Podium Review: Is It Right for Your Small Business?
This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
Podium is a popular reputation management platform that helps businesses collect customer reviews efficiently. It allows you to generate and manage online feedback to boost your online presence, build a positive brand image, and attract new customers. Based on our Podium review, we recommend it for teams looking for an easy-to-use, no-frills platform for soliciting instant customer feedback.
We rated the provider 3.67 out of 5 based on different criteria: pricing, general and niche features, customer service, ease of use, and expert score. The provider scored high on ease of use and general features, but we gave a lower expert score because of its expensive price point.
Podium Review: At a Glance
What We Like
- Simple, intuitive interface and mobile-friendly platform
- Effective in soliciting Google reviews as review invites are sent via texts
- Allows specific teams and individuals to answer customer questions
- Text-based web chat that automatically collects lead details
- Subscription plans come at a higher cost than other providers
- Lacks sentiment analysis capabilities
- Slow response to customer concerns, according to some users
- When you want to build a robust local reputation: With Podium’s reviews feature, increase visibility for your company when customers search for the best businesses near them.
- Initiate conversations instantly: Capture and engage with leads through the web chat feature.
- Offer omnichannel customer service: See and respond to customer messages from different platforms using Podium’s all-in-one inbox.
- Improve customer relationship management (CRM): Podium’s CRM tool makes it easy for businesses to check customer data and conversation history in one glance.
- When you need a cheaper reputation management solution: Podium, unfortunately, offers expensive subscription plans. A cheaper alternative is NiceJob, which starts at $19 per month.
- You require a solution that manages various business listings: While Podium lets you collect feedback for different review platforms, it lacks tools for business listing management. If this is an essential feature, Birdeye is the better option.
- Your team needs social media monitoring tools: Podium doesn’t have social listening and analysis features, unlike Reputation, which has a robust feature set for monitoring social mentions.
Podium Deciding Factors
Podium is the ideal reputation management solution for small businesses that want to collect customer reviews immediately after a transaction. Its reviews feature allows companies to send review invites via text. With an SMS reminder, customers can quickly leave feedback. As your business builds several positive reviews online, it’s more likely to appear on “near me” search results, gaining visibility to potential customers.
Podium is ideal for mobile teams because it’s available as a free download for iOS and Android. However, to unlock premium features, such as unlimited contacts and team members, you must sign up for its subscription plans.
Small businesses that aim to gather customer reviews right after a transaction
Annual or Volume Discounts Available
Annual billing is available with discounts; pricing starts at $249
While Podium has excellent features for managing business reputations, it has limitations, including a lack of tools for organizing business listings and monitoring social media mentions. If you’re looking for alternative software platforms, it’s worth exploring these options:
Businesses requiring an affordable reputation management platform
Teams that need tools for managing business listings
Companies that require social media reputation management
$19 a month for up to 2,500 customers (free version also available)
$299 per month (free version also available)
Customized quote available upon request
Podium pricing earned a score of 3.25 out of 5, as the monthly subscription plans are more expensive than other providers in the market, like NiceJob. However, it does offer an annual billing option, which comes with discounts.
Moreover, the provider has a free version offering a maximum of 10 review invitations a month and 30 unique conversations a month. The free trial lasts 14 days. If you’re wondering, “How much is Podium exactly?” check out the table below for the provider’s packages:
Starting businesses aiming to build a solid customer base
Small teams that want to expand their customer base
Small companies that run aggressive text marketing campaigns
Starting at 1,000
Number of Team Members
Text-to-Pay Processing Rate
2.7% and 30 cents
2.6% and 30 cents
2.5% and 30 cents
Multimedia Marketing Messages
Although Podium pricing is high, the provider has several communication features for improving business reputation and customer communications, including an all-in-one inbox, customer database, and reviews. Here’s our evaluation and rating for the general and niche features:
We rated the provider’s general features with a 4.25 out of 5 in this Podium review. It ticked off all the essential capabilities of a reputation management platform, namely text-based reviews, reporting, and analytics.
Using Podium’s reviews feature is as simple as sending a customer a review invitation through text after a transaction. It allows automated review invites, taking the hassle out of soliciting feedback and eliminating the likelihood of forgetting to send requests. Podium supports a range of review platforms, including Google, Facebook, Better Business Bureau, DealerRater, and Healthgrades.
On the customer side, text-based review invitations make leaving feedback hassle-free. They simply have to click on the link provided in the message and type their feedback. Given Podium’s robust short message service (SMS) solutions, it earned a spot in our list of the best text messaging services for businesses.
Beyond the reviews feature, Podium has marketing and payment capabilities. For this reason, we scored the platform 3.75 out of 5 in the aspect of niche features. You can send mass texts, segment contacts for campaigns, and include images and videos in your messages through the platform. Furthermore, you can target contacts based on the web pages they visited.
