23 of the Smartest (And Most Original) Ideas from Private Practices Hearing Care in 2023

Most clinics follow in the footsteps of others, and the select few break new ground.

Here are 23 of the smartest (and most original) ideas that private practice hearing care clinics have implemented in 2023.

#1 – “Ahead of Your Appointment” Pages to Pre-Frame, Overcome Objections, and Prepare Patients Ahead of Their First Appointment 

Prior to a patient’s first ever appointment, there can naturally be some nerves or some hesitation. Nobody likes stepping into an uncomfortable or unknown environment.

It’s one of the biggest reasons for no-shows or last minute cancellations.

By implementing a process prior to somebody’s first ever appointment, Arnold Hearing Centres developed a unique “Ahead of Your First Appointment” page that is hidden on their website that is directly emailed to patients prior to them attending their first visit.

The page includes:

  • A friendly video of the owner welcoming them and sharing how much they’re looking forward to meeting them (creating a friendly face and adding a personality)
  • ​An interactive map to help the new patient to easily find the locations/parking (removing the unknown of what to do/where to go)
  • Frequently asked questions overcoming common objections around what they can expect, the appointment length, what will happen during the hearing test, and the expected fees/prices (with a link to a transparent pricing page)
  • ​A breakdown of who their “dream patient” is to attract more of the right patients, set expectations of the core values of the clinic, and create a precedent
  • ​A selection of case studies of other people that have achieved better hearing as a result of visiting Arnold Hearing (overcoming objections and giving further reassurance that they’re visiting the right place)

This process ensures patients turn up to their first appointment understanding exactly what will happen, what the investment is going to look like, and prepared for their role on this journey.

#2 – Helpful “How to” Videos to Help Patients to Troubleshoot Challenges to Save Them and You Time on the Schedule 

The biggest thorn in many clinics’ side is the number of “quick fix” troubleshooting challenges that take valuable time on the schedule. 

Especially when many clinics are operating on lean resources/teams.

Whether it’s troubleshooting a Bluetooth issue or helping a patient to reconnect devices to their cell phone – these appointments can clock up hours per day.

With the Baby Boomers entering the market and convenience being a huge factor to them, they are likely to be more inclined to try to solve a challenge themselves than take a day off work/away from their busy life to schedule an appointment.

Holland Hearing Center identified this and created a series of simple and elegant “How To” videos to help patients to troubleshoot challenges with clear step-by-step tutorials.

These videos sit on their website and have opened up more availability on the schedule, protected providers’ time, and been appreciated by patients who can solve challenges from home without the constant requirement to travel to an appointment.

#3 – Ghost-Cation Pages – Helping You to Win Traffic from Local Communities Where You Don’t Have a Location 

For many clinics, there are communities or towns that surround their key locations that they don’t have a location or presence in.

This means that although they may have patients that travel to them from these areas, they are practically invisible if people are looking for services like theirs online.

Duncan Hearing highlighted 28 surrounding towns/communities around their four locations where they had no presence but where there were thousands of potential patients.

As a result, they developed a set of “ghost-cation pages” – these are hidden location pages that are built into their website that consist of individual SEO-rich pages that give Google the evidence that if somebody within that specified location is looking for hearing care services, Duncan can help.

The page then introduces their nearest location, explains why it’s worth the journey, and creates strong reasoning that you’re the number one option in the area.

Positioned as “Areas We Serve” – these 28 embedded pages create even more evidence to Google that you’re the area’s leading hearing care experts, and it allows you to win traffic from people that otherwise would never find you. 

#4 – Costco Comparison Content – Helping You to Clearly Highlight the Key Differences between You and Costco to Educate Your Local Patients and Community 

Costco remains one of the biggest threats to private practice, with “high-income suburban boomers” being their key customer avatar. 

The challenge is that too many people still believe that the solution to a hearing loss is a set of hearing aids, and as a result, they see Costco as a much more competitive solution.

This was a challenge that Gulf Gate Hearing Aid Center was experiencing, with a forum on NextDoor.com even questioning the difference between Costco and local providers such as them.

