Two exciting updates to the Top Pro program

Community Veteran
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Hi all, 

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.

Tracker.png

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:

  1. Maintain an average star rating of at least 4.8 based on verified reviews (this hasn’t changed)
  2. Receive at least 5 verified reviews in the last year (this hasn’t changed)
  3. Respond to new leads within 4 business hours at least 75% of the time (this is new)
  4. Complete a free background check (this is new) 

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.

Jason

94 responses
Community Regular

--- Alternatively, Top Pro response rates could be scored against the new 4 hour rule starting on the date of the announcement, instead of July 2019. This way Top Pros immediately start aiming for the 4 hour goal, without being penalized for the 3 months before this announcement 🙂 Win for Thumbtack + Win for Top Pros. Thanks!

Community Newcomer

I work by myself and most days I leave @ 6:30 am and don't get home until 5 / 6 pm. I will not be able to keep up with the 4 hour answer. I believe it will hurt my rating if I have to stop work to check my phone all the time. I pride myself on not taking breaks, or lunch. I just work. Sincerly, George Moore aka G Force Innovations 

Community Newcomer
I think Thumbtack should address other issues aside from a grading system. Thumbtack fails to observe vendor business hours. They generate leads sometimes at 4 am in the morning. What sense do the business hours make if this is ignored by the the Thumbtack platform.
I've also complained about no client phone numbers. This will deter some of the window shopping that goes on here. There needs to be price adjustments regarding DJs in the New York area. Toll charges are through the roof! Incidentally, you didn't mention if you have already had a background check must you again go through this process? These aren't exciting to me nor a deal breaker.
Community Newcomer
I responded in less then 10 minutes. It's good business. The back check is great. We want to be trusted by our clients, especially our well to do clients who have concerns about who is in their house.
Community Regular

Responding within 4 business hours can be unrealistic at times.  Depending on the day, time and availability, we may not be able to respond until after business hours.  Additionally, please clarify business hours pertaining to the days of the week.  Are you only speaking Monday-Friday? or everyday; including Saturdays and Sundays?  Due to my faith, my business is closed on Sunday's and I do not answer calls or emails on that day.   Please remember that we are Professionals who are working during the day and/or evening and a 4-hour window to resppnd to a Lead or request on my computer or phone may not be enough time; especially during peak hours.  These and other situations should be taken into consideration.  

Thank you.

Community Newcomer

i agree with everything you said, but when you reply to the customer they dont answer you back and we wasted money on a dead lead. I think if the customer doesen't answer us back after we answer them, we should get refunded the money. Also i think we should be able to see the customer's email address just like they can see our stuff.

Community Regular
Once again, you are assuming we can get to our phones just to text that we are busy. My clients are paying me for my COMPLETE attention to their party, they are not paying me to text or talk on my phone. And all the " nudges" and threatening to "introduce the client to other pros" isn't going to change that. I cater at least 2 parties a day. I answer my texts in between as best I can.
Community Newcomer

Need to explain the top Pro program, how this will benefit me in the future

Community Newcomer
I feel like all of these things are very important and definitely make a big difference as to whether or not you get hired I'm excited about the new Pro tracker!
Community Newcomer
The time period is 8am-8pm so they aren’t expecting you to answer the lead by 5am. Read the explanation before you complain.
Community Newcomer
Thank you
Community Newcomer
Thank you !!
Community Newcomer

I think this is a great tool with very reasonable criteriea!! THANKS

Active Community Member

I agree i work too many hours a day to be able to reply in four hours every time 

Community Newcomer

The 4 hour window IS too small.  I run a small, independent business, like many of your clients.  There is 1 employee, me.  When I start teaching in the afternoon, I run straight thru till the evening closing.  I have no time to think, let alone return messages until afterwards.

 

Community Newcomer
In a perfect world we would all be happy
Community Newcomer
Done and Done. Happy to respond quickly and get more business for doing so. 🙏🏽
Community Regular

I do the work that I do so not to be tied to a computer all day. Typically I respond early morning or around the end of my day at five.  Telling a Pro that you have to respond well beyond normal hours is unreasonable. 

