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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

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Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at [email protected].

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