Meet Your Friends at Oticon Medical: Part 3

Get to know your friends in the US Customer Service department

Welcome to Part 3 of our new blog series, Meet Your Oticon Medical Friends! In this first set of posts, we’ve asked the members of our US Customer Service Team to tell you a bit about themselves. Get to know the caring people who take your calls, place orders, solve problems, answer your questions, and much more.

In case you missed them, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2.

Meet Michael

I have worked at Oticon for six years, the last ten months in customer service. I enjoy interacting with customers, getting to know them a little, and being able to help them solve their problems

Service representatives on phone

One of my favorite stories about helping out a caller involved a person who was having a hard time in her daily life. She was a nurse struggling to pair her Ponto processor with the Streamer. She started out the call really upset, so I kept my voice calm and guided her through it. Toward the end of the call, she explained that she’d had a tough day at work, and we started chatting casually because she felt so much better. By staying calm and helping her resolve her issue, I’d made her day better.

After a busy day at work, I like to go home and watch something funny on television. One of my favorite shows is The Goldbergs – also Blackish and Man of the House. As for films, my favorite all-time movie is Top Gun, and I also like Angels and Demons, the sequel to the Da Vinci Code.

I have a pet cat, a Tabby named Mona. She’s only a year old. She lived in the backyard of one of my bother-in-law’s house, and sadly, she was part of a feral cat litter that lost its mother. The kittens were all adopted out, and I took Mona. Now she is extremely spoiled! She likes to jump on me while I’m exercising at home.

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Do you need assistance with your or a family member’s Ponto bone anchored hearing system? Click the button to contact Oticon Medical — we are here to help!

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Meet Your Friends at Oticon Medical: Part 2

Get to know your friends in the US Customer Service department

Welcome to Part 2 of our new blog series, Meet Your Oticon Medical Friends! In this first set of posts, we’ve asked the members of our US Customer Service Team to tell you a bit about themselves. Get to know the caring people who take your calls, place orders, solve problems, answer your questions, and much more.

Meet Donna

I have been with Oticon Medical for four years, and I’ve worked in customer service for most of my career. The part of the job I enjoy most is being able to assist our customers and patients with any questions or concerns they may have. I find it rewarding to help patients with service orders as well.

Before I came to Oticon Medical, I worked for a family-owned import company that manufactured candle gifts and accessories. I was there almost nine years before the company closed. We had a booth at the New York Javits Center for several years, which was a lot of fun!

I also lived in Lynn Haven, Florida for a time, which was maybe five miles to Panama City Beach. It was so beautiful! The sand was so white and it felt like I was walking on flour because it was so soft.

Nowadays, after a busy day at work, I like to unwind by meeting up with friends for dinner or just going home and watching television. My favorite movie is The Sound of Music.

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Do you need assistance with your or a family member’s Ponto bone anchored hearing system? Click the button to contact Oticon Medical — we are here to help!

Contact Us

Meet your friends at Oticon Medical

Get to know your friends in the US Customer Service department

Welcome to Part 1 of our new blog series, Meet Your Oticon Medical Friends! In this first set of posts, we’ve asked the members of our US Customer Service Team to tell you a bit about themselves. Get to know the caring people who take your calls, place orders, solve problems, answer your questions, and much more.

Meet Beverly

My name is Beverly, and I have worked at Oticon Medical for almost 9 years. I’ve worked in Customer Service and Operations Management since 1984.

Before Oticon Medical, I worked 30 years in the steel industry in the Midwest as a Customer Service Manager. During my early years in this industry it was considered very unusual for a women to be in management. It was a very male-dominated industry back then, dealing directly with the automotive industry (a tough group of customers). It was quite an education.

When I moved back home to New Jersey to be near my family, I decided that my next job would be in an industry that sells a product that benefits people. Oticon Medical was a perfect fit for me. I really enjoy hearing our patients talk about how much our product has changed their lives.  Working in customer service at Oticon Medical is a pleasure. We have a great product and we all work very hard to make sure our patients and customers are happy with our service.

Here is one of my favorite on-the-job stories: I had a mom call on a Friday crying hysterically because her son lost his processor and they were literally leaving for vacation the next day. She was actually having a hard time breathing because she was so upset. Her husband was very angry with her because for some reason he was blaming her. I asked her what time her flight was and then told her we could have his replacement there by 8:00 am on Saturday morning.  He would have to wear it without it being programmed to his settings but it was better than nothing. She asked me how much it would cost and I said, “Nothing,” because it was covered under warranty.  She cried even harder, but happy tears this time.

