The hearing healthcare marketplace has two barriers that prevent people from acquiring healthier hearing:
- The inability to recognize hearing loss in the first place (because of its gradual onset), and
- The temptation to find a quick, easy, and inexpensive fix.
Regretfully, numerous people who have overcome the first barrier have been lured into the purportedly “cheaper and easier” practices of correcting their hearing loss, whether it be through the purchase of hearing aids over the internet, the purchase of personal sound amplifiers, or by heading to the big box stores that are much more concerned with profits than with patient care.
In spite of the lure of these simple 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 choose to use a customer-centric business model
National chain stores are profitable for one primary reason: they sell a high volume of low-cost goods and services at low prices in the name of larger revenues. National chains are focused on efficiency, which is a nice way of saying “get as many people in and out the door as rapidly as possible.”
Admittedly, this profit-centric model works great with most purchases, because you probably don’t need professional, individualized care to help choose your undershirts and bath soap. Consumer support simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems surface when this business model is expanded to services that do demand expert, individualized care—such as the correction of hearing loss. National chains are not interested in 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 very different. They’re not obsessed with short-term profits because they don’t have a board of directors to report to. The level of success of a local practice is reliant on patient outcomes and quality of care, which leads to satisfied patients who remain loyal to the practice and spread the positive word-of-mouth advertising that creates more referrals.
Local practices, therefore, thrive on delivering high quality care, which benefits 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 constant flow of new patients, promising 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 different from the frequencies you have trouble hearing. In other words, you can’t just take ambient sound, make it all louder, and push it into your ears and count on good results. But this is essentially 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 attributes of your hearing loss, and…
- Having your hearing aids professionally programmed to intensify the sounds you have trouble hearing while differentiating and repressing the sounds you don’t want to hear (such as low-frequency background sound).
For the hearing care provider, this is no straight forward task. It takes a great deal of training and patient care experience to be able to carry out a hearing test, help patients pick the right hearing aid, skillfully program the hearing aids, and give the patient coaching and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no shortcuts to providing comprehensive hearing care—but the results are worth the time and effort.
Make your choice
So, who do you want to leave your hearing to? 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 attain 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.