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Buzz Session

From Travel to Exercise to Alcohol, ECPs Recharge in Diverse Ways

How do you regain your momentum?

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  • Work out. — Steve Whitaker, Whitaker Eye Works, Wayne, PA
  • I unwind and recharge with Pilates and girls brunch. — Leah Johnson, Central Texas Eye Center, San Marcos, TX
  • Beach!— Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Ride my bike or go to the gym in the early mornings before work, listen to podcasts throughout the day, sit down for a great meal with my wife after work.— Ted McElroy, OD, Vision Source Tifton, Tifton, GA
  • Listening to INVISION’s podcast. — Josh Bladh, Dr. Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • Motorcycle camping. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • Drink Scotch. — Richard Kemerling, Margolis Vision, Castle Rock, CO
  • Golf. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • When it comes to recharging as an optician, a good optical challenge between our owner (LDO), lab manager (LDO), and myself (LDO). We press each other and create situations that force us to get our heads back in the books. This happens weekly sometimes. — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • We spend time off at an old farm that we own in rural West Virginia. It’s so peaceful; no sign of neighbors and only about ten cars drive by a day. — Barbara Bloom, OD, Weber Vision Care, Harrisburg, PA
  • Go to the mountains or to the beach for a long weekend. — Laura Wright, Upstate Eyecare, Greenville, SC
  • CALM meditation app on my iPhone. — Vlad Cordero, Focus Eye Care PC, Hackensack, NJ
  • Did someone say Happy Hour?!? — Meredith Hall, Miller Family Eye, Cedar Rapids, IA
  • I just came back after a weekend with girlfriends. We rented a cabin, drank some adult beverages, took naps, and talked about husbands, work, kids, family, and life. I came back on Monday ready to get organized and tackle my mounting to-do list. I feel better about this than I have in ages! — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • Rock concerts. — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • Travel and music. — Pablo E Mercado, Mount Vernon Eyecare, Dunwoody, GA
  • I need to figure that out. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • I spend time with family or friends who are not in this field. I go to the beach to seaglass and beach comb. — Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • Go to CE. — Cedric Mitsui, OD, Big Island Vision Center, Hilo, HI
  • Desert in the winter, beach in the summer. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • I play World of Warcraft with my friends. It’s relaxing but still stimulates the brain. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • Sleep. — Leisa Lauer, Dr. H Michael Shack, Newport Beach, FL
  • Vacay! — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • Sleep, sleep and more sleep. — Jill Sweig, OD, Oyster Bay Optics, Oyster Bay, NY
  • Beer festival, dancing at a 70’s/80’s club — shout out to Johnny’s Hideaway! Atlanta natives of a certain age will know this place. — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA
  • At work, when I need a quick, 5-min recharge, I run receipts reports or restock inventory. I find repetitive patterns and reassuring numbers are great for self-soothing! Off work: hiking, mountain biking, reading, eating at our great local restaurants, and snuggling O’Malley the Alley Cat. — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Just got back from two weeks fishing in the Amazon. That was a pretty good recharge. I find working a three day week gives me a pretty good recharge each week, but office stays open five days. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Over the weekend, go driving. — BJ Chamber, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • Exercise. — Kaleena Ma, MK Vision Center, Forest Hills, NY
  • My artwork and my writing for fandemoniumnetwork.com. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Bicycling. — Fred Sirotkin, OD, Eagle Eye Care, Columbia, MD
