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The turmoil has continued since Google announced that Google+ Local would be using a new review system in lieu of the old Google Places "five-star" rating system.
Dealers have been having trouble posting reviews from Apple iOS devices. For many dealers, the review button was no longer visible on iPhone and iPads.
This week something unexpected occurred when I chose to bulk update my apps on my iPhone. The former Google Places app was replaced by the Google+ Local App and a new icon design was introduced, highlighted in the red box on the right.
The new version of the App makes it easy to post reviews on Google+ Local. I recommend that all dealers update their iPhone and iPads so that they can continue to use their devices to encourage Google users to post reviews.
The Google+ Local App business search feature is the same format as before, and I have included a few screen shots to show the development of the user interface.
I did a search for "Prestige Volvo" and the new search results show both the number of reviews and the overall "score" based on the new "Zagat" inspired voting system.
The highest score a dealer can receive is 30 and since Prestige has a score of 29, it places them as one of the highest rated Volvo dealers in the US.
The voting system is broken out into three categories as shown in the screen capture on the right.
One caveat is that for some dealers, there are NOT three voting blocks. This has to do with how the Google+ Local account is setup.
Under these three voting units is place for the customer to add their own comments. I strongly encourage dealers who have customers posting comments to use the comments feature to add credibility to the review.
Here are a few things that customers can add to their comments that can help the dealer staff and the dealership's online CSI score.
- The name of their sales/service person
- The car that they purchased/serviced
- The reason why they came to the dealership
- Why they would recommend the dealership to others
By adding names of people that helped them or by discussing why they purchased their 2012 Volvo from the dealership, makes the review more meaningful. Comments that only say "Great Place", "Highly Recommended", etc. look suspicious.
So what are you waiting for? Get your iPhone, iPad, or Android devices updated and loaded with the new Google+ Local App.
If you have been having a difficult time getting your review counts increased by engaging your customers in sales and service, you need to make a commitment to ask for help. Your dealership can not delay much longer without seeing a negative impact on sales and service. There are a number of products offered by companies that can jumpstart and guide the review engagement process. Do your research.
Recently I visited a dealership that was praising the Dominion Dealer Solutions Prime Response product and how it has automated the engagement process and has increased reviews at all of their stores. I also saw a demo of Cobalt's IRM solution recently and that was impressive! There is no shortage of great solutions on the market.
For some dealers it is not a product they need but more of a focus on process and merchandising the dealership. There is not a one size fits all solution for dealers so find one that works with your culture.
If you would like assistance, join us for our next Reputation Management Webinar lead by Glenn Pasch. Glenn will outline the process, training, and merchandising that has been effective for hundreds of dealers. Glenn will also cover a few products on the market that can help you like those offered by Cobalt, Dominion Dealer Solutions, and AAN.
You can get on the IRM webinar notification list by emailing: email@example.com
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing