The hearing healthcare industry has two barriers that prevent individuals from attaining healthier hearing:
- The inability to recognize hearing loss in the first place (due to its slow onset), and
- The temptation to find a quick, easy, and inexpensive solution.
Unfortunately, numerous 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 online, 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 lure of these quick 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 choose to 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 profit. National chains are all about efficiency, which is a pleasant 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 need professional, personalized care to help select your undershirts and bath soap. Customer service simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems develop when this business model is expanded to services that do demand expert, 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 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 reliant on patient outcomes and quality of care, which results in satisfied patients who continue to be loyal to the practice and disperse the positive word-of-mouth advertising that creates more referrals.
Local practices, for that reason, flourish on providing high quality care, which will benefit both the patient and the practice. In contrast, what occurs 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 everyone, 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 pump it into your ears and count on good results. But this is essentially 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 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 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 straight forward task. It requires a great deal of training and patient care experience to be able to conduct a hearing test, help patients pick the right hearing aid, skillfully program the hearing aids, and supply 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 trust with your hearing? 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 realize 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 match your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.