By developing a clear and detailed comparison chart that was built into a well-articulated blog, they were able to win local traffic when people searched for Costco and impact their decision. They were able to help educate their community on the key differences and use it as a tool to overcome questions/objections during appointments.

This development allowed them to win patients that were unsure which way to go and attract people that otherwise would have chosen Costco.

You NEED to implement this.

#5 – Creating a Detailed “Performance Revamp” to Attract Unsatisfied Existing Hearing Aid Wearers  

With so much mass consolidation by groups like Amplifon and WS Audiology, there are more and more patients that are finding that their local clinic is being acquired and turned into a big group.

It’s resulting in many of them being unsatisfied or looking for a new provider. 

The challenge is, it’s difficult for them to understand how they can transition their care, work with you or gain your help.

Pacific Hearing Service decided to solve this challenge by creating a “Performance Revamp” appointment where they help existing hearing aid wearers to maximize their device performance by retesting their hearing, reprograming their devices, and carrying out required preventative maintenance checks.

Priced at $650, they have received an influx of appointments from local people that have purchased their devices elsewhere and been unsatisfied or find themselves new to the area and are in need of a provider.

Naturally, these patients then step into annual plans and will likely buy their next set of devices through this practice.

#6 – Using Powerful Careers Pages to Attract Great Talent, “Sell the Sizzle,” and Create Evidence That You’re an Awesome Place to Work 

At the start of 2023, Cornerstone Audiology were struggling to find new providers (like most other clinics). Based in rural Texas, they needed a strategy to attract new audiologists in one of the most competitive markets we’ve ever seen for new talent.

To achieve this, they understood that the dynamics had changed, and the candidate no longer had to sell themselves to the clinic, but they had to sell themselves to the candidate.

As a result, they developed an advanced “Careers” page that was not focused on them, but instead it focused on making a career with them appeal to potential candidates.

It included:

  • ​A video interview with their existing team sharing what they love about working at Cornerstone Audiology
  • Testimonials from the team sharing their experiences and advice to somebody considering joining them
  • ​A breakdown of the core values that an individual must represent to be part of the team
  • ​The four big benefits of working at Cornerstone Audiology from the fun environment through to working with the latest technology
  • ​And finally, the available positions written in a fun and attractive style

This page resulted in several new hires, which now gives them the internal resource required to finish 2023 with record numbers and make 2024 a big year of growth.

#7 – Transparently Articulating the Testing Process to Create a Strong Point of Difference 

Although we all recognize the key differences between a night at the Ritz Carlton and a budget motel, many people believe that all hearing tests are the same, even though you and I know the differences are just as vast.

The team at Audiology Associates who truly sets the benchmarks for audiological excellence understood this and wanted to truly help people to understand the significant differences in their testing versus others.

Therefore, they created a detailed breakdown of their methodical testing process to help more people to understand just how much work, effort, and attention goes into their testing process.

Positioned on their website, it explains the multiple steps and the depth of detail that goes into their advanced testing process. As a result, it positions their evaluation so that people can understand exactly what is included and see alternative free tests as insufficient.

This work results in more patients being educated, trusting them in advance, and comfortably paying for hearing testing without second questioning the differences between their evaluations and other “free” hearing tests.

#8 – Developing a Patient Journey to Help Patients to Understand the Process to Achieving Better Hearing and Your Key Differences 

Most people believe that once you have fitted them with a set of hearing aids that your job is done and it’s the end of the journey. 

You and I know that this is only the start of the journey!

By developing a “Patient Journey Info-Graphic” – Berkeley Hearing Center demonstrates a clear process that patients can understand and follow, shining an even greater light on all that they do as part of their transaction.

By developing this, they renamed all their key appointments, changing them from bland internal language like “follow-up visit” to names such as “Real World Adjustments” and “Technology Optimization and Review.”

This project helped them to define expert positioning, demonstrate even greater value, and guide patients through the process to create cleaner efficiencies throughout the entire organization.

