Systems integration and automation for Dymocks Tutoring

The Challenge

Potentia Tutoring was an independent tutoring business providing tutoring services to primary and secondary school children. The business had successfully grown from small beginnings to come to the attention of Dymocks, Australia’s leading bookseller chain. Potentia Tutoring thus became Dymocks Tutoring, a business with the backing of a well known brand, and with this came significant growth targets and pressure to perform at a higher level.

Up to this point, the business had used several systems, none of which talked to each other and that had to be updated manually. They completed other tasks using an array of spreadsheets – the whole process was time consuming and came with an element of risk. It was clear that Dymocks needed to reevaluate how these procedures were affecting efficiencies in their business, and how to move forward. That’s where we came in.

After they showed interest in using HubSpot, we were introduced to the Dymocks team to provide a systems audit. We quickly realised that by integrating their systems and automating the manual processes, the business would save a considerable amount of admin time and reduce critical data risk. By integrating HubSpot they would have a single view of their customer and also be able to undertake far more effective communications. 

What Did We Do?

After much consideration, we devised a plan which we then broke down into 5 key areas; a deep systems & process audit, a website restructure, HubSpot configuration, middleware build with integrations, and customised extensions for the middleware. 

Our first step was to undertake a deep audit of the existing systems and processes, research how they attracted and retained students, and uncover the administrative pain points. What we discovered was that the old website was underperforming from a UX viewpoint and was a significant disincentive to users, leading to drop-offs. Students who did enrol endured a clunky process and these enrolments had to be manually transposed into the Canvas learning system and internal spreadsheets. Marketing was undertaken by the business using what little data that could be gathered from the website and anecdotally from existing students.

Following these discoveries, our next stop was to redesign and rebuild the website. We undertook research with students and the Dymocks team to work out what students needed from the website to encourage them to enrol and to stay engaged. After wireframing, designing and prototyping we then rebuilt the site, making sure that it worked for potential students and their parents. We worked with Dymock’s SEO agency to optimise the pages to suit their campaigns, then integrated the site with HubSpot and created better marketing workflows.

Succeeding the HubSpot setup, we now needed to get all the systems ‘talking’ to each other. We built out middleware; a software platform that sits in the middle of the other systems and translates the data between them. The platform allows enrolled and trial students to be passed into HubSpot and managed as ‘deals’, enabling tracking of each student from initial interest through to being a paying customer. It also passes the same students into Canvas (soon to be migrated to Google Classroom) into the required classes and allows Dymocks to manage students and guardians and pass that data back to HubSpot. The system then bills students using Stripe and integrates payments with Xero. It accommodates up-front payments or calculates weekly payments while taking in account automated discounts and one-off discount codes.

Finally, we needed to build an extension of the middleware as there was no existing platform that could meet the specific needs of the business. Functions to manage the classes and the students were previously managed via a number of spreadsheets, creating a high risk of administrative error. Class management, rostering and attendance marking are now managed in a single platform with required data passing to HubSpot or Canvas as needed.

What Happened Next?!

All the hard work really paid off, leading to a huge expansion for the business. Following implementation, the two school terms that followed resulted in the following:

  • The business has roughly doubled
  • Form completion for lead generation after website launch increased by 97%
  • The average dwell time on the site magnified to more than twice what it had been previously, increasing from 41 seconds to 101 seconds
  • Free trial registrations increased by 162%
  • Student Support requirements were reduced, leading to a saving of approximately $60-80k a year due to automation.

Needless to say, Dymocks are very happy with the results so far and we are undertaking additional development to further improve the processes for their business.

The Engaging.io team have been amazing to work with. We've thrown them a number of curveballs and tricky builds, often with short time frames, and they always deliver. We work very closely with the team, and they're always available to chat through new ideas and provide solutions. The team have HubSpot knowledge second to none.

Megan Overton, Marketing Manager at Dymocks Tutoring