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How Do You Enhance Your Own Image and Your Practice's Image Online?

There are many ways that the Internet is transforming the image of businesses and eyecare professionals. One is the way your practice website looks and functions compared to others. Does it teach? Educate? Inspire? Spur appointment-making and encourage an eye exam?

Another is how your site handles patient/customer/user reviews, which are becoming so influential with prospective and (gulp) current patients. Are you prepared to reply to those? What tone do you use? Do you know how to keep things upbeat and engaged without sounding concerned? Does your staff?

What about the world of apps, or applications? With the world increasingly going mobile, via smartphones and tablets, are you aware of the latest apps that can enhance your practice's image online? CLICK has written about many of these and we highlight another one, developed by an optometrist and now available to you, in this issue.

Remember, that every edition of CLICK helps you keep up with the latest digital and social media trends. Take a spin through the easy-to-access the CLICK Archive, located under the CLICK button at

Have you tried something new on your website or launched a special social media campaign? Tell us about it and we'll consider it for an upcoming feature in CLICK.

—The Editors




A Personalized App for Eye Docs

NEW YORK—With the rise of smartphones, the number of mobile applications have grown exponentially and many web, marketing and health care experts predict that 'm-commerce' and interactions will only continue to rise. But how might vision care professionals tap this phenomenon?

The EyeDocApp is the first customizable application for the eyecare industry and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and Android operating systems. Developed by Scott Pouyat, OD, of Lake Zurich Eyecare in Lake Zurich, Ill., earlier this year, the EyeDocApp was initially introduced in April. In its initial launch, it has been subscribed to by over 75 optometrists and other eyecare professionals. The company intends to expand distribution to more via the new and exclusive sales and marketing arrangement with Jobson's ECP Business Services unit.

"The EyeDocApp also offers the ability to update information at any time, allowing practitioners to update their office information, announce new practice services, promote customized deals and promotions and communicate with patients using these additional touch points that will keep the practice top-of-mind," Pouyat said.


The EyeDocApp web site features a video tour and many examples of how the app displays along with its multiple features. There's a step-by-step feature that enables any OD to customize their own practice's app. There is a one-time set up fee and a monthly hosting charge for the service.

Patients can easily download the App for free via the Apple Store and from the Android Market, or search either site for EyeDocApp.



Is a Bad Online Review Really 'Bad'?

By Alan N. Glazier, OD, FAAO

ROCKVILLE, Md.—Of all the topics I've covered in my years of blogging and lecturing on internet marketing, none draw a more visceral reaction from colleagues than the subject of online reviews.

I believe the reaction ties in to our general dislike, as medical practitioners, of receiving any kind of criticism, online or off. Positive criticism raises our esteem, confirms what we feel about ourselves and is easy to listen to. Negative criticism can be painful to hear. We are guilty of letting it bring our spirits and esteem down too far, leading to defensiveness and lashing out in response or ignoring it in order to not listen to what we don't want to hear about ourselves.

Our nature makes us want to lash out at these bad reviews, but in doing so we might put something on the internet we regret for all else to see. It takes an acute businessperson to take a step back after reading negative criticism, study it, read between the lines and use the information to improve their systems, both in terms of taking to heart what the critic said, or if it is believed to be erroneous, respond to the criticism in a way that makes the critic sound inappropriate.

Having a negative review can be positive in one of several ways:

"Turn lemons into lemonade"—if you have 10 great reviews and one negative review, be sure to subtly refer to this fact in answer to the negative reviewer. Write a response that does not sound defensive or angry. If someone complains about your customer service, respond "Thank you for your review. As you can see from the rest of our reviews, we are consistent in providing a high level customer service experience. We are sorry that was not your experience; we stand behind our mission statement to provide high level service to everyone who enters our door. If you feel we dropped the ball, please give us a chance to make it right by you..." and offer them whatever you are comfortable offering. They may not respond, but it is also possible they appreciate the offer and take advantage of it, at which time you ask if in turn they would consider removing the negative review, maybe even reposting a positive review, hence the heading of this paragraph. With this strategy, everyone else who reads the review before they come into your office understands you pay attention to your reviews and are concerned about customers having less-than-perfect experiences. You've planted the seed that (1) most people have given you 5 star reviews and (2) the person who wrote the bad review was an anomaly, possibly one with a personality disorder.

Dilute, Dilute, Dilute—If one bad review is 100 percent of your reviews, you're likely losing money by the minute. If you have 1 out of 4 negative reviews, the negativity is diluted, and on and on. The more great reviews you have, the less you should let the bad ones bother you.

