In some countries hearing care services have been identified as essential, however determining how to offer this care during COVID-19 can be a challenge. Here are tips from Dr. Jacob Johnson, an Ear Nose and Throat physician and Global ENT key opinion leader for Lyric.
I was sent this picture a few days ago. It is a picture of Elaine Soares, Audiologist and clinic owner based in Campinas, Brazil. She provides a range of audiological services including being a successful Lyric provider. Elaine and her staff wear this protective clothing so that they can continue to provide hearing care in the clinic to her clients. To me this image epitomizes dedication to customer care and shows the lengths hearing care professionals are prepared to take to continue to provide quality care in any way they can within the restrictions that are being placed upon them.
It is an understatement to say that these are worrying times for all of us and even though in many countries hearing care services have been identified as essential services, how to provide or offer this care is a challenge and requires considerable flexibility. This is especially the case for clients that wear Lyric hearing aids. These hearing aids are designed to stop working after a few months and then they are replaced by the hearing care professional. The payment of the devices is also different to other daily wear hearing aids They are purchased on a subscription model and this subscription contract is renewed annually. Some of these contract renewals will be due while clinics are closed. The hearing care provider needs to keep a track on these renewals to ensure that those clients who want and are able to renew their contract do so and be available to answer questions or offer support for those that may be worrying about signing up for a continuing financial commitment.
Lyric hearing aids have no direct connectivity so being able to connect through the hearing aids is also not an option.
So what can be done to support your clients at this time?
Dr. Jacob Johnson works as an Ear Nose and Throat Physician and is the Global ENT key opinion leader for Lyric. He has a clinical practice and is still working providing frontline emergency ENT surgery in the state of California. Last week he gave us some of his precious time to hold live webinars for our US Lyric providers. Here is a link to the recording. He answered questions about how to manage clients and offer care while trying to protect your business. His advice was simple.
First and foremost, protect your clients, your staff and yourself. No one should be made to feel or be put in a situation that makes them feel scared or uncomfortable.
Secondly do not underestimate the value of a video call via an online chat service. The reassurance of just calling a client to check they are doing ok shows you care. There are many different options out there to use free or paid and they can be customized for personal meetings if you are worried about client privacy.
Thirdly if the only way to help someone is having to organize an in-person appointment with them there are simple things that you can do to safeguard yourself and your Lyric clients. Here are three documents to guide you during COVID:
Overall, during this time of crisis, we all want to do our little bit and show we care. Whether this means wearing the protective outfits like Elaine or calling a client for a video chat to check that they are doing ok. When this time is over how we behaved and responded to others in need will be remembered so taking the time to show you care at this time will also ultimately take care of you and your business in the future.
If you have any other tips for providing quality care during this crisis, please share them in the comments section below.