I think this example is what I mean about how Thumbtack is trying to use a one-size-fits all approach to managing the process for Pros and communicating to us that our success matters to them. 1) Verified Reviews--that's great, but Thumbtack does encourage us to get reviews from other Customers, not from Thumbtack. So, when we do, they don't get posted (sometimes, that's happended to me, can't see them or they are buried). I've had fantastic reviews from people not on Thumbtack (because Thumbtack said I could invite them) but then not be able to see them. What's the point. According to this approach, these reviews are not even in the top four conditions to be considered. That's unfortunate. 2) At least one media item--I'm counselor/life coach. I'm never going to have a picture posted in a review. Ever. That would be so weird. How can this possibly be "fair" to those of us with businesses where pictures of our work is never appropriate or necessary. 3) 52-675 characters--What? If the words are powerful and communicate the Customer experience, why is the number of characters relevant? 4) Reviews that have been updated recently--I'm not sure why this made the list. Perhaps you might help us understand how this is relevant or what this means. I know I have a real problem with Thumbtack "hounding" (their word, not mine) Customers to write reviews for us BEFORE we've even done work with them. Ugh. That is so irritating. But here's the consequence: They submit a review ... with just stars. Why? Because they can't say anything yet, because we haven't even worked together. We've had a discovery call, or even one phone call, and they don't know HOW to even review us. The problem is they are not likely to go back and update the review after we've worked together for a length of time. Because they already reviewed...because Thumbtack asked for it...not because the Pro asked for it. If they don't go back and add words to the stars, that apparently doesn't make the cut either for getting a rank. We could ask for them to, but that's weird too. "Hi, I know you already submitted a review but can you go back and actaully write something now. Thumbtack won't rank it for me unless it's been updated recently." Please just listen to some of these things that really matter to us. Our businesses are our business, right? We kinda know what we're talking about and what we need. Thank you, Michelle
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What discourages me is the lack of responsibility/authority we have to determine what's best for our businesses. Certainly, it's common practice to list most recent reviews first; that makes sense and it's why other businesses do it. Beyone that, however, I think the greater concern is that Thumbtack doesn't allow us to manage that on our own, thinking THEY know best which reveiws are most relevant to market OUR business. That's a serious head-scratcher for me. I know my business. I know what resonates with my Customers. I know what's relevant and what isn't. It amazes me Thumbtack believes they can determine the most important, relevant reviews are. And the way determine that?? Pictures, word count, some other random ways that have zero to do with helpful content for Customers or Pros. If this is a complicated behind the scenes programming thing, I understand that could be an obstacle. But I haven't hear that's what it is. The way I understand it, they really believe they know best. It's just disheartening and doesn't encourage what Thumbtack wants us to believe that they have Pros' success in mind. I wish it "felt" more like Thumbtack actually wanted to help us develop our business. It feels third place behind Thumbtack, then Customers, then maybe Pros...as long as it benefits the other two first. I'd love to see some of these things change. I love my Thumbtack Customers!! I just get very discouraged with Thumbtack's processes.
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If you don’t want the lead, decline it. Fast. That way we can tell the customer you’re not available and you can move on to the next lead. There’s no penalty for declining. It’s actually really helpful — for you and for us. If you decline a lot of similar leads, we’ll show you lower in search results for those kinds of jobs. And if you do it quickly, we’ll consider you a responsive pro and give you a rank boost in search results. Question: Does there have to be a connection between declining leads and being determined non-responsive? I'm a little confused...I think what you're saying here is if you decline leads we'll lower your rank. But then if we do it quickly, we get a rank? What if we think that price is way too high and we don't want to pay for that? It might have nothing to do with the type of job actually. In my category, the jobs are essentially the same (Marriage/Relationship Counseling). Yes, each couple is different, but with Thumback's initial collection of information, they are all the same! And yet there can be a $10 range in terms of pricing. So, I'm asking, why do you lower our rank just because we've declined a lead? We still have the same "credentials" to keep us high in the ranks. Sounds like "punishment" for declining leads we think are too expensive. Thanks for the clarity; I might just be missing what you're saying.
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Sometimes frustrations can seem negative, I'm sure. Sometimes they genuinely are! I think what we all want is productive conversation so we see the changes that make everyone successful. That's why I love the idea of a more comprehensive coversation that covers a lot of the issues and to see Thumbtack talking with Pros about how to be helpful to all the industries/businesses you're trying to manage. I remain confident this can happen. We are definitely frustrated, to be sure. I am, I know. I also know I love my clients and always want to serve more of them. If I can do that through Thumbtack, that would be fantastic. Thanks to all of you who are engaged in the process to find the best ways to meet the needs of all of us using this particular platform. Looking forward to helpful conversation and great solutions we just haven't found yet. Michelle
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There are some great suggestions in here so I'm looking forward to having more of a productive conversation. It's just a matter of time before Pros become too exasperated and leave Thumbtack completely. If we can have more deliberate, intentional conversation across a variety of issues impacting our businesses, that will help a lot. I love my clients and hope to continue, but everyone has a breaking point. Thank you, Moderators, for fielding questions and passing concerns. I have a question. I'm new here, so I'm still learning about this Community. Why would posts be deleted and how often does that happen?? Are these conversations censored somehow? Thank you, Michelle
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I offered this feedback today when I declined a lead. I thought I'd share.
