Tutor-student matching: what, why, and how

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 Sam Jenkins
Business Management CRM Education SaaS Tutoring

This post is all about how tutoring companies add value to their clients by way of a tutor-student matching process. Last time in our blog, we were discussing the agency model of tutoring companies and why it can be such an effective way to expand and scale up your tutoring operations. We also talked about workflows relating to processing your billing and paying your tutors, explaining how an agency’s administration embeds both clients and tutors into your company.

This week, we wanted to talk about the initial processing of a client enquiry. From the first contact to the client right up until the lessons have actually taken place, there are opportunities to sell your services and reinforce your brand based on the type of tutor-student matching your agency offers. However, there are varied approaches that you can take to best serve your clients. Let’s talk about some distinct approaches to tutor-student matching, why they matter, and some suggestions on managing this key area of your day to day operations.

Handling client enquiries

You will have clients contact you as a result of your marketing efforts, whether it is through word of mouth, SEO, physical marketing etc. Understanding the client’s specific needs and challenges is essential to being able to leverage your brand as a solution to what they are looking for.

Our experience is that there are different characteristics of tutoring agencies which feed into a diversified process of tutor-student matching. This can come down to who is driving the tutor-student matching process, or at least, who is playing the most active role.

Some examples of approaches agencies might use and the role played by each user in the matching process.
Some examples of approaches agencies might use and the role played by each user in the matching process.

This is not to suggest that an agency would approach things at any one point of this triangle. However, it is useful to bear in mind as different clients might get benefit from a different orientation of your tutor-student matching process.

Matching by The Agency

Some agencies might be the main instigator to pair up tutors and students. If a client is looking for a basic subject/test prep service, then this could be a straightforward process of checking a tutor’s qualifications and availability to see if it is suitable. This type of client might be less concerned by the characteristics of the tutor outside of what they are qualified to teach. However, it might also be the case that the agency is very invested in the development and character of their tutors and so would push for a much more bespoke arrangement for the client. The process thereafter is the same, in terms of a client going on the agency’s recommendation of the best-suited tutor, it is just worthwhile to note that some agencies will try to add enormous value to their clients with a detailed understanding of the tutors with whom they work.

Customisable notifications for your tutors when assigned to a job
Customisable notifications for your tutors when assigned to a job

Tutor led approach

Another way to approach this might be to put your tutors in the driving seat by having them apply and compete to work on a specific job. You can process the client enquiry as you normally would, except rather than you managing your tutor’s skills, you simply notify all (or the relevant) tutors of the availability of a job to encourage them to apply. This has particular merit in the event that you have a large number of tutors with similar competencies, or that you offer services that are more subject and content-oriented rather than generalised academic enrichment.

Tutors can browse and apply for jobs that suit their skills
Tutors can browse and apply for jobs that suit their skills

Matching: The Clients

Alternatively, the client might be the one who makes the enquiry and plays a very active role in the selection of the relevant tutor. The most client-centric version of this would be if your agency listed your tutors online to allow clients to browse and then request a specific tutor according to their needs. At this stage, the agency’s role is very limited. This approach be more nuanced, perhaps the agency proposing a series of tutors that are well suited to their needs to get the client to really buy into the tutoring on offer.

Clients can request a specific tutor via your website
Clients can request a specific tutor via your website

Blending the best of both worlds

If our experience has taught us anything, there is one golden rule to life: there are no golden rules. Being flexible and adapting to your clients needs is always key to being able to appeal to the widest audience in order to grow your company. These approaches all have their pros and cons and can often blend together well, self-reinforcing one and another. For example, you might have all of your tutors apply to work on a specific job to then suggest these shortlisted applicants to the client, or perhaps the client shortlisting some tutors to then ask the agency about which one they feel would be best suited.

Make it work for your clients!

Making it work for your company

As important as making it work for your clients is making this process work for your company. To that end, TutorCruncher is on hand to offer you all the tools to diversify your approach to tutor-student matching and therefore optimise your workflow. With TC you can:

  • Utilise TutorCruncher Socket to list your tutors on your website directly from your account for your clients to browse and request

  • Customise the subjects, qualifications and fields on your tutors’ profiles in order to capture the most detailed information in your database

  • Advertise jobs as ‘Available for Application’, notify tutors of jobs that match their skills, and allow them to browse and apply via the available jobs board

As with everything we do at TutorCruncher, we look to offer scalability. The type of tutor-student matching that is important to your brand is always a concern that we factor into current and future development of what we offer.

Let us know your thoughts about what works for your company! It is always good to think about the options available to you and your company in order to appeal best to your clients and their needs. TutorCruncher gives you the tools to do so, and so much more.

We build business management software for tutoring companies. Whether you are a small team or an established company, we can help you give your clients a 5-star service while spending less time on administration.

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