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Customer archetypes in hearing health care (Singh & Dhar, 2023)

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posted on 2023-10-30, 13:38 authored by Jasleen Singh, Sumitrajit Dhar

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine if there are unique customer archetypes that can describe the motivations behind consumer buying choice (in person or online) for hearing aids in hearing health care.

Method: A consumer survey was developed from themes that arose during 11 semistructured interviews with adults who had no previous hearing aid experience. Using Qualtrics research panels, a 28-item questionnaire was distributed online to U.S. residents above the age of 50 years with no previous hearing aid experience. A quota of 1,000 completed responses was set, with a maximum of 70% of respondents identifying as White. Completed surveys were obtained from 1,377 individuals. Three hundred forty responses were excluded due to ineligibility and/or poor response quality.

Results: Two unique customer archetypes were developed using five factors identified in the data set: Physician Trust, Sociability, Comfort Buying Online, Verify Sources, and Reliance on Others. Eighty-four percent of respondents chose an in-person pathway for hearing health care. There was no association between customer archetype and pathway selection choice.

Conclusions: The two archetypes reflect those with greater comfort with consuming health care online and in person, respectively. However, both archetypes are likely to use in-person models of hearing health care at the present time.

Supplemental Material S1. Survey instrument: consumer opinions of DTC hearing health care.

Singh, J., & Dhar, S. (2023). Customer archetypes in hearing health care. American Journal of Audiology. Advance online publication.


This work and Jasleen Singh were supported by the American Hearing Research Foundation. Sumitrajit Dhar was supported by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the National Institutes of Health.