I saw this great article about Managing Tutor No Shows from Test Prep Professionals and wanted to pass it on to all.
Step 1: Call the client in advance of an impending missed appointment whenever possible (Good organizations are unafraid to admit mistakes and eager to provide resolution).
Step 2: Assuming that the no-show is unexpected, remember that the tutor’s well being and the client’s concerns are not mutually exclusive. Support your tutor and attempt contact. At the same time, validate the client’s concerns by letting them know you will immediately work to reach a resolution. A phrase like “this is not typical for David nor for our company, let me do some quick research and get back to you in XX minutes.” This practice will afford time to both check on the tutor and to consider client alternatives.
Step 3: Attempt to reach the original tutor to determine if he is alright. At this point it would be wise to call back up tutors as well and set the expectation for meeting location, duration and subject matter. When possible, defer to a Icon Tutor.
Step 4: Work to create a make up meeting with your absolute best tutor (Icon Tutor) but make it clear that this is only because of the unusual circumstance and is unlikely to be a regular option. Ideally, this meeting occurs at the same time as the original appointment. If it does not, work to redirect the client to a make up session with said Icon Tutor. The bottom line here is that you want to protect your brand and your reputation by turning an obstacle into an opportunity. One has more control when one schedules a known quantity. Weaker organizations will find anyone they can to fill the original session which often backfires.
Step 5: Follow up with the client before and after the eventual meeting. *Note* this is a good practice to employ for all regular meeting times as well–not just a crisis. The key to the relationship between a tutoring organization and a client is transparency.
Step 6: If the client is intransigent, be prepared to find a reasonable middle ground for what we call a make good. This is often a request for some sort of refund. Ultimately, the key here is to let the client talk so that one can uncover the true need they are expressing. For example, a client may ask for a refund because they do not know or understand their options. Things like extra time, free-work shops, even work-books can be suggested and are typically more relevant to the root concern of the client.
Because word of mouth is ultimately the best advertising, protecting your brand equity cannot be overstated; if a refund is demanded, be prepared to part with the money. That having been said, if you stand behind your service consistently during good and bad situations, you should be able to help redirect the client to a more relevant and agreeable make good more often than not.
Manage your staff and their calendar in oaSES. Find a qualified replacement for a no-show situation simply and easily with no panic.