The hearing healthcare marketplace has two barriers that prevent people from attaining better 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 remedy.
Regrettably, countless people who have overcome the first barrier have been lured into the purportedly “cheaper and easier” techniques of correcting 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 profits than with patient care.
Regardless of the allure of these quick 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 primary reason: they sell a high volume of low-priced goods and services at low prices in the name of larger profit. National chains are all about efficiency, which is a nice 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 most likely don’t need professional, individualized care to help select your undershirts and bath soap. Consumer support simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems result when this business model is extended to services that do require expert, 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 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 high quality of care, which results in satisfied patients who continue to be faithful to the practice and spread the positive word-of-mouth advertising that creates more referrals.
Local practices, therefore, flourish on providing quality care, which benefits both the patient and the practice. By comparison, what occurs if a national chain can’t deliver quality care and satisfied patients? Simple, they use nationwide advertising to get a endless 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 distinct from the frequencies you have difficulty hearing. In other words, you can’t just take surrounding sound, make it all louder, and pump 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 come about by:
- Having your hearing professionally examined 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 requires a lot of training and patient care experience to be able to carry out a hearing test, help patients choose the right hearing aid, professionally program the hearing aids, and furnish the patient coaching and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no shortcuts to supplying 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 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 buying 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.