The hearing healthcare marketplace has two barriers that prevent people from acquiring better hearing:
- The inability to notice hearing loss in the first place (owing to its gradual 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” 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 heading to the big box stores that are much more concerned with profits than with patient care.
Regardless of the appeal of these simple fixes, the truth is that local hearing care providers are your best bet for better hearing, and here are the reasons why.
Local hearing care providers choose to 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 higher revenues. 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.”
Granted, this profit-centric model works great with most purchases, because you most likely don’t need expert, individualized care to help select 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 necessitate professional, 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 very different. They’re not preoccupied 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 leads to satisfied patients who continue to be loyal to the practice and disperse the positive word-of-mouth advertising that creates more referrals.
Local practices, therefore, flourish on providing high quality care, which is beneficial 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 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 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 expect good results. But this is in essence 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 suppressing 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 takes a great deal of education and patient care experience to be able to carry out a hearing test, help patients choose the right hearing aid, skillfully program the hearing aids, and provide the patient coaching and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no cutting corners to supplying comprehensive hearing care—but the results are well worth the time and energy.
Make your choice
So, who do you want to leave your hearing to? To someone who views you as a transaction, as a customer, 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 basic 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 thorough hearing healthcare and the best hearing technology to suit your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.