I’ve been digging into all of these new Google+ Local changes and I wanted to share two new concepts that are going to change how dealerships both receive and respond to reviews. There is a little bad news but there is also a little good news.

I’ll start with the bad first. It’s no secret that some businesses have a hard time getting folks to leave them a review. Some customers just won’t have a Google login. Some will probably decline the review because of the registration process involved. The new Google+ Local transition just added another step to that process: Anyone who wants to leave a review on a Google+ Local page needs to be on Google+.

The cold hard facts here are that salespeople are going to have to try a little harder to snag reviews because not every customer is going to have a Google+ profile. There are tons of people with Google logins but I’m sure not all of them are on Google+ yet. That eliminates prospects that could previously leave a review with ease.

It might seem like this is going to be a hard hurdle to jump but it brings with it a fantastic socialization benefit. Moving forward, no reviews will be anonymous. JohnDoe123 won’t be leaving you a Google review. John Doe of Miami, Florida will be leaving you a review.

google+ reviews

This blows the door of social communication wide open for dealers to really handle customer service in an intimate one-on-one fashion, which changes the situation entirely. It’s quite easy to leave a nasty review anonymously online but when it’s time to attach real names it becomes more of a civil discussion.

Dealers can and should take this opportunity to truly communicate with their unsatisfied customers. This is the perfect opportunity to find the weak links in the chain, whether they are in Internet sales, service and maintenance, in the BDC or on the sales floor. Social presence is all about humanizing your brand and your dealership as well as bringing the people of your institution to the forefront. Google’s new Google+ Local is facilitating this type of behavior in many ways.