This question stumped me a little as my initial reaction was, of course, to say “Vibrant Hearing!” But that is the easy answer and it didn’t really address the question behind the question. What my patient wanted to know was how could they be sure they were doing the right thing with the right organization?

There is no doubt in my mind that Vibrant Hearing is the best provider of hearing health services in Western Montana. But saying so didn’t help the patient before me. Here was my answer and I hope it helps you too.

How to Choose the Best Place to Buy Hearing Aids

  1. Find a team you are comfortable with. Treating hearing loss is a lifetime journey and you need to be able to establish a long-term foundation of trust with the people that will be with you for the long-haul. There will always be problems, malfunctions, extended trips, life events, etc.
  2. It’s not just the provider, the support staff is arguably just as important. You should feel confident that every time you call or drop by the office you will get fast, knowledgeable, and friendly service from anyone you see.
  3. Access to top-tier technology. There is only one you, and you have your own unique listening needs, lifestyle, and desires. No single hearing aid manufacturer can address the needs of every human. Choose a hearing care provider that has both the access and the knowledge to find a hearing system that addresses your individual situation.
  4. Price is not the issue. The great majority of people who purchase hearing aids from a big-box retailer go elsewhere for their subsequent hearing aid purchases. Why? Because the purchase transaction takes about 10 minutes. What happens in the years after? Also, the best hearing aid provider will find a hearing system that is both in your budget and fits your needs.
  5. Long-term relationships with the manufacturers and equipment reps. At some point, your audiologist may need to make a call on your behalf. It could be an equipment problem or a special request. Whatever it is, you want your provider to be able to make magic happen with one call to the right person.
  6. Honesty. No, that’s not what you think it might mean. You have to feel like you can be very frank with your audiologist about what you are experiencing and what you need. You should feel so comfortable with the relationship you have built with the provider and her team, that you can complain when necessary and feel confident that the issue will be resolved in a humble and direct way, and with nothing but energy and compassion.
  7. Established professional relationships. If you are out of town and have trouble with your hearing system, your provider should be able to pick up the phone and find someone close to you who will provide the same level of service to which you are accustomed.
  8. Finally, investment in the community. Sales people come and go and often leave a path of disheartened consumers. A local company is extremely invested in the health and well-being of their own community and takes herculean measures to establish and maintain healthy relationships with community partners.