- What is Podium
- Podium features and pricing
- Podium reviews
- Podium customer service
- What is Thryv
- Thryv pricing and features
- Thryv reviews
- Thryv customer service
- Podium versus Thryv
Connecting with customers in meaningful ways is a challenge for small businesses. It’s especially difficult if they’ve been slow to move to online and digital solutions, like business software. Many software platforms on the market are tailored to small business owners who want to improve customer communication, capture more online reviews and build more leads.
But how do you know which of the software platforms to choose? Which one will make it easy for you to chat, email or text with your customers, while creating customized offers, following up with online scheduling and reminders, sending estimates, invoices and receipts, and requesting and monitoring online reviews in real time?
To help you fine-tune your search, we’ve gathered details about two popular business software platforms, Thryv and Podium. Both of these platforms make customer communication and managing online reviews easier.
What Is Podium
Podium simplifies customer communication with a centralized inbox. It also helps generate leads, processes payments and request and manage online reviews. Podium offers an addition for your website called webchat. With this widget on your website, your web visitors can type in their name, mobile number and a question. Then, the whole conversation moves to text on their mobile phone. So, in fact, it’s not a webchat at all, but simply a lead form that transfers over to text message.
This also allows Podium to capture the lead and help the business owner request online reviews from their customers. The platform also consolidates customer communication from other channels and houses them into one convenient inbox. Customer communication is centralized through text, which many customers prefer. However, it turns off some users who still prefer a good ol’ phone call or an email.
While Podium captures new leads, it does not offer a solution to add your current database of clients by uploading a .csv file, for instance. It is also a stand-alone addition that does not integrate with other business software and apps you may be using, such as Quickbooks, Jotform, Yext, Gmail and others.
Inbox. In addition to the webchat, Podium’s inbox allows users to receive message from various channels, such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram and Google. All of these messages go into one centralized inbox for the business owner to view and respond to. They do not have to jump between different channels, pages and apps to get all messages coming their way. It also allows teams to collaborate and assign conversations. A newer feature: Team members can now send either direct or group messages. However, Podium’s webchat does not capture email addresses or integrate with a business email account, so you’ll still have to keep an eye on a separate inbox outside of Podium to engage via email.
Lead management. In addition to simplifying communication, Podium also stores the customer information from the webchat or other channels, so the business owner can work the lead. Podium asserts that about two-thirds of leads it generates are from the webchat feature. (This is only available in the mid-range package, which costs about $6,000 per year). The rest of the leads come from Facebook, SMS and Google.
Requests for online reviews. The business owner can send a customer a direct request for a Google or Facebook review via a link in a text message. The business owner can see the review once it’s posted and respond to it from their Podium platform. It also allows the user to compare their star rating and number and recency of reviews against their competitors.
Payments. Requests for payment are sent through text messages. You can include the invoice number, however, if you have a full invoice from another platform as it doesn’t appear Podium has full invoicing capabilities. Sending pre-service estimates is not an option. The customer can pay with credit card, debit, HSA (for healthcare), bank transfer, Google Pay or Apple Pay, all with a per-transaction processing fee. So, for a $500 payment at a 2.49% + $0.30/transaction fee, you’d pay $12.75.
While Podium does not list its prices online, we’ve got a little insider information. Podium offers three packages, priced at $359, $499 and $700 monthly, or $4,308, $5,988 and $8,400 annually. There is a $449 set-up free that can be waived. You must sign a 12-month contract, and then once the year is complete, you can move to month-to-month. If you renew for another 12 months, you’ll receive a 10% discount.
PODIUM REVIEWS: What customers* are saying
Pros: Leads increased; easy path of communication with the client; ability to text via computer; nice interface.
Cons: Podium app has many bugs that leads to less use; very expensive for limited features; reviews limited to Google; limited and unhelpful customer service; cannot do bulk texts.
“The cost of the app is really high … we ended up signing a 1-year contract to have an overpriced chat app in our website.” –Administrator in Construction; Verified user; G2 review 3/19/2020
PODIUM CUSTOMER SERVICE
The initial one-on-one demo experience with a salesperson is well-paced and lasts 30-40 minutes without high-pressure sales tactics. Before and after examples offer good user insight.
Some on-boarding support is available with a “strategist” for a limited time, covered by the $450 start-up fee. Some users have complained that specialized help is difficult to obtain after the on-boarding timeframe.
Online learning resources are limited to ebooks and some short online product videos.
What Is Thryv
For small business owners who want to manage all of their business’s day-to-day activities, including customer communication and generating online reviews, Thryv is the solution. Thryv is the end-to-end customer experience platform that is fully integrated with nearly all business activities, from organizing the customer database to sending bulk email and text communication to managing all aspects of a job from initial outreach, ongoing communication, estimates, invoices, payments, receipts, follow-ups, reminders, online scheduling convenience and more.
It’s also a powerful marketing tool that provides email and text templates as well as a library of social media posts, paired with a social media posting platform, so users never have to leave their Thryv dashboard to deliver their marketing messages.
Thryv’s powerful follow-up tools also allow users to request and manage online reviews so their online reputation is well cared for. Thryv provides regular review of website, social media and online reviews performance.
For added convenience, Thryv has an ever-evolving App Market that integrates seamlessly with several popular business-operating programs, such as Quickbooks, Jotform, Yext, Constant Contact, Indeed, Mailchimp, Shopify, Typeform, Zoom, ShareAble for Hires and more to come soon, usch as Gmail and Clover.
As a full, end-to-end platform, Thryv helps businesses:
Manage the Job by maintaining a real-time calendar for all staff members, collecting and storing online documents, creating and delivering estimates, allowing a variety of payment methods.
Get Credit with marketing automation such as social posting, text and email campaigns and requesting reviews as well as sending promotions and other messaging that is customized to the right audience at the right time.
