We kicked off Thumbtack Connect: Sacramento with a presentation from Luke, our Head of Community. As he noted, Thumbtack has come a long way in the last five years, now with 150,000 active pros and 5.4 million projects each year. But Luke hasn’t forgotten how far we’ve come, just a few short years ago it seemed like he knew most of our pros by name! One of the reasons we do these events is to better connect to the huge number of professionals who are now using Thumbtack.
This was our third Thumbtack Connect and we’re getting our rhythm right. Local pros came to Beatnik Studios from across the Sacramento area. We recognized many names of pros we’ve worked with before. It was great to meet in-person a pro we’ve featured right here on the blog.
We facilitated breakout sessions at the beginning where pros shared tax, accounting and pricing tips with one another and honed their close techniques to seal the deal with more customers. A panel discussion followed – pros shared product improvement suggestions directly with our product managers, category managers, support and marketing teams. The pros we spoke to, like Michelle from Frontline Fencing, had fantastic feedback. It isn’t surprising that she had things to share with us–she has been hired 55 times through Thumbtack, so she has been using the product all the time!
“This was by far the best experience I’ve had as a customer support agent,” said Thumbtack support specialist, Melissa, during our event debrief. “Talking on the phone with pros is great and I’ve had some amazing conversations, but when you sit with them face-to-face and actually see the gratification in their faces? It’s priceless. They really get it.”
Standout Pro Feedback
Thumbtack Connect is a great way for us to answer common questions, explain certain aspects of our business model and address features that need improvement. And while many questions we get are similar to those we’ve heard before (customers need to provide more info, certain request forms need changing, why don’t we require a phone number?), we also manage to always hear new and interesting suggestions from creative pros. For example:
Easier event planning
Two pros mentioned a desire to have a single place on Thumbtack where they can plan an entire event like a wedding. Instead of having to submit a separate request for each category, they suggested a feature where you click “plan a wedding” and then choose the different pro categories you want to hire, answer drop down questions, then get all your quotes in one place. Genius!
More diverse advertising
Pros often see the advertisements we run on Facebook, but those ads are often for people outside their industry. For pros in more niche industries, they wanted to know how their industry could be better featured. More diverse ads = more customers = more business for pros.
We left Sacramento with improved thinking on how to split our event categories. For example, a magician or a photographer or a DJ might quote differently if the event is a corporate party versus a wedding or a birthday. We also received suggestions to add categories for funerals, additional religious services and pet treats.
Low credit balance notifications
Photographer Diana Jahns explained that sometimes she doesn’t realize she’s run out of credits by the time she’s submitting a new quote. Purchasing more credits delays the quote. Since photography is a competitive category, needing to top up her credits means she’ll miss out on that particular project. Diana suggested we implement a “low balance” email reminder so pros can purchase ahead of time. This is a great idea and we’ve discussed implementing this feature or a way to “hold your place” while you top up.
I also want to give a special shout out to math tutor, Archie Graham. He’s in his second year on Thumbtack. In that time his business has grown from single-handedly providing tutoring and resume services to purchasing a brick-and-mortar tutoring center with multiple employees. He now has to decline requests because he’s so busy. We also learned he’s a five time kidney transplantee (to his knowledge, the only one out there), and he loves helping others and singing Jazz.
Archie regaled our team with stories of his favorite musicians and by the end of the conversation we all felt like we’d met a friend. It was a great reminder of how unique each Thumbtack story is. It’s so easy to get distracted by the numbers and spreadsheets that represent what we do–it’s important to remember the people behind those numbers, people with passion, and amazing success stories.
Thank you so much to the pros who attended, who took some of their valuable time to meet with us and share their insights. We couldn’t do this without you!
Next stop, Denver.
Photography by Crazy King Productions