The hearing healthcare marketplace has two barriers that prevent individuals from obtaining healthier hearing:
- The inability to notice hearing loss in the first place (because of its slow 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 apparently “cheaper and easier” practices of addressing their hearing loss, whether it be through the purchase of hearing aids on the web, 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.
Despite the lure of these quick fixes, the truth is that local hearing care providers are your best choice 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 discounted goods and services at low prices in the name of higher profits. National chains are focused on efficiency, which is a pleasant way of saying “get as many people in and out the door as quickly as possible.”
Undoubtedly, this profit-centric model works great with most purchases, because you most likely don’t require professional, individualized care to help choose your undershirts and bath soap. Consumer support simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems surface when this business model is expanded to services that do call for professional, customized 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 obsessed with short-term profits because they don’t have a board of directors to report to. The success of a local practice is based upon on patient outcomes and quality of care, which brings about satisfied patients who remain loyal to the practice and disperse the positive word-of-mouth advertising that leads to more referrals.
Local practices, therefore, flourish on providing high quality care, which will benefit both the patient and the practice. In contrast, what will happen if a national chain can’t deliver quality care and satisfied patients? Simple, they use national advertising to get a constant 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 different from the frequencies you have trouble hearing. In other words, you can’t just take ambient sound, make it all louder, and push 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 take place by:
- Having your hearing professionally examined so you know the EXACT attributes of your hearing loss, and…
- Having your hearing aids professionally programmed to enhance 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 easy task. It requires a considerable amount of education and patient care experience to be able to perform a hearing test, help patients choose the right hearing aid, professionally program the hearing aids, and furnish the patient coaching and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no cutting corners to dispensing 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 targets? 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 suit your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.