The hearing healthcare industry has two barriers that prevent people from attaining healthier hearing:
- The inability to detect hearing loss in the first place (owing to 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 allegedly “cheaper and easier” practices of addressing their hearing loss, whether it be through the purchase of hearing aids on the internet, the purchase of personal sound amplifiers, or by visiting the big box stores that are much more concerned with profitability than with patient care.
Regardless of the lure of these simple remedies, 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 primary reason: they sell a high volume of low-priced goods and services at low prices in the name of higher profit. National chains are focused on efficiency, which is a nice way of saying “get as many people in and out the door as rapidly as possible.”
Undoubtedly, this profit-centric model works great with most purchases, because you probably don’t need expert, 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 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 different. They’re not preoccupied 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 dependent on patient outcomes and high quality of care, which produces 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 quality care, which is beneficial both the patient and the practice. By comparison, what will happen 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, 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 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 expect good results. But this is essentially 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 take place by:
- Having your hearing professionally tested so you know the EXACT attributes of your hearing loss, and…
- Having your hearing aids professionally programmed to enhance the sounds you have trouble hearing while distinguishing and repressing the sounds you don’t want to hear (such as low-frequency background sound).
For the hearing care provider, this is no simple task. It takes a considerable amount of instruction and patient care experience to have the ability to conduct a hearing test, help patients pick the right hearing aid, skillfully program the hearing aids, and supply the patient training and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no shortcuts to dispensing comprehensive hearing care—but the results are worth the time and effort.
Make your choice
So, who do you want to trust with your hearing? To somebody who views you as a transaction, as a customer, and as a means to reaching sales targets? Or to an experienced local professional that cares about the same thing you do—helping you acquire the best hearing possible, which, by the way, is the lifeblood of the local practice.
As a general 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 comprehensive hearing healthcare and the best hearing technology to suit your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.