A Review on Hearing Aids | The Emerging Trend of Direct-Mail Hearing Aids and How Consumers Can Benefit | Hearing Help Express

Posted by Amanda DiCanio, Marketing Coordinator, Hearing Help Express on Apr 9th 2019

Research derived from Dr. Sergei Kochkin

Dr. Sergei Kochkin was the Executive Director for the Better Hearing Institute and has been conducting market research in the hearing aid industry for over 20 years.

As a consumer, do you prefer to shop in-store, or do you make purchases online or over the phone? Perhaps you’re a consumer that has become accustomed to purchasing goods electronically. As a consumer that recognizes the liberty of ordering products on demand, you understand the value of surfing the web at any time, just about any product is only a few clicks away at any time of the day or night. Shopping online offers a variety of options, including ease of purchase, stored payment options, fast shipping direct to your door, and effortless price comparison. The values are so great that even people who are not great with technology are making the change. The time investment involved in visiting a retail location is simply outweighed by the value of ordering online. Consider the drain of leaving the house, driving to and from the store, spending time locating the items you wish to purchase and in most cases, the inconvenience is very significant. In today’s busy world, consumers are actively looking for alternatives to save time and money which continues to impose pressure on the retail model.

By now, most people are aware that you can purchase clothing, groceries, electronics, and pretty much anything online. However, what about healthcare? How are we adapting modern consumerism in the healthcare industry? So far, physicians offer to carry out appointments via the web through video calls for common issues such as a cold, sinus infection, migraine, allergies, and other ailments. More and more people take advantage of this new online appointment process each year. Not only does an online appointment save you a lot of time, but it allows you to carry out your visit in the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to subject yourself to a crowded physician's office. It only takes a few minutes of your time to give the physician your symptoms before he writes you a prescription and sends it over to the pharmacy.

People with vision impairment are taking advantage of the ability to order glasses and contacts over the internet as well. Before, you would have to make an appointment with your optometrist, browse the selection of frames they had in their store, and wait for your lenses to be fitted to the frame. For contact wearers, you were forced to pay the prices and choose from the selection of contacts your optometrist carried in their office. Now, you have more options to aid vision loss available to you from a variety of online vendors. But, what about hearing health?

48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. The traditional method of dealing with hearing loss is to meet with an audiologist, get fitted for hearing aids in-office and choose from the rather expensive “Big 6” hearing aid manufacturers. While the idea of going to a traditional retail location for a hearing aid may not be a problem for some, the price is definitely a consideration that causes many to decide not to get help. What if I told you there is a company that has been around for over 40 years and has been transforming the hearing aid industry since 1979 in line with modern consumerism? Hearing Help Express is the company has been able to price their hearing aids for up to 85% less than the average cost of hearing aids, and has saved consumers over $850 million dollars over the last 40 years! Hearing Help Express wanted to validate that individuals were, in fact, happy with their hearing aids and found these hearing aids of better value than going into a traditional retail location. The company was presented with the opportunity to be a part of an industry-wide study conducted by Dr. Sergei Kochkin. He researched every manufacturer within the hearing aid industry to measure the overall satisfaction of consumers. Given the changing landscape of how items like hearing aids are purchased, this study was right on target to find out if consumers are truly happy purchasing directly from a manufacturer. The results were conclusive that consumers were not only satisfied but also found Hearing Help Express’ hearing aids to be of more value than that of traditional retail locations.

Dr. Kochkin surveyed a sample of 2000 Hearing Help Express customers from their database of over 750,000 customers. His main objective was to measure customer satisfaction. His research assessed how consumers felt they benefited from their use of hearing aids. The assessment also measured the overall quality of life associated with traditional hearing aid use versus direct-mail hearing aids. Dr. Kochkin’s findings showed that direct-mail customers felt they received similar hearing benefits to customers of traditional retailers.

