Hours per client explained
The hours per client are the average amount of time a student spends taking classes with you.
This is calculated by the total number of paid hours you have done, divided by the number of students who have booked at least one paid class with you.
It is the most important metric on Spires and is used to calculate your tutor score.
Why are the hours per client important?
Hours Per Client indicates how much a client is willing to invest in a tutor. In general, the top (and most honest) tutors work with clients on Spires over the long term, help them achieve their goals and go far beyond the initial job briefs of their clients because they are seen to add significant value.
On the contrary, if a tutor consistently fails to convert students into longer-term placements, this can be a sign that the tutor is not demonstrating sufficient value to their clients. Low Hours per Client also highlight to our team when tutors are stealing clients and consistently scoring below their peers will lead to a formal review of your tutoring account.
We understand some placements are short, and some tutors prefer shorter placements, but in general, the very best tutors can convincingly demonstrate to their clients they can add value beyond one topic or goal. They ask a student (or parent) what their long-term educational (or career) objectives are and invest their own time into setting out a clear plan for long-term development to achieve this. In showing such goodwill and care, they are able to consistently convert even the smallest placements into multi-year placements and generate lots of returning clients, referrals and recommendations.
*** Hours Per Client is the most important ranking factor on Spires ***
How to retain your clients and improve Hours Per Client
We have seen the best tutors can do the following:
1. Professionalism - communication & preparation
Tutors should not be cancelling/rescheduling tutorials at the last moment, doing this repeatedly, or failing to turn up to a tutorial. They must be on time and prepared for each and every tutorial. All email responses and class requests should be replied to within 24 hours. This is the absolute minimum expected, and if you are constantly flaking, this creates a very bad impression on students and their parents.
Every tutorial should have a clear learning objective. Typically, this should be agreed on before the tutorial, either in your first call with the student or at the end of each session. Both student and tutor should attend a tutorial having done some preparation. For a tutor, this means gathering questions, resources or any needed materials, as well as refreshing your own knowledge if necessary. If you are able to bring this topic to life with interactive examples, your students will enjoy your sessions more, learn faster, and be much more likely to want to continue working with you.
2. Understand what tutoring is - avoid lecturing
A tutorial is not a lecture; if you are doing most of the talking, something is going wrong. Tutorials should be interactive with leading questions and thought-provoking dialogue throughout.
A tutorial should involve some questions being asked and answered together. That means worked examples, calculations, and application of theory to practice. Even qualitative subjects can take part in this by outlining an essay response. This applies to all subjects, and it is important to remember that lecturing has not worked for the students who approach tutors. The idea of tutoring is for the student to be able to ask questions and get practice towards answering questions.
3. Appropriate use of technology
The platform requires the online classroom to be used, however, this is the minimum expected. Tutors who need to write and draw should own a graphics tablet, and this applies to those teaching Maths, Science, Engineering, Economics and Computer Science as a minimum. Many others could benefit from this and it is only a £30 investment.
We have always encouraged tutors to seek out and use any other software which is useful for their teaching. There are many applications available on the internet for things like collaborative coding, graph drawing, statistical analysis, remote control access, collaborative document and spreadsheet access and so on.
Tutors should also be equipped with good computers/laptops, with a good internet connection and be working from a quiet place. The tutor guide goes into much more detail, and we have lots of articles there to explain further.
4. Book your next session at the end of each session
Ideally, you should try and establish a regular timeslot for a class, e.g. Mondays at 5 p.m. This is the most efficient way to ensure that both parties are aware and turn up to a class. Spires allows you to offer classes in bulk, so make use of this feature and block book classes. The best time to do this is at the end of a class (remember not to charge for this time) and discuss the following classes.
Students need structure and organisation from you and the very best tutors are able to set out educational roadmaps for weeks, months and even years. Make good use of our class scheduling system to lock in future classes.
5. Don't make your relationships purely transactional
As a tutor, you are providing a professional service and should be paid properly, in full and on time for your work. However, it is true in general that when a service provider makes the provision of their services about price rather than value, their clients can feel short-changed. Building a rapport by focusing on value and solving problems first and foremost for the client will generally lead to better outcomes for all involved. Similarly, you can quickly destroy hard-earned rapport through overcharging for your time. Charging for a few extra minutes at the end of a class rather than offering them as a source of goodwill to attract further classes down the road is not really worth it in. the long run.
6. Keep your clients on the platform
We invest large sums of money, time and energy into creating job opportunities for tutors, and quality tutor introductions for clients. Entering into private arrangements once introduced through our platform is stealing and against our terms and house rules. It is dishonest and unprofessional and will result in an instant ban from our platforms and services; in extreme cases, it may result in legal action. We simply ask that tutors act with honesty and integrity as the proper functioning of the system relies on it. Taking clients off-platform to avoid platform fees will hurt your tutor data and over time show up clearly to our team. Please respect our teams' efforts and the value we add and don't steal from us.
We hope this guide helps you to increase the value that you are able to add to your clients, and in doing so, generate well-earned income for your hard work and knowledge.