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Podium Review: Local Businesses, Connecting to Your Customers Has Never Been Easier

Ever worry that your online reputation doesn’t reflect the true sentiment of your customers?

Do you struggle to keep up with the many conversations you have with customers on Facebook, Google or via text?

These issues have faced many local businesses, especially in recent years when the world of online reviews are easily skewed, and more people are interested in texting than calling.

So, what’s the solution?

Podium, a customer interaction platform built specifically for local businesses, claims not only to understand these common local business issues but boasts an easy-to-use solution.

In this Podium review, we’ll discuss what exactly this local business tool can do and whether or not it’s worth the price.

Who’s Behind Podium?

Back in 2014, co-founders Eric and Dennis saw a problem.

Local businesses, like those run by their families, were getting smeared online by a handful of angry reviews. These reviews did not represent the majority of their happy customers, but they were the only reviews online.

That’s when Eric and Dennis built a platform to help local businesses build an accurate online reputation with reviews.

Now, just four years later, Podium has over 130,000 users.

With a little bit of what they call “crazy ambition,” Podium continues to improve itself and what it offers to local businesses.

So, what does it offer?

Features That Make Podium Stand Out

All Messages Across All Platforms in One Inbox

If you have messages arrive via text message, Google Click-to-Chat and Facebook Messenger, you know how difficult it is to keep track of all those conversations.

Instead of making you wander between different platforms, Podium enables you to see all of your messages right in the same inbox, no matter where they’re coming from.

podium review

With the “Needs Response” tab, you easily see which messages are pending and which have been answered.

Here, you’ll also be able to see messages coming in from Podium’s Webchat feature (which we’ll discuss below).

One handy feature of the inbox is the “Assign” box. With this feature, you can assign a conversation to a specific team member, ensuring each message gets a prompt and consistent response.

Another great function of Podium? It allows you to create templates to automate your messaging process, which saves your team valuable time.

Generate and Manage Reviews

Podium makes the review process easier than ever, both for your team and for your customers.

To draw in new reviews, send out review invitations to happy customers. Podium allows you to do this within seconds using a template message. Then, you’ll be able to see when people open the invitation and leave a review for your business.

podium review

Later, Podium also gives you insightful analytics into your reviews.

podium review

Within the “Analytics” tab, you’ll be able to see:

  • Total ranking on different review sites
  • Keywords mentioned within customer reviews
  • Charts of your review progress over time
  • Competition benchmark to compare total number of reviews on Google, as well as Google rating

podium review

How does all of this help your local business succeed?

Well, according to Podium, the average user of this platform will see an increase in revenue of 6% from reviews.

Capture Leads with Podium’s Webchat

Getting good reviews in Google helps people find your business. In many cases, this will take people from Google directly to your business website.

So, how can you capture leads from there?

Welcome to Podium’s Webchat.

podium review

The Webchat feature allows people to quickly send any questions they have, and receive a prompt response by text from your team.

Why is this Webchat feature so useful for users and for you?

By submitting their mobile phone number into the Webchat service, users won’t need to sit and wait by the computer for a response. This feature is fully optimized for the world of mobile usage, which allows users to be on-the-go while also reaching out to your business.

For your team, Podium makes the Webchat service response just as easy as all other points of contact. It simply places these messages right into the inbox.

This feature also allows your business to capture new leads and easily start conversations with potential customers who come to your website.

Get Feedback from Customers

This feature is still in beta, but promises to be a very useful part of the Podium platform.

Want to get a quick response to see what customers really think of you? Podium will soon implement the “Feedback” feature, allowing you to send out surveys and get opinions from your customers in a matter of seconds.

These feedback surveys are short and sweet, allowing customers to give you a response without taking too much of their time (or yours).

In addition, this feature will allow local businesses to quickly evaluate customer satisfaction, as well as points where they can improve their services.

The Pros and Cons of Podium

Pros:

  • Built-in account manager. Whenever you’re stuck, your account manager will be there to help.
  • Many businesses have seen incredible results and increases in positive reviews. It’s no surprise that Podium itself has a 4.9 rating on Google, and has been recommended by TIME, Entrepreneur and others.
  • Create incentive for employees to reach out to customers for reviews with competitions and a leaderboard. See how many review invites your employees are sending out as well as how many responses they receive. It creates friendly competition that ultimately leads to more reviews for your business.
  • Includes mobile app. You and your team can keep in contact with customers on the go!

Cons:

  • Cannot reply to Facebook reviews from within the platform. A slight inconvenience for businesses who are active on Facebook.
  • Does not integrate with Yelp. Again, a slight inconvenience.
  • No access control for different users. All users have the same permissions within the platform, which may bother some business owners.

Podium Pricing

Unfortunately, there’s no specific pricing listed on Podium’s website.

You’ll need to get in contact with Podium to get a quote specific to tour local businesses needs.

However, users seem to agree the platform is rather costly.

So, does this mean the Podium isn’t right for you?

Is Podium the Right Platform for Your Local Business?

Streamlined conversations, a growth in new and more accurate reviews, and easy lead generation from your website while on the go: Yes, Podium can do it all.

But the question you wonder is this: Is Podium really worth the price for my business?

Ultimately, only you can decide whether this platform will work for you.

For a moment, though, consider some of the results other local businesses have had while using Podium:

Remember: Your online reputation is more important to your business now than ever before. Make sure that reputation is accurate while you also cultivate better customer relationships. It can truly make or break your local business.

If you seek tons of new, higher-star reviews, a better way to connect with customers, and a more efficient way to cultivate new leads—Podium is certainly worth its price tag.

Check out Podium and see the power this platform can have for your local business.

 

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