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Podium Review

Rachelle Gordon
Rachelle Gordon

Podium a comprehensive and powerful text message marketing service that offers an array of centralized, useful features. With tools such as video chat, desktop and mobile apps, link-free text surveys, text-to-pay and a switchboard for customer reviews, Podium stands out as a leader among its competitors. Additionally, internal communications are seamless, enabling businesses to send group messages, images and links, as well as collaborate on leads. Feedback, results, progress and engagement are automatically integrated into each organization's communications efforts on Podium. For all of this and more, Podium is our choice for the best text messaging service for ease of use.

Podium

Podium

The Verdict

Podium's intuitive, user-friendly navigation – designed to optimize engagement, sales and organizational potential – makes it our pick for the best text message marketing service for ease of use.

Read all of our reviews of the best SMS marketing services to find a company that meets your needs.

Pricing

Each Podium client has a customized plan and price of service. Requesting a personalized quote takes only a moment. When you click the Pricing tab at the top of the Podium website, you are directed to a page where you can request a quote simply by providing your contact information. A Podium team member will reach out to you promptly to identify the tools that fit your needs and build a tailored package to help your organization optimize its potential.

Representatives told us that for a business with a single location, services average between $350 and $450 per month. It is important to note, however, that while this may be more expensive than other text message marketing services, such as SimpleTexting, Podium isn't a traditional SMS marketing service; it offers much more in terms of reputation management.

Free trials featuring 30 messages are available.

Ease of Use

What makes Podium stand out from competitors is how simple it is to use. Whether you are on your desktop or smartphone, the platform sports a clean user interface and an easily navigable dashboard. The consolidation of customer interactions and online reviews into a single dashboard greatly increases the power and efficiency of organizational operations.

Podium's dashboard makes it easy to see all of your messages and reviews.

Via the desktop or mobile app, users can access the Podium dashboard and send review invitations, respond to online reviews in real time, and send and receive text messages with both existing and potential customers.

Podium goes beyond traditional text message marketing in that it allows you to manage all of your customer interactions, including social media messages and reviews. This type of service can be key in promoting a positive image of your business across the internet.

This service is also easy to set up. Each new client is guided by a Podium team member and gets a customized plan designed to optimize their potential. Additionally, whether you are a potential or existing client, a live-chat box is always available in the lower-right-hand corner of the Podium website for on-demand help.

Bottom LineBottom Line: The customization abilities of Podium's powerful platform make this service an appealing option for businesses that prioritize customer engagement.

Features

Podium's comprehensive platform offers a wide selection of valuable features and tools.

Campaigns

Podium's SMS marketing campaigns make it easy to send messages with a conversational tone, thereby helping you build relationships with customers. Personalized content and the ability to send messages to specific groups help your business remain relevant to diverse customer bases. Opt-in opportunities are built into Podium interactions so your database will grow naturally while you go about business. Podium also generates immediate insights for its clients, with easy-to-view performance metrics shown right on the dashboard.

Podium makes it easy to connect with customers and ask them for a review of your business.

Inbox

Podium's inbox centralizes your organization's interactions with customers, thus helping you optimize your potential. You can conveniently manage and respond to every message across multiple channels, all from one platform. Podium's inbox feature allows you to connect directly with your customers on your preferred channel, whether via text, Facebook, Instagram, Google or even the company website. The inbox feature enables businesses to assign conversations to different employees or business locations, filter by conversation type and define permissions. This feature also intelligently groups incoming messages so you can see which messages need immediate attention and respond efficiently.

Feedback

Podium's feedback feature lets you create customer surveys to gain actionable insight. To do so, you just send a text with a question, and Podium takes it from there. Organizations can gather feedback through two quick automated messages, without the hassle of links or lengthy surveys, to understand what is working and what needs to be fixed.

Reviews

Businesses can manage their online reputations, build up their positive reviews on important sites and send review requests via text to recent customers, all from a single inbox on the Podium dashboard. Using Podium's switchboard feature, businesses can define the number of customers sent to each review site. Podium's benchmarks tool compares star rating, reviews count and recency, and provides easy-to-understand reporting so you can see how your organization stacks up against its competitors.

TipTip: Take advantage of Podium's templates to start drafting messages to your customers.

Teamchat

Podium's Teamchat feature makes collaboration easy and helps establish context for every customer conversation. Businesses can share and collaborate on leads so everyone is on the same page. All internal communications can be managed through a Podium inbox, so there are no unopened emails and phone transfers. Group messaging keeps all team members up to date, and you can adjust notification preferences to help team members organize and prioritize. Plus, you can send pictures, videos and attachments.

Webchat

Podium's Webchat feature lets you easily capture leads while they are on your website. Customers can go straight from your website into a text conversation, which is the preferred mode of communication for many people. Because Webchat enables the conversation to continue beyond the website, leads stay hot even after they leave your site. Google Analytics integrations enable you to see detailed reports of how your site visitors interact with your pages. Through the Webchat tool, you can easily transfer conversations from one business location to another, track Webchat performance with a daily report of new inbound leads, set up auto-responses to capture leads when no one is available to communicate directly, and compare employees' response times and managed conversations with Podium's Leaderboard.

Videochat

Podium's Videochat feature provides face-to-face contact with secure video so you can answer your customers' questions instantly. This feature shortens sales cycles and helps customers conveniently explain exactly what they are looking for. Podium's Videochat feature is straightforward and intuitive, and it is easy to move from texting to a Videochat. No app download is required, and businesses can share their desktop screens with customers.

Payments

Through the text-to-pay feature, you can send a link to close deals before customers lose interest. The payment tool also provides customizable invoices and specific payments for certain types of customers or purchases.

With Podium, you can send payment text messages

Customer Support

Podium has a solid customer support team and a comprehensive help center with easy-to-find resources. On the website's contact page, there are links to email or text message support from a Podium team member.

Prospective Podium clients can easily request to see a demonstration by filling out the basic contact information at the bottom of the contact page. Customer support agents are friendly, responsive and thorough in their assistance.

Limitations

One limitation is that Podium's unlisted plans and prices make it difficult to gauge whether the platform will be a good fit. Although the company has a comprehensive set of features and its reviews are excellent, you have to dedicate a fair amount of time to working with a team member before you can make an informed decision about the platform's fit for your business.

Podium also requires a 12-month contract, which may deter smaller businesses and startups. If you need more flexibility, consider a pay-as-you-go provider such as Textedly, which offers month-to-month plans.

In addition, Podium is not yet accredited by the Better Business Bureau, which may make some customers hesitant about committing to this service.

Image Credit: Chainarong Prasertthai / Getty Images
Podium

Podium

The Verdict

Podium's intuitive, user-friendly navigation – designed to optimize engagement, sales and organizational potential – makes it our pick for the best text message marketing service for ease of use.

Rachelle Gordon
Rachelle Gordon
business.com Contributing Writer
Rachelle Gordon is a Minneapolis-based content writer who has written extensively on topics such as finance, marketing, cannabis, sustainability and tech. Her work has appeared in Benzinga, SlickDeals, and High Times. Prior to her career in journalism, Rachelle was an educator and has a passion for sharing knowledge. She enjoys helping businesses maximize efficiency while staying true to their core values.