My personal experience with hearing loss involves my sister-in-law. She saw an ENT a few years ago because my brother got tired of hearing her say, “What?” Ended up that she needed a hearing aid, which we purchased from Oticon Inc. as part of the employee purchase program.  She loves it and so does my brother!

Louie and Gracie

One of my favorite ways to unwind if I have a particularly stressful or busy day is to take a last-minute ride to the Jersey Shore to have dinner with family. I also enjoy spending time with my two dogs, Louie (a Shih-Tzu/Maltese) and Gracie (a Maltese/Yorkshire Terrier). I’ve had them since they were six weeks old — they are ten now.

I’ve lived in quite a few places in my career, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Alabama, and Toronto. Prior to Oticon Medical, I moved around quite a bit as part of my job but I’m happy to finally be home in New Jersey!

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Do you need assistance with your or a family member’s Ponto bone anchored hearing system? Click the button to contact Oticon Medical — we are here to help!

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Using Social Media to Support Hearing Health Advocacy_5

Part 5 of 5

In Part 4 of this series, I provided tips on how to put the “social” in your social media. In this edition, the conclusion, I’ll talk about how to analyze your performance and adjust if you find you’re off-track in reaching your goals.

Analyze and adapt

All social media platforms offer statistics you can use to track the performance of each post you’re making. You’ll want to keep an eye on Engagement in particular – the number of Likes/Shares/Comments on Facebook and LinkedIn, retweets and comments on Twitter, and “regrams” and comments on Instagram. By reviewing and tracking this data you can make informed content strategy decisions based on which items performed well or not. Expect that you’ll have to periodically tweak your topics, balance of post types, post release times, and more over time as audience makeup and preferences change.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on your Reach to make sure your audience is even seeing your posts. This is especially true now that Facebook has made it all but impossible to reach your entire (or even the majority of) your Fans/Followers list without paying to boost a post. You might need to strategize and decide which posts you should boost and how much money you can afford to put behind these to reach as many people as possible. Obviously, anything boosted should include a clear call to action in support of your goal.

Nothing succeeds like success

Ultimately, you will know your online strategy is working if you attain that defined and measurable goal you set. Whether it’s an increase in donations or number of event attendees, gaining more advocates for your cause or influencing legislation, skillful utilization of social media can go a long way toward helping advocates like you achieve your goals.

Do you or a loved one need your hearing tested? Find a clinic near you now!

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Hildy Silverman is the Manager of Digital Online Marketing for Oticon Medical US. She has nearly 30 years of experience in corporate training, traditional and online marketing, and professional/technical communications for a wide array of industries, most recently at a global hearing aid manufacturer.

Using Social Media to Support Hearing Health Advocacy_4

Part 4 of 5

In Part 3 of this series, I provided suggestions on how to choose the right social media channels to maximize your digital reach. This week, in Part 4, I offer tips on how to put the “social” in your social media.

Sharing is caring

The point of social media is interaction. You want to draw visitors to your content, engage with it (and you), and ideally take an action that supports your established goal. The best way to do this is make sure whatever you share is interesting and relevant to your target audience and includes an engaging visual element (photo, .gif, or video).

Regularity is also key, so make sure you establish a content release schedule you can manage consistently. This rewards audience loyalty to your properties, which in turn allows you compete against all the other social outlets vying for their attention. Examples of good schedules include one post on Facebook or three-five daily tweets on Twitter per day. Remember, you can utilize a content management platform like HootSuite to schedule posts/tweets in advance so that you aren’t overwhelmed by a frequent need to post. Even without one of these platforms, you can schedule ahead on Facebook from the platform itself.

Don’t forget the hashtags

Make sure you learn how to use hashtags on all your platforms – they’re not just for Twitter anymore! “Ride” popular hashtags related to your cause so that more of your potential audience can discover your content. Using single-sided deafness (SSD) as our model cause again, you could include #deaf, #hearingloss, or #hoh regularly with your posts, which makes them show up when someone performs one of these common searches for content. Additionally, if you see a hashtag is trending that relates to your cause (e.g., #WorldHearingDay) you could include it in a post linking SSD to the importance of getting your hearing checked. Just make sure you don’t go crazy with the hashtags – using too many in relation to the amount of content provided in a post has been shown to reduce engagement.