  • Fresh air! — Candy Crone, Wayne Optical, York, PA
  • Trade shows like Vision Expo always tend to give us a little boost of motivation when we get back. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Woodworking; repurposing headboards to benches among other things. — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • I travel. Whether it’s a big trip or just a weekend getaway, getting out of my normal zone helps recharge. Also, some spa time is also a big help. — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Drink beer! IPA preferably. — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • It’s nice to get away from the business but for me I love working and luckily, I work in an area of the country that a lot of people come to visit so it’s kind of like we’re always on vacation… just being back recharges me from time off. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • Family! — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • I start with a very serious discussion with myself. I consider the facts, why things are not going as planned, if there is a rotten apple causing discord, what caused situation and then what actions I need to take. The next step is to plan and prepare a meeting to address the issues at hand. This usually recharges me, giving a positive attitude. I believe no situation is hopeless, and something can always be done. Right or wrong, you keep moving forward and don’t give up. One of Murphy’s Laws states “left alone things go from bad to worse.” — Pam Housle, Texas State Optical of Nederland, Port Arthur, TX
  • Caribbean vacation. — Brian Finley, Island Opticians LLC, Palm Beach, FL
  • Eating apples! They always give me a burst of energy. — Jade Kowalic, Rophie Eye Care, Dunedin, FL
  • Take a week off and go anywhere.— Sandy Slang, Ophthalmology Associates, Cudahy, WI
  • Lock the doors and try on glasses for an hour! Nothing is more fun!— Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • Look forward to weekends. — Betty Aret, The Eyecare Boutique, Wexford, PA
  • Play with my three kids, travel with my wife, read and attend church. — Ken Boltz, OD, Kenneth D Boltz OD LLC, Dublin, OH
  • Vacation! — Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • Vision Expos. — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • Retire? — Jill Schnurer, OD, Village Eyecare Co., Clarkston, MI
  • Vacation!!! — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, OD, Pekin, IL
  • Sleep, elliptical, pray. — Brian Parker, Temecula Eye Center Optometry, Temecula, CA
  • What’s that? — Caitlin Binyo, Vision Center, Bellingham, WA
  • Moving my shop from commercial location to its new, sweet, in-home location has helped so very much in recharging! Having a shop downtown along with running my home, single-handedly was just too much, like having two homes to keep up! This integration is just the best for my stress and psyche … plus I’ve been able to clean up all business debt! — Elle Tatum , Island Spectacle, Bainbridge Island WA
  • Mini weekend vacation somewhere warm and not too far; like Florida on a Friday and coming back Sunday evening. — Diana Canto-Sims, Buena Vista Optical Boutique, Chicago, IL
  • I plan to take some time off before Thanksgiving to do some late season yard work and plant some fruit trees. I will also be taking a road trip to MI to spend Christmas with my in-laws. — Jesse Ellis , Eye Health Vision Center, North Dartmouth, MA
  • Starbucks!! — Jessica Brundidge , Clarity Vision, Clayton NC
  • Play with grandkids. — Robert McBeath , Edina Eye Physicians and Surgeons, Edina MN
  • Coffee or Red Bull. — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • Yoga, vacations, bar trivia or concerts. — Harris Decker , Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • I take a day off. Sometimes I just need some “me” time. On my day off, I quilt. — Vicki Thompson , Grandville Optical, Grandville, MI
  • I’m a big crafter and that relaxes me. — Colleen Brondo, Visual Eyes Optical, Stanhope, NJ