Consumers compared their experience with direct-mail hearing aids from Hearing Help Express to traditional hearing aid retailers, stating that they felt an overall satisfaction with Hearing Help Express hearing aids. These traditional retailers included doctors’ offices, hospitals, audiologists, clinics, and other retail locations. 54% of these consumers classified as “very satisfied” and “satisfied” when asked how they felt about their overall experience with Hearing Help Express. Consumers in the study found that Hearing Help Express hearing aids are overall comparable to these traditional, retail-hearing aids 65%-67% of the time. Based on these numbers, the research showed that hearing aids from Hearing Help Express provided consumers a far higher value per dollar spent than a typical retail location’s offering.

Hearing Help Express was established in 1979 as a direct-to-consumer hearing aid provider that has focused on establishing and retaining customer satisfaction since day one. With Hearing Help Express, there is no sacrifice to high-end technology for the cost. Hearing Help Express is owned by its manufacturer, IntriCon, allowing customers discounts of up to 85% on the same great medical technology one can find at an audiologist’s office or traditional hearing aid retailer. As stated earlier, the price is a huge consideration when deciding to purchase hearing aids. Many people are shocked by the initial high-cost, and insurance companies do not typically cover hearing aids. The out-of-pocket expense of hearing aids becomes too much to bear so many people suffer in silence, literally. Since the cost of hearing aids is such an important consideration when deciding to purchase, Hearing Help Express has become not only a viable hearing aid option but, according to Dr. Kochkin’s survey, the best value option.

Hearing Help Express customers save over $2,000 per hearing aid when compared to a traditional retailer. The out-of-pocket price for a Hearing Help Express customer is between $299 and $999 per hearing aid; less than 20% of the price charged at the typical audiologist’s office. Audiologists mark up the cost by adding in extra money to account for future visits their customer will make back to the store to service the hearing aid. Whether they need to come back for a repair, fitting, or cleaning, retail purchase averages five extra visits per customer per aid. Hearing Help Express offers customers unlimited support at no extra cost because of their direct-to-consumer business model. Customers can call, email, write, or chat online with a Hearing Health Specialist or a Licensed Hearing Aid Dispenser to make sure that they are getting the care and attention they need, and to ensure that their hearing aids are working at top performance. Hearing Help Express understands that people get a huge part of their life back when they regain a large percentage of their hearing. To ensure that a hearing aid will be fully functional to the consumer, the consumer needs to understand, operate and nurture their hearing aids just as they would any other medical device. Hearing Help Express offers an array of benefits for their consumers and overall savings for the consumers allows them to get their life back.

Hearing Help Express offers a full line of hearing aids for mild, moderate, severe, and profound hearing loss. Available in in-the-ear, behind-the-ear, and custom styles, all hearing aids feature volume control and natural sound. Hearing aid details and hearing health recommendations are available online at hearinghelp.com to help educate customers about their hearing health. Hearing Help Express offers an online hearing test which can help customers self-assess, and get a recommendation on a hearing aid that is right for their degree of hearing loss. Satisfaction is guaranteed, and, they can send the hearing aid back for a full refund after the 45-day home trial. Hearing Help Express strives to empower customers to select their own hearing aid based on the hearing aid’s style, features, and price that best suits them. There are hearing aids priced to fit anyone’s budget, and all Hearing Help Express customers have unlimited access to the Licensed Hearing Aid Dispensers on-staff. Customers can reach out to them at any time to ask about recommendations and guidance on purchasing their hearing aids.

The winning Hearing Help Express value equation is low cost plus high-quality devices, and free support from their expert Hearing Health Specialists. It is no surprise that consumers, overall, feel that they are getting a better value from direct-mail hearing aids. These results certainly surprised hearing aid industry professionals. The research and results validate that Hearing Help Express gives its customers better hearing aid value for their money.

Now that you are aware of the increased value in shopping for hearing aids online, will you make the shift in your purchasing habits?

You can read Dr. Kochkin’s entire study here.