#9 – Creating Wow Moments during the Patient Journey to Turn Patients into Super Fans

In Brittany Hodak’s best-selling book, Creating Super Fans, she shared that the most powerful way to turn customers into fans is simply to consistently exceed expectations.

Jacobs Audiology took this lesson and considered how they could create a moment to exceed expectations and create a wow moment to turn patients into fans. 

They decided to invest in bottles of champagne with a custom printed sleeve with their logo and surprise patients with these at a moment that they call “graduation.”

Around 45-60 days into the patient journey where the devices are performing and the patient is reconnecting with the world around them, they create a special moment where they gift the bottle of champagne to patients to celebrate this special occasion.

Patients are truly blown away.

It’s created tears, it’s created hugs, and it’s truly created super fans.

It’s a small gesture that costs less than $50.00 but has patients singing their praises, driving referrals, and naturally wanting to share the champagne with their friends/family as they say wonderful things about Jacobs Audiology.

#10 – Using Quarterly Print Newsletters to Build “Know, Like, and Trust” with Local Physicians

A lot of physician marketing is very sporadic. It’s appointment pads, it’s the occasional coffee delivery, and it’s a swag bag with branded pens.

Yet when a physician is looking to make a referral, they often rely on one of three behaviors.

  • ​They rely on convenience – they make a simple referral like “Costco,” as it’s safe, will not bite them back, and their referral process is done and dusted in seconds.
  • They rely on care – they truly care about the patient getting the highest quality of hearing care and want to make a referral to the number #1 provider in their area.
  • ​They rely on connection – they choose to refer a clinic that they have a personal relationship/connection with.

A physician marketing strategy that has worked so well during 2023 that is focused on attracting convenience, care, and connection focused physicians is the implementation of a well-written and personality-rich quarterly physician newsletter.

The newsletter includes two highly relevant articles written toward the physician that plays to their ego, has an eye-catching and memorable title, and further positions you as a caring, highly educated local professional.

Alaska Hearing & Tinnitus Center decided to implement consistent physician newsletters to grow their local reputation with physicians, making tinnitus the key theme.

Through consistently mailing a new newsletter each quarter, this has built strong “Know, Like, and Trust” with local physicians, which has seen an increase in local referrals.

Best of all, it now means the days of bribing physicians with coffee are long gone, and they can use their expertise and personality to prove that they are who they say they are.

#11 – Following the Data to Use “Loved One” Style Messaging in Their Website/Marketing

Do you know the average age of people visiting your website?

Well, given we’re in the fortunate position of having access to the data across all of our 60+ members (made up of some of the most forward-thinking private practice hearing care clinics in North America) – we were able to study the big picture data at scale. 

Based on over 700,000 website visitors across 2023, we made some big discoveries.

One of the big ones was the age of website visitors:

A huge 54.72% of visitors to hearing care websites in 2023 were under the age of 45 years old.

Hearing & Balance Doctors decided to take advantage of this stat, understanding that this data suggests that the sons/daughters/grandsons/granddaughters are doing the majority of the research on their loved ones’ behalf.

As a result, they made drastic changes to their website messaging to ensure the focus of the content was not the patient themselves but the loved ones/family of the patient.

This included the launch of an educational YouTube channel, core messaging adjustments, and the roll out of downloadable materials focused on the loved one of the patient.

This change of approach has been one of many contributing factors that has helped them to achieve a record year of growth.

#12 – “Shock & Awe” Packet Prior to First Appointment to Turn “Wait Time” into “Preparation Time”

Audiology & Hearing Aid Associates had a challenge. They were booked out up to six weeks, and the wait time for a new appointment was becoming a challenge for brand-new patients.

To address this, they studied the psychology of “waiting” by reading Rory Sutherland’s book, Alchemy, and discovered a lesson that could be borrowed to pivot wait time to preparation time.

With this new understanding, a bundle of documents was created to mail to patients upon them scheduling their first appointment to have them begin a methodical process to prepare for their first appointment.

