A good education counselor can be one of the most sought-after professionals in the world, particularly when it comes to higher education. Many students opting to pursue their education abroad tend to go through such counselors to get the best advice and make the student visa process hassle-free.
Simply putting a notice outside the office claiming to be a qualified education agent is probably not going to be enough to get the business. Value addition is necessary! An essential thing to remember about advising students on which college or university they should attend is that they are capable of doing their own research and applying accordingly. So why would they need the help of a professional counselor? Well, there is more to it than just filling out an application form and posting it!
Here are five important attributes that can make an education counselor successful:
Keep It Honest
An education counselor who is honest with the client is much more likely to succeed than one who is not. A good counselor always gives the client options to choose from, even if it means letting or encouraging the client talk to other competing counselors to find the right one.
When people know they are free from the lack of options, their confidence grows naturally. Honesty brings loyalty and trust along with it. If your professional opinion feels that a student visa application may not be successful, let them know honestly and do not lead them astray or keep them waiting. Education counselors who do that end up ruining their own reputation and it becomes almost impossible to regain the clients’ trust thereafter.
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The rate at which you answer student queries and the efficiency with which you resolve their issues will determine your success too. Time is a factor in every business and this is no different. Make sure the client receives information about the courses and updates about their application process on a timely basis. This market is highly competitive and speed can make or break the deal.
One of the reasons why a client will approach a counselor is to be more efficient with all the paperwork required. This is where education agent training can help counselors to navigate the priorities and manage client expectations.
It is important for applicants to get the student visa but it is not the end of the world. Therefore, counselors should be realistic as well as empathetic while advising them. We know some clients and their parents can be quite demanding as many people still feel that paying money should get the job done.
However, it is the education counselor’s responsibility to ensure the client clearly knows the difference between what is possible and what is not. Leaving it vague will only complicate the situation further and make it more frustrating for the client, eventually affecting the counselor’s business negatively.
Having the right partner institutions onboard and maintaining good relations with them is one of the keys to successful education counseling. At the same time, a good counselor must sustain a positive education agency reputation with the authorities who oversee and implement immigration laws and policies.
Clarity in communication is the key to any business. It resolves issues with minimal conflict and builds trust in the individual or company. The same level of effective communication is needed while liaising with institutional partners. It is of no use merely having contacts on paper, if the education counselor is not communicating with them regularly and effectively.
An education counselor who makes it a point to stay updated with the latest changes in immigration policies and advises the client accordingly will surely be successful. For instance, in Australia, the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act protects the rights of international students. Other examples include the Tuition Protection Service, a refund and placement service for international students. There are many more!
Immigration laws and regulations can change over time with the economic conditions and policies of the host country. This is more frequent in countries like Australia and New Zealand due to the smaller size of their populations. A successful counselor will ensure that they learn everything there is to know about these laws. They should be able to offer timely advice and handle adversity with ease.