The hearing healthcare marketplace has two barriers that prevent people from acquiring healthier hearing:
- The inability to recognize hearing loss in the first place (because of its gradual onset), and
- The temptation to find a quick, easy, and inexpensive remedy.
Regrettably, numerous people who have overcome the first barrier have been lured into the apparently “cheaper and easier” methods 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 visiting the big box stores that are much more concerned with profits than with patient care.
In spite of the appeal of these simple fixes, the truth 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 primary reason: they sell a high volume of discounted goods and services at low prices in the name of larger profit. 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 professional, individualized care to help choose your undershirts and bath soap. Consumer support simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems emerge when this business model is extended to services that do demand expert, personalized 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 completely 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 reliant 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 delivering quality care, which rewards 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 endless flow of new patients, vowing 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 everybody, so the frequencies I may have trouble hearing are different from the frequencies you have difficulty 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 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 characteristics of your hearing loss, and…
- Having your hearing aids professionally programmed to enhance 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 easy task. It takes a great deal of training and patient care experience to be able to carry out a hearing test, help patients pick the right hearing aid, skillfully program the hearing aids, and give the patient coaching and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no shortcuts to providing 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 consumer, and as a means to attaining 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 thorough hearing healthcare and the best hearing technology to suit your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.