The following short articles were written by the respective manufacturers/suppliers in order to provide HR readers with fast, effective information on a wide range of topics, including fitting, diagnostics, unique hearing aid applications, and marketing/business management concepts. These descriptions were provided by the participants upon request of HR. To learn more about these topics, or the products/services featured in the tutorials, please contact the companies directly.
How to Capture More of Your Market Share and Increase Your Business
In today’s competitive market, you need to have an edge on your competition. One of the best ways to make your phones ring is through direct mail with Chicago Advertising & Marketing (CAM). With more than 14 years of experience in advertising for the hearing aid industry, CAM will make sure your message gets out on time. We drop ship your mailers so they are in homes 1 week before the event dates. And we have the most updated list in the business!
The first step to increase your phone calls and appointments is to give CAM a call at (800) 778-9300. From there, an advertising expert will walk you through step by step to create a successful direct mail campaign for you.
CAM is known for our quick 48-hour turnaround of direct mail pieces. We’re also known for what’s called the “CAM Cycle.” This is a direct mail campaign that is highly effective. With this type of campaign, we will set up a schedule for you, with the mailer of your choice. We will show you how many people are available to mail to in your area based on the zip codes you give us. We then mail on a weekly basis to different names on the list until we run out of names. The continuity of this type of campaign is very effective because it keeps the phones ringing on a weekly basis. The CAM Cycle will create a constant flow of activity in your office—from phone calls, walk-in traffic, and be-backs. It has been used to increase business for hearing aid companies all across the country. Please visit our Web site at www.campromotions.net to read our client testimonials.
Call us at (800) 778-9300 to learn more about the “CAM Cycle” and all of the other direct mail services we have to offer!
Chicago Advertising & Marketing Chicago
How to Turn More Phone Inquiries Into Hearing Aid Sales
The first contact most practices have with patients is over the telephone. In fact, nearly 100% of the time, the way in which the initial phone call is handled will determine whether a patient schedules an appointment with a particular practice—or not. The Telephone Skills Improvement Program, available FREE to CareCredit® enrolled practices, gives hearing care professionals the tools, techniques, and scripts that they need to make the most of each and every patient phone contact.
Developed by CareCredit, the nation’s leading patient payment program, and a team of industry experts to help practices answer the telephone more effectively, this valuable, easy-to-use program consists of three audio CDs, each containing three educational sessions. Each session is approximately 10 to 15 minutes in length and can easily be incorporated into a team lunch-and-learn, or a weekly training meeting, or as part of an ongoing staff development program.
The Telephone Skills Improvement Program includes:
- The important first step to exceptional telephone skills
- Critical rules of telephone etiquette
- How to encourage a third-party appointment
- Minimizing no-shows and turning around cancellation calls
- Proven strategies to convert calls into appointments
- Tips to increase patient loyalty and build new business
Using exceptional telephone skills is a proven way to increase sales, enhance patient satisfaction and loyalty, attract new patients, increase patient referrals, differentiate your practice from the competition, and communicate your brand to the community. In fact, in a recent study titled “How Training Drives Front Office Success” by Brian Taylor, AuD, the use of a training program increased the number of appointments per week from 17 to 32, and increased monthly units sold from seven to 19.
For more information about the Telephone Skills Improvement Program or other educational tools designed to help practices help more patients improve their hearing health, dispensing professionals who offer the CareCredit program can call (800) 859-9975. Professionals interested in offering CareCredit can call (800) 300-3046 ext 4519 or go to www.carecredit.com for more information or to enroll.
CareCredit Anaheim, Calif
(800) 300-3046, ext 4519
How to Conduct Standard Audiometer Tests in the Clinic More Efficiently
Accurate, efficient testing allows more time to counsel patients. This is made possible using features utilized in PC-based audiometry, such as the new MA55 Audiometer by Maico-Diagnostics.
Built-in wavefiles, for example, allow accurate recorded-voice testing without having to cue up and calibrate a CD for every test. Scoring takes place directly on the computer screen, so results are calculated and instantly saved. Child/adult and English/Spanish lists are immediately available to select and play.