What’s the Brain Squad?

  • If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 21 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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Buzz Session

We Asked What Your Favorite Smartphone App for Your Business Was … Here’s What You Said…

There are some familiar faces but some fun surprises too!

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  • Thryv, helps me keep on top of social media. — Mickey Bradley, Patrick Optical, Fort Worth, TX
  • Instagram. — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • QuickBooks and OntheClock. — Bhumika Patel, Redstone Family Vision, Indian Land, SC
  • Office suite. — Susan M Frick, Premier Eye Care of Eastern Idaho, Idaho Falls, ID
  • Vision Source. — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D., Pekin, IL
  • Several: Security app that lets me view the different camera’s we have at the office. My banking app to pay bills and monitor accounts. Sheets app to view staff schedules for the month. — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Podcasts, makes me think. — Kristina Swartz, The Eye Site, Mishawaka, IN
  • I access my banking app every morning, to see what funds were deposited overnight. I love being able to direct deposit paper checks (although I’m trying to get away from those as much as possible.) — Angela Patteson, OD, Sunset Eye Care, Johnson City, TN
  • I would say I use Google a lot to check different things out like how many Google reviews I have and to look for frames too because being 2019 we don’t get catalogs much anymore. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • Plotaverse is a really cool one to add amazing effects to your photos. — Josh Bladh, Dr. Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • Bank and credit card apps. They’re handy when I’m on the go. — Jim Williams, Eye to Eye Optometry, Mexico, MO
  • Instagram, it seems to be the easiest way to reach my clientele (current and potential.) — Siobhan Burns, The Eyeglass Lass, New London, CT
  • Later: I can plan my social media posts at the beginning of the month so that they automatically send at the designated days and times. — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • My calendar. — Nicole Heyduk, Eye Centers of Northwest Ohio, Fremont, OH
  • SR Notify, it is nice to be able to reply to patients when they text. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • Map Quest. — Leisa Lauer, Dr. H Michael Shack, Newport Beach, FL
  • Canva, I can create social media posts that look like I hired a social media expert! — Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • Instagram! It’s such a powerful local and non-local visual marketing tool! Instagram has a wide range of user ages, whereas other mediums have niche age groups. — Carissa Dunphy, Lake Stevens Vision Clinic, Lake Stevens, WA
  • It’s not really an app, but the ability to get on our office software (Eyecloud Pro) from anywhere and do anything I need makes it very easy to answer any questions or get things done while I’m away from the office. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Instagram. Gotta keep that social media game strong. — Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • I don’t really have any business apps I use but I do get the news emailed to me daily called The Hustle and it is a great/entertaining way for me to keep up in events and relate to patients. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Instagram: Engages a lot of people. Old dog, new trick for me. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary, Allen Park, MI
  • Facebook is used to increase marketing and show what’s happening in the office. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • Our town has a local version of a SeeClickFix app that allows you to take a picture of something and report it to city officials. It can be a public utilities issue, a snowplowing issue, roadways, whatever. So incredibly useful, and they get to everyone’s questions and posts incredibly quickly, something close to a 2-hour resolution rate! — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Metronome and Intuit GoPayment for our Vision Therapy business. We are able to keep everything separate dollar wise between the two businesses that way. And Starbucks Rewards: Caffeine is always needed, and I might as well get rewarded for buying my coworkers coffee! — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • California lottery, the only sure way to make money. — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Facebook, gets photos faster and easier to the page. — Fred Sirotkin, OD, Eagle Eye Care, Columbia, MD
  • As of right now it is a code look-up app. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • Pinterest, I am able to save many ideas for ads/truck shows/office updates any time/place whether I’m at work or not. — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • Translate. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Too many but current favorite: Homebase, very easy to monitor employee hours and schedule. — Preet Kaur, Gary Tracy Optometry & Eyewear, New York, NY
  • My EHR app. I can do charting anywhere! — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • Google and Google maps. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • I’ve tried a bunch of industry apps and have yet to find one that really offers something of value to my office, but boy would I love to hear what others have to say. Maybe I’m missing out on some winners! — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Figure 1. It helps doctors across the world work with each other on baffling diagnoses. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Amazon because I love to decorate my office and they have everything. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • Instagram. — Margot Lanham, Ulla Eyewear, Madison, WI
  • Bank. — Bob Schmittou, New Eyes Optical, Wyandotte, MI
  • Google for quick reference answers. — Cindy Henderson, Eyear Optical, Hixson, TN
  • Word Swag, great way to brighten up a social media post. — Kenneth D. Boltz, OD, Dublin, OH
  • I like Instagram to see what’s current and trending in fashion and eyewear. — Barbara Bloom, OD, Weber Vision Care, Harrisburg, PA
  • Santander app so I can pay my bills from anywhere. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Good Rx; lets patients know where to get the best price on meds. They can’t be compliant with treatment if they cannot afford it. — Michael Davis, OD, Opti-Care, Eldersburg, MD
  • Auto refraction, just a quick and simple tool to use in a mobile optical dispensary. — Will Taylor, Eye 2 Eye Contact, Northville, MI
  • Planoly. It makes posting on Insta so much easier. You can see how your tiles are going to look before they post. We were using Hootsuite, but we ran into a lot of problems with that app. — Leah Johnson, Central Texas Eye Center, San Marcos, TX
  • GoodRx, helps to know drug prices before they get to the pharmacy and reject it. — Bart Parker, OD, Vision Source-Fox Optical, Lake Worth, FL
  • The banking programs. I don’t have to go to the bank to make deposits. — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • Honestly … Instagram. It lets us share new styles constantly and interact with our “fans” a.k.a. customers. It’s fantastic. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Waze, makes sure employees get to work on time. — Steve Geis, Metro Eye, Milwaukee, WI
  • How about the weather app and the calculator? — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • My EMR — Revolution EHR — so I can see my schedule before I leave for work. — Megan Lott, OD, Lexington Eye Care, Lexington, MS
  • Amazon for ordering. — Richard Frankel, Atlantic Cape Eyecare, Wildwood, NJ
  • LinkedIn is a business to business platform that helps you connect within our industry. — Adam Ramsey, OD, Iconic Eye Care, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Buzz Session

