My column in the Hearing Journal

At 4MyHearingBiz, courtesy of CareCredit, we get questions from hearing care professionals regarding how to run a successful practice. We hear everything from “How can I compete against the ‘Big Box’ retailers like Costco?” to “How can I offer lower-priced hearing aids and still make a profit for my practice?” and more. Experts provide the answers!

ASK AN EXPERT
The goal of our “Ask an Expert” column is to get your questions answered by the people who are in the know—experienced, successful hearing practice owners, practitioners, and others who have first-hand knowledge about the business of hearing care.

TODAY’S EXPERT
Elissa Sorkowitz-Lejeune, HIS BC-HIS
Elissa Sorkowitz-Lejeune is a licensed hearing instrument specialist (HIS), and a partner in the highly successful, family-owned Royal Palm Hearing Aid Center in Florida. She has worked in the hearing care industry for more than 25 years, in all aspects of private practice, and also has hands-on experience in hearing instrument manufacturing. She has worked closely with all the major hearing instrument manufacturers and suppliers over the years, and continues to stay abreast of the latest available hearing aid technology.

TODAY’S QUESTION
As a private practice owner, how can I differentiate myself from the ‘Big Box’ retailers like Costco? Do I need to change both how my practice operates and also how I market the practice in my community?

TODAY’S ANSWER
It’s remarkable how many people go to Costco to buy hearing aids. It’s here to stay, for sure. What you need to understand is that the average user buys at Costco, or ‘Big Box’ one time. I’m not exaggerating when I say that almost on a daily basis someone comes in who has bought at a Big Box store and is ready for the next step. Obviously, hearing deficits do not go away–they continue to deteriorate and get worse. Big Box stores are what I call “a training bra.” Honestly, this is the same way I feel about PSAPs. Each of these is essentially “a training bra” for a longterm problem. Luckily, people get smart and realize they need more support, and more customization in their hearing care. Those people who buy from Costco can still become your clients.

The way to differentiate yourself from Big Box retailers like Costco is to take these people under your wing and make them understand that hearing loss is a longterm health issue that needs ongoing customized care. Explain to them the way that you work from the beginning. You are with them every step of the way in their hearing journey. That means personalization of their particular problem. You are giving them back quality of life with connectivity and personalization.

Answers to your questionsOne thing I can tell you for certain after being in the hearing industry my entire life, is that there is no particular solution that is the same for any patient. I see each of my patients at least every three months for adjustments, cleaning, and tweaking. I explain to them that 95% of the time that when their hearing aids are not working, it’s wax.

Letting your patients know that you are going to take care of their equipment perpetually is key to their success as users. Service is the key and the lifeline of your practice. Don’t let your patients go a day without hearing as much as possible–this commitment to care that is personalized to each individual is how you can win in the age of the “Big Box” retail giants.

Have a question? Please feel free to post a comment in our “Leave a Reply” section at the bottom of this article. We encourage readers to pose one or more questions for one of the experts to answer in the near future.

The “Ask an Expert” column is provided to the 4MyHearingBiz community by CareCredit, The Hearing Review, and various contributors from the hearing healthcare industry.

Image credits: RKG Photography; © Roman Motizov © Ilianamihaleva | Dreamstime.com

What is a BiCross?

What is a BiCross? bicrossFor those of you with a dead ear on one side, Phonak is making a technology called a BiCros.  A bicros is a hearing aid on the better ear, and a transmitter on the dead ear.  The transmitter on the dead ear transmits wirelessly the signal to the better ear giving the patient the feeling of hearing from both sides.  This hearing aid has has Bluetooth connectivity.  Patients are loving it! Come and see us to try before you buy.  It’s a super exciting product.

Elissa Sorkowitz Lejeune
Hearing aid specialist BC-HIS

miniTek. One touch. Endless possibilities. -Siemens

miniTek - with Pure micon

miniTek.
One touch. Endless possibilities.

miniTek™ is everything you want from a wireless solution and more. It is an automatic streamer. An intuitive remote control. It syncs all your high-tech gadgets with your hearing instruments, and connects you to multiple devices simultaneously. miniTek is your link to the richest listening experience possible. At the touch of a button.

State-of-the-art

 

  • Remote control and streamer in one small and stylish device
  • Transmits audio signals to both ears in true stereo
  • Works with all Siemens wireless hearing instruments
  • Siemens offers the only wireless solutions with miniTek and Tek that supports CICs (Completely-In-the-Canal)
  • Discreet and convenient one-touch operation

Well-connected

  • Connects numerous audio devices with your hearing instruments
  • Multipoint system works with two phones at once
  • Connects two transmitters simultaneously
  • Communicates with nearly all Bluetooth® wireless devices
  • Supports 3rd party Bluetooth® wireless transmitters
  • Additional connectivity with DAI plug and T-Coil
“The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Siemens AG is under licenses. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.”
miniTek - man with miniTek