"The lead prices for this level of conversation is way too high.
I'm thinking this process for communicating with leads and having to pay what we are at these beginning stages will be too much for myself and many Pros to continue with Thumbtack at the same level.
These changes you've made in the last 6-12 months are producing less business with more cost.
Please consider redoing this so it's more "fair" and has "value." I'm putting those words in quotes because they are words Thumbtack likes to use to describe how they are working with Pros.
Unfortunately many of us do not think the way you're doing it is "fair" or assessing the "value" of a lead appropriately.
I would like to suggest that you have a webinar or open dialogue of some kind and let us talk.
Let us talk about how things happen for us on our end.
Let us talk about the impact your changes make, particularly when they are implemented with little to no communication from you. This creates a lot of stress and affects our business. I'm sure you must be able to appreciate this.
Let us talk about the specific changes we would like to see happen and why.
Is it possible there's a better way to have a dialogue than these feedback boxes and the Thumbtack community? I believe there is.
There are many of us who have questions and concerns.
Please remember, we are actually your Customers. Yes?
We are the ones you need to keep your platform up and running, yes? Without the Pros, you have no people to provide services for. We pay for and provide the services the current "Customers." Could we please be considered more in the process?
I used to have my own Success Manager. That was great. He fielded lots of questions, concerns, ideas, and though he couldn't do everything I wanted, of course, I actually felt like he wanted to partner with Pros.
That was taken away and I'm making it mean certain things about the way Thumbtack cares about the success of the Pros.
I wonder if there's ever been a conversation with Pros specifically to lay out all of the concerns, in a conversation, and possibly build something that works for most.
Could that happen?"
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Just a thought...if Thumbtack wants to send out lots of Pros to a Customer to choose among the many (because Customers were asking for more options a couple of years ago)...how about charging the Pro who gets hired and letting the others quote for free? Once you're hired, you pay. Until then, you work really hard to get the job. Still messaging clients and working for that "sale." That way those of us, the other 12 in your example, aren't wasting money on leads that will go no where. I know another site that does this...and I prefer it actually. You get to communciate to your heart's content, unless you're hired and you pay for the lead. Nice! Just a thought...
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I could not agree with you more! This is one of the reasons we grow increasingly more frustrated. I want to believe Thumbtack is a partner with its Pros and wants things to be "fair." This doesn't send that message. It's disheartening when we see Thumbtack's profit and we know a client can only hire one person. In your example, the other 12 are paying crazy high prices for nothing. That was a change made a couple of years ago about the time they were developing "Instant Match." We would be charged automatically for certain leads and Thumbtack went from only 5 Pros getting to offer to 15!!!! Fifteen!! You're prices went up and the competition got stiffer. We pay more, get hired less, and Thumbtack gets a lot more money. Why? I was told because the Customer wanted more Pros to choose from. It was a response to the Customers' needs. 😞 OK... If they do, they do. I love serving the Cusotmer. But how is raising the prices and increasing the competition helping our business. For me, it isn't. You? It's important to me that this message board be about making great changes so everyone feels good about the platform and the service. I'm not interested in simply complaining. That's never the point. The point is to make things better. I believe there's a cost to doing business, but wow, this is terribly frustrating to watch changes happen that hurt us...and yet we're told Thumbtack wants to help us. It's really unfortunate. Can we please have a discussion about some specific things that will actaully help Pros and still allow Thumbtack to also succeed in their business? I would doubt that many Pros would object to finding a solution that works for everyone, including Thumbtack. But this current set up with the way leads work, how you charge, and WHAT you charge is nothing less that outrageous and ridiculous and very definitely, not "fair." I mentioned in another post I'd like to see Thumbtack consider thinking of their Pros as their customers. They are running their business like we are. The people who pay us are our customers. Would that not be true of Thumbtack's business? Since we pay them for their service, aren't we their customers? I don't really feel like their customer. I want to give Thumbtack the benefit of the doubt of course, but honestly, I feel taken advantage of in some ways. It's discouraging. Some things to consider and hopefully discuss further with people who can make the decisions within your company. Thank you for providing a place for us to share our concerns and feedback and I'll thank you in advance for taking action based on the feedback to provide a new solution that works for more of us.
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