The hearing healthcare industry has two barriers that prevent individuals from achieving better hearing:
- The inability to recognize hearing loss in the first place (due to its slow onset), and
- The temptation to find a quick, easy, and inexpensive fix.
Unfortunately, numerous people who have overcome the first barrier have been lured into the purportedly “cheaper and easier” techniques of addressing their hearing loss, whether it be through the purchase of hearing aids on the web, the purchase of personal sound amplifiers, or by visiting the big box stores that are much more concerned with profitability than with patient care.
Despite the appeal of these quick fixes, the truth is that local hearing care providers are your best choice 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 primary reason: they sell a high volume of low-cost goods and services at low prices in the name of higher profits. National chains are focused on efficiency, which is a pleasant 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, individualized care to help select your undershirts and bath soap. Consumer support simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems emerge when this business model is expanded to services that do call for expert, individualized 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 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 centered on patient outcomes and quality of care, which brings about satisfied patients who remain faithful to the practice and spread the positive word-of-mouth advertising that creates more referrals.
Local practices, therefore, thrive on providing high quality care, which benefits both the patient and the practice. By comparison, 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 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 trouble hearing. In other words, you can’t just take ambient sound, make it all louder, and push 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 complement the way you, and only you, hear. That’s only going to occur 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 differentiating and suppressing the sounds you don’t want to hear (such as low-frequency background noise).
For the hearing care provider, this is no straight forward task. It requires a lot of education and patient care experience to have the ability to perform a hearing test, help patients choose the right hearing aid, skillfully program the hearing aids, and give the patient training and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no cutting corners to delivering comprehensive hearing care—but the results are well worth the time and effort.
Make your choice
So, who do you want to leave your hearing to? 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 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 thorough hearing healthcare and the best hearing technology to match your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.