Today, in a poll for tutors, we were asked if we would like for students to have an instant booking option. The majority of tutors said, "Yes". The students would be able to see our availability, calendars, and set appointments. The option could be a great tool for both students and tutors. It would save time trying to connect with the tutor, and possibly streamline the day.
However, there was a large percentage of tutors who said, "No." So, I had to pause and think about why it might not be such a great tool. What could possibly go wrong?
The first issue that comes to mind is driving time. The difference between a private tutor and a tutoring center is the fact that we are not in a set location. If a student sees that I have a one hour opening that would be great for them and schedules it, but lives more than a five minute drive from the previously booked student before or after that hour, it could cause issues. Unless the software has some type of filter for this particular potential problem, it will cause more difficulty than it solves. The student will experience more frustration when the tutor has to call and reschedule.
The second issue I could see arising; there is currently not an option to block out specific times within the general availability. If the tutor makes an appointment for something other than a student, there's no way to show that in the Wyzant calendar at this time. If I am not previously booked with a student, I often use that time of day for other appointments or projects.
Which leads me to the last possible problem I thought of rather quickly. What if we don't receive the notice in time and miss the appointment the student scheduled instantly? This could seriously harm the tutor's reputation as well as Wyzant's overall ratings.
As I have considered the possible cons a little further, I think I would change my answer. Wyzant would have to assure me these issues would be resolved in the software. The only way I would use it now is for online only students at set days/times. I would still want the ability to block out specific times within my general availability. However, the days I set as available for instant booking, I would open the laptop up and keep it open during those times. I would be ready to jump in to any topic or questions the student had.