. For example, if a customer contacts 5 pros and all 5 have responded, the chances of winning that job are lower than if a customer contacts 5 pros and only 1 has responded. We hope this will give you a better idea of which jobs you’re most likely to win.
  • Be the first to reach out: We recently added a “Be the first!” label to jobs. This label means that the customer has not yet heard back from any of the pros she reached out to. Because none of those pros responded, you could likely to be the first pro to respond, which means you have a higher chance of winning the job — but don’t wait! Other pros can see this opportunity too.March1.png
  • Promote lifecycle emails: We recently redid some of our email communications to help pros better understand our product and how they can be successful with Promote.
  • ‘Check’ as an accepted payment method For those of you accepting checks, you can now make that clear to potential customers on your profile.March2.png

     

In case you’re curious, here are the major updates on the customer side:

  • Review sorting: We added the ability for customers to sort the review section on a pro’s profile by date or rating.

  • A “Responds Quickly” tag in results: In addition to “Great Value” and “In High Demand,” we’ve added a “Responds Quickly” tag next to some pros, which customers will see when they search on Thumbtack. These tags help customers find the right pro for their project based on what is most important to them. To increase your chances of achieving this tag, focus on responding to customers as quickly as possible. This includes accepting jobs you’re interested in and declining jobs when they’re not a good fit.

Again, we would love to hear your other ideas. Reply below and let us know what you’d like to see on this list next month.

 

17 responses
Community Expert

@JasonB 

So, reviews being sorted is at the hands of the customer, and couldn't be fixed by Thumbtack software tech people? Customers rarely read an entire profile, (because we get conversation starters about estimates, etc,) so what makes Thumbtack think that they will take the time to sort reviews from newest-oldest? I know because a few potential customers asked me if previous customers posted reviews, and even after explaining to them that they are listed in my profile, then I don't hear from them again.

Why hasn't Customer Viewed been restored? That was very useful, and more Pros are expressing their concerns about not having that useful tool in your previous March thread. Again I ask, why take away a very useful tool? Please restore it ASAP.

Refunds. Even though I like the fact of submitting a request to avoice arguing with moderators, on line reps, etc, but why should it take 2-3 days to approve of a refund? Thumbtack should know immediately if a refund will be given.

The Job preferences is an ongoing discussion and argument. We set the travel preferences, we expect it to work for both when Promote is on or off. Not send us jobs to  pacify us that we are getting job requests.

Be The First label needs to be in a better place. I didn't see it until a fellow Pro pointed it out to me the other day. Why are these labels not in bold/larger font? Most Pros are just excited to get a lead, especially in the jobs tab if it's a local job, so we click view details to see what the cost is before we respond to the lead.

As for not seeing my idea or suggestion for improving Promote, It's been more than 4 months since I first gave my input, and there has been no acknowledgement of any kind to tell me, or other Pros for their suggestions. What about keeping us abreast with"We are still reviewing your suggestion", "Can you expand more on it because our support team needs more info",. At least something to keep us positive that our feedback, suggestions are being heard, addressed, not the typical "it's being forwarded". This way we know that Thumbtack cares about us

Here's a suggestion, that I hope gets addressed..When customer is filling out their preferences, how about having them put the city their event is taking place, NOT their home city? So many customers that I've worked with may be local at first, then I find out later that their venue is in a different city, sometimes an hour away.

Thank you for having me comment

Stephen

Community Veteran

@JasonB  Thank you for posting these. It is valuable to get insight as to what changes the dev team is working on.

Active Community Member

PROGRESS!!! Thank you. Long overdue.Progress.jpg

Community Expert

@ReeseTee 

I guess it's somewhat of a progress, I still would have liked to see Thumbtack correct it on their end, not leave it up to customer to control it. Don't know how many customers will click that sorting tab, as I had one ask me if I had any recent customers post reviews.

Active Community Member

Giving job-posters the ability to sort reviews is progress.  The "Internet Using Public" has an expectation to sort reviews. That feature can be found on: Amazon, Home Depot, and many other large, heavily trafficked websites.

I do not do much hiring of service providers.  BUT; I do a lot of assembly jobs through TT.  If I know the product to be assembled ahead of time I can check the reviews.  Here is an example that just happened. 

A repeat customer hired me to assemble a couple of small shelving units from BB&B or someplace. The product had a fair number of bad reviews. I informed my customer that I would assemble the unit, but based on over 100 reviews with 20% being 1 star or 2 star, he had a 1 in 5 chance of having a bad outcome.  I suggested an equivalent IKEA product. Which he then went out and purchased. I assembled the IKEA product and he was happy. I saw the other product still in boxes, waiting to be shipped back.

Other customers have cancelled orders when I pointed out issues mentioned in multiple bad reviews.

Community Manager
Community Manager

@ReeseTee we're happy that you're excited about this update! 

Community Expert

@ReeseTee 

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.

Active Community Member

@DJStevie - only an hour away? I had one on the "jobs" tab offered to me that is 170 miles (2 hours and 40 minutes) away this afternoon.

You can guess that it got declined pretty darn fast.

Community Regular
As I told to the TT coach it would be useful to educate the customers who are looking to hire more! That being said do a video for them how to fill in the request correctly to make sure they get what they want and we get the right people into our inbox. It’s 50% of the customers who are putting an incorrect time, city and want $$$ level of service for less then 75 budget??? Let’s be real what kind of service of a high end level can you get for less then $75?
On a side note, why TT positions itself as a find affordable services, why no to take affordable away? Hence the fees TT charges aren’t affordable for the pros as well but people hiring us can’t or are not willing to spend the normal fees?
Community Regular

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!

Community Manager
Community Manager

@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

Community Expert

@Meckell 

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.

Community Veteran

Check your travel areas. Look in the Specfic areas tab. I was getting jobs well past my 50 mile radius that I set in the Distance tab for a one way trip for a DJ gig. I was getting gigs as far away 175 miles away. I know I wouldn't be wanting jobs that far away. Sure enough there were two additonal counties checked in the Specific area tab of my profile. I did not check those counties. Why would I? I know how far away those cities are from where I live. Obviously a TT update caused that to happen.

Active Community Member

@Meckell wrote:

@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... 

Community Regular

Totally agree - how can you follow up if you don't know whether the customer has viewed it or not?! Makes no sense to take it away. Not a fan of the new way of promoting and quoting either. 

Active Community Member

Happens to me every day at least 10-15 times. Clogs up my inbox. My preferences are perfect. It makes no difference. Have brought this complaint more times than I can say. 

Active Community Member

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!