ProLine sales team. Standing (l to r): Tom Kammerude, Maria Arndt, David Will, Paula Kosnick, Tracie Pittz, Tiffin Despres. Seated: Lisa Siegle (l), Sue MacTaggert (r).

For this month’s HR Industry Insider, we asked four sales representatives from Rayovac to respond to questions about the hearing health care industry. Here are the answers provided by Lisa Siegle, David Will, Paula Kosnick, and Maria Arndt.

Q: Describe in a bit more detail what the company does, and tell us a bit more about the product line you offer.

Lisa Siegle: Our commitment is to provide the most powerful batteries and most powerful marketing support. Hearing care professionals enjoy personalized packaging complete with their name, address and phone number. It’s like giving out a business card every time you sell Rayovac Ultra ProLine. In addition, our online office locator directs consumers to offices that carry the batteries. ProLine materials help keep batteries on the minds of patients. Merchandising and marketing materials featuring spokesperson Arnold Palmer include signage for office doors, battery ID cards, battery envelopes, display stands, brochures, table tents, and battery life charts. To ensure repeat battery purchases, we offer personalized battery club and postcard programs. The battery club features a complete program booklet, frequent purchaser punch card, and coupons–all personalized with your name and address. With the recent purchase of Varta, Rayovac is one of the world’s largest consumer battery and lighting device companies, selling its products in more than 115 countries. We sell a full line of heavy duty and alkaline batteries, and the number-one selling rechargeable battery in the US and Europe.

Q: What role does new technology play in your products?

David Will: Technology plays an ever-present role in Rayovac products. We’ve worked to maintain close working relationships with hearing aid manufacturers around the world so we are able to anticipate their future battery requirements. This ensures we can always effectively power the newest hearing devices. Rayovac created the Size 10 battery in the mid eighties. CIC hearing aids were developed after Rayovac anticipated the industry’s need for smaller batteries like the Size 10, and then the Size 5. Likewise, with the advent of high power digital aids, we saw a need for even more power in our Size 13 and 675 batteries. To meet the needs of the industry, we created the first line of “high power” batteries. Most recently, our research and development team has been able to marry the technology of our long lasting premium batteries with high power batteries. This new technology can power the strongest high power digital BTE as flawlessly as it powers the smallest CIC. In addition to our commitment to new products, the Rayovac Tech Center is always looking for ways to pack more life into our batteries. To do this, the Tech Center constantly evaluates battery performance, including drain level, voltage level, and environmental performance. We are fortunate to have The Tech Center is located here at Rayovac World Headquarters in Madison. This close proximity allows me to pass customer feedback directly to our technical engineers. I also find that, in working closely with the Tech Center, I learn more about hearing healthcare, and am able to offer better service to my customers.

Q: What sorts of trends in the hearing industry are catching your attention these days? How does your company respond to those trends?

Paula Kosnick: Because Rayovac ProLine sells exclusively to the hearing care professional, we place a focus on helping them grow their business. Currently, more hearing aid batteries are being sold through mass merchandisers, drug and food stores. When this happens, the hearing care professional may lose contact with their customer base. Our representatives work hand in hand with our customers, aiming to increase repeat sales, and solidifying the professional’s customer base. In addition, battery packaging seems to be at the forefront of industry news. In the last two years, we’ve seen companies attempt to change or reinvent their package in an effort to gain a higher market share. Rayovac, in meeting with hearing aid users, found that while small improvements could be made, wearers were generally pleased with existing packaging. We responded to their requests by enhancing our packaging with longer battery tabs, a new “spin and lock” battery dial, and a securely closing door.

Q: What are the pros and cons of working in this industry?

Maria Arndt: Providing knowledge to hearing care professionals about the our battery is rewarding. Another benefit is seeing the impact we can have on individuals—and even communities. Rayovac tries to help our customers who are participating in humanitarian missions by providing batteries to those who are less fortunate. Helping the hearing healthcare professional understand the value of a full service battery manufacturer is the leading challenge of working with the Rayovac ProLine Team. I think that hearing professionals who utilize our numerous free marketing programs provide an element of convenience to their customers. That constant interaction is vital to maintaining strong customer relationships.

—B. Van Houten