One simple tip can help you connect better with your patients

This field-tested tactic can also help you stand out from your competition . . . and it doesn’t cost a dime.

Are you looking for ways to differentiate yourself from competitors while also providing the best clinical care? There is a simple way to do it – ask deeper questions. I know, it sounds so simplistic . . . but it is incredibly effective.

Deeper questions = stronger bond

Most clinicians focus on asking questions about a person’s lifestyle in an attempt to make a solid hearing aid recommendation. They ask where the patient doesn’t hear well and where they want to hear better.

For the majority of my experiences, lifestyle-type questions make up the bulk of the conversation. But you can stand out by asking questions beyond lifestyle, questions that show how the hearing challenges impact their well-being.

For example, by asking a patient how they feel or how it affects their relationship with loved ones when they struggle to hear in certain situations, you can show true empathy to the challenges they face.

Doing this also allows your patient to see that you care because you’re really getting to know the root of the problem. This creates a stronger bond that will win you a patient for life.

Even after the first visit, keep asking

The idea of asking deeper questions extends well beyond the hearing aid evaluation. It also helps during the hearing aid follow up appointments.

Many times, when a patient reports that they don’t hear well in a noisy situation, the problem solver in us begins to make adjustments to the hearing aid right away. Consider first asking, “How often do you experience this?” when your patient describes a particularly challenging listening situation.

By doing so, you might discover it was a one-off event (e.g., concert, wedding reception) which would not necessitate a significant re-programming of their hearing aid.

Here are other examples of questions you could ask before you make any adjustments:

Tell me about the person or thing you were trying to hear?”… “How badly does this bother you?”… “Does it affect others?”… “How important is it for you to hear in that situation?”

This will not only lead to better hearing outcomes, it could also help your bottom line by potentially reducing hearing aid returns and repeat follow-up visits.

So in closing, I challenge each and every one of you to ask at least one question more. Dig a little deeper. Get to really know your patient and how their hearing challenges impact their well-being. In the end, you’ll be happy that you did.

If you’d like to learn more about the art of asking questions, check out this article from Harvard Business Review.

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