Even speech-in-noise tests, such as the QuickSIN test by Etymotic Research, can be conducted with ease. Simply select a list of sentences and score on the screen. The SNR loss is automatically calculated and displayed, making amplification selection and setting realistic expectations for your patient even easier.
Simple, but effective counseling tools allow clearer communication between the dispensing professional and patient. The “speech banana” and the “degree of hearing loss” features on the MA55 can help explain concepts of speech sounds, consequences of hearing loss, and how hearing is documented on the audiogram in an easy format that the patient can understand. Test results can be printed instantly to paper or PDF to share with the patient and to send electronic medical records, allowing more time for counseling and less time for paperwork and record keeping.
With the power of new technologies, traditional “gold-standard” tests can be conducted with efficiency and accuracy, allowing the dispensing professional to spend valuable time counseling and educating their patients about their hearing health.
Maico Diagnostics Eden Prairie, Minn
How to Connect with the Largely Untapped Consumer Earpiece Market
Promotion of custom fitted earpieces for the general consumer can increase revenues in your office while also providing valuable services to the community.
As might be expected, most professional offices fit primarily hearing instruments. It is quite common for the dispensing professional to mull over amplification options during the hearing evaluation, but how many are also considering offering other types of custom earpieces to these patients? Patients with significant hearing loss, as well as their family members, are a largely untapped market for recreational custom earpieces.
Growing Market that Needs Experts. There is a growing demand in the market for custom fit earpieces for music listening, hearing protection, water sports, and more. By becoming familiar with these products and recommending them to more patients, a dispensing professional can grow his/her practice while getting to know their patients better through their hobbies and interests. Band members and concert goers would appreciate flat-attenuating filtered musicians’ earpieces. Audiophiles might enjoy custom-fitted earpieces for their iPod or similar device. For those who are seemingly always on call, custom earpieces for their cell phone headsets might be of interest. Industrial workers, hunters and shooters, racing enthusiasts, and motorcycle riders could certainly benefit from high-quality hearing protection. Water enthusiasts would appreciate floatable, waterproof swim molds. The potential is virtually limitless.
Establish Your Business as the Local Expert. Consider also reaching out to the non-hearing impaired population. Promoting these recreational earpieces directly to the general public can establish your practice as the local expert in hearing health care. A good experience with this first-time customer can easily turn into referrals of their family and friends. As we all know, a personal referral from a family member or friend is the best form of advertising!
If you are not currently promoting custom earpieces for recreation and hearing protection, this is an excellent time to jump into the market. For additional information, please contact Westone Laboratories Inc at (800) 525-5071, or visit westone.com.
Westone Laboratories Colorado Springs, Colo
How to Order Custom Earmolds for Slim-Tube Fittings—And New Options for Your Patients
The demand for open-fit BTE hearing aids has lifted BTE sales to more than 50% of the market. Microsonic offers a variety of custom earmold fittings for these devices, since there are many options when fitting a custom mold for either a slim-tube or receiver-in-the-ear technology. Selection is easy:
Slim-tube Fittings: Hard materials are recommended, but you may choose any material Microsonic offers.
Receiver in the Canal: Available in soft materials ONLY.
Looking for the least-occluding molds for your patients? The following styles have an IROS VENT (step back vent) automatically placed in the mold. To order, put “OF” in front of the style number. Some examples:
#OF4 Canal. This style sits completely in the canal and is most often recommended. IROS venting is standard for minimum occlusion and maximum acoustic comfort.
#OF2 Skeleton. This is a traditional skeleton mold with a recessed aperture. IROS venting is standard for minimum occlusion and maximum acoustic comfort.
#OF5 Canal-lok. This is a traditional canal-lok mold with a recessed aperture. The lock helps in the removal of the earmold. IROS venting is standard for minimum occlusion and maximum acoustic comfort.
Are you having problems with the slim tubes falling out? We have a NEW option—the Micro-Tite Sleeve! It accommodates the slim tubing itself, without the bulky molded collar. Simply cut the collar off, then screw the tubing into the Micro-Tite Sleeve for a more durable fit.
As always, Microsonic will work with you to help you make your customers happy! Please call us if you have questions.
