Based on research by Dr. Sergei Kochkin
Shopping From Home
Each year, more and more people are becoming comfortable with the idea of shopping online. The option to shop from home, from a smartphone, and to have things shipped directly to your door is appealing to a larger segment of consumers every year. The thought of having to leave the house, drive to and from the store, spend time locating the items to purchase, and checking out is mentally and physically draining. In today’s busy world, many consumers don’t have the option of going to the store to make their purchases.
Luckily, these days you can purchase clothing, groceries, electronics, and pretty much anything else online - but what about health care? In fact, you can schedule appointments with your doctor for common issues such as colds, migraines, or allergies. Not only does an online appointment save you time, but you can carry out your appointment in the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to subject yourself to a crowded emergency room or physician’s office.
People with vision impairment are ordering glasses and contacts online as well. In the past, you were forced to pay the higher prices and choose from the selection of contacts your optometrist carried in their office. Now, you have more frame and contact options all available to you from online vendors. So, what about hearing health?
Hearing Aid Shopping - Office Vs. Online
48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. The most common assumption is that to address hearing loss, you need to meet with an audiologist. Once there, you may get fitted for hearing aids, and then choose from the expensive hearing aid options that the audiologist offers. While the idea of going to a traditional retail location for a hearing aid may seem like the most straightforward way to go, there are drawbacks.
First of all, you are required to make an appointment and wait until the audiologist is ready to see you. Additionally, prices are very high at an audiologist office since you’re paying for an expensive device, plus all of the overhead of operating that office. Lastly, you’ll need to make follow-up visits to obtain your hearing aids, and additional visits if you need any kind of help with your new hearing aids.
Hearing Help Express has been around for over 40 years, since May of 1979, and since then has been transforming the hearing aid industry by focusing on meeting more modern demands. Hearing Help Express is able to price hearing aids at up to 85% less than the average cost of hearing aids and has saved consumers more than $850,000 since its inception.
The main goal of Hearing Help Express continues to be to make optimal hearing health available to everyone. More importantly, Hearing Help Express wants people to be happy with their hearing aids and the value they offer.
A few years ago, Hearing Help Express was part of an industry-wide study done by Dr. Sergei Kochkin. He studied every major manufacturer within the hearing aid industry to measure the overall satisfaction of their consumers. The aim of the study was to find out if consumers are truly happy after purchasing hearing aids online or by mail. The results were conclusive that consumers were more satisfied with hearing aids purchased directly from the manufacturer (like the devices offered by Hearing Help Express) than hearing aids from traditional retail locations.
Dr. Kochkin surveyed 2,000 Hearing Help Express consumers to find out how much they felt they benefited from using hearing aids. The research also measured the overall quality of life associated with traditional hearing aid use versus direct-mail hearing aid use.
Dr. Kochkin’s findings showed that direct-mail customers felt they got similar hearing benefits to the individuals that purchased from traditional retailers. These retailers include doctor’s offices, hospitals, audiologists, clinics, and other retail locations. 54% of these consumers were classified as “very satisfied” and “satisfied”. The combination of benefits and price made it clear that direct-to-consumer hearing aids offered greater overall satisfaction.
Price is a major consideration when deciding to purchase hearing aids. The out-of-pocket expense of hearing aids can be too much to bear, especially since most insurance policies don’t cover them. So, people with hearing loss suffer in silence, literally.
Hearing Help Express is owned by medical device manufacturer, IntriCon. Therefore, can offer savings on the same great medical technology you could find at an audiologist’s office or traditional hearing aid retailer. Hearing aids from Hearing Help Express are offered at up to an 85% discount compared to a traditional retailer. The average out-of-pocket cost per hearing aid for the Hearing Help Express customer is $499 when compared to the average of $2300 per hearing aid at traditional retailers.
Hearing Help Express also offers unlimited support at no extra cost because of their direct-to-consumer business model. Customers can call in, email, write, or chat online with a Customer Service Representative or a Licensed Hearing Aid Dispenser to make sure that they are getting the care and attention they need. Support is a critical part of the experience, but customers also need to buy into the system.
To get the most from a hearing aid, it’s important to understand, operate, and nurture hearing aids just the same as any other medical device. By following the path to improved hearing, new hearing aid users can get back to living their lives.
The value equation is pretty simple: low cost plus high quality equals top value. It is no surprise that consumers, overall, feel that they are getting a better value from direct-mail hearing aids. However, at the time Dr. Kochkin’s research was first published, these results surprised hearing aid industry professionals. People reported the same or better results from the less expensive hearing aids while saving a lot of money.