The hearing healthcare marketplace has two barriers that prevent individuals from acquiring better hearing:
- The inability to recognize hearing loss in the first place (on account of its gradual onset), and
- The temptation to find a quick, easy, and inexpensive remedy.
Regretfully, countless 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 on 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 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 profitable for one reason: they sell a high volume of discounted goods and services at low prices in the name of larger revenue. National chains are focused on efficiency, which is a courteous 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 most likely don’t need expert, personalized care to help pick out your undershirts and bath soap. Consumer support simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems arise when this business model is extended to services that do call for expert, 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 completely different. They’re not obsessed with short-term profits because they don’t have a board of directors to answer to. The level of success of a local practice is centered on patient outcomes and quality of care, which produces satisfied patients who continue to be faithful to the practice and disperse the positive word-of-mouth advertising that leads to more referrals.
Local practices, for that reason, thrive 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 satisfied patients? Simple, they use nationwide 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 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 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 happen by:
- Having your hearing professionally examined so you know the EXACT characteristics of your hearing loss, and…
- Having your hearing aids professionally programmed to amplify the sounds you have trouble hearing while distinguishing and repressing the sounds you don’t want to hear (such as low-frequency background sound).
For the hearing care provider, this is no easy task. It requires a lot of training and patient care experience to have the ability to carry out a hearing test, help patients pick the right hearing aid, skillfully program the hearing aids, and furnish 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 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 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 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 thorough hearing healthcare and the best hearing technology to suit your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.