Is the age of the specialist dead? In the face of competition, especially from online business, retailers and service providers have diversified. This means that the core services they built their reputations on are lost amongst a range of others that are only loosely related. Chains of opticians and pharmacies only offer hearing services as a sideshow to their main businesses. So, can they claim to be specialists?
Independent Audiologists are Specialists
Your local independent hearing centre tends to specialise. They will typically have one or more trained audiologists, and they will only focus on your hearing. This may range from ear wax removal, and diagnostic hearing tests to hearing aid dispensing and special tinnitus treatments. Some of them will also have a strong knowledge of noise protection products. This demonstrates a holistic approach to hearing care and wellness. On the other hand, the larger multiples tend to focus on the dispensing of hearing instruments, often to the exclusion of other products and services.
They Offer a Personal Service
You are more than a record card or a name on a computer system! To an Independent Audiologist, you are the lifeblood of their business. When you pop in for some replacement batteries, they are likely to remember which hearing device you use. If that needs adjusting, it can usually be done there and then. They may also enquire about your health, ask about your grandson’s sports team and make you feel welcome. Compare this with the conveyor belt operation at one of the multiples. You can choose. Which would you prefer?
Continuity of Service
At an independent hearing practice, you might see the same audiologist year after year. A small client-focused family-run business has fewer staff changes. This means that the audiologist will have an ongoing knowledge of your hearing and personal history. You may have to see a random audiologist or locum in a larger organisation who will have to learn about your hearing history at each visit. Their job is harder, and you will have less confidence in their ability to manage your hearing.
Greater Product Knowledge
The larger multiples will have a higher turnover of staff, focusing on hitting targets. As a result, they won’t have the time to become fully aware of product features and new developments. An independent hearing centre is likely to have a better working knowledge of the products that they recommend. They will have been to the manufacturer’s launch days and become acquainted with every feature of the hearing device.
They Can Spend More Time with You
The independent hearing centre won’t rush you. Appointments will be thorough and relaxed. You will, therefore, be able to ask questions and ensure that you are delighted with your product or treatment.
To experience the difference in visiting an independent audiologist for yourself, contact The Brian Eccles Hearing Centre on 0800 083 2547