The hearing healthcare marketplace has two barriers that prevent people from acquiring healthier hearing:
- The inability to recognize hearing loss in the first place (owing to its gradual onset), and
- The temptation to find a quick, easy, and inexpensive solution.
Regrettably, countless people who have overcome the first barrier have been lured into the apparently “cheaper and easier” methods of correcting their hearing loss, whether it be through the purchase of hearing aids on the internet, the purchase of personal sound amplifiers, or by visiting the big box stores that are much more concerned with profitability than with patient care.
Despite the lure of these simple remedies, 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 profitable 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 require expert, individualized care to help choose your undershirts and bath soap. Consumer support simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems emerge when this business model is expanded to services that do require professional, customized 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 different. They’re not preoccupied with short-term profits because they don’t have a board of directors to report to. The success of a local practice is dependent on patient outcomes and quality of care, which leads to satisfied patients who remain faithful to the practice and disperse the positive word-of-mouth advertising that leads to more referrals.
Local practices, for that reason, thrive on providing high quality care, which rewards both the patient and the practice. In contrast, what happens if a national chain can’t deliver quality care and satisfied patients? Simple, they use national advertising to get a continual flow of new patients, promising 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 difficulty hearing are distinct from the frequencies you have difficulty 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 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 examined so you know the EXACT features 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 noise).
For the hearing care provider, this is no easy task. It requires a great deal of training 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 coaching and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no shortcuts to delivering comprehensive hearing care—but the results are worth the time and effort.
Make your choice
So, who do you want to trust with your hearing? To someone who views you as a transaction, as a consumer, and as a means to attaining sales goals? Or to an experienced local professional that cares about the same thing you do—helping you acquire 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 match your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.