Business is being turned on its head, our profession will be no different. You Need To Be Aware Of That.
Business has changed, a small statement but do we really realise the ramifications. I don’t think we do. The entire business landscape of nearly every industry has already or is in the process of being changed. The consumer, enabled and indeed spurred on by the explosion of disruptive technologies, is seizing the power from business. Within that small statement is contained far reaching consequences for professions, industries and businesses who do not full understand the implications. Please read the following from Josh Bernoff from Forrestor Research.
“Empowered customers are disrupting every industry; competitive barriers like manufacturing strength, distribution power, and information mastery can’t save you. In this age of the customer, the only sustainable competitive advantage is knowledge of and engagement with customers. The successful companies will be customer-obsessed, like Best Buy, IBM, and amazon.com.
Competitive Strategy In The Age Of The Customer
by Josh Bernoff
Why Do We Think Our Profession Is Any Different?
Information is power
The adage that information is power is a truism. Once businesses controlled the flow of information and therefore they retained the power. This situation has rapidly changed over the last ten years. The Customer now has access to massive amounts of information, freely available on every possible subject you can imagine. In our profession the customer now has the ability to research thoroughly the following
Pricing of instruments
Reviews of instruments
Their possible purchase choices and channels
Their possible sale providers
The reputation of those possible sale providers
Reviews of sale providers
Their own on-going needs
With this type of information they can take complete control of the sale or purchase process. They understand, or are given the opportunity to understand a great deal of information about their loss and needs. They no longer need you! Think carefully about that. It seems a stark statement, you may respond that they need me to purchase a hearing instrument, for adequate needs assessment and testing. They need me for on-going care and assessment.
So let us take a look at those statements
We all know that they no longer need you to purchase an instrument!
Adequate needs assessment and testing.
They do need an accurate test, they can rock up to you tomorrow, ask for a test and pay you for your trouble. Are you going to refuse to give that test and take their money?
In fact we know that online testing is becoming ever more accurate, they may eventually not need you for testing at all. Where does that leave you?
Needs and lifestyle assessment, yeah right, I am sure they do not know what their own lifestyle needs are. Even if they are a bit slow on the uptake, a simple tick box test will tell them how their lifestyle matches a level of technology.
They need me for on-going care and assessment.
Wrong, they only need you, if they in fact decide that they do. This is the crux, the core of the situation. You should understand that, consumers have the power to decide what they do and do not want. They will not tolerate being told what they want, the age of the Consumer, the age of choice is too far advanced for that. So wrapping your ass in the flag and making like Mrs Flanders,”think of the children, think of the children” is not going to work.
If you want provision of hearing healthcare instruments to remain the in the hands of Hearing Health Professionals, you need to start convincing your prospective Customers there is real value to that for them, not for you.
Consumers, their decision processes and their buying power will decide the future of our profession. Not you or me.