By that I take they meant compared with all the other participants of the survey. This rating of how you stacked up against the others in the survey was the value offered, as inducement to participation. Without thinking, I started the survey, only to get hung up around question three, or four, where their survey didn’t like my answer and wouldn’t let me go on.
Then I contacted American Opinion Research about how their survey didn’t like my answer, had hung up and wouldn’t let me go on. They send back a nice email thanking me for trying and asking me to try again. By this time, several things had become clearer in my mind.
Though they promised not to share specific practice names with the data that they were collecting on behalf of Siemens, I thought how easy such data would be to tease out based on such simple locators as city, region, zip etc. I also thought about Siemens and their real intentions.
The more I thought about it, the more being “benchmarked” seemed like something I found of absolutely no value to me.
The whole concept revolves around measuring how I practice against my colleagues and competitors. Even the things they were measuring presumed that I look at my practice in a certain way, and share the same goals as the others in their survey.
That such information, as to how many locations I and my colleagues have, how many employees, how many hearing aids of what style, manufacturer and price I fit may very well be of real value to Siemens.
However, my providing it, not only failed to provide me with anything of real value whatsoever, by doing so, I would serve to provide a huge, multi-national conglomerate with valuable information that they will no doubt use in direct competition with me for the very same patients and markets I seek to serve.
For me to cooperate in this survey, providing Siemens with information that they intend to use in the operation of their own company owned HearX, or HearUSA stores I compete against right down the street, would most definitely not facilitate my business in any way, and provide a declared, retail competitor with valuable information they cannot obtain otherwise.
While I may not be the brightest bulb in the box, I find cooperating directly with folks who are trying to put me out of business to not be in my best interest. Thanks but no thanks to American Opinion Research and their sponsor, Siemens.
Siemens hearing has some really cool gear. They make very good products for the hearing impaired, but for them to expect me to help them in their retail endeavors, when they are seeking my business on a wholesale, or vendor basis, while competing with me right down the street, is just nuts.
When they divest themselves of their retail holdings, I might consider recommending their products to my patients.
But, as long as Siemens owns and operates my retail competition, I think I’ll take a pass on their offer to be “Benchmarked”, or of recommending their products to my patient base.
To do so just holds no long term value for my practice, or the consumers who put their trust in me to be around and in business to service what I recommend, and sell.