Community Newcomer
There is always time within 4 hours to take a quick break to answer a lead. It takes less than 3 minutes to respond.
Community Newcomer

Exactly. It is very unprofessional to stop working and answer a lead. I am a carpenter and I don't have the time to put down a tool and keep looking at my phone for leads.

Community Newcomer
24 hours is the best. Even though I doing it full time. Before it was even hard to respond in 24 hours when I was working.
Community Veteran
If you can not respond immediately - then this may not be the platform for you. Not all forms of advertising will work - find what suits you specifically and invest in that.

Sorry but this is not “exciting” news to me when my business has dropped off significantly and I’ve had 17 paid promote leads in a row with no bookings.

As a business owner for 20 years - when I see people concerned about response time - my suggestion is, that if you can not respond immediately - then this is not the platform for you. Especially in high demand areas or high demand services. Before, when we had a choice to respond only to leads we were interested in, I would never respond to leads if more that 20 minutes passed. My success rate was about 80% on those I reached out to. Customers want immediate response - which is just one reason why they changed this platform. Put yourself in the customers shoes. Are you going to wait 4 hours to reach out to a pro? This platform is not for everyone. Maybe not for you for what you do. Therefore you have to find other ways that will generate business. Though I am unhappy with many things on this site and I’ve lost a lot money - if I can not respond immediately- then I Pause my services. And now it’s mandatory to expand my advertising with other services. Best advice is - if you can not respond immediately - this is not the platform for you. And that’s ok. It is what it is. Be smart about your business and don’t blame TT about this particular process. Many other things you can complain about.
Community Manager
Community Manager

@RayS @djearful if you've already taken a background check, you should not have to take another one. Let us know if you have any other questions! 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@Animalextractor we definitely want to look into this for you to get it figured out. Please send me a private message with more info and I'd be happy to help!

Community Regular

Thank you for clarifying that a pro only has to have 1 background check completed!

Ray

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi everyone! We've received a lot of new comments on this thread and I want to just clarify a few things. Keep in mind that we by no means expect you to respond in the middle of the night or early in the morning. Response time goes into effect from 8am-8pm local time. Also, remember that the 75% response rate means you can take longer than 4 hours every now and then and still qualify. 

Community Expert

@JohnJabo1 
Top Pros receive a badge that appears on their public profile and in search results. And they receive a digital version on their widgets page that they can download and post to their personal websites or social media. Top Pros also receive prioritized customer support, special invitations, and other perks.

We also show a pro's historical top pro status on their service page for customers to see.

Community Regular

I like the new requirments, It is the least we should do as pros to give our customers the best service!

Community Regular

Counting  from 12 month prior (when 4 hour rule was not in place ) and not from the date  it was implemented, makes no sense and only  drops your response rate. How is that fare? 

 

 

Community Newcomer

Jason,

I am a top pro with a lot of 5 star reviews. I haven't gotten any leads since the month of June. Not sure how in the world that can be after my long history of having satisfied clients. That being said, it's gonna be hard to get verified reviews with no leads. I called the other day to see what's wrong and customer service just said there aren't many leads right now. Your thoughts?

Mary

Community Newcomer

Does the back ground check need a social security number or will a tax id number be good?  

Community Manager
Community Manager

Good question @computerservice. Because Checkr uses social security numbers to search through national, state, and county records for criminal history, they need your social security number to accurately complete these checks.

If you’re concerned about using Checkr, you can contact them directly with questions. You can reach them at 844-824-3257 or support@checkr.com.

Community Veteran

I would also like to add that Thumbtack boasts all the time how special being a Top Pro is and only 4% make it to that status.  True - it is special.  However, sometimes I see it differently.  Why is it sooooo hard to be a Top Pro?  Only 4% in the entire nation make it?  

If only 4% are able to make Top Pro Status - it can also sound like the platform is too difficult to make it as a Top Pro.  That is just my view point.   And I'm a Top Pro !

If response time, and background check and bookings and 5 star rating and excellent reviews need to be tracked just to get a Top Pro badge and only 4% make it?   That says something about the challenges many are facing to reach that goal.  As noted by the many complaints just in this feed alone.

