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Care providers need to improve their digital strategy

01-Aug-2017

By Mark Schiffer. The sweeping changes being brought by the NDIS presents a range of opportunities as well as challenges for disability care providers in Australia. To be successful in this new environment, providers need to market themselves better as well as providing customers with a quality experience.

The NDIS has changed the game for disability service providers. Rather than providers automatically receiving government funding, the money now goes to the client who can then choose the provider they want.

To receive funding disability service providers now need to compete for clients by offering a quality customer experience. Clients will change providers if they are not satisfied. To win new business, providers need to market themselves and differentiate the value they offer from their competitors.

Provide a seamless online experience

Providing clients with a seamless online experience is vital to promoting your brand’s values and building loyalty. You website and overall digital strategy should be designed from the ground up around the needs of your customers.

The internet is the first place that most people start their search for a disability care provider. Your website may well be the first point of contact of someone has with your organisation and ‘first impressions’ are important.

A poorly designed website that doesn’t address their questions and concerns will place you low on their list as a potential provider. If your website remains completely invisible to search engines then you are unlikely to appear on that list at all.

You website needs to meet the latest accessibility standards, removing any barriers that inhibit interactions by people with disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, all users have equal access to information and functions.

Leverage social media for referrals

With over 80% of the Australian population using some form of social media, disability providers can’t afford to ignore this channel. According to Lina Caneva, editor for ProBono, “For disability services providers, managing your reputation and getting word of mouth referral is absolutely critical. This means your top priority is marketing to your existing clients, their families and others in their circle.”.  

Reputations can be made or broken on social media. Negative comments or reviews can spread like wildfire particularly in regards to sensitive topics. Alternatively, social media allows you to build a loyal community of fans who will promote your organisation and its values.

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