The final part of the conversion rate is measuring the return rate of the hearing aids. If a client ends up returning the hearing instruments after trial, your clinics have wasted a lot of time and effort. In many countries, the return rates are up to more than 50%. There are many reasons for this: clients feel like they’re not getting the value they expected out of the instruments, they’re having difficulties with the technology, prices, comfort, stigma, etc. Luckily, there are many things you can do to decrease return rates.
- Set the right KPIs for the audiologists. Again, KPI setting is critical to success. To make sure that your staff do not oversell to your clients, they should be rewarded on the conversion rate minus the return rate. This will make them eager to actually make sure that they on-board the clients to the right solution and that they follow the proper fitting process.
- Demonstrate the solutions. A demo of the solution is a great tool to convince the client to keep the hearing aid. If your client becomes reluctant to buy, educate them about why they should buy a hearing aid and what consequences hearing loss may have on their overall health, including:
- Irritability, negativity, and anger
- Fatigue, tension, stress and depression
- Avoidance or withdrawal from social situations
- Social rejection and loneliness
- Reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety
- Set up a standard fitting period. When your clients get hearing aids, there are sounds they have to adjust to and technology they need to understand. This is a challenge for many. Make sure that you assist your clients during this difficult phase. This requires three things.
1. The client gets used to wearing the instruments: Make sure the client is wearing the instruments properly and is comfortable using the equipment’s technology. Together with the client, make a plan for the trial period. When should they come in for a fitting? When will you call them to follow up and see how they’re doing? Ensure that the dates you agreed upon are booked in the calendar and that you have a notice for the audiologists to call and follow up. To ease the transport time for clients, consider remote care as an option for selected follow-up appointments.
2. Fitting: When fitting, decide how much sound the client can take at a time. It’s often a good idea to start the amplification at a low level and, when the client gets used to it, turn it up gradually. Also, test tube sizes and make sure that the client knows how to insert and use the instruments (read more in conversion ebook).
3. Communication: Ongoing communication is essential. The client will need to be reassured that they made the right equipment decision, and that what they’re experiencing with their new device is completely normal. This should be communicated upfront and throughout the trial period. Inform the clients that they will hear sounds they have not heard for a long time. Let them know that some noises may sound sharp and different from how they sounded without the hearing aids. Tell them it’s normal to feel tired because the brain receives a lot of new information with the new equipment, and this fatigue may last for 3-4 months as they adjust to their new hearing devices.
- Reactivate lost clients. If a client decides not to buy the hearing aid, don’t consider them a lost opportunity. Keep their record in your Practice Management Software and contact them after 3-5 months to ask if they have changed their mind. Some might want to try a different model or may actually be missing the hearing aids.