HR spoke with Dennis Hampton, editor of Hearing HealthCare News, White Plains, NY, about the services provided by the company.

Tell us about Hearing HealthCare News.
We’ve provided customized patient and physician newsletters to audiologists and hearing aid dispensers since 1986. Hundreds of audiologists and dispensers have distributed more than 22 million of our newsletters to their hearing aid users and to local physicians. Since primary care physicians are an important source of new patients, we started publishing Audiology HealthCare News for physicians in 1996, and our subscribers have distributed more than a million copies.

What is unique about Hearing HealthCare News?
Our job is to help the audiologist and dispenser take advantage of the most important market available to them—their own patients. We do this through our Practice Development Program, which is a collection of the most effective marketing strategies used by our subscribers over the past 18 years. The foundation of the program is our patient newsletter, Hearing HealthCare News, which is customized for each office. But we also provide other techniques and strategies designed to increase patient activity, improve patient satisfaction and retention, and increase patient and physician referrals. The program includes a 150-page manual, templates of office letters and forms, patient satisfaction surveys, re-call programs, battery clubs, and more.

What industry patterns have you seen?
When I started out nearly 30 years ago, we knew very little about marketing in the hearing health care field, so we took a hit-and-miss approach. Fortunately, we’ve learned a tremendous amount in the past few years from research like Sergei Kochkin’s MarkeTrak surveys, the 1997 AAA Marketing Study, and the NCOA study. What continues to surprise me is how many dispensers don’t put that information to good use, particularly for better marketing to their own patients. My patients represent the most highly-defined marketing segment there is: known hearing aid users who already know me. Any marketing expert will tell you this group represents the best return on your marketing dollar.

 Frank Wang, general manager of ZeniPower Battery Co, Zhuhai, China, spoke to HR about the company and its latest products.

What is your company’s niche within the hearing industry?
ZeniPower has been working in the hearing aid battery business for 16 years, and are distributing our batteries in more than 30 countries. Though we just entered the North American market in 2003, we already have many happy customers thanks to our top-quality batteries and pricing. We focus our resources on battery technology and we strive for the best quality. The low cost is a by-product of manufacturing in China; we can transfer the benefit to our customers.

How do you utilize new technology in your product development?
ZeniPower Battery always takes customers’ needs as the drive for our innovations. In the last 2 years, we significantly improved our battery performance at higher drain and at pulses, which are required by the latest full digital hearing aids. We invested heavily in our production, and research and development. We use advanced catalysts in our patented battery cathode so it can deliver one of the highest voltages of the industry. These developments enable us to be one of the top batteries in the world. Also, we are one of the three battery manufacturers that supply cochlear implant batteries.

What can we expect from your company in the near future?
We launched our improved batteries this spring at the 2004 American Academy of Audiology convention in Salt Lake City, and in September 2004, our new cochlear implant battery will be released. These new batteries last up to 25% longer than our earlier products. They have higher, stable voltage over 1.1V, and are most suitable for the power-hungry digital hearing aids. We also will provide our customers private label batteries, packed in either a 6-piece or 4-piece dial pack, for their own practice promotion starting in October.