How to increase lifetime value of a hearing aid customer

Blog

How to increase lifetime value of a hearing aid customer

Onboarding new customers is expensive and takes significant effort. Competition is fierce. When you get a customer to choose you, make the most out of it and ensure that this customer stays with you thus increasing their lifetime value. This blog is relevant for hearing care providers, who want to increase the customer lifetime value of each customer.

Why focus on existing customers and lifetime value?

  • Higher ROI for hearing aids - Hearing aids have a much higher ROI than other products or services you may sell, and the marketing efforts are also much more efficient. Moreover, you can get referrals from existing customers via friends and family programs. 
  • Loyal customers have a higher spend - Loyal customers buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per transaction, and are five times more likely to repurchase from the same company. On average, they’re delivering 23% more revenue and profitability over the average customer.
  • Use existing customers as new lead referrals - Use your loyal customers to get new leads through referrals. Despite all the efforts into omnichannel marketing and social media, people are still most strongly influenced by referrals from friends, family and peers. Millennials, in particular, will spread the word of a brand’s exploits: 90% share their brand preferences online. Politely ask your happy customers to share their positive experiences at your hearing care center with their friends and encourage their networks to use your services. 
  • Improved marketing efforts – Marketing for existing customers is much more effective than it is for new customers. Existing customers are four times more likely to say they “appreciate when this brand reaches out to me” and seven times more likely to “always respond to this brand’s promotional offers.” 

How do you get the most out of your existing customers?  

Loyal customers are more profitable, so do not take their loyalty for granted. Nurture them, give them good service, and promote timely, relevant messages to them. And no, a pile of preprinted recall letters sent out after four years does not cut it. You need to be relevant and service minded. Below, find four recommended steps to increase the lifetime value of your customers. 

1. Deliver good service 

Good Service Auditdata

To earn a high lifetime value, the most important thing is that you give your customers good service and they have consistently wonderful experiences with you. It is highly recommended that you set up and follow a clear experience for all customers. This starts at the booking of the appointment and lasts until they go into trial of hearing aids and beyond. This first experience is a good starting point for adding to their lifetime value. 

To be able to give exceptional service, all shop staff facing the customers should be trained in communicating and understanding how to stay relevant by activating client information data about them. It is key that they always have access to the client data to personalize each interaction. Make customers feel special and valued at every touchpoint, which includes welcoming them warmly for each appointment, providing immediate answers to their questions, and sending them helpful information relevant to their needs.

2. Onboard the customers

Onboard Clients Auditdata

As soon as your customer agrees to a hearing aid trial, you should put maximum effort into getting them onboarded to the products so they have the best possible hearing aid experience. It’s good practice communicating with customers regularly during their hearing aid trial, to see how they’re enjoying the devices and answer any questions they may have. Additionally, reach out at regular intervals via email, text, Facebook messenger and/or Whatsapp with helpful onboarding information, such as how to increase wear over time, answers to frequently asked questions, cleaning guidelines, how to store hearing aids at night, and more. If they have concerns or complaints, answer them quickly and effectively. And as their trial period ends, contact them about purchasing their devices, reiterating the numerous benefits of doing so. Read “How to onboard your staff”  to get inspired about how to successfully onboard customers.  

  • Encourage each customer to buy more and at a higher frequency – Increase your average sales price per customer. By training your staff in sales efforts, you can achieve a huge boost in revenue per customer, either by focusing on increasing the binaural rate or the unit price point sold. Another idea could be to add services to your portfolio, including aftercare, hearing-loss guarantee, subscription of tubes, batteries, etc. This will increase the value you get out of the customer at each transaction. Increase and shorten the repurchasing rate of your customer database by optimizing the sales cycle of your existing customers. What this means is to encourage as many of your customers as possible to buy with you again and convince them (politely!) to buy as often as possible. The best way to do this is to keep them involved and informed, sending information on new hearing aids you think they’d like, informing them about accessories you think would enhance their lifestyle, such as streaming devices, and/or promoting any incentives or special deals that might entice them to buy. 
  • Stay in touch with customers – For your existing customers using hearing aids, information and activation are key. Do not wait three or four years to contact them again for repurchasing purposes. And do not spam them with mass information about your company, events, or initiatives. Rather, segment your customers, and contact them two to three times per year with direct offers.  Some ideas to promote: 
    • Inform them about a relevant accessory that might add to their hearing experience.
    • Call them in for an annual hearing/solution check-up, lunch n’ learn, or a friends and family event to make sure they stay in touch with your company. 
    • Ask them to be a “product ambassador” for your staff when testing new equipment or training fitting tools, and let them know that they’ll get a “first look” at a new device or an “insider sneak peek” at the latest innovations.
    • Ask loyal customers for referrals. Consider setting up a friends and family referral program as one of your marketing initiatives. You might give them a small reward (such as a small gift card to a nearby coffee shop or café) for referring each new customer. Remember: referred leads have a much higher conversion rate than other leads, so it’s worth spending some time and money on this effort. 

3. Recall the customers

Recall Auditdata

After your customers have had their hearing aids for three or four years, or whatever your local reimbursement system requires, the best way to contact them for a repurchase is by calling them on the phone. This way, you can talk to them directly and set a date for a hearing evaluation. Inform about the reasons they should buy a new hearing aid: reimbursement, wear and tear, new technologies, etc. Around 50% of the customers you reach will book an appointment. This means that even if you spend some time making calls, it is a very efficient way of reaching out to your customers and getting more traffic to your hearing care center. 

Calculate and boost the value of your customers – When you measure the customer’s lifetime value, consider all the sales you have secured from them. This depends on your center’s set-up, whether you sell hearing aids, batteries, add-on services or other offerings. Determine your repurchasing rate and calculate the average sales price per customer. A calculation could look like this: 

Increasing the revenue from each transaction and getting customers to return are the two biggest keys to success. Maximize brand loyalty by providing exceptional service, ongoing communication, customized messaging, and best-in-class products, and your efforts will pay off over the long-term, as your customers increase their lifetime value and refer more business to you.