Today marks an important milestone for our young hearing-aid manufacturing company. After a long but purposeful journey, our newest innovation in hearing health, Eargo Plus, is now available for ordering through our online store.
There are hundreds of Eargo Plus customers already, we’ve been taking phone orders since January, and their feedback so far has been downright flattering…
★★★★★ Excellent product in a small package
In about my 6th week using Eargo. I love them. Very comfortable. Great replacement for my previous hearing devices. Recharging is great vs replacing batteries. They are so comfortable, you forget you have them in. Glad I discovered this product. –Stephen S.
But now, we’re ready and excited to open our online store – so excited we threw ourselves a confetti party (no confetti were injured or harmed in our celebration).
Back in December, our CEO, Christian Gormsen, outlined two important principles that have shaped our customer first approach and build a device that can be easily used and maintained. Both of these are core to our offering for Eargo Plus. And when it comes to details, who better to elaborate than the people leading the charge in each of these areas, every day? I managed to corner two of our notoriously busy people (I lured them with the promise of free food…but I didn’t say when) and got them each to provide some of their thoughts to some frequent questions.
Let’s talk design, with Iain…
If you compare the original Eargo hearing device to Eargo Plus – side by side – the first thing you’ll notice is they look so similar. You almost need a good pair of eyeglasses to notice any differences. How much of the design has actually changed between the original Eargo and Eargo Plus?
The reality is that virtually everything has changed between our original Eargo and Eargo Plus. We know that our users really value Eargo’s general design, which allows our devices to be nearly invisible when worn, and really comfortable to wear for long periods. With Eargo Plus, our team has been building on those fundamentals while being singularly focused on making Eargo Plus more robust and reliable. That work touches really every part of the device, and resulted in enhancements like a new external jacket to protect the device, to modified internal components – ‘under the hood improvements’ if you will to improve the charging experience, to more robust Flexi Fibers and superior wax filtering. The list goes on, and on.
A big part of our push here included making Eargo Plus easy to maintain over time. Any device worn in the ear needs to be cleaned regularly. Eargo Plus has some cutting-edge advancements to help with maintenance, from removable Flexi Fibers and wax guards that are easily replaced, to built-in wax filters on each Flexi Fiber. At the end of the day, for our users, it means more time hearing, less time cleaning.
The fact that users can now remove and replace Flexi Fibers when they need to will be super useful. Given the small size, some people might naturally be wondering: how easy is it to change them? How do they even stay on?
Simplicity and effectiveness were really our two priorities here. It had to be straightforward for users to remove and replace Flexi Fibers, and the mechanism to retain them also needed to be fail-safe. Eargo Plus devices have a triple-barbed retention mechanism – that’s three separate barbs that hold the Flexi Fibers onto the body of the device. Replacing Flexi Fibers can be done rather easily by putting them on with a slight twist; there are visual indicators that help ensure proper placement. And of course, we have informative guides and videos to help new users familiarize themselves with replacing Flexi Fibers.
This is one of those areas that actually takes a lot of intensive testing to perfect. We probably had about 4-5 alternative routes we explored. Once we had one we thought was best, we fine-tuned it further by creating some 20 prototypes and put them through a barrage of tests including lab testing and user studies. It was a veritable mountain of work to accomplish something seemingly so small. But we’re very happy with the end result and most importantly, our users are as well.
Meet Eargo Plus Scroll over areas in the image below for more detail
Let’s talk support, with Bill…
You’ve spent the past 6 months building out our operations for supporting our clients throughout their Eargo experience. What should new Eargo users expect?
We really want to take the idea of introducing Eargo Plus into your everyday life, and make it as seamless as possible.
When first requesting an Eargo Sample Kit online or by phone, our Personal Hearing Guides (PHGs) take time to listen and get to know each client because we want to make sure Eargo is a good fit for their lifestyle and hearing ability.
Soon after an order we will connect each client with a licensed Personal Hearing Professional (PHP), so they can schedule the time to discuss any questions they may have as they start to use Eargo Plus. The first month with digital hearing aids is so critical as your brain adjusts to the world of hearing again and our PHPs are there to sherpa them through this period. We’ve also made some amazing videos that help to illustrate how to care for the Eargo devices. Each client can access these whenever they want… watch them as many times as they want! And of course, given the importance of the first few weeks of use, clients can expect Eargo to send emails with timely tips and helpful content to help stay on track.
We believe in treating our customers like everyday people, can you tell us about the team that clients will be speaking with when they call Eargo for support?
For day-to-day support needs, we have been growing our client care team as well as refining the client support experience. We have a team in Mountain View, CA and recently opened our new office in Nashville, Tennessee. We know that every client is different and a cookie cutter approach to their needs is, well, just wrong. That’s why our focus has been to empower our team to troubleshoot and resolve individual client concerns as quickly as possible. That’s why it’s so critical that we get to know our clients, their needs, and challenges and do it with a friendly conversation.
In addition, our PHPs play a key role in client support in dealing with specific hearing questions or concerns. If our client support team is unable to resolve the issue, our PHPs are on the case and ready to assist.
How do care & support needs for Eargo Plus differ from that of your average electronics purchase?
Well for one, Eargo is an in-ear digital hearing aid, not a personal sound amplifier. The needs here – especially when someone is new to using digital hearing aids – are quite different from buying say a new flat screen TV. In the first few weeks of digital hearing aid use, your brain may be adjusting to hearing new frequencies, and for some, this takes a bit of support to get through and our PHPs are there to guide them through it. It starts with a Welcome Call and they will keep checking in with our clients until they have adjusted well to their new world or sound. Most electronics purchases do not provide this type of professional support, including personal sound amplifiers. Clients are left to their own devices, no pun intended. Finally, we continue to provide support as needed during our clients’ use of Eargo devices. Clients can access this support via an online scheduling platform at any time.