What is Hearing Aid Aftercare? And Why is it so Important?
The term “hearing aid aftercare”, falls into 3 different groups, in terms of whom it is important to and then to why it is important. In terms of whom, there are actually three groups of individuals that after care is vital for, namely (1) the hearing aid user, (2) the hearing aid dispenser/company and (3) the hearing aid manufacturer.
The Hearing aid dispenser or the company
For the hearing aid dispenser the main reason for providing proper aftercare is primarily to provide the best available customer satisfaction. For the hearing aid dispensers the customers satisfaction will bring rewards to the hearing aid dispensers and the company that they represent in the form of more business. That business will come initially from the end user that they provide good after care to in the form of repeat business and also in their recommendations from those happy customers. In short by “doing the right job” in the right way can only increase their business.
Great hearing aid aftercare is vital for the customer as it allows the hearing aids to be constantly reprogrammed over the years to enable the hearing aids to deal with the ever changing hearing loss. Simple after care can reap dividends as small but necessary maintenance such as cleaning the microphones and re-tubing the hearing aids. A blocked microphone port can prevent the sounds entering the hearing aid and hence reduce performance drastically. This is also so of the receiver outlet that can get blocked by dead skin and wax, causing a reduction in the hearing aid’s performance. Re-tubing hearing aids is a necessary job also because blockages in the tubing will prevent sounds entering the ear. Moisture issues are also a problem as the presence of moisture will drastically affect the quality what is finally heard through the hearing aids. That is why it is important to store your hearing aids in a dry place at night to discourage moisture from causing problems to your hearing aids. A hearing loss is a slow progressive deteriorative loss, which in other words means that the hearing aids will need to be continuously adjusted to compensate for the slow worsening that occurs. Each year, as a minimum guideline, hearing aids will need to be reprogrammed by your hearing aid dispenser to compensate for the loss. This will allow the performance of your hearing aids to be working at their optimum. A failure to have this basic service applied will only cause disappointment for the customer.
Manufacturers of hearing aids are constantly investing in research for better and newer developments and have done so for years. With the introduction of digital hearing aids, ongoing research has brought literally hundreds of new strategies and designs in their hearing aid models. There is no doubt what so ever that these developments can now produce far higher levels of satisfaction to the customer than ever before. However this all comes at a cost and what customers don’t realise is that the book price cost for one premium hearing aid is £1000. That figure may well be discounted depending on the number of hearing aid units that the company buys in a year. The danger of such discounts is that the independent dispenser may only sell that single manufacturers hearing aids, in order to maximise their profits and by doing so, will lose their true in-dependency. The hearing aids then have to be fitted and looked after, which then adds yet more costs to an already expensive product.
The company supplying the hearing aids will then have their own overheads and running costs in terms of rent, rates, staffing, advertising, transport, wages and taxes. As costs grow and add up, it can be reasonable to see why hearing aids can cost so much. Some companies will even sell hearing aids and not provide any after care at all, especially if they have provided too low a cost to adequately cover all these costs.
The object of any business should be to grow and any growth will be quicker when the provision of after care is dealt with correctly. Substandard after care will only lead to a substandard business that will not grow as a result.
The “Which Report” on private hearing aids was carried out in conjunction with the former charitable body R.N.I.D. – Now known as Action on Hearing Loss. This report highlighted the need for improvements in high street dispensing standards.
For more information or to be put in touch with hearing aid dispensers that care, call us on 0800 0304 542