The hearing healthcare industry has two barriers that prevent individuals from obtaining better hearing:
- The inability to recognize hearing loss in the first place (due to its gradual onset), and
- The temptation to find a quick, easy, and inexpensive remedy.
Unfortunately, countless people who have overcome the first barrier have been lured into the supposedly “cheaper and easier” practices of correcting their hearing loss, whether it be through the purchase of hearing aids over 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 truth is that local hearing care providers are your best option 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 successful 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 courteous 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 probably don’t require professional, individualized care to help select your undershirts and bath soap. Customer service simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems arise when this business model is extended to services that do call for professional, 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 very 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 based upon on patient outcomes and high quality of care, which brings about satisfied patients who remain faithful to the practice and disperse the positive word-of-mouth advertising that creates more referrals.
Local practices, for that reason, flourish on delivering quality care, which rewards both the patient and the practice. By comparison, what happens 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, 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 expect 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 complement the way you, and only you, hear. That’s only going to take place by:
- Having your hearing professionally tested so you know the EXACT features of your hearing loss, and…
- Having your hearing aids professionally programmed to enhance the sounds you have difficulty hearing while distinguishing and suppressing 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 have the ability to carry out a hearing test, help patients pick the right hearing aid, skillfully program the hearing aids, and provide the patient training 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 leave your hearing to? To somebody who views you as a transaction, as a consumer, and as a means to attaining 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 recommend that you avoid purchasing 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 match your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.