Podium Review: Giving Consumers a Platform of Communication

Podium Review: Giving Consumers a Platform of Communication
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Podium Review: In-Depth

This is a software to put customers first. As the name suggests, it works as a podium for businesses so they can get clearer client opinions. Some of the primary functions of this are to identify essential touchpoints, streamline interactions, and improve satisfaction rates among buyers.

Key Features

This software is like a virtual assistant who helps with performance reviews from all angles. The platform is powered by the input of local clients, making it an extremely innovative technology.

  • Assigned messages
  • Automation
  • Client interactions
  • Customized surveys
  • Employee ratings
  • Mobile app
  • Multiple channels
  • Omnichannel results and requests
  • Operation and review management
  • Rankings and trends

Podium Review: Background Information

History

The company is still relatively young and was founded in 2014 by Eric Rea and Dennis Steele. As of 2020, it’s a private software technology business based in Lehi, Utah, and has gone on to collaborate with various partners.

The brand’s initial funding reached $500,000 in 2015 and resulted in a name change from RepDrive to Podium. Two years later, they received $32 million from Accel, GV, and Summit Partners and increased their APR by 600%. In 2018, they were granted $60 million in investments from IVP and Y Combinator.

Rea and Steele formed this business after realizing that many local companies were struggling with online reviews that didn’t match their positive verbal feedback. Building a reputation on the Internet is a lot harder than it sounds, and some enterprises don’t have the time or employees to make it happen. That’s where Podium comes in.

Interesting Stats & Facts

Interesting-Stats-Facts

This client communication platform has seen massive grown since its inception five years ago. By making it easier for businesses to talk to consumers at a local level, they’re changing the game of customer service.

  • Currently in Series B funding and early-stage venture
  • More than 130,000 people use the service
  • Over 500 employees work there
  • Received $92.6 million in total funding
  • Well-known clients include La-Z-Boy, Merry Maids, and Vivint

Features & Technical Details

This software is dedicated to helping businesses get in touch with clients across different sites, surveys, and more. This includes Google reviews, social media, and more. Support is widely available on the company’s site, and although they don’t have a free version, the plan prices are customizable.

Live Chat Features

Live-Chat-Features

The Webchat tool helps companies find and convert leads mostly through texting. A large majority of Podium clients get over a quarter of their current customers through this chat function. It doesn’t require sitting behind a computer all day either. Using automation and pop-up forms, it’s easy to stay in touch.

  • Auto replies
  • Live chat
  • Offline forms

Customer Experience Features

The team wants its clients to get more repeat customers, and they help by providing tools that set them apart. This includes things like using Facebook Messenger to speak directly to a consumer, or assigning specific conversations to knowledgeable associates for the best customer experience possible.

  • Analytics
  • Gauge customer attitudes and texts
  • Manage responses
  • Monitor trends
  • Multiple communication channels
  • Organize surveys
  • User dashboard

Customer Satisfaction Features

A mixture of automation and real human interaction helps clients make the most of their time without wasting that of their customers. Within the business, team members can collaborate through the platform and collect hundreds of response forms and questionnaires. Following up is also important, and the dashboard allows users to keep in touch with buyers, so they come back again next time.

  • Organize and distribute surveys
  • Statistics
  • Thorough feedback
  • Track and monitor complaints

Reputation Management Features

Reputation-Management

This program makes it almost effortless to follow-up with buyers and ensures that every customer is well taken care of. The interaction between buyer and seller should be seamless, and with these tools, they can be. Clients can see exactly what their shoppers love about the company and what needs some more work. This helps them see gaping holes in their service that they may otherwise miss.

  • Generate reviews
  • Manage auto-responses
  • Monitor survey answers

Review Management Features

Trying to get a handle on all of the customer feedback out there can be tough. There are many different channels that people use to post their thoughts and opinions. Simply checking something like Yelp every month isn’t enough. The user interface on Podium is set up to assist brands in spotting survey responses as they come in.

  • Address negative opinions
  • Automatic replies
  • Manage campaigns
  • Notifications for new responses
  • Process requests and analytics
  • Share on social media channels
  • User hub

Key Features

Below is a closer look at what makes this software shine. It’s a combination of communication management and automation that allows users to get the most out of it.

One Dashboard: A Single Platform For Multiple Channels

Since the service lets teams access so many different social and online channels, one might think that the interface gets very messy. It’s quite the opposite, though, thanks to a single hub that houses all the messaging links. This makes it easy for employees to respond to Facebook replies, Web Chat messages, texts, and more.