Microsonic Inc Ambridge, Pa
How to Turn Your “Open House” into a “Full House”—and Increase High-End Sales
Dispensers across the country are getting on board with connectivity and most agree that, with a good demonstration, the products sell themselves. Eric Green of Total Hearing Care recently hosted a very successful open house. He commented, “The ConnectLine Phone/TV demo is the most powerful sales presentation tool I have ever seen. About 90% of today’s sales ended up being high end.”
ConnectLine is a new range of plug-and-play devices designed to connect wirelessly with any Streamer-compatible hearing instrument. Streamer pairs up to eight devices and transmits high-fidelity sound to both ears. Whether using a cell phone, landline phone, or TV, the patient can switch seamlessly between devices with the press of a button—no need to reconnect.
ConnectLine Adaptors: No Extra Gadgets Needed. The ConnectLine TV solution eliminates the latency issues of off-the-shelf Bluetooth transmitters. This attractive, unobtrusive adaptor plugs directly into the audio output jack of the TV. The patient listens at his/her preferred volume level while the family listens at theirs.
Many seniors prefer to use their existing landline phone but still have difficulty hearing. The ConnectLine phone box attaches in parallel to their landline phone, turning it into a Bluetooth phone. Your patient can use either their cell phone or landline phone with the same streamer and hear clearly with both ears.
A quick ConnectLine demo and the patient will experience the advantage first hand. All you need is a TV monitor or DVD player and a Bluetooth-compatible cell phone. Patients should have the opportunity to listen to the TV via ConnectLine and experience a phone call. ConnectLine demo sets are available with all you will need to get started.
Oticon Inc Somerset, NJ
How to Use the CORE Platform to Enhance Hearing in Difficult Listening Situations
Exélia Art redefines excellence in hearing performance, connectivity, and choice. This CORE platform provides unmatched audiological features, including industry benchmarks for automatic functionality, feedback elimination, directional beamforming and hearing focus, not to mention full wireless functionality.
Facing a speaker is not always possible or convenient. Finally, you can offer your clients a real solution to challenging situations where they cannot face the speaker, such as listening in the car. ZoomControl with DirectTouch combines real-audio streaming with directional beamforming for a truly unique benefit: the ability for the wearer to set the directionality of their hearing instrument to match the signal source, whether that is to the front, back, left, or right. One easy touch of a button on the hearing instrument and an expanded opportunity for improved directional listening that has never before been possible with a hearing instrument is a reality. ZoomControl can also be accessed via the myPilot remote if desired.
Optimal understanding on the telephone is achieved through binaural hearing. With DuoPhone, as soon as the telephone is held to the ear, the sound is heard in both ears. Background noise is reduced and clarity significantly improved. The telephone can once again be used with confidence, and it’s wire-free and simple to use.
SoundRecover is a Phonak exclusive feature that expands audibility by compressing and shifting high frequencies into an adjacent area of audible hearing. Frequencies below the kneepoint are not compressed or altered, resulting in an artifacts-free hearing experience. SoundRecover improves speech understanding, as well as awareness of the listening environment, to significantly improve quality of life. SoundRecover broadens bandwidth for natural and feedback-free reproduction of sound without being harsh or tinny.
The CORE collection, including Exélia Art, is a unique portfolio of hearing instrument families that meets the needs of all of your clients, regardless of their degree of hearing loss, personal preferences, lifestyle, age, or budget.
Phonak Inc Warrenville, Ill
How to Improve the Perception of Your Patient’s Own Voice
Many perceptual responses to hearing aids are reactions to internally generated sounds as a result of the person’s own voice. Patients will reject amplification if they cannot speak without distress. To improve the perception of the patient’s own voice, Sonic Innovations has created a unique tool, the Voice Manager, available in our EXPRESSfit fitting software. The use of this protocol and respective adjustments can significantly improve patients’ satisfaction with amplification.
In this procedure, the patient is asked to describe the apparent position or origin of his/her voice in three dimensions:
- Left or right: “Is your voice balanced left to right, or is it louder in one ear?”
- Up or down: “Is your voice in your nose or in your throat?” and
- Forward or back: “Is your voice inside your head or in front of your mouth?”
