What Is Podium?
Podium is an Interaction Management™ Platform used to generate and manage online reviews, streamline customer interactions through messaging, and monitor customer sentiment. The company has over 45,000 customers in healthcare, home services, retail, auto services, professional services, and hospitality.
Table of Contents
- What Is Podium?
- Full Review
- Podium Pricing & Cost
- Podium Features
- Podium Alternatives & Competitors
- Is Podium right for you?
Full Review: Podium
Podium was founded in 2014 by Dennis Steele and Eric Rea. Today, Podium has over 45,000 customers and is growing rapidly. Podium's top verticals include: healthcare, home services, automotive and retail. The company's team is based in Utah and has grown from 200 to more than 700 employees in the past year.
Podium is used by all types of local businesses to generate & manage online reviews, interact with customers, and learn about customer sentiment. According to the company, the average Podium customer sees a 6% average lift in revenue from the product. This significant increase in sales is primarily the result of improved SEO and improved customer engagement.
Podium competes in the reputation management market with a handful of other software tools. At 45,000 customers, Podium is one of the most popular solutions and an established leader in the space. The solution comes with many advanced features and a dedicated client success manager. As a result, Podium is better for large teams and more expensive than basic alternatives. For those with the budget, we recommend comparing Podium and BirdEye. If you're shopping on a budget, then you should consider more basic tools such as Grade.us or Swell.
Overall, we highly recommend that local businesses explore the adoption of a reputation management solution. Podium is a leader in the space that should be a part of all vendor evaluation processes.
Podium Pricing & Cost
Podium's pricing starts at $399 per month for a single location. Total cost depends on your number of locations and products purchased.
- The Webchat product costs an extra $100 per month
- Podium requires an annual contract for new customers
- Free demo
Below, we'll discuss the key features of Podium, and how they would benefit your business. We'll also share some photos of the actual product to give you a sense of its design and layout.
A primary benefit of Podium is the generation and management of online reviews. This improves your SEO performance and attracts new customers. According to the company, 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, and 57% won't use a business with less than a 4-star rating.
Podium integrates with over 24 review platforms including:
- Google My Business
- Dealer Rater
Podium generates reviews by sending your customers customizable text and email prompts. According to Podium, its average customer experiences a 115% increase in Google review volume after implementing Podium.
Podium has integrations with the leading ERP, POS and CRM systems (full list below). These integrations allow Podium to send automated review invitations after a customer completes their appointment or checks out.
Customers are first prompted to leave a review on Google My Business, the most important platform. Since Podium has an integration with Google's API, this can be done in only two clicks. If a customer does not want to leave a Google review, they are prompted to leave a review on the next best review platform for your business.
Once completed, the review will be posted online for all Internet browsers to see. Here's how Google displays customer reviews:
Podium aggregates reviews from all platforms into it's centralized dashboard. From this dashboard, your team can reply to all reviews in a timely manner. All of your responses will be publicly displayed on Google.
Podium Messaging Inbox
Podium's platform includes a messaging inbox that its customers use to manage 2-way conversations with their leads and customers. These conversations can be initiated through various channels including Facebook, SMS, your website and Zendesk.
Having a single dashboard to manage conversations streamlines the operations of sales, marketing and customer support teams. It also allows customers and employees to communicate in a quick and seamless manner.
While chatting with customers, your team can:
- Answer questions
- Send pictures & videos
- Schedule appointments
- Use templates to quickly respond to common questions
- Mark messages read, unread, and assign them to individuals
- Place conversations into categories such as customer service, billing or general
With Podium, you can automate common customer interactions to improve the consistency of your customer engagement and save your team time. Top uses for this feature include:
- Sending appointment reminders
- Follow-ups on past visits
- Gathering customer feedback
Automated messages can be sent through the following channels:
- SMS text
- Google Click to Message
- Facebook Messenger
- Apple Business Chat
Podium Mobile Application
Podium has developed a valuable, heavily-used mobile application that empowers your team to communicate with your customers on-the-go. The app has over 7,000 ratings and a 4.8/5.0 star average.
For an additional cost, Podium offers a webchat widget that integrates with the platform's inbox. Consumers who visit your website will see a small icon on the screen. They can click, enter their mobile phone number, and initiate a text conversation.
Once this conversation is started, it will appear in Podium's inbox. An advantage of these conversations happening via text message is that your team can continue conversations with leads and customers after they've walked away from their computer.
Podium's customer feedback product helps you monitor how happy your customers are with your business. The tool is built to help you identify how to keep doing what your customers love, and stop doing things that are detrimental to your customer experience.
To capture this information, Podium sends your customers two questions over text message. The survey Podium uses is based upon the popular Net Promoter Score. The questions are:
- On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend us?
- What made you choose your score?
Two advantages of sending the survey through text message are a higher response rate, and no links that your customers have to click through. All responses are pulled into the Podium Feedback dashboard.
From the dashboard, you can quickly identify negative responses and continue the conversation with your customers. This is particularly valuable if the person had a highly negative or positive response.
Podium's Teamchat feature allows your internal team to easily communicate about what's happening in Podium without leaving the application. This means they'll spend less time switching between applications, email, and phone calls. This is a valuable advanced feature not found in most other reputation management solutions.
Teamchat supports both 1:1 messaging and group messaging. Common topics of conversation include:
- Problematic or exciting reviews
- Customer questions
- Closing inbound leads
Podium has a payments tool that allows you to collect payments from customers via text message. You use the Podium application to send customers a text message that includes a link to complete their payment.
Podium payments is faster and more effective than in-person payments or mail invoices. There is no monthly cost for the tool, but you do pay a per-transaction processing fee. Advanced features included in payments are:
- Branded invoices
- Itemized invoices
- Ability to process refunds
- Connect multiple bank accounts
- Accept credit, debit, HSA, Google Pay, Apple Pay and bank transfers
- Fraud protection
Podium's analytics package includes reports about your business and your competitors.
Podium's platform provides insight into how well your business is engaging with leads and customers, and how well you're doing with online reviews.
Some specific metrics available through the system are:
- Number of inbound leads generated
- Median first response time
- Total active conversations
- Average site rating
- Total reviews
In addition, Podium has a sentiment analysis report that detects the most common keywords found in reviews and each customer's sentiment. Using this report, you can identify the most positive and negative elements of your customer experience.
Podium allows you to enter up to five competitors for competitive benchmarking. This report will show you how you're performing relative to your competitors in terms of:
- Number of reviews
- Average rating
- Recent review performance
Podium has built integrations with many of the top ERP, POS, and CRM systems. Here's a breakdown by industry:
- Greenway Health
- Athena Health
- ABC Financial
- Dealer Socket
- ASA TireMaster and ASA Tiremaster Enterprise
- Shop Boss
- The Edge
- Furniture Wizard
- Profit Systems
Podium Alternatives & Competitors
Top Podium alternatives & competitors include:
Is Podium right for you?
Podium is a leading online reputation management solution that helps local businesses grow through increased online reviews and improved customer interaction. According to Podium, their average customer sees an impressive 6% increase in revenue after implementing the solution.
We highly recommend that local businesses explore adopting a reputation management tool. Compared to alternatives, Podium is ideal for larger teams and companies with the budget to afford one of the top solutions in the market.
If you're interested, you can schedule a Podium demo today.