The hearing healthcare industry has two barriers that prevent individuals from obtaining better hearing:
- The inability to notice hearing loss in the first place (owing to its gradual onset), and
- The temptation to find a quick, easy, and inexpensive remedy.
Unfortunately, numerous people who have overcome the first barrier have been lured into the allegedly “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 profits than with client care.
In spite of the lure of these simple remedies, 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 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 revenues. National chains are all about efficiency, which is a nice 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 expert, individualized care to help choose 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 require professional, customized care—such as the correction of hearing loss. National chains are not interested in client outcomes because they can’t be; it’s too time consuming and flies in the face of the high volume “see as many clients 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 success of a local practice is reliant on client outcomes and quality of care, which produces satisfied clients who stay faithful to the practice and disperse the positive word-of-mouth advertising that creates more referrals.
Local practices, therefore, thrive on providing quality care, which will benefit both the client and the practice. In contrast, what will happen if a national chain can’t deliver quality care and happy clients? Simple, they use nationwide advertising to get a continuous flow of new clients, 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 difficulty 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 count on 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 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 enhance the sounds you have difficulty 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 easy task. It takes a great deal of education and client care experience to be able to perform a hearing test, help clients pick the right hearing aid, professionally program the hearing aids, and provide the client training and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no cutting corners to providing 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 somebody who views you as a transaction, as a consumer, and as a means to achieving sales targets? Or to an experienced local professional that cares about the same thing you do—helping you attain the best hearing possible, which, by the way, is the lifeblood of the local practice.
As a basic rule, we recommend 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.