Do Over: If Given the Chance This is What You Would Do Differently

More education, earlier ownership and trusting your gut more were all pretty popular.

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  • Achieve OD or by GODS blessed MD status. — Steven Gouveia, Target Optical, Seekkonk, MA
  • Briefly?? I’d learn from other people’s mistakes and trust my gut a little more. — Josh Bladh, Dr. Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • Run my business without ODs. — John LaShorne, Brown County Eye Care, Nashville, IN
  • I would have started making my own frames much earlier. — Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • Hire the personality and then train them. I have always wished for a complete training program, opposed to a ‘sink or swim method,’ prior to ever allowing the new staffer to assist patients. — Pam Housley, Texas State Optical of Nederland, Port Arthur, TX
  • I would have started in optical sooner. I kind of fell into this position and now I love it! — Andrea Schall, Armstrong Eye Care, Kittanning, PA
  • So many costly mistakes that I don’t even know where to start! (From marketing to frame selection to working with vendors and consultants, hindsight is definitely 20/20.) — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • Get everything in writing. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Stay in school and participate in activities. — Mitchell Kaufman, Marine Park Family Vision, Brooklyn, NY
  • Profit first. My heck if had only known, I would have carved every penny I earned up and allocated it accordingly. It’s like bumper bowling for expenses. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • Go into a different field. — Greg Kyser, Gallery of Eyewear, Marysville, WA
  • Go bigger and push for my goals instead of playing it safe! — Stacey Nutting, The Eye Doctors at CNY Eye Care, East Syracuse, NY
  • Change majors in college instead of completely dropping out. It took 15 years before I went back. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • Take school seriously! Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • I would buy an established practice instead of starting cold. Might have given me a bit of a head start with a steady patient base. — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA
  • Went to a four-year college instead of a two-year technical. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Listen to my gut! — Michelle Wright, DePoe Eye Center, Sharpsburg, GA
  • Believe in myself and my vision. (No pun intended) — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • Paid closer attention to the acoustics in our optical. — James Armstrong, Alberta Eye Care, Portland, OR
  • Get my ABO sooner. — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • I would have become an optician earlier than I did. — Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • I would’ve made the jump from corporate opticianry to private sooner. — Vlad Cordero, Focus Eye Care PC, Hackensack, NJ
  • Do it my way from the beginning and start earlier. Take more time not seeing patients to work on office things. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • Start sooner. — Rick Pascucci, Towpath Vision Care, Clinton, NY
  • Stay working in a lab instead of an office. — Judith Whitelaw, Dr. Gregory Char, OD, Orange, OR
  • Start at the practice I’m at now. The other place was owned by a psycho Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde situation. Y’all know what I mean. — Jeff Grosekemper, Casa De Oro Eyecare, Spring Valley, CA
  • I am so happy with my life now and I believe that for every action there is a reaction if I did anything differently my life may not be this good. I have a most remarkable family with grandkids and great in-laws. Nothing could be better. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • I’m not sure how to answer that. — Annie Thompson, Lawrence Eye Care Optical, Lawrence, KS
  • Speak my mind more. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Gone to optometry school. — Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • Larger office. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • I would not buy a practice based on good will. I would purchase real estate and build a practice rather than rent. — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • Lose the partners and buy my own building. Rents are killing. — Jill Sweig, OD, Oyster Bay Optics, Oyster Bay, NY
