The hearing healthcare marketplace has two barriers that prevent individuals from achieving healthier hearing:
- The inability to detect hearing loss in the first place (because of its gradual onset), and
- The temptation to find a quick, easy, and inexpensive fix.
Regrettably, numerous people who have overcome the first barrier have been lured into the allegedly “cheaper and easier” techniques of addressing their hearing loss, whether it be through the purchase of hearing aids on the internet, the purchase of personal sound amplifiers, or by heading to the big box stores that are much more concerned with profitability than with patient care.
In spite of the appeal of these quick fixes, the fact is that local hearing care providers are your best option for better hearing, and here are the reasons why.
Local hearing care providers use a customer-centric business model
National chain stores are successful for one primary reason: they sell a high volume of low-priced goods and services at low prices in the name of larger revenue. National chains are all about efficiency, which is a nice way of saying “get as many people in and out the door as quickly as possible.”
Admittedly, this profit-centric model works great with most purchases, because you most likely don’t need expert, personalized care to help pick out your undershirts and bath soap. Customer service simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems develop when this business model is extended to services that do require expert, individualized care—such as the correction of hearing loss. National chains are not focused on patient outcomes because they can’t be; it’s too time-consuming and flies in the face of the high volume “see as many patients as possible” business model.
Local hearing care providers are completely different. They’re not obsessed with short-term profits because they don’t have a board of directors to answer to. The level of success of a local practice is influenced by on patient outcomes and high quality of care, which brings about satisfied patients who remain loyal to the practice and disperse the positive word-of-mouth advertising that creates more referrals.
Local practices, for that reason, thrive on delivering quality care, which will benefit both the patient and the practice. By comparison, what happens if a national chain can’t deliver quality care and satisfied patients? Simple, they use national advertising to get a steady flow of new patients, vowing the same “quick and cheap fix” that enticed in the original customers.
Local hearing care providers have more experience
Hearing is complex, and like our fingerprints, is unique to everybody, so the frequencies I may have trouble hearing are distinct from the frequencies you have trouble hearing. In other words, you can’t just take surrounding sound, make it all louder, and pump it into your ears and count on good results. But this is in essence what personal sound amplifiers, along with the cheaper hearing aid models, accomplish.
The reality is, the sounds your hearing aids amplify—AND the sounds they don’t—HAVE to match the way you, and only you, hear. That’s only going to come about by:
- Having your hearing professionally tested so you know the EXACT characteristics of your hearing loss, and…
- Having your hearing aids professionally programmed to intensify the sounds you have difficulty hearing while differentiating and suppressing the sounds you don’t want to hear (such as low-frequency background noise).
For the hearing care provider, this is no straight forward task. It requires a lot of education and patient care experience to be able to conduct a hearing test, help patients pick the right hearing aid, professionally program the hearing aids, and offer the patient coaching and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no shortcuts to supplying comprehensive hearing care—but the results are worth the time and energy.
Make your choice
So, who do you want to trust with your hearing? To somebody who views you as a transaction, as a customer, and as a means to achieving sales goals? Or to an experienced local professional that cares about the same thing you do—helping you realize the best hearing possible, which, by the way, is the lifeblood of the local practice.
As a basic rule, we recommend that you avoid buying your hearing aids anywhere you see a sign that reads “10 items or less.” As local, experienced hearing professionals, we provide thorough hearing healthcare and the best hearing technology to match your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.