Providing support to a client is never a case of one-size-fits-all. The NDIS gives participants the power over their funding to use the providers that suit their needs. Tailoring your support to meet the needs of each individual client will make your service appealing to more participants. Here are our tips on how to do this:
1. Listen to your client
Talk openly with your client about their needs and what they’re asking for. It’s important to respect the wishes of your client and assess whether you can meet their expectations. Often, it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference.If you’re unsure about what your client is looking for it’s best to ask up front. Every client is different and may have different ways of communicating their needs, so if you’re unsure of something just ask and clear up any confusion from the beginning.
2. Build a trusting relationship
Trust is a must! Your relationship with the client should be built on mutual respect. Keeping the client’s best interests at the core of what you do will help the client to feel comfortable and confident in your services – and hopefully keep using your business.
3. Be reliable
Providing your client with consistent and reliable support is important to your ongoing relationship. Keeping clients informed if you are running late or need to reschedule will reassure them.
4. Be transparent
Be upfront with your client about what price you’re charging per hour and how many hours are likely to be required. One way to do this is to have a service agreement with your client, to outline expectations of how the support will be delivered including associated costs and cancellation fees. Depending on the service you and the client might negotiate on the agreement. Keeping timesheets of the hours you work is also important record keeping.
If issues do arise, they are quite often over payment disputes, so it’s best to be transparent about cost and realistic about hours up front to avoid damaging the relationship with the client down the track.
5. Great service = more clients
NDIS clients looking for new providers like to know that a provider can be trusted and the best way to spread the word about your business is through word of mouth. If your clients are happy, they will refer their friends. You might also like to ask your clients to write a review on your social media pages or on an NDIS provider register so potential new clients can see what your current clients think of your service!
Keep in mind
It’s important to remember that NDIS participants who work with a plan manager can choose any service provider, whether they are NDIS-registered or not. This world of additional providers available to clients means they can pick and choose as they like, so standing out is key to attracting new clients and retaining existing clients. Building a reliable and authentic relationship with your clients will reassure them they are with the right provider to meet their needs.