On the other hand, the text payments feature allows you to collect money through SMS. In terms of advanced communication features, Podium offers the following:
Podium converts voicemails into texts and sends them to your inbox for easier reference of customer feedback. With voicemail transcription, your team can increase productivity because you can quickly see and prioritize urgent concerns. Furthermore, transcripts improve documentation, helping your agents better understand the context of a customer inquiry.
This feature, available in Standard and Professional plans, allows businesses to respond to basic questions instantly without the help of a live agent. To set it up, manually add your customers’ frequently asked questions or import a comma-separated values (CSV) file to Podium. When a customer asks a question through the web chat widget, the platform’s artificial intelligence tool will look through your FAQs and provide the best answer to the customer’s query.
Podium’s round-robin routing mode automatically designates messages to team members based on availability. On the other hand, topic-based routing sends messages to team members according to the subject of customer inquiries. The platform, for example, forwards those related to pricing and payment options to the sales team when configured.
Connect Podium to apps you already use. The platform supports over a hundred integrations different industries will find helpful. For the retail and hospitality niche, some apps you’ll find in the Podium Marketplace are Lightspeed, BigCommerce, Calendly, HubSpot, Pipedrive, QuickBooks, and Salesforce. Apps used by the automotive, healthcare, home services, and financial and professional services industries are likewise available.
While it has plenty of niche features, Podium lacks business listing management, customer support tickets, and other platforms’ social listening tools. If these capabilities are essential in improving your customer service, consider the Podium alternatives, Birdeye and Reputation.
Podium scored 3.44 out of 5 in customer service because it offers a wide range of support channels, including the help center that’s accessible 24/7. New subscribers have a one-on-one onboarding session, where a Podium team member discusses the platform’s features and helps businesses get started. However, the chat and text lines are only available 15 hours a day, 7 days per week. The provider doesn’t offer phone support.
In this Podium review, we gave a score of 5 out of 5 for ease of use, given its simple setup process, intuitive interface, and straightforward navigation. Downloading the app only takes a few minutes, and setting up an account for team members is as uncomplicated as an email invitation, a text message, or a shared link prompt.
Navigating the platform is likewise effortless since the main menu readily displays the main features, including the inbox and reviews. It only takes two clicks max to find customer messages and feedback.
The provider earned an expert score of 2.42 out of 5. While online Podium reviews showed the majority of users are satisfied with the platform’s feature set and user-friendliness, many noted its high cost. Despite Podium’s excellent feature set, some shared they switched to a cheaper alternative. Others also experienced issues in getting customer service.
Nonetheless, subscribers noted how easy it is to solicit reviews and get customer payments via text message. Others appreciate the provider’s weekly email report, which offers insight into the campaigns’ effectiveness.
- TrustRadius: 6.5 out of 10 based on 91 reviews
- GetApp: 4.3 out of 5 based on 452 reviews
- G2: 4.6 out of 5 based on 1,286 reviews
How We Evaluated Podium
To assess Podium and determine how it stacks up against other providers, we considered several factors, namely pricing, features, quality of customer service, and ease of use. We also looked at third-party review sites to see what users say about the platform.
Learn how we evaluated Podium by clicking on the tabs below:
20% of Overall Score
We considered the availability of a free plan and free trial. For the paid plans, we looked at the range of features offered for each package. We gave the provider more points for the discounts on the annual billing option.
25% of Overall Score
A good reputation management platform covers essential features for soliciting feedback and keeping track of mentions on the web. In line with this, we checked if the provider has review monitoring and generation capabilities, as well as reporting and analytics.
20% of Overall Score
We evaluated if the provider has advanced features that give it a competitive edge against competitors. We focused on communication capabilities that improve customer satisfaction and team efficiency, namely web chat, text payments, voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP), and social listening.
10% of Overall Score
We looked at the types of support channels the provider offers and checked if there’s an omnichannel service: phone, email, chat, and ticketing system. We also considered the channels’ availability and gave more points when they are open 24/7.
10% of Overall Score
To assess the platform’s user-friendliness, we checked user reviews on third-party websites. We particularly considered how easy it is for businesses to set up an account and send review invites without being overwhelmed with too many options on the platform.
15% of Overall Score
We weighed how popular the provider is among businesses and whether users see value for money in its features. We awarded more points to the provider for its standout features.
Podium is an excellent platform for generating reviews and improving overall customer service. With a simple review invitation sent via text, you’ll make sharing feedback on online platforms hassle-free. Its add-on features, web chat and text payments, enhance customer experience, especially in terms of product discovery and conversion. Visit Podium today and try the Starter plan for a zero-cost service.