The hearing healthcare marketplace has two barriers that prevent people from attaining healthier 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 solution.
Regrettably, numerous people who have overcome the first barrier have been lured into the apparently “cheaper and easier” practices of correcting 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.
Despite the lure of these simple fixes, 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 low-priced 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.”
Granted, this profit-centric model works great with most purchases, because you most likely don’t require professional, personalized care to help choose your undershirts and bath soap. Customer service simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems arise when this business model is expanded to services that do call for expert, 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 completely different. They’re not obsessed with short-term profits because they don’t have a board of directors to report to. The level of success of a local practice is centered on patient outcomes and quality of care, which results in satisfied patients who stay faithful to the practice and disperse the positive word-of-mouth advertising that leads to more referrals.
Local practices, therefore, flourish on delivering 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 happy patients? Simple, they use nationwide advertising to get a continuous 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 difficulty hearing are distinct from the frequencies you have difficulty hearing. In other words, you can’t just take surrounding 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 truth 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 attributes 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 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 carry out a hearing test, help patients pick the right hearing aid, professionally program the hearing aids, and provide the patient coaching and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no cutting corners to delivering comprehensive hearing care—but the results are 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 consumer, and as a means to reaching sales targets? 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 comprehensive hearing healthcare and the best hearing technology to match your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.