I am really trying to stay positive about Tutorful but

So a couple of weeks ago I invited someone to the video chat function, it came to the appointed time; couldn’t get in, (student didn’t book). Phoned support, went through the usual, “do this try, try that”, conclusion; probably just traffic overwhelming the chat function. Being of a nervous disposition and fearing that this may happen again I had the idea of having a video chat with someone at Tutorful to check settings and that I am not a complete idiot, (that last bit might be a bit of a stretch); genius, right.

Tutorful, “We don’t do that”.

A rather crestfallen tutor takes a deep breath and goes into his next chat, (ever the optimist), didn’t work again.

I have another video chat booked for tomorrow (and yes they give you a link to lesson space but it looks …awkward, a bit amateurish.)

Additionally, I keep getting requests to go to Boreham Wood, Esher, Birmingham you name it. To be fair to Tutorful the website does say the word online rather a lot but still.

The net result of all of the above is that my booking score is tanking, I am amber (not quite bad enough to be sent to my room but definitely flirting with the naughty step.) This is where my slightly self-destructive nature kicks in, what happens when it goes red? Will I be expelled from heaven to wander Dante’s lower levels, (or page 7 of the rankings as you know it - just thinking but why do we have to number them? Can I not reside on page ‘Seychelles’ or perhaps even page ‘without umbrage’, I feel I could be happy there.)

To be fair again, Tutorful, well actually Adam, did say he would give my ranking the Tutorful equivalent of a deep clean and strip out all those that had asked for personal visits from my rating. Weirdly this makes me feel loved again even though I probably shouldn’t have been penalised in the first place, weird.

Usually these posts end with a question or suggestion or some request for information. Mine doesn’t but then I’m an amber rebel so I don’t have to follow the rules anymore.

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From amber rebel to red recidivist. If you thought your score was looking a bit off colour take comfort in knowing that at least one other is irredeemably more awful at obtaining clients than you are.

As my third video chat approached and I was offered technical support after the actual call was scheduled I made a fuss and asked to speak to a more senior manager, within an hour! This is usually a key test of an organisation, (and is quite a widely used determinant of the likelihood of success and responsiveness - if you thought I was acting like a bit of a prima donna.) If you have a reasonable grievance or, like me are genuinely struggling, have used the service for a reasonable period of time, (4 years in my case) and actual require the input of an individual with more operational autonomy, then you do, as a general rule from those organisations with a strong customer service ethos, get a call back. I didn’t shout, in fact, my by now regular ‘handler’ did thank me for my politeness and admit I could have been rather more unpleasant given the circumstances, (probably deserves a pat on the back from the boss for having deal with me.) Does the senior manager call back within the hour, golly no. That would be to admit that they don’t have important stuff to do and would do nothing for their sense of self-importance, but they do call back; I am still waiting for my phone call, (they did send an email but alas, still didn’t work.)

Of course, all this does make me consider my 2/10 booking score. I could be awful at obtaining clients but then I did manage to struggle by even before Tutorful was formed. From my point of view Tutorful’s purpose is to provide me with a steady stream of high quality prospects who want my services. If the conversion rate, (which is how I see the booking score), is so dire that I am in the red, that is an awful lot of wasted effort on my part. Also, if they insist on online only hadn’t it better be a least serviceable. I hardly dare mention this but I couldn’t access the online classroom today.

In some other posts on this site tutors have been compared to other gig economy workers. Most people can drive a car or deliver meals, (and I mean no disrespect to those who do this work, I have peeled labels off video cassettes which is hard to beat for sheer mundaneness) but the barriers to entry to become qualified, obtain the necessary experience to be recommended and actually be any good are pretty high for a tutor. We, as tutors, are actually Tutorful’s product and source of revenue and as they rate us and assign us scores, I detect from the posts on this forum that many of us are also quietly assessing their performance and I wonder, what score you would actually give them?

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As absolutely no one asked I have created my own Tutorful dashboard to assess progress, using bespoke AI algorithms generated by DRNK, (I don’t think my picture will display but you can use your imagination.)

Agency score:* how well does the agency perform its basic function of finding me clients I can work with. 4/10

How can you improve your score – sorry, you took a huge hit here when you dropped face to face. Also set the ‘algorithm’ to work parsing the messages looking for any reference to locations and reminding the prospective client automatically that it is now only online rather than letting me do this work.

Reputation score: a measure of how the agency enhances my reputation in the eyes of the clients, are they stuffed with Oxbridge PHD types and people who speak jolly posh, (reminds me of Christmas at my brother’s house so I have had practice fitting in.) Just by association you look good. 6/10

Customer service : a general measure of how well agencies deal with problems and how quickly they respond. 2/10

How can you improve your score - some agencies offer a free video chat and you could consider doing this if you wish to improve your score by sorting out issues without reverting to long emails with a list of instructions after I have given up and gone off-line, I have to remember what to do and take screenshots when really I would like to concentrate on tutoring.

