The hearing healthcare industry has two barriers that prevent individuals from acquiring healthier hearing:
- The inability to detect hearing loss in the first place (because of its slow 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 supposedly “cheaper and easier” methods 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 heading to the big box stores that are much more concerned with profitability than with patient care.
Despite the appeal 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 successful for one primary reason: they sell a high volume of discounted 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.”
Undoubtedly, this profit-centric model works great with most purchases, because you most likely don’t need expert, individualized care to help pick out your undershirts and bath soap. Consumer support simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems emerge when this business model is extended to services that do call for professional, 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 completely different. They’re not preoccupied with short-term profits because they don’t have a board of directors to answer 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 remain loyal to the practice and spread the positive word-of-mouth advertising that leads to more referrals.
Local practices, for that reason, flourish on providing quality care, which is beneficial 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 steady flow of new patients, vowing 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 everyone, so the frequencies I may have trouble hearing are distinct from the frequencies you have trouble hearing. In other words, you can’t just take surrounding sound, make it all louder, and pump 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 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 characteristics of your hearing loss, and…
- Having your hearing aids professionally programmed to amplify the sounds you have trouble hearing while distinguishing 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 lot of instruction and patient care experience to be able to carry out a hearing test, help patients pick the right hearing aid, skillfully program the hearing aids, and offer the patient coaching and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no shortcuts to delivering comprehensive hearing care—but the results are 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 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 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.