The hearing healthcare industry has two barriers that prevent people from achieving healthier hearing:
- The inability to detect hearing loss in the first place (owing to its slow 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” practices 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 visiting the big box stores that are much more concerned with profitability than with patient care.
In spite of the appeal of these quick 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 successful for one reason: they sell a high volume of discounted goods and services at low prices in the name of higher revenue. 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 require expert, personalized care to help select your undershirts and bath soap. Customer service simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems emerge when this business model is extended to services that do necessitate professional, personalized 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 success of a local practice is reliant on patient outcomes and high quality of care, which produces satisfied patients who remain loyal to the practice and disperse the positive word-of-mouth advertising that leads to more referrals.
Local practices, for that reason, flourish on providing high quality care, which benefits both the patient and the practice. By comparison, what occurs if a national chain can’t deliver quality care and satisfied patients? Simple, they use nationwide advertising to get a steady 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 everyone, so the frequencies I may have difficulty hearing are different 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 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 complement 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 features of your hearing loss, and…
- Having your hearing aids professionally programmed to boost the sounds you have difficulty hearing while differentiating and suppressing 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 considerable amount of instruction and patient care experience to have the ability to conduct a hearing test, help patients select the right hearing aid, skillfully program the hearing aids, and provide the patient coaching and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no shortcuts to delivering 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 achieving sales targets? 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 general 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 comprehensive hearing healthcare and the best hearing technology to suit your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.