  • I wouldn’t do any of it differently. I feel my life works exactly the way it’s supposed to and I’m in the exact place I’m supposed to be. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • I would have stayed in U.S. Army Reserves and retired from the Reserves in 1985. — Texas L. Smith, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • In the latter part of my military career I wanted to go into flight school, but a deployment to Iraq as a flight medic changed my mind. I wouldn’t mind going back and become a pilot! — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • Become licensed much, much sooner. — Pablo E Mercado, LensCrafters, Alpharetta, GA
  • I wouldn’t have taken time off school after high school. — Nicole Heyduk, Eye Centers of Northwest Ohio, Fremont, OH
  • My hobby is bidding at storage locker auctions. If I could do it all over again, I would start working in the auction business fresh out of high school and maybe have retired already! — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Go to optometry school. — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • Absolutely, positively nothing! — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Would have done a residency. — Dennis Iadarola, OD, Center for Vision Care, Monroe, CT
  • I would not have gotten pregnant during my first semester of college. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • I would have gotten my license earlier on in my career. — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Stayed in college. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • Opened my unique eyewear optical much, much sooner! It’s so fun styling customers in unique eyewear and they come back to us so happy to be our “eyewear models.” — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • I’m not sure. — Vicki Thompson, Grandville Optical, Grandville, MI
  • Nothing! I love what every experience and challenge teaches me. — Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • I would have picked my mentor’s brain on the business of running an optometric practice. — Kimberly Riggs, OD, Ligonier, PA
  • Make more money. — Katie Rutledge, Arnold Family Eyecare, Imperial, MO
  • Go to optical school sooner. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Go to optometry school. — David Saxton, Kern Optical, Gulfport, MS
  • Take the ownership plunge sooner. — Gerald Koss, Vision Source Partners, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Not worry so much about what other people think and listen to my own instincts. — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • More education. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • I would have computerized sooner. People are impressed with technology even though it baffles me sometimes. When it works, it is amazing how much time and energy it saves. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary, Allen Park, MI
  • I’m doing it. Our new office that we opened to be closer to our kids and granddaughter has more social marketing and we are using iPads for most everything involved with patients. — Richard Frankel, Atlantic Cape Eyecare, Wildwood, NJ
  • Not trust so many of our peers when purchasing used equipment. — Cassandra Brackmann, Danville Family Eye Care, Danville, IN
  • A few mistakes along the way… changed the original career choice that I never followed. — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D., Pekin, IL
  • I would have gone to optometry school. — Gail Bailey, Eye Care Clinic, Grand Rapids, MN
  • I would have done a residency, I would love to teach. — Chani Miller, OD, Park Eye Center, Highland Park, NJ
  • Never work Saturdays, be with family instead. — Hagen Eye Care, Miami, FL
  • Try to learn how to buy effectively earlier on. Also get a better background in marketing. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Be more proactive and present in the day to day operation. Staying off “autopilot.” — Jim Williams, Eye To Eye, Mexico, MO
  • I would have been more open minded about my goals. — Jessica Brundidge, Clarity Vision, Clayton, NC

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Continue Reading

Buzz Session

Reply? Ignore? Here’s How Readers Land on Dealing with a Negative Review

And congrats to those who have never received one!

