Do you want to get more online reviews for your product or services? Podium has got you covered. By helping businesses send automated invites to customers at every critical touchpoint, Podium can give you a competitive advantage. It harnesses the power of online reviews for companies built on word of mouth. And with its powerful interface, you can also request feedback, convert web chat to text messages, and manage customer messages across different platforms all from the same place.
Podium Pros and Cons
- Free version available (for US and Canada users only)
- Easy-to-navigate user interface
- Available in both desktop and mobile
- Automated review solicitation
- Instant notifications for real-time response to online reviews
- Multiple customer interaction apps in one dashboard
- Seamless CRM integration
- Smooth onboarding process
- Plenty of customer service options
- Custom pricing structure available only by request
- Commitment to a 12-month contract required
- Cumbersome for very small businesses
From starting as a simple tool to procure quality reviews, Podium has grown into an all-in-one app that consolidates all customer interactions. With the help of Podium’s support team, you can cherry-pick only the features your business needs, at a price that is well within your budget.
The most disgruntled customers are often the most driven to post their negative experiences. So even if you hold your business to a high standard, the negative reviews of a select few can warp people’s perception of your business. To stop these bad reviews from outnumbering the good, you need a reputation management tool like Podium’s.
Podium is integrated with over 20 online review sites like Facebook, Google My Business, TripAdvisor, and a host of other industry-specific platforms. With Podium Reviews, you can view and manage all customer reviews from these platforms under one roof. No more jumping back and forth between these review sites as you can keep track of all new customer reviews straight from an easy-to-use interface.
Are you ready to beef up your online reviews? It all starts with a request, and you can convince your customers to provide their reviews using your own message or one of Podium’s preset templates.
Sending these review invites is a whole new ball game, but this where Podium outshines its competitors. Through its platform, you can set up automations so your customers can receive review invites soon after completing a purchase. With its switchboard feature, you can also determine how many customers will be sent to which review sites, ensuring no platform is overlooked.
From the same dashboard, you can also set up alerts so you get notified each time a customer leaves a review. By doing so, you can promptly respond to each review and address customer complaints within the Podium app.
Podium Reviews comes with in-depth reporting to help you gauge how well your business performs based on the reviews. By looking at star rating, recency, and review count, you can determine how well you stack up against competitors and whether your strategies need fine-tuning.
Podium Campaigns is a potent alternative to old-fashioned email campaigns. Instead of sending emails that are often relegated to either the SPAM or a separate “Promotions” folder, you send marketing promotions to where customers can see them right away: SMS inbox.
We’re not talking about sending out spam texts en masse. Customers won’t receive marketing campaigns via SMS unless they opt in to your list. And with opt-in opportunities available in every customer touchpoint, you can passively grow the list of people who are more likely to respond to your promos.
With a targeted list at your disposal, it’s easier to craft personalized campaigns that resonate well with your customers. You can send these campaigns to your entire list or to specific segments of your list.
By using a conversational tone in your messages, you can take the first step towards building a long-term relationship with your audience. The text thread is also two-way so your customers can reply to your messages, giving you more opportunities to earn their trust.
Whether you’re sending out coupon codes or announcing a special sale, Podium Campaigns allow you to take advantage of the 98% open rate of a text message. Moreover, it comes with built-in analytics so you can measure your total revenue, unsubscribe rate, click-through rate, and response rate straight from your dashboard. Using these valuable data, you can fine-tune your campaigns and get better results in the long run.
By integrating Podium with Facebook, Google, Instagram, Zendesk, and other platforms, all customer conversations can be funneled into one location. This enables you to quickly reply to messages without having to juggle multiple platforms at the same time.
Podium’s inbox also streamlines how you deal with all these messages. Using artificial intelligence, it can automatically group incoming messages so you know which one should be prioritized. Each customer profile also has an interaction history which includes all payments and transactions completed. At one glance, you can get insights about the customer you’re dealing with, allowing you to personalize your messages accordingly.
For the busy marketers who don’t have time to respond to all messages, Podium’s inbox also provides smart solutions.
You can assign the messages to other employees or another business location. Access restrictions are also available to ensure only the authorized people can answer specific messages.
Meanwhile, you can set up autoresponders so you won’t lose potential leads even outside business hours or whenever you can’t reply in person. By also automating feedback requests, review invites, and reminders, Podium ensures you won’t waste your precious time on cumbersome tasks.
Getting feedback from your customers doesn’t have to involve long, boring surveys that barely get attention. Podium’s feedback feature turns the traditional survey on its head by sending two automated text messages proven to elicit quicker responses.
