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Podium Review

By
Chad Brooks
,
business.com writer
|
Dec 03, 2018
Home
> Marketing
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Podium is our choice as the best online reputation management service for online review management because of its ability to help you acquire and manage customer reviews from one robust platform. Businesses in need of a review management service are looking for a platform that allows you to manage all of the reviews you receive, regardless of the platform it is on, from one location. Instead of having to log in to each review site, such as Google or Facebook, the Podium platform gives you quick access to each. 

Podium

Podium

The Best Online Reputation Management Providers of 2019

The Verdict

Podium provides all the tools needed to acquire and manage your reviews across all of the sites where reviews of your business are posted. It is our choice as the best online reputation management service for online review management.

View all our recommendations for online reputation management companies on our best picks page. 

In addition, the Podium dashboard lets you see all of the new reviews that are coming into each site. You can see which of the review sites is getting the most reviews and you can quickly identify negative reviews that need immediate attention. 

The other important factor when searching for review management software is to find an option that makes it easy to acquire new reviews. An increasingly important way to boost your online reputation is to add as many positive reviews of your service or product as you can. 

Podium gives you a quick and simple way to reach out to your customers to request reviews of your business. The company focuses solely on text messaging. It allows you to send text messages to your customers requesting a review of the job you have done. It also gives them a choice of which site they would like the review posted to. This makes the process easy for both them and you. 

Podium Pricing 

Podium doesn't have any set service plans or packages. Instead, the company offers customized pricing for each business. To determine the pricing, a Podium representative works with you to see which of the company's features you are interested in and make the most sense for your specific needs. Pricing also varies based on how many locations your business has. 

Representatives told us that the average cost tends to range between $350 and $450 per month, per location. Since Podium does offer customized pricing, we encourage you to contact the company directly to get a formal price quote based on your specific needs and situation. Podium builds a final quote after speaking with you and showing you a quick demo of how the system works and all it has to offer. 

When it comes to contracts, Podium requires an initial 12-month commitment. Once the year is up, the contract moves to a month-to-month agreement. This gives you the opportunity to use the service for a year and then decide if it is helping you achieve your online review goals. Once that year is up, you can continue with the service without any real commitment and walk away without penalty. 

Podium Review Management Services 

Unlike some online reputation management services that provide a wide range of services, Podium focuses the majority of its efforts on review acquisition and management. Podium is a cloud-hosted service designed to help you increase the number of online reviews you receive, which in turn boosts your online image. 

There are several different components to the Podium platform: 

  • Reviews: Through the platform you can set up the system to send text messages to your customers asking them to leave you a review. Podium gives you the option of creating your own unique message or choosing from several available templates. The customer then has the choice of where they want to post the review. However, they can only choose from the sites, such as Google, Facebook or Yelp, that you select. This ensures reviews are being left only on the sites you want. You receive instant notifications when reviews have been posted so you can quickly respond. 
  • Messaging: The Podium platform gives you one central location from which you can communicate with your customers, regardless of the online outlet they are reaching out from. The platform allows you to manage all of your text messages, Facebook Messenger messages and Google Click-to-Chat messages from one spot. This saves you time from having to constantly monitor each location to see when messages come in, as well as an easy and quick way to make sure messages are replied to in a timely manner. The message tool also allows you to send automated messages to customers who reach out after your business is closed for the day and assign messages to the employees who should be replying to each of them. 
  • Webchat: Podium allows you to add a widget to your website that encourages people to leave their name and mobile phone number in order to get questions answered via text message. This gives your customers, who prefer to communicate via text message, an easy way to chat with you. You can manage all of the messages that come in from the platform, quickly see which messages haven't been read or responded to and assign messages to specific employees. 

The Podium platform is also mobile friendly, with a mobile app available on iOS and Android devices. From the app you can text review invitations to your customers, manage and respond to messages, assign conversations to other employees and monitor all of your reviews to ensure you have a firm grasp on how your customers feel about the job you are doing. 

Pros and Cons 

There is a lot to like about Podium. The biggest positive is that you are able to manage all of your reviews from one central location. With Podium, you never need to switch back and forth between Facebook and Google or Yelp and Yahoo. You can quickly see which reviews are being left where, and which ones are positive or negative. Being able to quickly respond to any negative review is critical, and Podium gives you that chance by making sure you only have to look in one spot for them. 

Another major positive to Podium are the analytics it provides. The dashboard provides you with a wealth of data that in the end can help improve your service. Available data includes the ability to spot positive and negative keywords customers are leaving in their reviews. Being able to look out for trends can help your business keep up the good work in the areas customers are happy about and improve the situations that left them disappointed.    

Other available data allows you to see whether your review scores are improving, which employees on your team are sending out the most review requests and which workers are having the most success at actually getting customers to leave reviews. You can also check out review stats from your competitors. 

One downside to Podium is the lengthy contract you are required to sign. Having to commit to the software for an initial 12 months could be a turn off for some businesses. Based on the averages the company quoted us, you are likely committing at least $4,000 for the software. Some businesses might not feel comfortable making that kind of initial investment without knowing how well the software will work for them. However, we do find it appealing that after a year, the terms move to a month-to-month contract. 

Another potential negative is that the software only allows you to request reviews from customers via text message. Some businesses may feel that limits their options on the number of avenues they can take to try and increase their reviews. Some of the other review management services we examined also allowed you to request reviews via email, forms on your website and social networks. Podium representatives told us they focus strictly on text messaging because those types of messages are the ones most likely to be read. They say that text messages have open rates that are five times higher than emails.

 Another minor negative is that Podium is not an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau. Despite that however, the company does have an A+ rating and there have not been any complaints filed against it in the past three years.  

Account Structure 

Even though this is a cloud-hosted service that you are in total control of, Podium still provides you with any help you need along the way. Each business is assigned a dedicated customer success manager. Their job is to work directly with you to ensure you are getting the most out of the software. 

It is nice to know that you always have someone to turn to who knows the specifics of what you are trying to accomplish. You don't often get this level of personal attention when you need support from cloud-hosted software. 

Overall, we were very impressed with the level of support we received from Podium. We contacted the company by phone and email posing as a business representative interested in review management software. 

Each time we interacted with company representatives they could not have been more helpful. During our phone call, the representative was extremely friendly and spent time answering our questions. We talked about how the software worked and how it could benefit our business. At no time did the representative put a hard sell on us. He just answered our questions and encouraged us to reach back out should we want a demo of the system.

We also contacted the company by email and were just as pleased with the responses we got. Our emails were quickly answered with detailed responses to all of our questions. 

There was nothing during our interactions with Podium to indicate that we would have problems working with them. 

Editor's note: Looking for an online reputation management service? Click the Compare Quotes button below to have our vendor partners reach out to you with information.

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Podium

Podium

The Best Online Reputation Management Providers of 2019

The Verdict

Podium provides all the tools needed to acquire and manage your reviews across all of the sites where reviews of your business are posted. It is our choice as the best online reputation management service for online review management.

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer with more than 20 years of media experience. A graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff as a senior writer. Currently, Chad covers a wide range of B2B products and services, including business phone systems, time and attendance systems, payroll services, and conference call services. Before joining Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. Chad's first book, "How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business," was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.