The Better Hearing Institute (BHI), Washington, reports key findings about customer satisfaction with hearing aids from its MarkeTrak VIII research series: MarkeTrak VIII: Customer Satisfaction With Hearing Aids is Slowly Increasing.

The key findings in this latest study on consumer satisfaction with hearing aids are as follows:

For hearing aids less than or equal to 4 years of age:

—Customer satisfaction (defined as "very satisfied" or higher) increased 5.5% points to 78.6%.
—Customer satisfaction ("somewhat satisfied" or higher) with benefit achieved is 86%; 67% are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with benefit achieved.
—Hearing aids in the drawer decreased to 7.5% from 10% in 2004.
—Over the last generation consumer willingness to recommend hearing aids, brand loyalty, usage patterns, and user demography remain virtually unchanged.
—Benefit, sound quality, and value remain the top correlates of overall satisfaction.
—In regard to product features on hearing aids, satisfaction has remained the same with the exception that satisfaction with ease of volume change has dropped as VCs continue to be removed from modern digital hearing aids. For those customers without a VC, 44% state they want one.
—Over 2004 ratings, consumers report improved signal processing in the following areas: whistling and feedback, sound of chewing and swallowing, wind noise, use in noisy situations, and comfort with loud sounds. In addition, they report improved performance while using their cell phones.
—The utility of hearing aids (the number of places where the consumer’s hearing aid improves hearing) is highly related to perceptions of benefit, willingness to recommend hearing aids and brand loyalty.

[Source: BHI]