Google Local Listings: See Real-Time Reviews

Through this channel, just about any business can improve its reputation. By collecting more customer feedback, any enterprise can climb the ranks and earn more traffic and leads. Custom templates streamline the process more, prompting shoppers to leave a quick reply.

Leads: More Talking Equals More Buying

The service wants clients to win more leads and drive more traffic to their business sites, and they do that by opening more doors of communication. Below are some ways that they make this happen.

Reviews: Ask the Right Questions

The more feedback that a brand gets online, the more likely they are to get new buyers. It’s as simple as that. However, sometimes customers don’t want to leave an opinion about their experience. Podium helps by providing custom templates and survey forms that clients can use to nudge their buyers into giving a response. That way, the business gets honest insights, and they reap the benefits of more visibility on the Internet.

Webchat: Meet Clients Where They’re At

Webchat-Meet-Clients

It’s no secret that people today want to correspond with brands online. Podium’s Web Chat feature is exactly what businesses need. It takes just seconds to initiate a conversation and get honest opinions and tips for improvement from real buyers.

Customers: Transparency is Key

When dealing with consumers, it’s all about being transparent, communicative, and open. The features below provide just the right combination of those elements to boost company reputations and successes.

Feedback: Funnel All Responses Into a Single Source

The software makes it effortless to gather replies across multiple channels. This provides a more accurate representation of what consumers think and what could be improved. When entrepreneurs and businesses have a clearer idea of how they’re perceived, they can work on making things better.

Reviews

The software rounds up current feedback and survey responses so that companies can show off what others are saying about their products and services. Being proactive like this can bring in more traffic and encourage others to leave their thoughts online, too. It all eventually trickles down to more leads and profits.

Teamchat: Keep Everyone on the Same Page

They say that teamwork makes the dream work, and they’re not wrong. Consumers can just tell when a company doesn’t have positive relationships between its associates. The Teamchat feature allows for easier and smoother collaboration, both online and in-person. Everyone can share their ideas, strategies, and experiences on the same platform. A single internal inbox means that no messages get lost in the shuffle. Plus, employees can chime in from anywhere, even if they’re not currently in the office.

Manage Your Online Reputation

This software puts businesses back in charge of how the public views their services and products. Now they can see their average ratings, what people are saying, and recommendations on how to get better. Through Webchat and other communication management tools, companies can spark interactions with buyers to start things on the right foot.

  • Climb the Google Local results
  • Find up-to-date data on customer attitudes and opinions
  • Initiate conversations with buyers via text
  • Never miss or lose a message again
  • Receive suggestions for improvement

Review Monitoring & Response

Review-Monitoring-Response

Customers will get access to over 20 sites specializing in client feedback, giving them a full picture of their online reputation. They’ll also receive notifications so they can reply promptly, further improving their influence.

Integrations

Integration

  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Quickbooks
  • Salesforce
  • Square

Podium Plans & Pricing

Podium offers quote-based plans, and clients can pick and choose the solutions they want in an a la carte style.

Messaging Platform

This is the tool for contacting consumers at every touchpoint imaginable. It doesn’t matter if it’s across social media, via text message, or on one of the many review sites out there.

Messaging-Platform
Features Included: Multiple channels, inbox management, mobile access, group engagement, attachments, templates, auto-reply, permissions, conversation assignments

# of Locations: 1-4, 5+

Price: $300 – $375 per location (brick-and-mortar or online stores)

PROS:

  • Fully integrated platform
  • Includes physical stores and e-commerce
  • More than one location permitted
  • Respond over multiple channels
  • Team collaboration
CONS:

  • Doesn’t include insights
  • Price


Reviews & Feedback

This tool is awesome for getting greater insights into what consumers are thinking and how the business can provide better service and attention to loyal customers.

Features Included: Collect insights, contextual feedback, notifications, scheduling, auto-reply, analytics, Net Promoter Score (NPS), switchboard, templates, gauge audience sentiments, mobile app, benchmarks.

Price: $40 (up to 20 users), $100 (21-50 users)

PROS:

  • Automation
  • Get context for every survey response
  • Interactive dashboard
  • NPS
  • Statistics
CONS:

  • Pricing
  • Technical glitches


Webchat

This chatting service lets Podium clients meet their audience where they’re at: on their phones. Through text messaging, employees can get a better idea of what users are thinking and how their experience could be improved next time.

