The hearing healthcare marketplace has two barriers that prevent individuals from acquiring healthier hearing:
- The inability to detect hearing loss in the first place (due to its gradual onset), and
- The temptation to find a quick, easy, and inexpensive solution.
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 online, the purchase of personal sound amplifiers, or by visiting the big box stores that are much more concerned with profitability than with patient care.
In spite of the appeal of these quick fixes, the fact is that local hearing care providers are your best bet 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-cost 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 rapidly as possible.”
Granted, this profit-centric model works great with most purchases, because you probably don’t require professional, personalized care to help select your undershirts and bath soap. Customer service simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems surface when this business model is expanded to services that do call for 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 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 based upon on patient outcomes and quality of care, which results in satisfied patients who stay loyal to the practice and spread the positive word-of-mouth advertising that creates more referrals.
Local practices, for that reason, thrive on delivering quality care, which will benefit both the patient and the practice. By comparison, what happens if a national chain can’t deliver quality care and happy patients? Simple, they use national advertising to get a constant 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 everyone, so the frequencies I may have difficulty hearing are different 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 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 occur by:
- Having your hearing professionally tested so you know the EXACT attributes of your hearing loss, and…
- Having your hearing aids professionally programmed to boost 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 requires a lot of training and patient care experience to have the ability to perform a hearing test, help patients pick the right hearing aid, professionally program the hearing aids, and provide the patient training and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no cutting corners to delivering 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 consumer, and as a means to reaching sales goals? 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 advise 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 comprehensive hearing healthcare and the best hearing technology to suit your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.