"Recent technological advancements have transformed the hearing care industry," Tariq Kamal writes. "Analog hearing aids are out. Digital processing systems are in. Patients like that new devices are more powerful and efficient than their ancestors. Many patients also appreciate the advanced functionality that they deliver."
"Don't be afraid to geek out with your tech-savvy customers. Get them excited about their purchases. Educate them on the virtues of the latest trends in hearing care technology. Building an emotional connection between patients and devices can help close the sale. Creating excitement helps ensure they will return for the care they need."
Take a look at five of the latest trends in hearing care and why patients should be excited about them:
- Bluetooth and Streaming
"Bluetooth-compatible hearing aids are an excellent choice for any patient who owns a Bluetooth-enabled device. This wireless audio feature is commonly found on mobile phones, tablets, and laptop computers. Bluetooth connectivity allows patients to send an audio signal directly to their hearing aid’s processor. Bypassing the microphone significantly improves the signal-to-noise ratio."
"Phone calls are the most common application. Patients will also appreciate the ability to stream audio from TV shows, movies, games, and apps from mobile devices. Video game enthusiasts will appreciate this feature as well—as long as they own an Xbox."
The AudienceSCAN survey found 45% of Hearing Aid Shoppers use Android phones, and 33% use iPhones, so hearing aid clinics can walk shoppers through blue-tooth benefits.
- Data Logging and Learning
"Some devices are programmed to log environment-specific data. This information is then used to create settings that go well beyond “quiet” and “noisy” programs. Advanced devices detect a “learned” environment and automatically adjust settings to match."
- Remote Control
"Pocket-size remote controls allow patients to raise and lower volume. They can also instantly mute or unmute their hearing aids. They typically feature a dedicated “home” button as well as the ability to toggle through other programs. Remote controls for Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids have a “wireless” button. Patients can push the button to quickly connect with other compatible devices."
Surprisingly, 28% of Hearing Aid Shoppers enjoy playing video games, the new AudienceSCAN study reports! Featuring video games in ad campaigns could reach this segment and excite them about going digital with hearing aid devices.
- Noise and Wind Reduction
"Patients replacing analog hearing aids will be impressed by the noise reduction offered by digital devices. Modern processors can manipulate signals in countless ways. Programmers have taken advantage by dedicating algorithms to identifying and canceling unwanted noise. Their targets are ambient background buzz and sudden, loud “impulse” noises."
"Some hearing aids can even reduce wind noise. Their microphones have built-in sensors that detect the force of the wind. They signal the processor to avoid amplifying it. This feature should be of particular interest to patients who enjoy sailing, golf, or other outdoor activities for which wind is a factor."
Informing consumers of these hearing trends through newspaper advertising could be advantageous. The new AudienceSCAN survey revealed 35.5% of Hearing Aid Shoppers took action after reading newspaper (print, online, mobile or tablet) ads in the past month.
"Also known as “telecare” or “telehealth,” telemedicine refers to office visits conducted remotely. Telemedicine is typically facilitated by Skype or another videoconferencing tool."
"Telemedicine can be an alternative to some office visits. Some patients simply need help adjusting their hearing aids. Others need help troubleshooting mechanical issues. A quick Skype session can help avoid an unplanned excursion. Doctors' appointment schedules will surely benefit as well."
"The Digital Age has changed the way hearing aids look, feel and work. Unfortunately, often these devices can be too expensive for many patients. To help defray the “sticker shock” of hearing aids, consider offering a financing option."