Unitron, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, welcomed more than 120 hearing care professionals and company executives from Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Russia, Spain and the UK to a 2-day customer conference held in Vienna on September 25-26. The event was designed to put patient care and practice growth center stage and discussions ranged from the role of the manufacturer to business opportunities arising from enhancing patient experience.
“We developed this event in order to generate a meaningful dialogue between ourselves and our customers in the context of today’s changing marketplace,” said Unitron President Jan Metzdorff. “We believe practice growth is a direct result of the in-clinic experience. This is where hearing aid advocates are born and there is no doubt in our minds that we have a role to play in creating greater business opportunities for our customers by looking at what can be done to support an enhanced patient experience.”
Delivered simultaneously in four languages (English, French, German and Spanish), the event featured expert keynotes and breakout sessions that encouraged knowledge sharing and collaboration. Highlights included:
- New customer relationship trends;
- In-clinic, patient-centered care;
- Best practice exchanges;
- Live interactive survey of attendees, and
- Findings from a global study on barriers to care.
“While our industry has made great strides in the areas of product innovation, development, and design, we believe there are substantial growth opportunities for us by focusing on the human side of the equation,” said Metzdorff. “Barriers to the acceptance and use of hearing aids remain. In fact, the majority of those in our society who could benefit from hearing aids never get fitted for them. We are committed to finding innovative ways to work with our customers to drive greater adoption and, ultimately, practice success. Unitron’s Flex™ program is a good example of how we are thinking originally on these issues.”
Unitron reportedly provides a risk- and obligation-free option that allows new patients to ‘test drive’ personalized hearing instruments. The Flex™ program is designed to overcome patient insecurities when seeking the help they need (see the June 2013 Hearing Review Products article, “Patient “Test Drives”: Can They Flex Market Growth?”)
During a live and interactive survey conducted at the conference, participants confirmed findings from a recent independent global survey that showed product trial is a key driver for practice growth. In fact, more than 80% of hearing care professionals achieved an improved customer experience and higher sales percentages when the flexibility that comes with trial was introduced into the consultation process, reports the company.
“It is clear from my direct experience that Unitron’s approach with Flex is spot on,” said Pádraig MacGinty, conference participant and multi-clinic owner from Ireland. “Taking selling out of the process during an initial consultation allows trust to develop between the patient and the hearing healthcare professional. It also allows the patient to immediately experience the full benefits of a hearing aid in their everyday listening situations.”
According to Unitron, the company’s independent global survey also shows that the company’s customers are incorporating Flex™ into their practice in a number of important ways:
- Allowing patients to listen to different levels of technology before they make a purchase decision (79%)
- To start patients with amplification in their first appointment while ordering their new hearing instrument (67%)
- In marketing campaigns to attract more patients to try hearing instruments (28%)
For more on the Flex™ program, visit: http://unitron.com/unitron/global/en/professional/hearing-solutions/flex.html