Unbundling Hearing Aid Fees. Meeting Consumer Demands Or Re-claiming Your Worth?
In my last post I raised the question “Do we actually know what the Consumer thinks?” One thing is certain, if you undertake research into what hearing instrument users are saying among themselves, things become clear.
They don’t understand why Hearing Instruments cost so much.
Even worse, they think that we, hearing health professionals are profiteering. This is a core opinion, unfortunately we are guilty of allowing this to occur. Our business model actively encourages this thought process. Nearly all business models pertaining to hearing care focus solely on instruments. Discussion of service or aftercare are nearly almost secondary.
We actually enforce this in our pricing and our marketing. We traditionally undertake advertising that focuses solely on an instrument. We bundle services with hearing instruments in our pricing. However, we give no breakdown of the value of those services.
This has been the traditional manner in which we do business, but this business model has led us to this point. I realise that actually in some markets it is of value to price in this manner for tax purposes or insurance restrictions. But pricing in this manner allows, in fact forces the consumer to focus on the hearing instrument as the sole purchase.
A New Business Model
Perhaps it is time we moved to a model that enforces our value in the process of hearing better. As Karl Strom says in his most recent article, The Long Quest ; ;the business model we follow is in fact hurting us as professionals in many ways. It forces consumers to focus on the hearing instrument. Completely to the detriment of the services and on-going rehabilitation that we offer.
These are the very services that allow a Patient to fully re-integrate into their life. The services that we have trained and qualified to provide, the services that are the core of a Patient hearing. The services that I would say all of us are proud of supplying.
Re-Claim Respect For Hearing Professionals, Unbundle
Unbundle your hearing aid fees, give clear breakdowns on your invoices, separate instrument and service charges. Drive home to Patients that there is value to the services you offer.
I realise a change in business model such as this has difficulties. I realise that in some markets it would cause difficulties with billing and insurance remuneration. But we should not allow that to be any more than a temporary difficulty. I also realise that this is not necessary in every market.
Where it is necessary, separation of services and product will allow us to clearly display our worth, our value in the process. That is what is at issue, our prospective Patients, our prospective Consumers have lost any sense of our worth.
Maybe its time to re-capture our worth
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