One more post to go in this series! In my next post, I’ll provide an overview on how to analyze the results of your online efforts and tweak them to achieve your goals.

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Hildy Silverman is the Manager of Digital Online Marketing for Oticon Medical US. She has nearly 30 years of experience in corporate training, traditional and online marketing, and professional/technical communications for a wide array of industries, most recently at a global hearing aid manufacturer.

Using Social Media to Support Hearing Health Advocacy_3

Part 3 of 5

In Part 2 of this series launched last week, I provided suggestions on how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for your online activities. This week, in Part 3, I’m going to take you through how to choose the right social media channels to maximize your digital reach.

Choose the right channels

I recommend setting up a “home base” online first — a website if you have a larger organization with multiple goals or a blog page if your organization is small or a solo effort. WordPress and Wix are two examples of free, user-friendly site builders available to help you establish a basic web presence. Your site or blog will provide a source of regular content to share through your social media properties. It will also give you a central location to which you can drive online visitors and get them to take an action (e.g., donate, learn more, sign up for emails and events, etc.), which you will need for tracking purposes.

Research your target audiences and where they tend to gather online to assess which social media platforms will best support your efforts. Focus on developing one or two properties first. Most activists and advocates start with Facebook and Twitter, but platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat can be quite effective as well.

A YouTube channel is a powerful tool, as videos increase engagement with social posts. They can be shared from your channel by friend, fans, and followers through every social media platform, and are the content likeliest to go viral. However, you (or someone in your organization) obviously needs the expertise and time to create them.

LinkedIn tends to draw a more career-focused, professional audience, which may or may not suit your goals. Reddit gets tremendous traffic, but many find it complicated, riddled with trolls, and too much of an attention drain to manage. Tumblr is popular, especially with younger audiences (tweens, teens, and 20-somethings primarily) — depending on your goal, that audience might be worth your effort to cultivate but go in knowing that it is a constantly updating outlet. Plus, you’ll be competing with extremely active fandoms and similar lighthearted content for attention.

Managing multiple social properties

If you do reach a point where you want to utilize multiple platforms, it’s a good idea to learn a social media management tool (a couple tried-and-true options offering free basic versions include HootSuite and TweetDeck). These allow you to schedule multiple posts across platforms even in advance, plus they let you monitor comments and messages, so you can interact with your audiences in a timely and consistent fashion. If you’re willing to invest in upgraded versions, you can use them to track valuable performance statistics like audience engagement all in one spot.

Hope this information is helpful! In my next post, I’ll provide tips on how to put the “social” in your social media.

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Hildy Silverman is the Manager of Digital Online Marketing for Oticon Medical US. She has nearly 30 years of experience in corporate training, traditional and online marketing, and professional/technical communications for a wide array of industries, most recently at a global hearing aid manufacturer.

Advocacy leads Kim Russell to find the right hearing solution for her single-sided deafness

Kim Russell

At 10 years old, Kim Russell was diagnosed with a chronic ear infection that could not be helped with antibiotics. She underwent a mastoidectomy to remove the infection, resulting in permanent hearing loss in her left ear. Her mother, having had the same issue when she was younger, also lost her hearing and therefore single-sided deafness (SSD) was a normal part of life in her family.

“School, work and social situations were hard, and the options were not as robust as they are now,” Kim said.

Kim became accustomed to living life with one good ear and didn’t receive intervention or aid until she was 25. Her job had hearing aid coverage and she looked into what options were available for her hearing loss. She discovered BiCROS hearing aids and wore them for 30 years. Although the hearing aids helped, no solution is perfect. Crowds were still difficult and loud places like bowling alleys and restaurants made it impossible to hear people speaking and know where sound was coming from. Her audiologist had never mentioned any other options, so she believed BiCROS was the only type of hearing loss solution available to her.

A chance encounter with a bone anchored hearing system

Kim stumbled upon a bone-anchored hearing system (BAHS) on Facebook when a friend happened to post a video at the right time. “One day on Facebook, a friend of mine who is a nurse posted a video on her Facebook page and normally it wouldn’t be anything I would pay attention to. It was something about a surgeon performing a surgery for the first time in West Michigan. They were doing a MIPS procedure (Minimally Invasive Ponto Surgery). He’s the only MIPS surgeon in this part of Michigan and they mentioned single-sided deafness. I did some research and realized this was for people like me!”

