December 14, 2007
Sonus has recently reported it is expanding ways by which members of the Sonus Network can benefit from the expertise of fellow practitioners.
“The underlying philosophy of the Sonus Network is "Be in practice for yourself, not by yourself,’” states Carrie Jackson, director for Sonus. To make that philosophy come alive, Sonus initiated five regional Community Building Seminars in 2007 and plans to expand the number of seminars next year to 10.
Sonus Community Building Seminars are 1- to 2-day events at which a limited number of Network members share ideas about best practices, discuss trends and topics such as physician marketing, client retention, health benefits, accounting issues, retirement, administrative systems and more.
“We limit the number of attendees at these regional seminars to no more than 15 people,” Jackson says. “That way, we ensure an intimate atmosphere and level of comfort in which meaningful conversations can occur. The feedback from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive.” During 2007, the Community Building Seminars were held in Nevada, Illinois, Ohio, Florida and North
Building upon the seminars is the annual Sonus Network Business Meeting, to be held February 2008, in Austin, Texas at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa. The 4-day professional development event, limited to approximately 100 attendees, will feature expert speakers, 10 roundtable discussions and socializing opportunities for Sonus Network members.
Another community building initiative launched by Sonus in 2007 is the online Sonus Network Forum, where registered members can share news and opinions on manufacturer hearing health product launches, business practices, professional development opportunities and more. The forum, which went live in October 2007, is accessible at www.sonusnetwork.com.
“All of these initiatives – the Community Building Seminars, the online forum and the national meeting – are creations of the Sonus Advisory Board,” explains Jackson. Representatives from each of the 10 Sonus territories comprise the Board. “Each Advisory Board member is a practice owner. They’re industry experts and are well-versed in the needs and wants of the hearing health customer,” Jackson states. The Advisory Board meets quarterly to provide direction to Sonus senior management as it reviews Sonus Network programs and initiates plans for future program creation and implementation.
The final link in the Sonus community building support system is expertise available to network members through Sonus corporate locations. The hearing health professionals staffing these 204 clinics are available to assist Sonus Network members with a variety of best practices, including but not limited to the Sonus proprietary patient-centered approach to operating a clinic, customer satisfaction surveys, marketing topics and new office configuration.
“The results of our community building programs have really paid off,” Jackson reports. “Since we’ve begun offering these various support systems, the Sonus Network has enjoyed significant double digit growth in 2007.”