Advice & Suggestions for tutors
Part 1: Before and after you Contact the client
1) Be prepared before you contact ++
First impression is very important. Imagine yourself as a client, a tutor who you never met before call you and you can only hear her voice. It takes more effort to deal with clients who you met before. So, be prepared to leave client a good impression and be confident with you. Generally, client will prefer tutor who has experience, responsible and care for the students. So, always be polite and professional. Explain your background so they get to know you. We also suggest you get ready to answer questions on subjects, syllabus, questions and try to ask them about the students to show that you care. Do provide your suggestion on how to help them too.
2) Understanding their needs ++
Most of the clients hire tutors for the below reasons: to score well in exam, to learn better, to master a subject, to receive guidance etc. As a tutor, you have to understand what is their problem and expectation, then let them know how you can help. Try to ask them questions on what they need, and offer a constructive suggestions. We also suggest not to rush into confirming the class. It's always good to talk to them first so they are comfortable to confirm class with you.
3) Things you can discuss ++
Student's level, result, expectation, confirm the location / subjects / rate / timing, payment, consistency of classes etc.
4) Unexpected situations ++
If you face the below situations, we suggest:
a) They don't answer your calls- Try to whatsapp them and introduce yourself. Clients can be busy.
b) Clients can't confirm you on the spot- Try to ask them roughly when will they give you an answer. If you can also tell them you will temporarily block the slot for her until you get an answer.
c) Clients try to negotiate on the rate / change the timing- Sometimes it happens, clients will change their mind after they have confirmed a rate or tuition time. It is up to you to accept the lower rate or time, if not, please contact your tutor support, we can refund if you have any deposit with us. We highly suggest tutor not to increase the rate because to us, it seems unprofessional.
d) Clients told you they want you to wait for 1 or 2 months before confirming- We understand your time is precious, sometimes you cant block the slot for too long with the risk of being rejected when time comes. Let your tutor support knows about this issue, we will assist you.
e) Client keep on ignoring you- If client is busy, and don't reply fast or call back when they have promised, try to follow up. Try to wait a few days for them to respond. If they always ignore your message, contact tutor support we will assist you.
f) Client ask for trial- It is normal for client to request for trial class, for reasons such as: they don't really know you yet, they want to see if you can teach well or want to see if you can get along with kids. Most of the time they will pay for the trial and based on our experience, tutors rarely being terminated by client after trial.
g) Client always cancel class- We understand that it can happen sometimes. We apologize that we are unable to control the cancellation of class, but we will assist you in trying to solve your problems.
Bonus Note ++
1) Try not ask them to confirm class before they get to know you: I have seen tutors whatsapp clients like this: Hi mdm Yee, I am tutor Tang with 5 years experience, introduced by Tuition Hero. Your kids want to take BM BI tuition, right? Can i know when to start the class? Then the client never replied at all. Tutor should always introduced themselves politely and professionally, via phone call or text. And most importantly, have at least a brief discussion to understand them and let them know you are here to help them before asking them to confirm the class.
2) 30 minutes consultation (face to face): Some tutors offer a free first meet up to have discussion with clients. During the meet up, they ask questions so they understand what clients want. They check on student's textbook, results or even test on their level. The best tutor will come up with a lesson plan on the spot based on what student really need. If you are not willing to do that, we highly suggest you go to client's place at least 30 minutes early for that purpose. You need to tell them to prepare what you need, eg: results, books etc before you go. You must stress that you need to know them first so you can help them better. By doing that, they feel more comfortable with you and they will have high confidence in you if you perform well during the consultation. Needless to say, you get a better chance of closing the deal.
3) Short term classes: For short term classes, client will pay you directly. We won't collect any fees from client.
With some of the tips we have given, we believe it will help you to close the deal. And please remember, only apply the job that you can teach well.
Part 2: After you have confirmed the class
1) First class / session ++
First class is very important. It is the first face to face meeting with client or student. Please remember to be on time. Based on our experience, if the tutor cancelled the tuition class last minute, no matter how experience the tutor is, parent most likely will cancel the tutor. Please take note that we also don't accept any reason if you don't show up to class. However, if you really have urgent matters or bump in unexpected situations, you can try to provide some proof to client so that they will understand.
