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Managing Waiting Lists and Advanced Bookings

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by doctoryes, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. doctoryes

    doctoryes Occasional commenter

    Does anyone have any success with waiting lists? I thought I had several tutees on a waiting list: but now that Y11s and Y13s have finished exams and I have spaces available these contacts are not replying. I plan to contact them again in September, but if I don't receive any reply within a set time will assume they have found another tutor.
    Any tips for ensuring more of these people who make contact do actually book lessons would be appreciated as I don't really want to spend the next few weeks dealing with timewasters. Should I consider a booking deposit to guarantee a September place for example, any advice appreciated.
  2. NoSuchThingAsNormal

    NoSuchThingAsNormal New commenter

    I imagine they have already found tuition elsewhere or consider that it is not needed. You have done what you needed and now have no obligation to them.

    Forget them.
  3. theluckycat

    theluckycat Occasional commenter

    It is tricky, I have regular customers and then flaky customers, it can be annoying when you have turned someone away because you’re full and then one of those that has got a spot becomes unreliable.
  4. gainly

    gainly Established commenter

    If they are not replying assume they are no longer interested. Definitely don't save a space until September if you are able to give it to someone else.
  5. tsarina

    tsarina Occasional commenter

    This year I told parents to call me back after the may half term if they still needed a tutor. 1 parent did so and i now tutor her 2 children which is a piece of luck. Another parent asked me to hold a particular slot for a sibling to start in september, but i warned her it would not be possible to guarantee slots. As people phone i am going to fill my timetable. If they are in my catchment area and i have slots available i will usually suggest a face to face meeting so i can assess whether we are a good fit. Almost all client meetings have resulted in confirmed bookings. If they phone asking to start in september then i'll ask for my normal new client meeting and try and persuade them that starting now is in their best interests :D

    Not every tutor likes new client meetings but i like driving to new places and meeting new people so it doesn't feel like extra work.
    doctoryes likes this.
  6. doctoryes

    doctoryes Occasional commenter

    Reading your replies has helped.
    I agree @gainly that the booking deposit to reserve a slot wouldn't really work.
    @theluckycat there is no guarantee that a new client would be more reliable than an existing one: but sometimes the way they communicate with me when sending an enquiry is a clue.
    @tsarina I tend to do an initial assessment over the phone instead of face-to-face once I have established that a suitable time and day are available.
    I make it clear that after school slots are filled on a first come first basis, but may be a bit more flexible for daytime slots.
  7. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I took a deposit for last September from an existing student who didn't want any lessons in the holidays. They still cancelled saying financial circumstances blah blah
    Deposit was none refundable and the place was soon filled
    There are no guarantees, generally it makes them less likely to cancel but if can never be avoided altogether

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