This included:

  • ​A set of homework sheets to answer questions about their hearing/certain listening environments
  • A little book of delighted patients featuring case studies of patient success stories
  • ​Frequently asked questions; questions overcoming all the key objections that many people have around achieving better hearing
  • Pricing information to help patients understand the finances of the decision ahead of their appointment

It was then packaged up and mailed to the patient in a beautiful, branded envelope.

This move has removed all the friction from long wait times and resulted in every new patient that comes through the door being prepared and better educated on working with Audiology & Hearing Aid Associates, making the consultation much simpler.

#13 – Using Exciting Job Descriptions That Attract A-Players (Rather than Mundane Industry Templates)

2023 has been a living nightmare for any clinic that is looking to hire great staff. 

It appears the quality of candidates has nosedived, yet demands from the same candidates are higher than ever.

One of the challenges that many clinics face is that the job descriptions that they post on the job boards are incredibly uninspiring and bland, resulting in them attracting uninspiring and bland candidates.

Duncan Hearing decided to do something about this. They decided to change the focus of their job adverts from being all about what they want from the employee to everything that they can offer the employee in terms of work environment/culture.

Their job adverts grew to become long, detailed, fun-to-read, and highly inspiring job descriptions that focused on the culture of the company, the benefits to the employee, and the exciting roles that the employee would be doing to contribute to the bigger picture.

It resulted in their new job adverts getting significantly more applications (10x more than their original) and them hiring great candidates that understood the culture, shared the values, and met the position with excitement.

It attracted people looking for a career, not a job.

#14 – Having Pricing Transparently Published on Their Website to Build Trust, Minimize Wasted Time, and Create a Point of Difference

As an industry, we heavily guard our pricing. It’s often kept as a secret unless the patient is sat face to face with us.

Yet for the modern consumer, especially a Baby Boomer, hiding your pricing until somebody schedules an appointment is a weird approach and appears that you have something to hide. Especially when the likes of Costco or manufacturer owned chains can market against you easily by being transparent with their pricing.

Arnold Hearing decided to address this.

With a 75-year family reputation built on trust and transparency, it made sense that they proved these traits by transparently publishing their pricing on their website. Following doing the work to correctly package their pricing to be focused on hearing care (not hearing aids) – they developed a “Treatment Plans” page on their website that shared all.

Following doing this, they discovered three big things:

  • Patients appreciated this – it took the unknown out of appointments resulting in more schedules and more comments around how much this is helpful to them.
  • It removed the time wasters – it minimized any wasted appointments with people who have sticker shock or need convincing/selling on the value you bring toward the transaction.
  • ​The front desk loved it – when they’re now asked, “How much are hearing aids?” – they can simply point people to the website and reaffirm how they’re different.

Most clinics are scared to publish their pricing; but in today’s world, it’s a very reasonable request for somebody to ask prior to an appointment.

This strategic move contributed to this clinic having the biggest year in their 75 year history.

#15 – Driving Six Figures of Upgrades (in 30 Days) through a Micro-Targeted Purpose Driven Upgrade Campaign

Most clinics only run upgrade campaigns when new technology emerges or when they have cashflow challenges. The angle is often focused on the benefits of new technology with an invitation or incentive to step into something new.

Cornerstone Audiology decided to take a different approach.

Having launched a community program where patients can donate their old devices to be professionally refurbished and fitted onto somebody in need, this “give back” angle was introduced to create a powerful upgrade campaign.

A letter was written that introduced the impact that this program is making and how it’s changing lives. It then introduced the challenge that our donation supplies are low and we’re looking for more donated devices to meet the demand. It invited patients to step into new technology while offering a buy-back on their existing devices to be used for this program.

Essentially, it pivoted the decision making process so that the upgrade was not only beneficial to the patient, but it also made them a savings and allowed them to do something special for somebody else.
It was a huge success.

Through intelligent follow-up, including emails, text messages, voicemails, and a phone call – it was one of the highest performing upgrade campaigns that has been run by Cornerstone Audiology, targeting a database of less than 500 people that met the criteria.

