Millions of Americans who could benefit from hearing aids don’t use them because of issues like stigma and cost, so when the FDA approved over-the-counter sales of hearing devices for the first time in 2022, experts hailed it as an opportunity to expand access and save customers thousands of dollars. A shrewd partnership with Bose and distribution in 12,000 stores across the U.S. helped hearing-aid maker Lexie Hearing leap ahead of the pack. It now expects to earn $60 million in revenue and expand to many more stores this year. But COO Seline van der Wat says customer service is key to Lexie’s success. “We don’t just get hearing aids into people’s ears,” she says. “We keep them there.”
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