Technology and Innovation : how good are the agencies tools and systems, do they provide resources which are useful and make me look good with exceedingly little effort on my part. 5/10

How can you improve your score ; judging by the comments elsewhere on the whiteboard that would be a reasonable start. Wasn’t there supposed to be a calculator?

Hi @mathscience

I hope you’re well!

I’m very sorry to hear you’ve been having trouble with your free video chats and entering the online classroom and I do appreciate how frustrating that is for you. I can see you contacted us on several occasions regarding this in which each time we have offered our best advice with the issues you have been facing but I can appreciate this has not resolved them for you.

With regard to the request to run through the Online Classroom set up with a Tutorful employee, you spoke with a colleague who is fairly new to Tutorful and didn’t think this was an option. However, this colleague came to me personally and asked whether this was indeed something we could faciliate and I did advise we could and he did mention on the call that he was going to pass your account over to me to arrange this. I do apologise that I was unable to get back to you on the Thursday that you called, and I made sure that when Adam chased me up on the Friday I responded to you despite being out of office for the day. I then emailed you on Friday 8th October with some available dates and times that we could arrange this call, unfortunately, I received no response. I did also advise that if any of the dates and times suggested did not work for you then could you please let me know and we could look at some alternatives when I was back in the office on Monday.

To address your request for a manager call back, I do apologise a manager was unable to get back to you that day. However, I am now aware that you have spoken with a manager and I do hope that the conversation you had was clarifying and we addressed any further concerns you have.

Although I appreciate this situation has not met your expectations of us, I do want to mention that we pride ourselves on having excellent customer success representatives and always strive to resolve any issues our users encounter in the first instance. However, this is not realistic in some aspects as some things are out of our expertise and do need to be looked into further before a resolution is found. Common issues also come with common fixes and as such we do ask any users to try these as the first port of call as they do generally resolve the majority of user issues.

If you have any further concerns regarding this I’ll be happy to speak with you.

Kind Regards,
Abbie (Tutorful)

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Yep, I have got annoyed too this week with my booking score and repeat client score going down to 4/5. I have only 5* reviews and reply time 1hr. Have over 175hrs with Tutorful (never mind many years of group and 1-1 tuition!)

I have 2 regular weekly students at the moment and generally have been doing a mix of this and short-term work, let’s say 6-8 sessions for exam prep. I only have about 6hrs pw that I want to teach currently as I’m also studying. I’ve had trials with 4 new recently: 2 went fine and have booked another lesson, one never showed up and never replied, the other I left open and I doubt tuition was for them. I also have a short term booking of 6 lessons for GCSE resit.

Plus the normal enquiries from people wanting face-to-face… 200miles away…etc.

It’s been explained to me that the algorithm will have made my scores dip- essentially due to having taken on new students and not having yet completed regular sessions…
So to keep my booking scores and repeat scores higher, I would be better to stick with 2 regular students, and not take on new ones… So apparently this algorithm works the same for all tutors, but there is obviously a bias towards those who just have long-term ongoing students.

The point of tuition, to me, is that generally it is short-term and should be designed to meet a specific need. We are not like a college who has students with them for a whole year.

I think psychologically 4/10 feels very low, anyone agree?

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Don’t worry as the score wil go back up to 8/10 at least after a few weeks with some of the new students that have regular lessons.

As you really do not have time to take on more work at this stage, then it should make little difference that you will be lower down the search list till your repeat client score goes up.

Hi Sabedin77, my point is not really about that. I’m still taking on new clients on a rolling basis as many are short-term, want maybe 4-6 sessions or so before an exam, so in 3 weeks or so I will finish tutoring them. That’s seemingly a problem for Tutorful, but that’s how tuition should work!

My point is more that 4/10 feels low, you are ‘flagged’ as amber…for what reason?
If I read that someone scored 4/10 for something, I would judge that a certain way. I don’t understand why an algorithm penalises tutors in this way.

In reality I get many students from the jobs board, very few from direct approach (possibly, due to scores?! Who knows…). Often the direct approach ones want face to face, not realising that my location is the other end of the country. So again, my scores fall. I can’t be emailing Tutorful literally every time I think my score has been affected.

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It’s my understanding that if you do 3 lessons with a student your score will return to where it was or even be raised by one, I could be wrong though - this is just my observation from looking and it’s hard to tell. The main thing that tanks a score for me is doing a lesson with a student and they don’t request more - is that happening to you?

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Hi. I suppose the video chats for me are about ratios. If someone wants in person but is willing to discuss online then it’s worth 15 minutes. I’ve only recently started doing them so time will tell but personally I think it’s worth bearing in mind that you won’t get them all. It could be 5 video chats from which you get one. Nige

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