The hearing healthcare industry has two barriers that prevent individuals from acquiring 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 remedy.
Regrettably, numerous people who have overcome the first barrier have been lured into the supposedly “cheaper and easier” methods 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 appeal of these simple fixes, the truth 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 inexpensive goods and services at low prices in the name of higher profit. 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 most likely don’t require professional, personalized 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 require professional, customized 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 answer to. The success of a local practice is based upon on patient outcomes and quality of care, which leads to satisfied patients who stay loyal to the practice and disperse the positive word-of-mouth advertising that leads to more referrals.
Local practices, for that reason, thrive on delivering quality care, which will benefit 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 continual flow of new patients, promising 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 everybody, so the frequencies I may have difficulty 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 push it into your ears and count on good results. But this is essentially 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 take place by:
- Having your hearing professionally tested so you know the EXACT characteristics of your hearing loss, and…
- Having your hearing aids professionally programmed to boost the sounds you have trouble hearing while distinguishing 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 instruction and patient care experience to have the ability to perform a hearing test, help patients pick 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 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 achieve 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 suit your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.