Lexie Hearing, What You Need to Learn From Them

I came across Lexie Hearing a while ago, I was late to the party. They had come across my radar in 2020, but I didn’t consider them that much. Recently, that has changed, their model piqued my interest and I got to speak to people behind it recently. I even got to use their hearing aids and get a view of their system. The more I learned about them, the more I thought someone has been reading my mind. I think they will be one of the most successful direct to consumer hearing aid providers ever, and there are real learnings for hearing care professionals from what they do.

Lexie Hearing Home page

Intricon & The Failure of HI Initiative

A colleague reminded me recently of an article I wrote in 2013 about Intricon (who manufacture the instruments for Lexie Hearing) and what amounted to a failed initiative. I said back then “I think it is worth our while to consider why, why was this distribution model a failure? More importantly, what can we learn about the motivation of prospective Patients? The model itself seemed sound, distribution of lower-priced hearing instruments via a modern mail-order model. What is not to like? Cheaper than normal hearing instruments, reduced amounts of hassle to acquire them.”

Even though all those elements were aligned, the initiative just didn’t take off in the manner that many expected. There were lessons to be learned from that, and I think hearX carefully assessed them. In fairness, the development of remote care and fitting technology has helped immensely, but that is certainly not the only reason why I think these guys will be hugely successful.

Service & Strategic Communications

Lexie Hearing Support

It is obvious that hearX think deeply about their customer journey. They identified the pain points in the journey and in doing so also identified the onboarding and wider communication strategy. They combined this knowledge with easy to use support functions and rolled the whole lot into an app infrastructure. I think their approach is excellent, and I believe that hearing professionals could learn a huge amount from it.

HearX believes that onboarding is key to the customer experience and their success. They realise that users are lazy, just like everyone else and to drive the onboarding, they need to make it worthwhile. They will pay the user to keep in touch with them through the Lexie Rewards programme. The Lexie Rewards programme is fascinating, if you complete activity goals each month, like wearing your hearing aids for 40 hours per week, you work your way towards a 15% discount on your monthly subscription.

They have gamified their app to encourage people to learn about their hearing aids, become au-fait with their clean and care and finally wear them consistently. That is ingenious thinking on their part. It means that more people will go through their onboarding process, which means fewer problems and more wear time.

A Subscription Model

Lexie Hearing Costs

HearX offers a subscription model, in essence leasing a pair of Lumen for $49 per month with a one-time activation fee of $50. For those that decide not to stay, the activation fee is refundable during the first 45 days, and they can cancel the subscription at any time. HearX management has publicly said that when they introduced the subscription model, things really blew up for them.

The subscription also includes regular care kits, batteries and accessories, to keep your hearing aids in tip-top shape and ongoing loss and damage insurance. They provide ongoing video call support and new hearing aids every two years if you stick with the program.

Structured Communication

Strategic communication is close to my heart, and I have been ruminating upon it for quite some time. It is obvious that hearX have been as well. They believe in pre-emptive and consumer experience messaging to drive a customer through the very best journey. They use the real estate on the user’s mobile phone to its fullest, offering notifications and app interaction that makes sense for the user, and the business.

An Omnichannel Approach

HearX is utilising a very strong omnichannel strategy, they can because they have built the background infrastructure to do it. More than that, their system is completely centred on a digital approach. They are constantly learning about their customers and applying that learning to deliver a better experience. That is the future of hearing care, a true omnichannel approach that delivers to the consumer.

The Learnings For Us

As I said earlier, Lexie Hearing has learnings for the wider profession here. Firstly, a subscription model is attractive to consumers for affordability. To make that model attractive, it needs to be structured in a way that they feel brings benefit.

Onboarding people well delivers results for them and the business, hearX sees a low return rate and it is dropping as they learn more from their experience. I think that is the strongest argument for good post-sale communications. We should be employing strategic communications with our customers that pre-empt issues, encourage wear time and finally validate the purchase decision.

If we consider this sort of option, we need to utilise a strong omnichannel approach with those consumers. I think the final lesson for us is that remote provision of hearing aids can be safe and effective. It won’t be for every Patient but there may be a large enough cohort that demand it.

About Geoffrey Cooling

Geoffrey Cooling is an Irish hearing care blogger and the author of The Little Book of Hearing Aids and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World. He has been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession since 2007 when he qualified as a hearing aid audiologist. He has worked in private practice and for a major hearing aid manufacturer. He has become recognised as an authority within the field of hearing care and hearing aids.

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