Humans are notorious for having short attention spans. By sending short and simplified questions via SMS, you don’t have to wait for weeks or months for answers. Your customers can send their honest feedback almost instantly, which means you can also address customer complaints at lightning speed.
With regular use of Podium’s feedback feature, you’ll be able to understand your market, explore opportunities to improve your service, and gain more loyal customers. The best part is you can also automate it so you can gather insights about your customers at any touchpoint, not just after they make a purchase.
You can schedule when your customers will receive the feedback request and also set up automated responses based on the customers’ answers. By doing so, Podium can gather a wealth of valuable information even while you’re not around.
Podium’s feedback feature also comes with analytics so you can dissect the impact that customer feedback has on your business. Through this tool, you can track your Net Promoter Score which gives you an idea of how satisfied your customers are with your products or services. It also enables you to measure how many customers who received feedback invites actually responded. By understanding how effective your campaign is, you can revise your questions accordingly to elicit more responses.
Through Podium’s webchat widget, you can turn random website visitors into customers.
Unlike live chat where transactions begin and end in the same chatbox, the webchat follows your visitors even after leaving your website. All the visitor has to do is enter his name, mobile number, and message to the webchat and the conversation will be transferred to his phone. By giving you access to the SMS inbox where people are the most engaged, you can answer queries and nurture leads without being glued to your computer screen.
The only downside is not everyone will agree to volunteer their contact details, especially those who are only making casual inquiries. But for those who agree to invite you to their personal inbox, the possibility is endless.
To ensure the webchat can capture leads every single time, you can also set up autoresponders. This guarantees your visitors can get an automated reply even when no one from your team is available, usually during holidays or after business hours.
Through Google Analytics integration, Podium webchat can give you insights on how your visitors interact with your website, and which web pages perform the best. There’s also an option to receive daily digest emails so you can keep track of every inbound lead.
Finally, a leaderboard allows you to compare each employee’s response times and other metrics. It ensures nobody in your team is slacking off when it comes to capturing valuable leads.
Podium Pricing and Package Options
Every business is unique so Podium offers custom pricing tailored to your needs. To get a personalized quote, go to Podium’s pricing page, fill out the form with your contact information, and submit it. A Podium representative will then contact you to get a better picture of your business, its industry, and its locations.
A customized plan that includes only the features that will best optimize your business will be recommended. Price varies depending on how many features you need and the number of your business locations. A single-location business, for instance, can cost anywhere between $350 and $450. It may be too expensive for businesses that only need Podium’s review feature but remember that Podium is much more than a simple text messaging solution.
What most users may find off-putting is the 12-month contract that they have to commit to initially. Payments can be made upfront (annually) or in monthly installments.
For those who can’t afford to get into a 12-month contract yet, Podium also has the free Starter plan. Users from the US and Canada can sign up to take advantage of a free textable number and up to 30 communications per month.
The free starter plan also includes a webchat widget, a centralized inbox where you can manage all customer communications, and the ability to send a limited number of automated review invites via SMS.
Podium has been known as a reputation management tool so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that most users rave about its review feature. In fact, it’s the leading reason why most users gravitate toward Podium. By letting them send review invites via text not only after purchase but at every possible customer touchpoint, Podium can help businesses triple the number of online reviews they get.
The clean user interface makes it easier to navigate the dashboard and find what they’re looking for at a glance. Podium’s capability to consolidate all messaging apps in one place is also worth highlighting. By eliminating the need to move from one platform to another, Podium effectively streamlines how businesses communicate with their customers.
On the flipside, Podium may turn off businesses that value transparency. Pricing plans are not available publicly so any business interested to get a personalized quote must contact Podium directly. According to those who have already used Podium’s service, the steep cost of the customized plan may pose a problem to businesses that only need basic features.
The platform has also grown cumbersome for small businesses that only signed up to beef up the number of their customer reviews. The problem is you can’t purchase a plan with only one feature. So even if your team only needs the review feature, they still have to contend with other moving parts they rarely use but make navigating the user interface a tad complicated.
Podium stands head and shoulders above the competition for helping businesses use every possible customer touchpoint as an opportunity to get reviews. And because online reviews are now the word of mouth of the digital world, multiplying the reviews you get tenfold can drive great returns for your business in the long run.
However, Podium comes at a steep price, not to mention you have to commit to a 12-month contract before you can get your team on board. If your company has multiple locations and deals with a steady stream of inbound leads, it most likely has the revenue to justify the cost of using Podium’s services.
On the other hand, small businesses that don’t have the means to enter into a long-term commitment with Podium can use its free starter plan instead. Alternatively, you can use Textedly and other similar services that let you message your customers via text but come with a more flexible monthly payment schedule.