Webchat
Features Included: Unlimited chatting, customizable widget, lead management, analytics, referral URLs, auto-reply, multi-location transfers, daily reports, response time leaderboards

# of Locations: 1-4, 5+ (brick-and-mortar or online stores)

Price: $100 – $110 per location

PROS:

  • Convert leads
  • Daily reports
  • Encourage employee performance
  • Referral URLs
  • Unlimited chatting
CONS:

  • Accuracy
  • Pricing


Pricing Comparison Table for Podium Products

Below is a chart outlining some basic details for each of the product solutions offered on the platform.

MessagingReviews/FeedbackWebchat
Price$300 – $375$40 – $100$100 – $110
# of Users5+5+5+
Auto-ReplyYesYesYes
AnalyticsYesYesYes
Daily InsightsYesYesYes
Group EngagementYesYesYes
Assign ConversationsYesNoNo
Mobile AppYesYesYes
TemplatesYesYesYes
AutomationYesYesYes

Terms & Condition

The website collects aggregate data and general information to use for advertising purposes and to develop the overall experience on the site. Third-parties may access the solution for similar objectives. The software does not store client details. Additional customer support is available for an added fee. Subscriptions automatically renew unless the team is notified otherwise. Individuals and groups must stop using the program immediately once they terminate their account.

Privacy Policy

The website collects certain personal details such as first and last name, contact info, email, physical address, login credentials, billing details, credit card number, mobile device type, as well as browsing history and ads that are clicked on. Other things like date and time of visits and IP address are gathered through the use of cookies. The corporation does not sell, rent, or lease any of these personal details. Requests to terminate an account can go to [email protected]

Refund Policy

The initial set-up fee is non-refundable. Also, all other payments are not eligible for refunds, nor are they credible unless otherwise noted. Any obligated fees are non-cancellable. Any late payments grant the company permission to terminate an account.

Podium Customer Support

Customer-Support

There are several avenues of support that are available to clients. Below is a closer look at each of them.

Telephone

Individuals are invited to text or call 1-833-276-3486 with any concerns or questions. Be aware that the headquarters is in Utah, USA, so they are working on Pacific Standard Time (PST).

Email

The software team is also available via email at [email protected] for any questions related to payment, billing, or general inquiries. People can also contact [email protected] for concerns about their subscriptions.

Online Chat

A convenient live chat feature is available in the lower right-hand corner of the web page. Individuals can leave a name, phone number, and a brief description of what the call is about. An agent will text or call within a few minutes.

Support Center

A resource page is available on the site and includes some free educational bonuses such as ebooks and advice. This is also the place to see real customer stories and to watch a demo of the software in action. A blog is also on the website and has tips on corporate teamwork, customizing message templates, boosting employee engagement, and much more. Free ebooks address things like how to run a local business, navigating Google Reviews, and how Facebook can contribute to company growth.

Quality of Service

This program software has over 130,000 clients and has worked with several brands that are known around the world, such as Toyota. They have also been recognized by Forbes in The Cloud 100 list. The webpages are clear and regularly updated, and it seems that the agents are responsive and focused on customer satisfaction. Most of the reviewers who wrote about Podium had wonderful things to say about it.

Customer Types

There is the potential for a wide clientele on this platform. Here are some examples of who would be most likely to check out these solutions.

Small Businesses

The word “small” is relative, but in this case, it refers to companies that have 50 employees or less. Therefore, these low-key brands would be a good match for Podium. The odds are that they work more on a local level, so that’s an added plus.

Mid-Size Companies

A medium-sized business would probably have between 100 and 500 employees. In that case, they could take advantage of what the software has to offer. There are some excellent solutions for gathering consumer insights and reaching out to a more local clientele.

Large Enterprises

Corporations that have 500 associates or more can still make use of this software, but it would probably be on a more case-by-case basis. In other words, individual franchises or branches would have their software accounts and work within their specific locality.

Freelancers

There is no reason why a solo entrepreneur couldn’t utilize these Web and cloud-based solutions. The only thing that might deter someone is the price. Fortunately, they can purchase different products a la carte.

Podium`s Pros & Cons

Being able to spot survey answers and replies as soon as they come in is such a great advantage. It allows more local brands to engage more with their audience and develop closer bonds. Not only does this improve their overall reputation, but it makes them a go-to resource within their community. Plus, the ensuing sales leads and profits are massive.