#16 – Introducing Two Levels of Hearing Evaluations to Build an Additional Revenue Stream and Create a Further Point of Difference for Audiological Excellence

If you’ve ever booked an eye test, there are often two types of tests.

  • A standard vision test
  • A detailed eye health examination

Pacific Hearing Service decided to apply a similar model to hearing care by creating two different levels of hearing assessment.

  • First of all, they have their standard hearing evaluation (the same detailed evaluation following best practices that they have always offered).
  • ​Secondly, they introduced their “360 Communication” – a premium 90-minute examination that also reviews dexterity, cognition, and balance.

Priced at $365 and not covered by insurance, this second level of testing has been incredibly popular, it’s attracted their dream patients that value the highest levels of audiological care, and it has helped them to further sharpen their value proposition. 

It has allowed them to drive an additional revenue stream from their testing and has resulted in every patient that goes through this exhaustive examination that is a hearing aid candidate naturally investing in their premium package.

#17 – Building Earwax Removal Assets to Benefit from the Online Gold Rush of Searches/Traffic 

Earwax removal services is one of the most highly searched terms in our industry, yet most clinics have little to no presence for it. 

Here's an example based across 5 large cities on the West Coast.

More people are searching earwax related questions/keywords, than 'hearing aid' related searches.

Yet the large majority of this industry is blindly fighting for 'hearing aid' search terms, being caught up in a vanity fight to be in the top positions and missing out on the bigger opportunities. 

Denton Hearing leveraged this by building a great “Earwax Removal” page and taking advantage of the lack of strong competition for this keyword across their community.

Each month, they have an average of 400 visitors to their earwax removal page, and out of them, they have an average of 20 inquiries around this service

Priced per appointment, this has become a way for them to see younger patients, drive 5-star reviews and referrals, and bump into the occasional hearing aid candidate.

#18 – Developing a ‘Press & Media’ Page to Showcase Expertise, Attract Journalists and Become a Local Thought-Leader

Journalists are constantly looking for expert opinions on topics.

With hearing loss, tinnitus and hearing technology being topics that are receiving strong coverage, there is great opportunity for private practice leaders to be the expert that journalists/media turn to for insights.

Audicles Hearing Services understood this and developed a ‘Press & Media’ page on their website to share how they can contribute to the media, their special topics and the professional bio of their owner for media usage.

This simple page positions Audicles as the market leaders to patients, it creates a simple way for journalists to utilize Dr. Tracy Board for media comments, and it ranks prominently on Google if anybody is looking for input/opinions from a hearing care expert for news, articles or a podcast.

#19 – Using “Adoption/Transfer of Care Plans” to Allow Existing Hearing Aid Wearers to Transition Their Services 

Have you ever had a poor experience and looked to move your custom to another business? Whether from a dentist, a car garage, or even a home delivery service?

There are hundreds (if not thousands) of people in your community that are unsatisfied with the service that they receive and would jump at the opportunity to continue their care/service somewhere else if an opportunity were presented to them. 

The challenge is that it’s awkward to come groveling to you if they didn’t choose you originally unless you make it easy for them.

Utah Ear Institute is in a highly competitive area, and they decided to introduce a “Transfer of Care” plan to attract local unsatisfied hearing aid wearers.

They created an annual plan, priced at $510 per year that included cleanings, services, appointments, and support, and they launched it through their website.

It has created a simple way for local existing hearing aid wearers to work with them, transfer their services, and see them as their providers. It’s been a simple approach to growing their patients through existing hearing aid wearers.

#20 – Powerful “Patient Case Studies” to Hit the “Show Me That You Know Me” Button

Testimonials only tell part of the story. A case study to detail the breakdown of a patient’s full hearing loss journey holds immense power.

These stories not only provide your website visitors with richer context but also underscore the hesitations or challenges that initially deterred someone (and their subsequent gratitude for pursuing treatment). 

This approach enables visitors to discover stories of people they can relate to or see themselves in.