2) Booklet ++
This booklet is designed for you. The main goal of it is to keep track of your teaching in a professional way. I heard some of the times tutors were terminated with reasons, such as: clients complaining tutors are not teaching well because the results have not improved, clients are not sure if tutors are doing their job etc. It is actually not surprising because most of the time, parents are usually busy and if you don't keep them informed of the progress, they will be very worried if they don't see any result. Even though if you have done your tutoring job well, please make sure you take the extra step to let parents know by recording down your attendance, what topics you covered and monthly feedback.
3) Service agreement ++
No other agency has done this. This is created for you because we got feedbacks from tutors that they have problems with clients who always cancel classes or some times delay payment. Not common, but it happened. We know that it's not easy to totally solve this issue using this agreement. But we believe it will help both parties to set an expectation that class cancellation and delaying of payments are not encouraged. By using this agreement, we hope that it offers you basic protection and reduce the issues mentioned earlier. You should also communicate with clients that you expect to have consistent classes before you start the tuition.
4) Punctuality & good attitude ++
Yes you might think that it is not so important as long as you can teach well. As an agency, we deal with a lot of tutors, and the best tutors are not tutors with the highest experience, they are the tutors with good blend of good experience and good attitude. There are very experienced tutors who received complaints from clients and were terminated for reasons like: not punctual, always cancel classes or postponing. On the other hand, those tutors with good attitude, keep getting referrals from clients, teaching their friends or neighbours.
5) Giving extra minutes ++
This is an action of voluntary and good will. We know that tutors might be busy at times and you might think that it is not worth it because you should be paid for it. However, we think that giving extra minutes show that you are professional and you really care for the students. There are some tutors who offer free 10-15 minutes for some of the classes just to finish the chapter. Guess what, most of the clients treat them like family and they put all the trust in the tutors. When you have the trust of clients, they are very willingly to increase the tuition hours or add subjects in the future because they know you are helping the kids. They might even introduce you to their neighbour and friends.
6) Don't just teach from textbook ++
When parents complain about tutor's teaching quality, one of the most common comments will be tutor just teach from textbook, no exercises given, no extra notes given, and the worse one will be just reading from textbook. Parents tend not to have long term tuition with such tutors. To teach more effectively and leave good impression, try to give exercises, notes and teach something out of the book. Students might learn better and you will leave a good impression.
7) Consistent feedback ++
We think that consistent feedback is extremely important. Clients will appreciate if they know the student's progress from time to time. They will also think that the tutor is committed and professional. Give you an example: We all know most tutor does not provide guarantee on achieving on a result. If student got a bad result, and parent never get updated on progress, who do you think client will blame? i will guess it is tutor. But if you provide feedback, at least client know you are working hard to help the student.
8) Focus on teaching ++
Home tuition is a comfortable way to teach student. There might not be anyone who is monitoring you and the environment is relaxed. We suggest that you keep the professionalism, such as: try not to use your phone a lot, focus on teaching student, don't give homework to student to do and never teach in the session. Don't cross the line unless you get permission (especially for new tutor) like going to bedroom, bring the kid outside the house, go to parents bedroom, play games with the kids etc.
9) Promoting or Selling other services ++
We understand that tutors might have some good software or online learning platform that they want to share with parents or students which require them to pay a fee. We think there is nothing wrong with it if you can do it in a good way. Please do not be pushy in selling which will leave a bad impression. We also suggest to start promoting after 1 month of tuition after parents or students have trust on you.
10) Refer us a student ++
Sometimes parents will ask you if you teach other subjects, you might not be able to teach or you don't have the time, you can always refer to us and we will offer you 1 week tuition fee as commission for long term cases. Just contact your tuition co-ordinator or client support for more info.
11) Your tutor support ++
Keith will temporarily be your tutor support (016 - 2209510). This number was previously used by Miss Chow.
We come up with this based on our experiences dealing with thousand of tutors and clients. It might be simple but that is what makes the difference. Please take note that we are not offering you "quick techniques" in helping you to reap short term benefit. We are merely letting you know what a good tutor should be like and most importantly is that you have to really be interested in educating and creating values for your students and clients. If not, all our tips won't work.
That's all from us, the rest is up to you. All the best and good luck!