I recommend that the TT team re-think their wording on this.  At least don't say only 4%.  I'm not even getting a 4% return on my investment with TT in the last two months - and that is dismal news.

As I mentioned in a earlier response ~ if Pros can not respond within 20 minutes - or less - then all the other stuff will work against you.  I just don't even see how response time is even part of the equation - but it is.  

So put your services on Pause and turn it back on when you Can respond.  Letting paid leads sit in your inbox for hours is something you really need to review.  Your odds increase when you can respond immediately and that is the best advice I can give.  It will help with this "tracking" thing too.  It seems.  

Keep in mind - This is a "response" platform.  I want it now!  :))   People are busy.  And with customers allowed to reach out to 4 - 9 - 15 other pros . . .  Response Time Matters!  

 

Good Luck Pros!

Community Newcomer

   I completely agree with background checks personally and professionally. We work in government, law enforcement institutions and of course the militay. Background checks give my customers the peace of mind to allow us into their homes and businesses. From all the staff at copythatcolorado.com, we thank our customers!!

Community Newcomer

I can tell you that depending on a ranking does matter. But when it comes down to giving my customer just what they need, is the most important to my business. So far, after 5 years in business and 3 years running as the top pro in my field, I have surpassed the "5 year fear" and for that, I have only my loyal customers to thank!!

Community Veteran
Jason - This morning I did a search on my neighbors phone for a videographer in my area on Thumbtack. Which is where my service is activated right now. Before putting any filters and just showing the list of videographers I came in number 2 which is good. However, the person above me is NOT a Top Pro and shows 11 reviews - but an overview result of 3 verified Thumbtack hires. THREE. I have 84 reviews and 150 hires and I’ve been a top pro for four years in a row. How do you think I feel when I see this.? I took a screenshot of it but I can’t post it here. I did just send it to Customer Support so you can go look through and see my email. I also noticed that the event videographers - with no filters applied - all currently active - about 96% are new. With under 10 reviews (how many verified hires???). One pro has listed as having 9 reviews but his overview is 1 actual hire. And that Pro is way above two other Top Pros with three times more reviews and hires. These are real stats that I am seeing. So how is this being addressed? Does your team understand what’s going on? My biggest concern is seeing that the first 20 event videographers shown - 15 are new to Thumbtack and have under 10 reviews. Probably less actual verified reviews and actual hires. Stats don’t lie And this is a clear message that Is being validated about Thumbtack and it’s services. How is this being addressed?
Community Regular
Hello

No they said business hours. They’re not expecting us to respond after 8 pm or before 8 am and they said 75 percent of the time. So they give you room to sleep and work.
Active Community Member
Hi I've got a question. For the next month maybe a month and a half I'll be working on two outside projects.Can these count as reviews if these folks review me positively
Community Manager
Community Manager

@Ma pros are able to get up to 10 reviews from customers outside of Thumbtack, they just won't be verified. If you look above, it says "Receive at least 5 verified reviews in the last year" so although those two reviews would look great on your profile, if they aren't from Thumbtack customers they won't be verified and won't count towards Top Pro. 

Community Newcomer
If you wanted backgrounds checked you shoulda started that when you started your thumbtack.now you want to change boats in the middle of the stream.if someone is top pro and been so a while a back ground has no bearing on it.i disagree.i disagree with all the changes,if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!
Community Newcomer

I would like to take advantage of the background check.  What do you need from me?

Community Expert

@3Vanessavr5 that's awesome! To complete your background check:

  1. Go to the Credentials section of your profile.
  2. Under "Background Check" click Start.
  3. In the Checkr window, submit your information.

 It can take a few weeks to get results, but you should receive them within 5-7 business days.

Community Regular

JasonB Over the last month, I have written you 3  private messages and I have not received a reply from you on any of them, are you planning replying my private messages? I am very sorry using this public post to address this situation, but I'm starting to believe that I will get no response  from you unless I do it in the public setting.

Community Manager
Community Manager

@sttnyc we want to make sure you're getting the help you need. Do you have questions regarding the new Top Pro program? If so, feel free to ask them here. If you have questions or concerns that are specific to your account, please contact our customer support team at 800-948-2034.