Kim searched for the name of the doctor’s office online and learned it was located in the building next door to her dentist. She scheduled an appointment, and learned she was a great candidate for the Ponto System. After trialing a Ponto BAHS on a softband for a week she had the MIPS surgery in July of 2018 and received a Ponto 3 SuperPower. “It was easier than a dental procedure. I was in, out, dressed and drinking coffee in about 58 minutes,” she said.

A new world of sound emerges with the Ponto 3 SuperPower

After Kim’s MIPS procedure and Ponto 3 SuperPower activation a new world of friends, advocacy, and interaction opened up to her.

“For the first time since getting my Ponto, I went for a walk with a friend. I’ve always kept people on my good ear (right side) so we put her on my left to see what would happen. I about jumped out of my skin. Her voice was clear and crisp, even with the radio blaring in the background.

The sound quality from trying the Ponto on a softband vs. an abutment is so much better, so crisp. I call it ‘organic’,” she explained.

As Kim has learned more about Ponto and become more involved in the hearing loss community, she has learned just how important advocacy is. “How did I go so long being hearing impaired and not knowing there were other options? This BAHA World Hearing Facebook group was where I received most of my education. It’s important for people to look into all of their options, and do their research.”

Kim’s advocacy and education came full circle last year after she attended Oticon Medical’s yearly advocacy conference. She met fellow Ponto users and collaborated with Oticon Medical staff.

“Before, I had never told anyone I wore any kind of hearing aid. This time, as soon as I got my abutment I shared it on Facebook because it’s important to get the word out. Knowing what was available made a difference in my life. Every now and then I notice the crispness of something I haven’t heard before. I hope advocacy and sharing my story can do the same for someone else.”

To learn more about the Ponto 3 SuperPower and be connected with our team click below:

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Using Social Media to Support Hearing Health Advocacy_2

Part 2 of 5

In Part 1 of this series launched last week, I provided suggestions on what to consider before establishing your online presence. This week, in Part 2, I’m going to guide you through how to define the goals you hope to reach by taking your advocacy online.

Be S.M.A.R.T.

Continuing with single-sided deafness (SSD) advocacy as an example cause, let’s say you start with a goal of, “To raise awareness of single-sided deafness”. That’s a fine start, but you should further define what you hope to achieve online in order to track your progress and results. Most social media professionals utilize the S.M.A.R.T. method to establish clear and attainable goals. Let’s look at how this works by using this method to refine our sample goal:

  • Specific. The more precisely defined, the better. If you’re defining an online presence, here are some examples to help you set specific goals:
    • Who — do you want to reach by taking your advocacy online?
    • What — do you intend to accomplish for your cause?
    • When — what milestones do you want to reach on your way to the goal?
    • Where — do you want your online reach to extend (local, countrywide, global)?
    • Why — are you choosing to expand your advocacy to include online efforts?
    • How — are you going to use social media to achieve your goal?

This leads to a clearer, more precisely defined goal, e.g., “To raise public awareness in the U.S. of the issues affecting those living with single-sided deafness in order to increase donations this year.”

 

  • Measurable. How do you know if you’ve increased donations? Set a measurement, such as, “Double the number of donations received over last year.”
  • Attainable. Look closely at that number and make sure it’s achievable. It’s usually wise to start smaller and then build over time. In this case, perhaps something more attainable would be, “Increase donations by 10 percent over last year.”
  • Relevant. Consider whether social media provides an opportunity you wouldn’t have otherwise. If so, then ask yourself, “How?” Adjust your goal to focus on what you plan to achieve using tools uniquely available online, such as, “Increase donations by 10 percent this year by driving Friends/Fans/Followers to GoFundMe campaign.”
  • Time-based. Goals bound by specific timeframes are easier to track and attain. Rather than a vague “this year”, try, “Increase donations by 1-2 percent each month in 2019 by driving online audiences to GoFundMe campaign, with year-end goal of increasing overall donations by 10 percent.”

Still with me? Great! In my next post, I’ll discuss how to choose the best social media channels for your advocacy outreach.

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Hildy Silverman is the Manager of Digital Online Marketing for Oticon Medical US. She has nearly 30 years of experience in corporate training, traditional and online marketing, and professional/technical communications for a wide array of industries, most recently at a global hearing aid manufacturer.