Another benefit is that the analytics come in swiftly and accurately represent what people are saying. The software reaches across several different channels so that entrepreneurs get a clear view of audience sentiments. The dashboard is another huge plus. Being able to access all the information at a glance is priceless.

On the downside, the contract subscriptions are quite lengthy, and the pricing is enough to turn some people off altogether.

  • Ability to quickly respond to feedback
  • In-depth analytics
  • Multi-channel awareness
  • One central dashboard
  • Set benchmarks
  • Long contracts
  • Pricey

Podium Alternatives

This isn’t the only customer-relations management program out there. Below are some Podium rivals, as well as how they differ and are similar to each other.

BirdEye

BirdEye

Another SaaS product, BirdEye, connects buyers and sellers to help build lasting relationships and partnerships. It has over 50,000 clients and works with businesses of all sizes and industries. Like Podium, pricing is on a quote-by-quote basis.

Trustpilot

Trustpilo

With Trustpilot, brands can automatically gather reviews and insights from their clientele. The site works with paid searches on Google Seller Ratings, too. Plus, this is a familiar name that over 270,000 businesses and even more consumers are using.

Yotpo

Yotpo

This service is tailored to e-commerce brands and collects data such as customer photos, survey responses, and Q&A forum interactions. Yotpo is also partnered with Facebook, Google, and Shopify Plus. They’re far from low-key and have over $100 million in funding.

OutboundEngine

OutboundEngine

This program is all about automating marketing campaigns for corporations. It is designed with smaller entrepreneurs in mind and distributes content and insights from various channels into one dashboard. They’re up-to-date with a mobile app and a responsive support team.

Vendasta

Vendasta

This is a white-label portal specializing in marketing solutions. They offer outsourcing services and industry-specific solutions. Some of the highlights are automated customer acquisition and sales intelligence.

Synup

Synup

Like its competitor, Synup utilizes a single user interface to streamline all content and solutions. It offers a free scan as well as local marketing tools. Widgets and integrations make it simple to reply to consumers and keep ahead of trends.

Pricing and Features Comparison for Podium Alternatives

Below is a side-by-side look at the subscription packages available on each program. The pricing varies quite a bit, and certain platforms have more specific focus than others.

PodiumBirdEyeTrustpilotYotpoOutbound EngineVendastaSynup
PriceBy quoteBy quote$0-$599+$0-$99+$199-$499$0-$999$0-$99+
# of Users5+10+1+1-10+1-10+1+1+
AutomationYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
AnalyticsYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Daily InsightsYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Group ChatsYesYesNoYesYesNoNo
Mobile AppYesYesYesYesYesNoNo
PersonalizationYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
AnalyticsYesNoYesYesYesYesYes

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Podium?

This is a software program that integrates with dozens of review sites as well as sales and marketing apps. The primary goal is to build better relationships between businesses and their clientele. The service works through deep insights, market trends, competitive benchmarks, and omnichannel communication. Whereas corporations used to have to depend on unreliable online surveys, now they can take charge and improve their reputation on and off the Internet.

Is Podium Owned by Google

No, the two corporations are separate, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t interact with each other. As most people know, Google has various integrations, such as Maps, Reviews, and more. Podium makes use of these applications to bring their business clientele deeper insights and better customer service recommendations. Since Google has such a wide reach, it can provide lots of suggestions and greater visibility on where enterprises are lacking in terms of support and assistance.

Does Podium Offer a Demo?

Yes. If individuals go to the website, they can watch a demonstration of the interface in action. They will be able to see how consumers find their business and how the company ranks next to others in the area. It’s a wonderful way to get a closer look at the local enterprises that are competing for similar audiences. The website also invites potential clients to ask about pricing and which packages would suit them best.

Wrapping Up: Who Should Step Up to Podium?

Impressive products like Teamchat and Web Chat, as well as deep insights into feedback surveys, makes this program one of the best choices for businesses in all kinds of industries. Everyone is looking to bring in more paying customers and improve their standing with the ones they already have. This one allows for a way to do that while increasing employee morale and engagement.

Published: January 30, 2020 | Updated: January 23, 2020
Megan Green

Megan Green

Megan is a writer who works at the junctures of science and stories. Previously, she has been the editor of a fashion magazine, an educator, mom, and a baker. She is keen on working with brands and lifestyle products, and outdoor tasks. Megan is outgoing, optimistic and has a great personality. She delivers top-notch content with a unique view on usual things.

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