The hearing healthcare industry has two barriers that prevent individuals from acquiring better hearing:
- The inability to notice hearing loss in the first place (due 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 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 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 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 larger revenues. National chains are focused on efficiency, which is a courteous 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 probably don’t need professional, individualized care to help select your undershirts and bath soap. Consumer support simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems develop when this business model is extended to services that do call for professional, personalized 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 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 based upon on patient outcomes and high quality of care, which brings about satisfied patients who continue to be faithful to the practice and spread the positive word-of-mouth advertising that leads to more referrals.
Local practices, therefore, flourish on providing quality care, which benefits both the patient and the practice. In contrast, what happens if a national chain can’t deliver quality care and happy patients? Simple, they use nationwide advertising to get a steady 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 everyone, so the frequencies I may have trouble hearing are different from the frequencies you have difficulty 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 in essence 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 match the way you, and only you, hear. That’s only going to come about by:
- Having your hearing professionally tested so you know the EXACT features of your hearing loss, and…
- Having your hearing aids professionally programmed to enhance the sounds you have trouble hearing while distinguishing and suppressing the sounds you don’t want to hear (such as low-frequency background sound).
For the hearing care provider, this is no straight forward task. It requires a considerable amount of education 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 provide 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 leave your hearing to? To someone who views you as a transaction, as a consumer, and as a means to reaching 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 match your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.