Using Social Media to Support Hearing Health Advocacy_1

Part 1 of 5

Everyone here at Oticon Medical is so impressed by the advocacy efforts we see online in support of the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Whether the focus is on raising awareness of related health conditions or the benefits of bone-anchored hearing systems, social media has made sharing information and events easy, immediate, and far-reaching. But how do you develop an effective social media presence and then track whether it is helping you attain your goals as an advocate?

Over the next few weeks, I’d like to provide you with tips to help you define (or refine) an effective social media strategy in support of your generous efforts. Let’s begin at the beginning — establishing your online presence.

Set yourself up for success

Before you do anything else, think about what you can offer an online audience with your advocacy.  For example, do you have personal experience with a specific health condition?

Let’s say your cause is single-sided deafness (SSD) — perhaps you have it yourself or have a child who does. Maybe you are an audiologist or lobby on behalf of those with SSD. Whatever personal and/or professional experience you have to offer, evaluate how to best express your knowledge and expertise in your social media profile so visitors to your online property will feel confident that you know what you’re talking about.

Will going online enhance your “live” efforts?

In parallel, consider why you want to take your efforts online. Developing and maintaining an effective online presence will take significant time and effort, so you want to make it worth your while. Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish that you can’t achieve through your real-world efforts alone.

Continuing to use SSD as our example cause, here are some things you want to consider:

  • Will you significantly increase your ability to reach your target audience (e.g., affected communities, other advocates) by moving some of your efforts online?
  • Will social media shares and promotion increase the general public’s awareness of the impact of SSD and understanding of those living with it?
  • Might online platforms help you raise more money for SSD research or donations in support of people who don’t have insurance coverage and can’t afford a BAHS?
  • Will promoting events like marches, meet-ups, and similar activities online improve your ability to organize them, and increase attendance beyond what you’ve experienced using traditional mailings, flyers, and word-of-mouth alone?

If the answer to one or more of these is “yes” then it’s time to move forward with establishing your online presence. In the next post in this series, I’ll guide you through how to establish “S.M.A.R.T.” goals for your social media campaigns.

Questions? Please ask yours in the comments!

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Hildy Silverman is the Manager of Digital Online Marketing for Oticon Medical US. She has nearly 30 years of experience in corporate training, traditional and online marketing, and professional/technical communications for a wide array of industries, most recently at a global hearing aid manufacturer.

The Ponto 3 SuperPower spurs a 180 degree change for Amelia

Allison and Amelia

Allison Richardson’s three-year-old daughter, Amelia, was born with Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder and has severe-profound unilateral hearing loss. At the time of Amelia’s diagnosis, family members and doctors advised her not to worry. But with three of Amelia’s older brothers diagnosed with Apraxia, a speech sound disorder, Allison knew the importance speech and hearing was to development.

While pregnant in 2009 with one of her sons, Allison began joining groups on Facebook for parents. She found these to be supportive networks where she could turn to for help and develop friendships. Once Amelia was born, she set out to find a Facebook group for parents of children with hearing loss, which is where she found the “BAHA Kids Club” Facebook group.

After learning about bone-anchored hearing systems (BAHS) and doing her own research, Allison brought Amelia to her ENT’s office to inquire about a BAHS. After learning the pros and cons of different devices, the personal stories of parents online, and about feedback and Oticon Medical’s great customer service, they advocated for a year-and-a-half to secure a device for Amelia.

180 degree difference with Ponto

Life for Amelia changed after being fit with the Oticon Medical Ponto 3 SuperPower. “She went from being an unfocused child speaking no more than five words to a focused student and dancer who now talks more than anyone at home. Her five older brothers say that Amelia has a bionic ear,” Allison said.

Amelia currently attends preschool and sits in a classroom with special needs and non-special needs students. The mix, Allison noted, provides special needs kids with mentors, and teaches non-special needs kids acceptance.

Amelia Richardson

Advice for parents

Allison’s advice is simple when it comes to making a medical decision for your child: “Go with your gut and don’t compare kids”.

She continued, “Do what you think is best for your child, not what other people say is best, because you know your child.”

The journey to better hearing and finding the right hearing device for your child’s individual hearing loss can be long and sometimes feel like a never-ending waiting game. Continue to advocate for yourself and your child, reach out to online support groups, try all your options, and as Allison reminded us, “Don’t give up.”

To learn more about the Ponto 3 SuperPower and be connected with our team, click below:

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