TLDR;
If you're an enterprise with huge budgets looking for tried and tested products, use Podium.
If you're an SMB, consider using OnVoard.
If you're B2B or online company, you should use OnVoard.

For many local businesses, getting good reviews can be one of the key drivers in getting new customers. The challenge facing most businesses is that majority of their satisfied users simply don't leave reviews at all. Unfortunately, the few users that leave reviews only does so to describe their bad experience.

Having a tool to automatically prompt customers to leave reviews at the end of service can be handy to help businesses boost the number of users leaving reviews. This is where a software vendor like Podium comes in.

What is Podium?

Podium is a reputation management platform that was founded in 2014. In recent years, Podium has experienced tremendous growth and was ranked 13th on Inc 5000 with revenue of more than $50 million in 2018. Strategically, with the addition of features like Webchat and Teamchat, Podium seems to be moving towards the direction of positioning themselves as a customer interaction platform.

My guess is that Podium wants to be the messaging solutions (offline+online) for local businesses and replace existing live chat vendors that local businesses are currently using. Their differentiation is that unlike many other live chat vendors, Podium can streamline offline and online conversations into one place.

Should you consider an alternative for Podium?

Of course, Podium may not always be the right solution for your business. Before you rope in to that annual contract with Podium, consider the pros and cons of using Podium.


Why use Podium?

You want to streamline customer interactions

Above anything else, this is probably the biggest reason why you would choose Podium. Podium is a good option for you if you are looking for software to streamline customer interactions (offline+online) in one place.

You need a mobile app

Podium provides a handy mobile app that allows you to view and manage reviews on the go. You can also interact with customers via the mobile app. Of course, if you prefer a free alternative, you can use Google My Business mobile app.


Why you may not want to use Podium?

It is expensive

It seems that pricing for Podium starts from at least $200 per month. For most small businesses, that is an exorbitant amount to fork out. To understand why Podium is so expensive, you need to look into Podium's growth strategy.

Podium relies on sales teams to distribute and sell their software. Software that are sold via sales rep generally needs to be sold above a minimum amount. Since most sales reps earn around $80K-$100K, low pricing model like $20 per month will never work out for a company like Podium.

Lock-in Annual Contract

Podium requires businesses to commit to annual contract. For a software that charges $200 per month, that's a $2400 commitment. Your Podium sales rep would probably tell you that the reason for only having annual contract is because it will take time to see the full results of their software.

If you feel handcuffed with this arrangement, why not consider an alternative like OnVoard that offers monthly subscriptions with transparent and more affordable pricing.

You only need a tool to get more reviews

Podium has features that allows you to streamline customer interactions (offline and online) in one place. But let's be honest here - For most small businesses, you probably don't find a need to pay over $200 a month for such tool.

At the end of the day, if you are looking for a tool to help you get more customer reviews, there are always better alternatives like OnVoard.


Why OnVoard?

For most SMBs, OnVoard may be a better choice for you if all you want is a tool to help you automate the process of getting more customer reviews.

OnVoard is at least 5 times cheaper

OnVoard's cheapest paid subscription starts from $29 per month and this is not a dummy plan with inadequate features that requires you to further upgrade to get things running. Our starter plan ($29/mo) is sufficient for most businesses to get things up and running. Our starter plan allows you to:

  • Conduct surveys and get feedback from your users.
  • Fully automate the process of getting reviews.
  • Turn customer reviews into social proof notifications.

Monthly Plans

We hate dealing with annual contracts as much as you do. OnVoard plans are all based on monthly subscriptions. You can upgrade, downgrade, or even cancel subscriptions by yourself in a self-serve manner.

Does not charge by locations

Many reputation management software like Podium charge by locations. If you own a multi-chain business with 10 locations, you may end up paying 10X more than a small business with 1 location. Coupled with a monthly cost of $200 per location, you may end up forking up to over $2000 each month.

At OnVoard, because we also sell to B2B and online companies, we do not charge by locations. This approach allows us to cater to a bigger market but at the same time, means that we'll probably earn lesser from each customer. That being said, we're transparent with our pricing so you can see if it suits your business needs.

OnVoard may be a better fit for your business

If you are looking for a tool to streamline all customer interactions and conversations, Podium is the right solution for you. But if you are looking for a tool to help persuade others to choose your products or services, OnVoard may be a better fit for your business.

OnVoard is a persuasion marketing platform - Our core focus is to help businesses persuade others to choose their products or services. We don't provide features like live chats or messaging. Our features are geared towards helping businesses get new customers via persuasion marketing.


What can you do with OnVoard?

Let's do a quick walkthrough on what you can do with OnVoard.

Collect Customer Feedback

First off, it is necessary to know OnVoard's survey tool is a full-fledged survey software that you can use to collect customer feedback and setup custom rules to trigger actions based on respondents' answers.

Preview of embeddable widget for web survey

You can use the tool to setup link surveys, email surveys, and even embed surveys to your website. We also have integrations allowing you to execute tasks like automatically send survey at the end of appointment.

Automate Review Requests

Internally, OnVoard's products are all deeply integrated, allowing you to easily set up automations based conditions like survey respondent's answer.

Automatically send review request email to NPS promoters

For example: If user rated 8 or above for NPS, OnVoard can automatically drop them review request emails. This allows you to ask reviews from users who are likely to recommend your products.

OnVoard even allows you to attach rewards to incentivize users for leaving reviews. Of course, not all review sites allow incentivized reviews, so it is up to you to decide when to use it. You know the drill - With great power comes great responsibility.

Turn Customer Reviews into Social Proof Notifications

Preview of Notifications

Getting your reviews seen is as important as collecting them. OnVoard Notifier allows you to easily turn customer reviews into social proof notifications and display them on your site.

Programmatically Conduct Customer Interviews

OnVoard Interviews allows you to automate the process of sending and conducting customer interviews. If your business is in B2B, this can be extremely valuable since you can now scale up your customer interview process and get more customer stories.

Generate Customer Stories Page

OnVoard is the only platform that provides hosted customer stories page. You can use OnVoard Stories to build customer stories page without any coding. Adding a new story is as easy as adding a new blog post.

View live demo

More importantly, generated page looks better than customer stories page used by many other large organizations.


Conclusion

If you're an enterprise with huge budgets looking for tried and tested products, Podium seems to be a good option. If you run a small business and are looking for tool to help your business get more customer reviews, you should consider moving to OnVoard.