Communication between stakeholders is key to adapting to the NDIS environment. Some key stakeholders that you should build strong relationships with include:
Clients and families. Develop a time-framed communication plan for building and strengthening relationships with current customers. This change should be gradual – when the NDIS is implemented, customers shouldn’t think that you “suddenly” care about them because you only start then. Instead, start communication now. Communication can occur through a range of tools, including website, blog, social media, email, community information nights, and in-person at your centers. One tool is to become a resource center for information about the NDIS. This is an inexpensive option, as it can be posted on your existing website or provided in the form of brochures at your centers.
The general public. This crosses over with clients and families, as many of the changes will be available to the general public. These changes include website, blog, and social media. Furthermore, opening community information nights to the general public, not exclusive to your existing clients, may attract new clients and provide an opportunity for you to meet people face-to-face and begin developing a relationship.
Collaboration with other organisations that compliment your own. Chances are there are organisations that compliment your own. You may provide services that are different (and as such they are not your competition), but provided to individuals with similar or co-morbid disabilities. Through developing relationships with these groups, you will be able to refer clients to each other.
Furthermore, finding out who your existing clients are and which areas are missing may help you to tailor your communication in particular areas. Find out how your clients found our about you – was it through a GP, web search, social media, or other form of advertising. If there is a gap, determine how you can fill it and begin communication in this area.