You First Disability Services is ready to break the mould

When You First Disability Services opened its doors earlier this year, it ripped up the rule book on how to deliver in home care services.

Gone are the days of just accepting whoever an agency sent, You First clients get to choose who they work with and when.

Clients can bring their own support workers with them or a client consultant can help source new support workers.

All clients and support workers will meet before working together to ensure there is a good match.

Let's face it, nobody wants to spend time with someone they don't like.

And once "matched", clients and support workers can contact each other directly to arrange shifts while You First just takes care of the paperwork.

You First ripped up the rule book.

The design blueprint for You First was simple - those involved wrote down all the good and bad experiences they had with different providers and then took it from there.

They designed a service they would want to use, with good old-fashioned customer service at the core.

For example, You First knows that timesheets and pay are a big frustration for support workers and clients, so they created a weekly online timesheet that support workers can even fill out on their phone.

Each week the timesheet is emailed to clients to confirm the shifts and all they have to do is email back confirmation. Support workers are then paid each week for the work done in the previous week.

While You First has harnessed the efficiency of technology, they also know that clients and support workers want to be able to interact with real people both in person and over the phone.

As a result, they have made sure that both are in place and staff can be reached online or in person.

You First has also introduced the first customer rewards loyalty program into the industry with You First Reward Points. Clients receive $1.50 for every standard weekday hour and $3 per hour at weekends when they use a You First support worker.

You First Reward Points were introduced because of the many hidden costs involved in running a team of support workers. However, no one realised how much the points would mean to some clients.

While some clients spend their points each week, others save them up. One client said they were saving their points up to spend on creating the magical Christmas Day they've always dreamed of.

You First's phenomenal growth over the last few months is testament to how much users of disability services have been crying out for something different - a service that gives them the NDIS's promised choice and control.

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