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  • Stick your head in the sand and they will go away! — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Reply, briefly, courteously, and try and fix the problem as best we can. We try and let the patient “win” if at all possible even if it costs us some money. — Kenneth D Boltz, OD, Dublin, OH
  • What is this thing called a “bad review?” — David Kirscher, OD, Island Family Eyecare, Bainbridge Island, WA
  • Reply with kindness. — Steve Geis, Metro Eye, Milwaukee, WI
  • Humor. — John LaShorne, Brown County Eye Care, Nashville, IN
  • Try and figure out what went wrong, contact the person to try and rectify the situation. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • Be honest. Apologize, if what the patient says is true. Always take the high road. — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • Don’t get them in the first place. We’ll do almost anything to make sure customers leave happy. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs Of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Ignore. — Dawn Limauro, Lens Doctors, Dover, NH
  • Handle on an individual basis. — Leisa Lauer, Dr. H Michael Shack, Newport Beach, FL
  • Thank the patient for their input. We do not get defensive. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • Reply professionally, and possibly assess the situation if necessary to make things right. — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • Fortunately, we’ve only ever had one, and just let it go. — Lynn Geis, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Not getting them. — Sabina Krasnov, i2ioptique, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Kill them with kindness! We’d call them and see what we could do to make things right. — Jade Kowalick, Ryczek Eye, St Petersburg , FL
  • Head on. — Jill Sweig, OD, Oyster Bay Optics, Oyster Bay, NY
  • Look into it first to make sure the complaint can be taken care of. If it can, fix it. If it’s not legitimate, don’t worry. Everyone that reads the review probably knows the person is never satisfied anywhere! — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • I can happily say I haven’t had any. I do have clients obviously that come in that are not happy with what they purchased and you have to figure you’re not going to please everybody. You bless them and send them on their way. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • Consider it constructive criticism. — Katie Rutledge, Arnold Family Eyecare, Imperial, MO
  • We try to follow up with each patient who left us a bad review and resolve what we can, always remembering that every aspect of our business ‑ our outside labs, vendors etc.… — are all an extension of who we are. You cannot resolve any issues by doing the “blame game!” — Jessica Brundidge, Clarity Vision, Clayton, NC
  • Good question, usually it was an employee that was fired and went online and you can’t fix stupid. — Betty Aretz, The Eyecare Boutique, Wexford, PA
  • Reaching out and attempting to better the negative feeling the patient developed for one reason or another. — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • Respond in a professional manner and always give the option to call or come in and talk to the owner/manager. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Try to answer the person’s complaints honestly without getting hostile. If you or your staff slipped up, own up to the mistake and try to make it right (refunds, etc.) If the patient got it wrong, try to gently point out their mistake (so that future readers can see both sides). I still do try and appease the patients that got it wrong — generally with a small discount — with the hope that they will return. If they make the same accusations a second time, then I dismiss them. — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA
  • I never received a bad revue. If I did I would find out the source to see if it was credible. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • Don’t get them to begin with. — Harry Roth, eyeQ Opticians, Millburn, NJ
  • Address them, internally and externally. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • Just move on… — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Deal with it immediately. Contact the patient directly. Apologize. Listen. Fix the problem. — Lee Dodge, OD, Visualeyes Optometry, Sherman Oaks, CA
  • Reach out to the patient, find a solution and try and work to resolve the review. — Bryan Hartgrave, Vision Solutions, Lamar, MO
  • I personally contact the patient to see if we can work out the problem. Our Rxs have a six-month warranty or money back if problem cannot be fixed. Have been pretty lucky with reviews so far. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Reach out to patient to see what can be done to turn it around. — Judith Whitelaw, Dr. Gregory Char, OD, Orange, OR
  • Address them and apologize if it was our fault and even if it wasn’t spin the apology so that the intelligent reader will realize that the complaint is ridiculous. — Cindy Henderson, Eyear Optical, Hixson, TN
  • Straight on. We aren’t perfect. — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • Just let them ride. They are seeking attention, and I am not looking to encourage negative attention! — Bridgett Fredrickson, Whelan Eye Care, Bemidji, MN
  • The number one thing is to avoid them at all cost. Learn from your mistakes as no one is perfect. Address the issue BEFORE it gets to a bad review. You inherently know when a “possible” bad review is coming. Head it off at the pass. And “if” you get a bad review address it immediately ….do not wait. Call the customer and try and make it right. If you feel the review was unfair, write a rebuttal that is FACT based. Leave all the emotion out of it. Leave your ego out of it. Do the right thing. — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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