The hearing healthcare industry has two barriers that prevent people from achieving better hearing:
- The inability to recognize hearing loss in the first place (owing to its slow onset), and
- The temptation to find a quick, easy, and inexpensive remedy.
Unfortunately, numerous people who have overcome the first barrier have been lured into the supposedly “cheaper and easier” techniques 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 visiting the big box stores that are much more concerned with profitability than with patient care.
Regardless of the allure of these simple remedies, 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 choose to use a customer-centric business model
National chain stores are profitable for one reason: they sell a high volume of inexpensive goods and services at low prices in the name of higher profit. 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 expert, personalized care to help pick out your undershirts and bath soap. Consumer support simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems surface when this business model is extended to services that do call for professional, individualized 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 very different. They’re not preoccupied with short-term profits because they don’t have a board of directors to report to. The 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 leads to more referrals.
Local practices, for that reason, thrive on delivering quality care, which benefits both the patient and the practice. In contrast, what will happen if a national chain can’t deliver quality care and satisfied patients? Simple, they use national advertising to get a continuous flow of new patients, promising 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 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 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 complement 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 amplify the sounds you have trouble hearing while differentiating and repressing the sounds you don’t want to hear (such as low-frequency background noise).
For the hearing care provider, this is no simple 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, professionally program the hearing aids, and furnish 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 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 achieving sales targets? Or to an experienced local professional that cares about the same thing you do—helping you achieve 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 match your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.