Cognitive Dissonance in hearing aid purchases and why it matters to you
By Geoffrey Cooling
As part of a branding presentation that I have given, I speak about reflected image. That is the reflected image of the consumer as it pertains to your brand. In other words how they see themselves both as part of your brand and themselves reflected in your brand. It is also how about how they feel once they have purchased from your brand. Deep psychological concept here but it needs to be understood because it is a concept whose understanding will assist with the goals of long term Patient retention and customer referral.
In essence what we are referring to is the ongoing brand experience of a Patient who purchases hearing healthcare. I have said before that we need to be aware of ongoing buyers remorse at the level that we sell at. It is normal that after a purchase of the value of hearing aids there may be some post purchase dissonance. It is this cognitive dissonance that will drive buyers remorse, the re-thinking of the purchase of both those hearing instruments and the purchase from you.
Initially a customer will make a decision about your brand, what it is and what it stands for. A part of that decision is very clearly about how they feel as part of your brand, as a customer of your brand. This is better understood in the area of luxury goods where many companies vie for custom. It is about the feeling that a customer has when telling somebody, yes that is a Gucci bag. It is about the reflected feel and ethos of the brand.
This same concept is at play within our industry whether we acknowledge it or not. Therefore we need to be aware of it, we need to understand it and we need to address it. Again as I have said here before, the sales process is never ending in our business. At any stage during your ongoing relationship with your customer you can cause post purchase dissonance. Put simply, you need to ensure that you or your staff never take any actions that undermine your brand and brand experience.
Because this dissonance may occur at any stage it is imperative that you manage your on-going customer relationships.Building and driving a brand is not just for a day, a week, a month, it is a never ending process. At all times when making decisions about your Practice you need to consider the impact on your brand. Every decision that you make about the day to day running of your Practice will have an affect on your brand. Because every element within your Practice speaks to your brand.