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Trade Talk: A Q&A with Tucker Worster

doi: 10.1097/01.HJ.0000513801.13041.4f

Mr. Worster is the managing director and co-founder of AuDStandard, LLC. Described as “a leader who gets things done,” his work ethic and collaborative ability enable him to successfully provide customer solutions. He has extensive industry experience with thousands of practice owners since 2006, and formerly served as the director of sales and marketing for a manufacturer-owned buying group.

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Q. In this age of data-driven business, what are the greatest challenges and opportunities confronting audiology practice owners? And how is your company positioned to best address these concerns?

Practice owners are currently faced with two major challenges. One entails attracting new “private-pay” patients, and the other involves retention of existing patients as they battle to acquire new ones. Adding to these challenges is the plethora of methods that prospective and current hearing aid wearers now utilize to find a provider, such as mobile-friendly websites, SEO, social media, email marketing, outbound calling, physician referrals, and community outreach. Analytical tools help practice owners track which ads truly work and the associated media used, and accurately drive which marketing tactics may be producing the best returns, ultimately guiding owners to where they may further best utilize their valuable marketing dollars.

AuDStandard's Gold Standard (“Au” is the Periodic Chart of Elements symbol for gold and is thereby embedded into our logo) approach starts with maximizing the practice's current resources. What available methods are (or are not) being used? Where do the opportunities lie? Partnering with AuDStandard means that you will have access to a team who has mastered these lead generating methodologies. Properly mining your patient database is one example. We have recently launched our own state-of-the-art patient contact center. Utilizing our outbound patient contact team would most certainly increase your new patient appointments and serve your practice well in maintaining relationships with current patients.

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Q. What company values guide you in forging a distinctive “brand” in the industry?

Independent, Proven, and Simple: AuDStandard is independently and privately owned. Why does this matter? We know what it's like to successfully combat the current market disruptors. Based on our own experience, we understand that we must continually maintain our focus on increasing our members’ revenue stream (and possibly alleviate some of their administrative task worries), so they can focus on providing their patients with the best possible care.

The founders of AuDStandard (Amir Hadar, Jonathan Weizman, and myself) all have extensive industry experience. Amir and Jonathan's uniquely successful tenure running a U.S. retail for a global hearing aid manufacturer has been recently transferred to their new (3-year old) venture, which now has about approximately 120 locations. By “proven,” we refer to the countless documented cases of successfully increasing a practice's revenue by 72 to 432 percent through the introduction of AuDStandard's Gold Standard approach.

In my previous role, I learned that the member experience must be a simple one. AuDStandard has a single-tier pricing table. This is key to many smaller, independent owners as they generally find it difficult to qualify for the most lucrative discount programs. Additionally, we offer a straight-forward reward system, manufacturer-direct billing, and have partnered with one of country's leading health care marketing organizations to create our own unique online member portal experience. There are no fees to join. All we require is a SIMPLE membership agreement that assures members that AuDStandard will always work diligently to retain their business.

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Q. Noting the tight competition and disruptions in the audiology industry, how do “customized solutions” help private practices grow and get ahead in the current market?

Corporate-owned retail, internet resellers, big box stores, and third party referral companies are all contributing to the current hardship of the independent practice owner. We don't discount the current disruptors affecting our industry. AuDStandard's approach encourages each member to deeply examine their practice while we leverage the methods we know work—time after time. Simply stated: If a practice owner follows our model, the practice's income will improve, and consequently, the disruptors will become less of a threat.

AuDStandard was designed to cater to any practice size and unique business situations. We support practice owners who range from “I am lost, please help!” to “Just give me the best price,” and to “I'm looking to sell.” AuDStandard will customize a solution based on a member's market, competition, and underlying needs.

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