Providing support to a client is never a case of one-size-fits-all.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) gives participants power over their funding to use the providers who can best cater to their needs. So, tailoring your support to meet the needs of each individual client will make your service more appealing to more participants in the NDIS. Here are our tips on how to do it.
Clients exercise choice and control over the implementation of their NDIS plans and take the lead in sourcing and securing supports that are geared towards their needs. It’s important to listen to participants and provide supports that are tailored to them if you want to stand out and serve in the competitive NDIS market.
Talk openly with your clients about their needs and what they’re asking for. Respect the wishes of your clients 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 a participant is looking for, it’s always best to ask them at the outset. Every client is different, and they have different ways of communicating their needs, so if you’re unsure of something, just ask and clear up any confusion that may exist.
Trust is a must! Your relationship with your clients should be built on mutual respect. Keeping their best interests at the core of what you do will help your clients to feel comfortable and confident in your services – and hopefully keep them using your business.
Providing your clients with consistent and reliable support is important to your ongoing relationship. Keeping clients informed if you’re running late or need to reschedule will reassure them.
Be up front with your clients about what price you’re charging per hour and how many hours (or part hours) are likely to be required. One way to do this is to put in place a service agreement with your clients, including a Schedule of Supports, to outline expectations of how supports will be delivered, associated costs, and cancellation requirements and/or fees. Depending on the service, you and your client might negotiate on the terms of the agreement.
Keeping timesheets of the hours you work is also important record keeping. If issues do arise, they’re quite often over payment disputes, so it’s best to be transparent at the outset about costs and realistic about hours to avoid damaging the relationship down the track.
It’s important that the hourly rate you charge is within the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits, which are designed to let providers know the maximum price they can charge.
If you charge GST, the total price plus GST must fall within the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits too. Clients are taking greater ownership of their plans and increasing their understanding of the maximum price a provider can charge. This empowers them to better gauge value and find competitive pricing when shopping for providers.
NDIS clients are looking for providers they can trust, and the best way to grow your reputation as a trusted provider is through online reviews and word of mouth. You may want to consider asking your clients to write a review on your social media pages, through Google, or via disability service directories like Clickability, so potential new clients can see what your current clients think of your service!
Remember, NDIS participants who work with a plan manager can choose any service provider – whether they’re 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 clientele.
Building a reliable and authentic relationship with your clients will reassure them they’re with the right provider to meet their needs.