The goal is to position the voice such that the patient perceives their voice as originating at or near their lips.
If their voice is not centered left to right, increase the overall volume for loud sounds in the softer ear. If their voice is heard in their nose or their throat, the sinus resonance frequency (1000 Hz) needs to be adjusted. Increase the output at 1000 Hz to raise the voice up, or decrease to lower the voice out of the nose. Finally, the overall output of loud sounds will move the voice in or out of the head. The correction for a voice heard inside the head is to increase the hearing aid output. A voice that is far in front or in the ears is associated with too much acoustical energy, and the correction is to decrease the output.
These voice adjustments can be made quickly and automatically with the use of Sonic Innovations’ Voice Manager, but they can also be made manually to improve any fitting regardless of device or software. The end result is improved patient satisfaction with amplification.
Sonic Innovations Salt Lake City
How to Avoid Sacrificing Hearing Aid Battery Performance When Going Green!
Introducing Rayovac ProLine Advanced Mercury Free—the world’s longest-lasting, mercury-free hearing aid battery!
Some may remember the transition to zinc air technology back in the late 1970s. Before that time, hearing aid batteries were mercury-oxide based, made up of 50% mercury. Moving to zinc air decreased the amount of mercury in the hearing aid battery cell to 3.5% by weight. The 1996 Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act further restricted the addition of mercury to 25 mg per button cell.
For decades, the battery industry has been working diligently to solve the technological challenges of eliminating mercury from all types of batteries. Although no one would disagree that mercury is bad for the environment and can cause a range of problems, it does perform a variety of functions in the battery. Mercury is a good electrical conductor, and is used to suppress gassing, improve discharge voltage, and initial service life and life retention.
In order to have a properly functioning hearing aid battery with long life, Rayovac’s dedicated R&D team developed a cell design and chemical formulation that removed mercury, but maintained the performance, quality, and reliability that Rayovac is known for. The result is the new ProLine Advanced Mercury Free—the world’s longest-lasting, mercury-free hearing aid battery! This design controls gassing, and has excellent initial capacity performance and retention, and a stable discharge voltage. ProLine Advanced Mercury Free allows you and your patients to enjoy the same performance and quality that you have come to expect from Rayovac, while making a positive impact on the environment.
ProLine Advanced Mercury Free is available only direct from Rayovac, and is supported with ProLine’s Business Builder programs. Contact our dedicated Product Consultants to learn more about this revolutionary new product today!
Rayovac Madison, Wis
How to Use Starkey’s T2 Technology
Featuring multi-core processing, S Series™ with Drive Architecture™ delivers advancements in hearing aids never imagined—like the new T2 Technology. For the first time ever, patients can use any touch-tone phone as a remote to control volume or switch memories without additional hardware. It’s just one of the many breakthroughs S Series delivers.
Step 1: Ensure that the cell phone, cordless telephone, or corded telephone “beeps” when the keys are pressed. They must beep for the T2 functionality to work.
Step 2: Hold the phone approximately 3 inches from the ear.
Step 3: Press ** to “wake” T2 (a tone series indicates that it is ready for a command).
Step 4: Use the 2 (up) and 8 (down) buttons to turn the volume up or down. Use the 4 (down) and 6 (up) buttons to change the memory.
Step 5: T2 will “sleep” after 20 seconds.
Starkey Laboratories Inc Eden Prairie, Minn
How to Get Connected to People Who Have Hearing Loss
In the year to come, TV Ears will be introducing several new products and continue its marketing campaign with AARP The Magazine, the Rush Limbaugh radio program, and our nation’s largest news magazines. The campaign includes 300 million print ads and 52,000 radio ads.
As a result of our marketing efforts, more than 40,000 consumers search for TV Ears products online each month, while 5,000 consumers search our “Find a Dealer Near You” directory. As these numbers grow, so does the value of our TV Ears authorized dealer network.
It’s an exciting time at TV Ears Inc and we want to share our success by offering hearing care professionals an exclusive opportunity to join the TV Ears authorized dealer network. This network will provide you with zip code exclusivity (if available), a continuous flow of consumer referrals, exceptional profit margins, a full line of TV Ears products, and VIP service.
