success leaves clues micro business monday

Thumbtack is an online service that matches customers with local professionals. Currently, Thumbtack lists 1,100 types of services in categories such as home, wellness, events, and lessons.

by Hassan del Campo, Geyen + del Campo

Is Thumbtack good for business? Depends on who you ask. With the plethora of online communities that allow for the careful exchange of goods and services across cable lines and WiFi, one might feel overwhelmed with options. On one hand, these platforms provide a seamless foray into the gig economy. On the other hand, more vendors equals more competition. Add in a standard of transparency across the board and you have an ecosystem that favors the consumer. The following are some ‘tings to consider before you get started.

  1. Just because it’s requested, doesn’t mean you to need to provide it. While Thumbtack is a great way to reach potential customers directly and in real-time, all requests aren’t created equal. You should approach Thumbtack the same way you approach any other marketing tool – with that said, target your customers locally. Even though you may offer a service that can be rendered remotely, your customer might be more inclined to buy from you if you’re located within the same state, county, or city. Remember, your customer is subconsciously looking for commonalities when they make their decisions. Be patient. Watch for requests in your area. Strike.
  2. If you provide local services, such as plumbing and locksmith, keep an eye out for requests that happen outside of “office hours” – meaning 6 pm and beyond. Chances are if someone requests a plumber for a leaky faucet or water heater installation late in the evening, it could signal that particular person needs immediate service and is accepting bids at a first come, first serve basis. Time is of the essence, so they say.
  3. Obviously, it would behoove you to create different templates that target particular customers or conditions, that you can rotate and tweak as  bids come along. Personalization, such as mentioning something specific in the customer’s request, can go a long way.
  4. Consider going “N/A”. While there are no hard figures to back up the claim, it is said that many consumers peruse Thumbtack as a barometer to confirm how much they should be paying for a particular service (from a vendor they already plan on using somewhere else). Others browse with the intent of finding the lowest price possible. It’s comparison shopping at its finest and it gives the consumer leverage. Even if you have fixed prices for your service, in some cases (for certain industries) a little ambiguity can work in your favor. Bids submitted with prices can go unanswered while “N/A” can prompt a first response from the consumer. This is like the email marketing equivalent of getting a prospect to open your “cold email”. On the other hand, listing your price can make sense for more “common” or “mainstream” services, like a iPhone repair.
  5. Follow-Up on unanswered Quotes. This is something so simple, yet I’m astounded that we overlooked it. There are instances in which you submit a quote and there is no response from the buyer; the person neither passed or refunded their credits. So what happened? Why didn’t they make a decision? Instead of trying to get into the minds of the customer to explain their actions (or lack thereof), simply send a follow-up message. There are an infinite amount of reasons why that message is sitting in sales limbo. A simple nudge can lead to a conversion. And we all want that, right?

 

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