Here is my feedback on your response: 1. PRICING: Agreed, I didn't have so much issue with the pricing TT adjusted to because I had come from Home Advisor who was gregariouly priced costing upwards of $60-$150 for absolutely crap leads that had nothing to do with what I do. So I'm not as annoyed as most with thier higher price structure because compared to most, they are still lower. However, their changes have also lead to even lower quality leads (which wasn't that high to begin with). 2. INCREASED BIDDER POOL: There are two issues with thier increase in lead bids, first of all the "up to 5 bids" is a lie. Since this change I have seen myself compete with up to 10 bidders at once. As an interior designer, one thing I know for sure is that when you provide anyone with too many choices, they quickly become overwhelmed, frustrated and find it much harder to commit. The golden number is always three. Three solid options allow people options without overwhelming them. The second issue is with your comment towards pros to "stand out" and be respectful. I am always kind and respectful and extremely timely and yet it has not changed that most projects that I bid on do not reach contact phase with clients. 3. RESPONSIVENESS: Tardiness as you call it is another smoke and mirrors excuse for TT. I actually think there is an issue with the time stamping at TT. I am highly known for being an "immediate" responder and I mean posted within 3-8 seconds of receipt. But after TT changed their programming, I noticed a drastic change in how many leads come in at the same time and how quickly. Here is how it works now: I get a lead notification, I open it and send my pre-generated response immediately and by the time my lead is posted (literally 3 seconds later) there are six other bids already in! How is that possible? So if responding immediately still makes me tardy, I don't know what to tell you or how to remedy that. 4. PROFESSIONAK QUALITY:While I agree that we should always be professional, timely and always use proper grammar, I know that this does not guarantee better lead response or engagement. I am a grammar phobe and I take it seriously, I always reply to my clients and send follow up responses shortly after they've supposedly viewed my quote, inquiring on whether they have found the help they need and wishing them the best if they have... Has this increased or changed my response? NO! Most all of them still never respond nor move forward with the project. Because the truth is that in most cases, we (the pros) are not the ones with grammatical and courtesy issues, the clients are. And this is a quality control issue. If TT spent more time breifing potentials to ensure that they are a little more serious about the service they are looking for and not just "phone book price fishing" we'd probably see more effective leads come through that actually lead to clients. I don't care which way you slice it, the ratio of leads that go nowhere vs. the ratio of leads that become clients should never be so out of sync for so many professionals at the same time. This forum is not littered with disgruntled pros because TT is doing an amazing job and we're just a bunch of mindless idiots. 5. COMPETITION: Again, I feel you're off the mark on this one, the issue is not only that singular pros (who just don't seem to cut it in your opinion) are not getting hired, the issue is that MOST pros generating leads on TT do not get hired. I think 9 out of 10 professionals on TT understand that they are not going to conquer every lead they put out, but I am an investigator when it comes to my business and my money and I follow all of my lead insight's like a hawk, and I can tell you that when you look at your insights most quotes sent out only get to viewed status, the response ratio is very low, I mean pitifully low. Meaning these leads are not leading to anything except low-budget fishers viewing a bunch of estimates and walking away only to hire their friend of the family to do it. 6. BLAME & LEAD QUALITY: The issue with this point is that none of the truly necessary factors are included in the TT form that potential clients fill out. They removed any trace of quality in potential leads by simplifying the lead generator to appeal to looky-loos. They removed budget, so there is no idea of what the client is looking to spend, they do not ask for timeframe of how soon the client is looking for service, they don't ask what stage the client is in in thier search for service, are they just starting to get bids, have they been looking with no avail, is their project underway already and now they need additional help. They don't ask what they are looking for in a professional so they can better match leads to pros. I don't think they even ask if the person is new to TT or not! Leaving comments is an option so in most cases they don't leave comments, so you have no details of what the client needs or is hoping to achieve. Therefore, on our end there are not many ways to differentiate quality clients from looky-loos...it's a shot in the dark. 7. IT'S JUST NOT FOR YOU: Here I absolutely agree with you... Thumbtack really just isn't for you!!! Don't use them if you're really looking to grow business and get connected to quality leads. But I'm pretty sure that's what all these pros are saying... I think we are cutting TT some slack...WE'RE STILL HERE... Waiting and hoping for them to hear us and be proactive before we all leave because there was a time when we really loved them. It's like a bad break-up that we're fighting to let go of. Which leads to 8! 8. Yes, we want to work together and support TT, but we also need to feel that they have our best interests at heart and that we matter as much as their leads and that they are willing to work with us and listen to us to make the experience great for everyone. Currently TT is operating like a phone book, the difference is, we didn't have to pay so much to be listed in the phone book and the people who called usually actually wanted service. A business that is built to be a lead generation service should pride itself on quality over quantity and great connection making skills. I don't need to get 8 leads a day if they're all just a bunch of people playing telephone pranks on the internet. I need quality clients who are looking for me and my services (to hire, not to investigate) TT is failing at this. Do better!
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Although I did like the previous payment plan, what I don't care for most about the new program is that potential clients are no longer asked to specify their budget, so when leads come through we have no idea how much they have to spend on the project until we've already paid for a crap lead. As an interior designer, knowing a clients budget up front is key. Many clients have impossible budgets yet want a lot of work done. Being able to know what the clients monetary expectations are really help us to determine whether or not we can help that client. Another issue that I really disliked was when I set my account up to have my quotes sent to potential clients rather than having to choose and manually send my quotes... It really felt like something fishy going on. I began to receive what seemed like phony contact messages from supposed clients who were supposedly responding to my quote, but everytime the client messaged me the content of the message was almost exactly the same to a fault, something along the lines of "I'd love to chat when can I call you?" or "sounds good, what's the next step?" then when I would respond, they would disappear and I'd never hear from them, but of course, by that point, I had already been charged for the lead. It was very odd and questionable. It was as if someone at Thumbtack was sending generic consult questions just so I would respond and get charged. I soon stopped responding and turned off the feature. This has made me even more leary of Thumbtack practices and concerns me that there may be "potential client" manipulation. I would love to have this explained to me as it's very suspect behavior.
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