By structuring these stories to give context on when the individual realized that they had a hearing challenge, the preconceived fears/concerns they had, their experience with you, how better hearing has impacted their life, and their advice to somebody that is considering working with the specific clinic, it creates a wealth of evidence.

Allison Audiology did a wonderful job with these. They asked a number of their patients to share their story by using a combination of interview or a questionnaire, which allowed them to collect a wealth of powerful stories that are used to better attract and empower people to schedule their first appointment.

With many of them including a self-submitted picture of the patient, they allow website visitors to identify with the different types of patients that you work with to allow them to see somebody like them.

#21 – Staff Bio Pages That Humanize Your Providers

“The Silent Generation” of patients (born between 1928 and 1945) held great respect for authority and strictly professional bio pages perfectly served them. 

 However, with 70 million Baby Boomers (born between 1945 and 1963) now entering the market, they want the people they work with to be far more human.

South Sound Audiology has taken this approach and developed a fun Q&A area on each of their individual bio pages to allow patients and prospects to further understand the human behind the white coat.

From questions around dream dinner guests through to favorite TV shows – this simple yet powerful addition to bio pages allows the personality of your team (and business) to shine and proves the difference between working with you and others.

Some clinics decide to do this on video and some through a simple Q&A feature like this

#22 – Launching a Premium “VIP Monthly” Subscription Program to Give Patients a Unique Option

There is always going to be a small percentage of patients that want the best of the best and will always pay for exclusivity, speed, and access.

With Berkeley Hearing Center recognizing that they have a number of patients that continuously seek the latest technology and care, they launched a unique “Better Hearing Program” which allows patients to access regular upgrades to new technology (up to once per year) as well as a number of extra features. 

This includes things like the “Red Phone”—a special phone line that receives priority access—and ways to have first refusal on all new technology.

Since launching, it’s been a big hit and they’ve had the first several patients sign up for a down payment of $2,990 and a $209/month subscription payment.

It now sits transparently on their website as one of the additional ways that you can partner with them and become a premium patient, creating yet another point of difference that attracts people that want the best of the best with speed and access being key to their buying habits.

#23 – Spotlighting Local Businesses to Prove You’re Community Focused and Build Local Referral Partners

There’s only three ways to become an iconic business in your community. 

You can be around for a long time, you can advertise the hardest, or you can be known for your reputation.

One of the fastest ways to build a great local reputation is to develop a network of other local businesses/people in your community that says nice things about you, praises you, and refers you.

That’s where the “Love Local” spotlight has worked so well.

Port Credit Audiology has done a great job with this. They choose to spotlight local businesses in their community and write detailed blogs to share their experience, say nice things, and promote the business to their patients.

The article is shared through their website and newsletter as well as shared on their social media pages with the specified business tagged into the post.

What happens is three-fold:

  1. It proves that they care about the community.
  2. It shines love on a fellow local business.
  3. The local business being spotlighted often shares the article on their socials/with their customers to grow exposure and awareness back at you.

It’s been the most effective low cost way to grow reputation in smaller communities.

What Do Each of These Clinics Have in Common?

Each of the above clinics has three things in common:

  • They’re operated by a forward-thinking and entrepreneurial practice leader.
  • ​They understand the future looks very different to the past.
  • ​They’re part of Orange & Gray’s Inner Circle – a community of the highest performing clinic owners in North America.

If you want to learn more about the Inner Circle to discover how 60+ clinics are setting benchmarks of excellence in private practice, benefiting from a mastermind of North America’s most successful practice owners, and having an industry-leading marketing team driving gold-standard implementation, then click here for all the details.

P.S. – And if you’re wondering why we’re openly sharing the “secret sauce” – it’s because we’re already working on 24 of the smartest (and most original ideas) that private practices will be implementing in 2024.

P.P.S - If you're keen to explore how you can be one of the practices that benefits from being at the forefront of private practice, then good news. We're currently accepting applications for new members with a maximum of 3 new members per month. Learn more, here ;-)

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