Respond to ALL reviews—Don't spend all your time and energy fighting the haters. Write notes of praise and thanks for those patients who take the time to praise you in reviews. First of all, they will be impressed you pay attention and will feel vindicated for writing the review, it not having fallen on deaf ears. Secondly, when you do get a bad review and respond to it, you won't appear to be responding defensively, giving your response more credibility.

Spread Your Reviews Around the Web—The game of online review is just beginning. Leaders include Google, Yahoo and Yelp. Services that help you get reviews like Demandforce, Smilereminder and WebSystem2 are excellent (I use Demandforce) but their reviews have been shifted to a less obvious spot on Google than actual Google reviews. If you attempt to get reviews in only one place on the Internet, you are spread too thin, and some merger may come down the road that suppresses your reviews further. When you get one or more bad reviews on one review thread, YOU can suppress that thread and promote the thread you have better reviews on. When things on the Internet change, you are in a better position when you have all review sites populated with your reviews.

It's a strange, new world of marketing. While word-of-mouth referrals still result in a trickle of patients into your practice, positive online reviews can open the floodgates. People read these reviews to get a feel for who you are as a business. If there's too much fluff or solid positive reviews they may be suspicious that your feed was "fixed" by having relatives and friends populate it. A negative review here or there and a calculated response make the experience more real and can add value to your feed.

Alan N. Glazier, OD, FAAO is the founder/CEO of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care in Rockville, Md. A search and social optimization consultant, he is now a regular contributor to CLICK and also writes a regular blog for Glazier is at and his regular posts can be found via his Twitter handle: @EyeInfo, his blog: and his website: Author: Searchial Marketing: How Social Media Drives Search Optimization in Web 3.0.


HOYA Free-Form Company's Dr. Graham

The HOYA Free-Form Company has added a new digital character to their line up—Dr. Graham. "Dr. Graham, fills a role that has been open since Professor Murray came on board," stated Ron Barnes, director of project marketing, "She is a female voice speaking from the ECP's perspective. Her primary role is to complement Professor Murray's character and to take on more serious topics when she speaks to ECPs and patients." Dr. Graham's first assignment is to announce HOYA's Distortion-Free Optics. In her inaugural two-minute 15-second video, Dr. Graham explains how Distortion-Free Optics integrates four key components—lens materials, design, treatment and the new Avantek mounting system. Eyecare professionals can share the video with patients by reposting the link from HOYA's Facebook page to their own Facebook page. The video is also on HOYA's YouTube channel.


OtherInbox, Inc. builds technology to automatically organize emails from online shopping and social networking sites. The site's Automatic Organizer web application separates high priority emails from lower priority emails to reduce the clutter in your inbox. It also organizes shipping information, payment reminders, and upcoming sales and places them on your calendar. The site also creates opportunities for improving the relevance and targeting of email marketing. OtherInBox is described on the site as "a personal assistant for Gmail or Yahoo! Mail that helps you regain control of your inbox." After the spam filter gets rid of the stuff you don't want, the Organizer automatically deals with the commercial email and social networking messages you actually do want. By moving them into folders so that you can read them when you have time without having them clutter up your Inbox.


ZeaVision, LLC, makers of EyePromise eye vitamins, has launched a new site designed to educate consumers on nutrition and eye health. Featured are a range of eye health topics including nutrition, macular pigment, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), dry eye and visual performance. The site includes videos, patient testimonials and exclusive doctor-provided content, blogs and online discussions. Visitors can sign up for the EyePromise inSight newsletter and enroll in the free EyePromise Referral Program. The site also features special promotions including the EyePromise Dry Eye Challenge. Terry Sullivan, ZeaVision's vice president of sales and marketing explains, "Eye health is often ignored unless there's a problem, so many people are unaware they can proactively help preserve healthy sight and prevent vision loss. The site's been designed to serve as a comprehensive resource to anyone who is interested in learning more about eye health, nutrition and maximizing visual performance."


Essilor of America has debuted a new design of its corporate website, The enhanced site, part of a global rollout of streamlined Essilor websites, offers new features, content and more user-friendly navigation. Consumers and eyecare professionals (ECPs) will find a range of information, including new eye health modules and a dedicated section for ECP support. The new ECP Support section, includes links to product information, tools and services, finding a sales consultant and finding a local distributor. also features more robust knowledge for consumers, including an explanation of how the eye works, a glossary of common eye health terms and a breakdown of lenses by designs, materials and treatments. ", along with other Essilor websites around the world, has been completely redesigned with a consistent look and feel in order to best serve patients and the vision industry," said Carl Bracy, senior vice president of marketing and new business, Essilor of America. "The site now offers a richer experience, and we hope to continue to provide a trusted means of information."


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