The hearing healthcare industry has two barriers that prevent individuals from obtaining better hearing:
- The inability to notice hearing loss in the first place (because of its slow onset), and
- The temptation to find a quick, easy, and inexpensive fix.
Unfortunately, countless 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 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 allure of these quick fixes, the truth 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 reason: they sell a high volume of discounted goods and services at low prices in the name of larger profits. National chains are all about efficiency, which is a pleasant 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 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 necessitate 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 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 dependent on patient outcomes and quality of care, which leads to 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, thrive on providing high 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 happy patients? Simple, they use national advertising to get a continual 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 everybody, 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 ambient sound, make it all louder, and pump 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 match 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 intensify the sounds you have difficulty hearing while differentiating and suppressing 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 takes a lot of instruction and patient care experience to be able to conduct a hearing test, help patients select the right hearing aid, skillfully program the hearing aids, and provide the patient training and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no shortcuts to delivering comprehensive hearing care—but the results are worth the time and effort.
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 goals? Or to an experienced local professional that cares about the same thing you do—helping you obtain the best hearing possible, which, by the way, is the lifeblood of the local practice.
As a general rule, we advise 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 suit your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.