It’s clear that being part of the TV Ears authorized dealer network is a good business decision. Please join us and let your community know you have the TV Ears products in stock and available for free demonstration.
The Professional. The “Professional” is one of our most widely sold products by hearing care professionals. It’s hearing aid compatible and is the only TV Ears system that includes two headsets. This wireless headset system will work with plasma and LCD flat screen TVs and covers up to 2,000 fT2 of space. The Professional features:
- Proprietary Voice Enhancement Technology, which clarifies television dialog like no other headset;
- Automatic Commercial Control, which caps loud commercials so you don’t get blasted with volume;
- 120 dB of power;
- Adjustable volume, tone, and balance;
- Quick charge rechargeable battery system;
- TV Ears Tips made with patented Comply™ foam for maximum comfort and clarity; and
- A 1-year warranty and available lifetime service guarantee.
TV Ears Spring Valley, Calif
How to Use the Widex Zen for Relaxation
Zen is an optional listening program that is exclusively available in the mind440 dual ISP hearing aid family. Through the use of Widex-patented fractal technology, the Zen program generates chime-like music that provides a relaxing listening background.
How to use Zen for relaxation
- Selecting the right candidate. During intake interview, ask questions to see if the patient may benefit from the use of relaxation music. If so, make a mental note, but proceed to fitting the mind440 hearing aids.
- Introducing the Zen. At the end of the fitting, offer the Zen program as a value-added feature for trial.
- Selecting the right Zen. Go to the “Program” option and select the “Zen+” option. This allows your patient access to three Zen styles when they push and hold the program button for 2 s. One can choose from amongst five different Zen styles. The volume control can be specified to affect just the Zen tones or the Zen tones plus the microphone.
- Adjusting Zen parameters. Clicking on the “settings” button will display the Zen parameter screen. One may adjust the tempo, pitch, and tone volume and how the Zen tones can be played—with the hearing aid and/or with the broadband noise on/off. The same parameters must be used for both ears.
- Instructing the patient on Zen use. Instruct the patient on how to access the Zen program by pushing the program button (or remote control). Also indicate to patients that the Zen is intended to be used in quiet where hearing the background sounds is not critical.
FDA Disclaimer: Indications for use. The Zen program is intended to provide a relaxing sound background for adults (21 years and older) who desire to listen to such a background in quiet. It may be used as a sound therapy tool in a tinnitus treatment program that is prescribed by a licensed hearing healthcare professional (audiologists, hearing aid specialists, otolaryngologists) who is trained in tinnitus management.
Widex Hearing Aid Co Inc Long Island City, NY
How Consumers Can Use a Free iPhone App to Screen Their Own Hearing
In celebration of May’s Better Speech and Hearing Month, Unitron launched uHear™—a breakthrough hearing test application for the iPhone™ and iPod touch®. Since its introduction, uHear quickly rose up to being the No. 3 free medical app in the United States.
Following the success of last month’s launch of uHear, a self-administered hearing screening test for the iPhone and iPod touch, Unitron now offers the application in English worldwide, free of charge. The proceeds from uHear’s 99-cent downloads during May’s Better Speech and Hearing month will be donated in the form of hearing instruments by Unitron to the Carabez Alliance—helping to improve hearing awareness and support children with speech hearing loss.
Available now as a free, self-administered screening test, uHear helps users identify potential hearing loss through three assessments: hearing sensitivity, speech in noise, and a questionnaire about common listening situations. Hearing loss has an impact on quality of life, yet the process of getting tested can cause significant anxiety and, as a result, is often ignored. Easy to use and now even easier to access from anywhere in the world, uHear is designed to help users overcome this anxiety and serve as a first step toward identifying and addressing hearing loss.
Designed by Unitron, uHear is a hearing loss screening test that enables you to test your hearing on your own time, in your own space. uHear helps you assess whether your hearing is within normal range.
If you already have iTunes, you can visit itunes.com/apps/uhear to download uHear. If you do not have an iPhone or iPod touch, you can view a demonstration of the uHear application at unitron.com/uhear.
Unitron Plymouth, Minn