In my last article I explained why I felt that it was important to include the family in our process from the initial test consultation. In this article I would like to explain why I think their continued involvement is imperative. Before I do, I would just like to cover one element that is part of the initial test and the continuing process.
A huge amount of information
Considering the amount of information we fit into the initial ninety-minute appointment, do you think it is fair or wise to expect the patient to then relay that information to their loved ones? I don’t. It is imperative that the patient has support at the initial test, support that can help make and support the purchase decision.
In my experience, appointments with attending support are more successful than appointments without. Just the fact of attendance shows qualification, it shows that the problem is a problem recognised by the wider family. In fact, every appointment usually involves the sharing of information both ways, again, two people remember better.
The ongoing journey
The journey to better hearing with hearing aids is very rarely an easy one, nor is it a simple one. We all know that hearing aids are not like glasses and can’t be expected to work just like that. As your patient moves forward with hearing aids, family members can support and help to assess your progress.
They can also help identify areas where your patient is still having. I love when family members are involved in the process; they are a secondary source of information which allows a full picture of what is going on.
They also continue to offer support and encouragement to your patient and act as a secondary source of validation and a memory aid. How many times have you heard, “You never told me that!”? While it still may happen, quite often it is followed by, “No, I remember us being told that” when a family member is involved in the process.
A win-win situation
Family involvement is a win-win for us and the patient, it leads to earlier buying decisions with fewer events of buyer’s remorse. It generally leads to a high state of commitment to the process. In the long term, it generally leads to a more actively engaged and happier patient.
There is a true knock on effect from this on your job satisfaction and your bottom line. As I said, earlier buying decisions and commitment from a patient leads to increased revenue. Ongoing support and engagement by their family mean a happier and more engaged patient.
Happy and engaged patients tend to be advocates for you and your service. Advocates will publicize and refer others to, you as a professional. That is why, you need to ensure that you involve the family in the process, as early as possible. You then need to encourage them to remain involved.
You can see the consumer focused article here.