The hearing healthcare industry has two barriers that prevent people from acquiring healthier hearing:
- The inability to notice hearing loss in the first place (because of its gradual onset), and
- The temptation to find a quick, easy, and inexpensive solution.
Regrettably, numerous people who have overcome the first barrier have been lured into the allegedly “cheaper and easier” methods of addressing their hearing loss, whether it be through the purchase of hearing aids online, the purchase of personal sound amplifiers, or by visiting the big box stores that are much more concerned with profitability than with patient care.
Regardless of the lure of these quick remedies, the fact is that local hearing care providers are your best bet 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 successful for one reason: they sell a high volume of inexpensive goods and services at low prices in the name of higher revenues. National chains are all about efficiency, which is a courteous way of saying “get as many people in and out the door as quickly as possible.”
Granted, this profit-centric model works great with most purchases, because you probably don’t need professional, 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 expanded to services that do require professional, 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 very different. They’re not preoccupied with short-term profits because they don’t have a board of directors to answer to. The success of a local practice is dependent on patient outcomes and high quality of care, which produces satisfied patients who remain loyal to the practice and spread the positive word-of-mouth advertising that creates more referrals.
Local practices, for that reason, flourish on delivering quality care, which benefits both the patient and the practice. In contrast, what happens if a national chain can’t deliver quality care and happy patients? Simple, they use national advertising to get a continual flow of new patients, vowing the same “quick and cheap fix” that lured in the original customers.
Local hearing care providers have more experience
Hearing is complex, and like our fingerprints, is unique to everyone, 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 pump 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 truth is, the sounds your hearing aids amplify—AND the sounds they don’t—HAVE to complement the way you, and only you, hear. That’s only going to occur by:
- Having your hearing professionally tested so you know the EXACT attributes of your hearing loss, and…
- Having your hearing aids professionally programmed to amplify 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 takes a considerable amount of instruction and patient care experience to have the ability to conduct a hearing test, help patients choose the right hearing aid, professionally program the hearing aids, and offer the patient training and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no cutting corners to dispensing 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 someone 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 achieve the best hearing possible, which, by the way, is the lifeblood of the local practice.
As a general rule, we advise 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 comprehensive hearing healthcare and the best hearing technology to suit your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.