We run surveys on Hearing Aid Know regularly because we are nosy like that. We recently asked our readers a series of three questions about the online purchase of hearing aids. We have asked them before if they would purchase a hearing aid online, and they overwhelmingly answered yes, with caveats.
So this time, we wanted to know about the support they would like, or need to expect following an online purchase. The series of questions were:
- If they purchased a hearing aid online, would they expect to
needfollow up from a professional?
- How would you like to receive that professional help if needed? Which was a multiple-choice question.
- How old are you?
The answers were quite interesting and validated the approach that Blamey Saunders and now Sonova have taken with a blended model. Consumers overwhelmingly expect to need professional help after an online purchase. They also overwhelmingly would like to receive that help
Even more interesting was the breakdown of different types of support channel that people were happy with. Many liked the idea of Skype, or online, many considered the telephone as good channel, while there was a few who didn’t care how the support was offered.
The blended model has been discussed in the recent past as a business model that we as an industry may move towards. The model has been successfully used within Australia for many years, initially by Blamey Saunders, who offered online hearing aid sales with both online and offline in-person support. That model has been updated recently with the purchase of Blamey Saunders by Sonova and the introduction of their Shift hearing aids.
A blended model makes sense in an omnichannel future, it allows you to meet the needs of the consumer in the channel that they wish. To run a successful omnichannel approach, you need to invest in an IT infrastructure and intelligent and automated communication channels among other things. You also need to consider the in-person approach for those who need or want it.
What Does That Mean For Practice Owners?
I think the survey, and the idea of a
The questions, answers and geographic breakdowns were as follows:
1. If you purchased a hearing aid online, would you expect to need follow-up help from a hearing professional?
1 = No
2 = Yes
1 = 899, 2 = 2539
1 = 162, 2 = 899
1 = 39, 2 = 112
1 = 21, 2 = 58
2. How would you like to receive that professional help if it was needed?
1 = In person
2 = Skype / online video chat
3 = The telephone
4 = Don’t care
1 = 1445, 2 = 284, 3 = 302, 4 = 485
1 = 359, 2 = 68, 3 = 45, 4 = 115
1 = 72, 2 = 14, 3 = 12, 4 = 18
1 = 32, 2 = 7, 3 = 2, 4 = 13
3. How old are you?
1 = 20 – 40
2 = 41 – 50
3 = 51 – 60
4 = 61+
1 = 126, 2 = 106, 3 = 307, 4 = 1842
1 = 68, 2 = 45, 3 = 188, 4 = 339
1 = 4, 2 = 8, 3 = 9, 4 = 83
1 = 6, 2 = 4, 3 = 11, 4 = 29
It is better to see audiologist for hearing aids and hearing test.
Keep posting such a great knowledge on hearing aid .Thanks a lot for this information.