The hearing healthcare marketplace has two barriers that prevent individuals from achieving healthier hearing:
- The inability to recognize hearing loss in the first place (owing to its slow onset), and
- The temptation to find a quick, easy, and inexpensive fix.
Regretfully, countless people who have overcome the first barrier have been lured into the supposedly “cheaper and easier” methods of correcting their hearing loss, whether it be through the purchase of hearing aids on the web, 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 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 use a customer-centric business model
National chain stores are profitable for one 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 pleasant way of saying “get as many people in and out the door as rapidly as possible.”
Undoubtedly, this profit-centric model works great with most purchases, because you most likely don’t need expert, individualized care to help choose 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 call for 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 completely different. They’re not obsessed with short-term profits because they don’t have a board of directors to answer to. The success of a local practice is centered on patient outcomes and high quality of care, which results in satisfied patients who stay loyal to the practice and spread the positive word-of-mouth advertising that creates more referrals.
Local practices, for that reason, thrive on delivering high quality care, which will benefit both the patient and the practice. By comparison, what will happen 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 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 push 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 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 take place by:
- Having your hearing professionally tested so you know the EXACT characteristics of your hearing loss, and…
- Having your hearing aids professionally programmed to boost the sounds you have difficulty hearing while distinguishing and repressing 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 choose the right hearing aid, skillfully program the hearing aids, and offer the patient training and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no shortcuts to supplying comprehensive hearing care—but the results are well 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 reaching sales goals? Or to an experienced local professional that cares about the same thing you do—helping you obtain the best hearing possible, which, by the way, is the lifeblood of the local practice.
As a basic 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.