Welcome to our September 2016 edition of our Good News Stories. These stories represent real, recent interactions that we have had with clients at our two Hearing Aid Source Toronto area locations.
While we have several accounts that we could share, here are some of the most memorable stories...
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Our first story is about a gentleman named Phil* who came to us expressing great frustration with his former hearing aid clinic. You know the one. The one with the catchy radio jingle.
About five years ago, Phil had purchased a set of hearing aids from them with a service package and had been given a promise that his hearing aids would be well cared for over that period. When his hearing aids started to break down, the clinic said they were unable to repair them because they were too old. With that, they convinced him to buy a new set of hearing aids. Phil could tell that these new hearing aids were certainly louder than his old hearing aids, however he was disappointed to find they really did not work any better at helping him hear speech. Disappointed, he returned them and went to find another clinic who might be able to repair his old ones since he had lost hope that his hearing might improve with new hearing aids. That's when Phil visited us at Hearing Aid Source.
Sadly, this story is all to common. We see several people a month who are in the same or similar situations. Studies show that close to 50% of hearing aid wearers do not express satisfaction with their hearing aids. There are a variety of reasons for these underwhelming market statistics. But, common among these reasons would seem to be a lack of commitment to best practice clinical services - services that have been clinically proven time and time again to increase client satisfaction - services that may take significantly more time investment by the hearing professional, but, in the end, yield better results.
At Hearing Aid Source, we believe a hearing aid clinic's responsibility should be, first and foremost, to the immediate and long-term needs of their clients - ensuring the careful selection and verification of their hearing aids, and providing proactive, ongoing maintenance. Could it be that Phil's lowered expectations and expressed dissatisfaction were due to the level of service he had received? Based on past experience with clients like Phil, we believed this was a likely possibility.
When Phil came to us, his frustration was at an all time high. He was down on hearing aids, his hearing clinic, and even the hearing industry. Who could blame him? But, through a friend, he had heard good things about Hearing Aid Source. As a last resort, he asked that we take a look at his hearing aids to see if anything could be done to fix them.
Unfortunately, due to the age of his devices and the physical damage to his microphones, there was nothing we could do to revive them. To Phil, this setback signalled the end of the road. But, with a little time and encouragement, we convinced him to remain open to other options. Admittedly, this was no easy task. Phil had compiled a long list of questions about the latest hearing aid technology and features, as well as our trial and return policies. It was clear that he was not going to proceed one step further until all of his concerns had been addressed. We were happy to spend the extra time with him to ensure he received clear answers to all of his pointed questions. We genuinely love informed clients!
Now, this is where things get really interesting. After taking a free hearing test we recommended a pair of quality hearing aids to Phil. As it turns out, these hearing aids were not unlike those he had trialed and rejected at his former clinic. Phil was concerned but we continued to reassure him that the end result would be different. You see, we know something that many, like Phil, don't know. Studies show that, when accompanied by best practice hearing services, customer satisfaction rates improve dramatically. Although the selection of the right hearing aid is certainly a critical step, the proper fitting, verification, and follow-up services are, at least, equally as important.
We had selected the proper hearing aid for Phil and we were excited to prove it to him. Phil's fitting went very well. He was delighted in how comfortable his custom fitted ear molds were, and how easy it was to put them into his ears. He was very pleased with the way he could hear his favorite music and, at the same time, hear and understand conversation. This was an eyeopening experience for Phil who has since become a believer in hearing aids again, as well as a very happy Hearing Aid Source client. We intend on keeping him this way for the entire life of his new hearing aids.
Contrary to the beliefs of some, hearing aids do work, and work well. But, hearing aids themselves are only one part of a quality hearing solution. A hearing aid, or any other medical device for that matter, is of little value when it's not fitted professionally or considered apart from its intended wearer. Commitment to best practice hearing services allows the hearing professional to better address the unique characteristics of each client - a must for any medical device.
Higher quality care results in more satisfied clients. Hearing Aid Source is your source for the highest quality hearing products and services available. Are you or someone you love settling for less? Read more about what makes Hearing Aid Source better...
Our second story is about Angela*, a former client of ours who had moved away to work in Alberta. We hadn't seen Angela since 2010 when she told us about her new job and had departed. At her request, we transferred our medical information on file to her new hearing aid clinic near Calgary. We didn't expect we would see her again. Years passed.
Then, a few weeks ago, much to our surprise, Angela called us to tell us that she wants to come back to our office to discuss her hearing-related issues with us. Curious, I asked if she had moved back to the GTA, and she said she had not. I have to admit, I was a bit dumbfounded. I mean, at Hearing Aid Source we regularly have clients drive in from outside the Toronto area to take advantage of our great deals and quality services. But, having a client fly in all the way from Calgary was a definite first.
During her appointment she asked if we could make her a new set of hearing aids. "Of course. That's what we do. I'd be happy to.", I replied. But, my inquisitive nature did get the best of me. I couldn't help but ask her why she hadn't had her hearing aids custom made in in her own home town. She said that the hearing professionals at the clinics in her home town (yes, she saw several clinicians at different clinics) refused to make her a set of hearing aids like we had made for her years earlier. Angela had been very happy with the hearing aids we had provided her back in 2009. But, seven years had passed and she was now in need of a new pair. She just wanted her new pair to be similar to the previous pair.
Now, in 2009 when we saw her for the first time, I knew that it would be difficult to make her the Completely-In-Canal (CIC) hearing aids she wanted. First, CIC ear impressions must be deep impressions which require a higher level of care and expertise, so as to minimize risk to the client. Second, CIC hearing aids, due to their small size, are oftentimes not powerful enough to meet the hearing loss needs of certain clients. However, here at Hearing Aid Source, we were able to overcome both these obstacles with our expertise in deep ear mold impressions and our extensive product knowledge of a broad range of products from many manufacturers (we knew there was only one manufacturer that had a CIC hearing aid that would meet Angela's long term hearing loss needs). Read more about the importance of manufacturer independence here...
We successfully made the CIC hearing aids for Angela and she was positively thrilled with the final product. As an added bonus, it was very apparent that her speech had improved instantly, due to the fact that she could now hear herself so clearly. Our professional expertise and manufacturer independence had won the day.
Needless to say, Angela's story is an exceptional case. Most people with hearing loss concerns don't have the luxury of jet-setting across the country. But, one thing we all can do is to empower ourselves to take charge of our own hearing needs. Phil and Angela did. In the end they both realised, through experience, that all hearing clinics are not the same. Their stories attest to the fact that the commitment to excellence of Hearing Aid Source gives them a greater level of satisfaction with their hearing solutions.
Have you have bought hearing aids elsewhere and are less than satisfied? If so, you're certainly not alone. There is hope if you're willing to take the first step to better hearing. Bring your hearing aids to Hearing Aid Source. Read more about our free service plan here...
The Hearing Aid Source Team
*names changed for privacy