Robust CRM. A centralized customer relationship management system is the cornerstone of Thryv’s software platform. The customer is at the center of your business. Full customer information is available in each client “card,” and can be organized with identifiable information, such as services received, date of last service, upcoming appointments, payments, conversations and even uploaded documents. This makes every other action more seamless for the business owner to manage the customer’s entire journey.
Sales & Payments. Thryv users manage the entire sales process, not just collecting payment. They can create estimates, invoices and receipts from the dashboard, which provides a clear overview of outstanding invoices. Customers can pay using their preferred method, including credit, debit, PayPal, Braintree, Venmo, Square, Stripe, Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Customer Communication. Thryv users can manage every conversation in their inbox and respond immediately, whether that is over email or text. Staff members can be assigned to manage specific correspondence.
Online Scheduling. Here, business owners put the power in their customers’ hands. The customer can choose their own appointment time without having to play phone tag … or even email or text tag … to get on the business’s schedule. This gives time back to the business owner and their staff. Now, they no longer have to stop working to answer scheduling phone calls.
Reputation Management & Online Presence. In addition to requesting and managing online reviews, Thryv users can tap into Thryv’s powerful online listings capabilities, which ensures that the business’s information is current and accurate across more than 60 online listings sites. This ensures that customers anywhere can find the business, no matter where they look. Regular reporting also allows Thryv users to stay on top of incoming reviews and get in-depth benchmarking against competitors.
Marketing & Social Media. Thryv users can create customized marketing campaigns that can be sent in bulk or automated to send after a milestone. For instance, using the robust CRM and its tagging capabilities, a Thryv user can automate an email or text to go out whenever it’s time for a specific client to schedule their next appointment. Also, users can send out offers and messaging to a specific set of customers, such as a VIP promotion for customers who receive a certain service. Thryv also provides robust social media posting capabilities and a library of posts to make regular, on-going social presence and posting a breeze.
Although Thryv’s policy is to customize pricing based on each individual business, we can assure you that Thryv is 50% more affordable than Podium, and offers a full business management system, compared to Podium’s narrow texting and online reviews services.
Thryv requires a shorter minimum contract than Podium. After that, users can renew for a year or go to a month-to-month subscription.
THRYV REVIEWS: What customers* are saying
“I can keep track of all my new and existing customers in one place. It is also a Great social media publishing platform. CRM tools are also very helpful. It is very complete and offers many tools in a single platform.” – Martha M; verified user; G2 review; 9/2/2020
Pros. Excellent on-boarding and on-going communication with support team; central location for everything; multiple services in one place; great coaching; social media scheduling saves a lot of time; these tools allow me to compete with larger companies; all feedback is received and considered.
Cons. There’s a lot to learn, but support is always available – it’s worth the time and effort to educate yourself on how to fully use the software.
THRYV CUSTOMER SERVICE
Simply put, Thryv’s customer service is second to none. Including extensive on-boarding support, Thryv continues to provide free, unlimited technical support 24-7. In Thryv’s online reviews, customers continuously point out this game-changing benefit as the key differentiator for Thryv.
Thryv provides video and one-on-one demos to understand each business’s individual needs, from improving customer communication to getting more organized to generating more online reviews. It’s a no-pressure information session, rather than a hard sale.
New feature: Thryv provides monthly “Insights” so customers can see, at a glance, how their business is performing while using the software, including marketing and online reputation reports.
Podium vs Thryv
Thryv says it will help small businesses get the job, manage the job and get credit. Podium offers two of those three, but not the most labor-intensive: Managing the job.
Managing the job is where Thryv users live the most. From managing customer information to sending out on-going marketing messages to providing invoices to scheduling and customer communication through email or text, this is a vital piece of the customer journey that can’t be overlooked.
While Prodium will help its customers gather Google and Facebook reviews, Thryv provides help with Google, Facebook and Yelp reviews, as well as a module for first-party reviews.
Additionally, Thryv’s integration with Google goes much deeper. Thryv allows users to verify through Google My Business and provides integration with Reserve with Google for qualifying businesses, such as spas, health and wellness. When customers make appointments with Reserve with Google, it automatically updates the business owner’s Thryv calendar, so they never miss an appointment.
Thryv’s social platform allows business to create Google Posts, a newer feature that businesses can use to share messages that show up on their Google My Business page as well as Google Maps. This will help small businesses create content that will help their local search efforts, so customers can find them more easily.
In addition to Google Posts, Thryv users can create and schedule posts in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Podium doesn’t offer a social-posting module.
Because Thryv enables users to accept online appointment scheduling on their websites, customers can book themselves without having to wait for a reply. However, if a Podium user receives a request over webchat, they will need to respond and wait for the prospect to reply. It’s the difference between enabling the customer to initiate and confirm their interaction with the business … or for the business to constantly have to chase leads.
While both platforms are sleek and easy-to-use, if you want business management tools, such as social media posting, emailing capabilities, marketing, document storage, online scheduling and more, you’ll have to invest in more software if you choose Podium. Conversely, Thryv offers all of these and more for a much better value, dollar-for-dollar.
If you like Podium’s webchat feature, you could add it to your Thryv website. You’ll be able to communicate from website to text and capture and convert leads utilizing Thryv’s powerful CRM and marketing capabilities. Alternatively, there are other free and very low-cost ($9 a month) webchat options, versus paying $499 a month for Podium.
*Review comments consolidated from verified users via G2 and Capterra software review sites.
|Subscription vs M2M||Subscription||Subscription|
|Service & Support|
|Phone, Chat, Email|
|Learning Center with Videos and Guides||X|
|Build your Brand|
|Online Listings Management||X|
|Professionally Designed Website||X|
|Social Media – Posting and Content Library||X|
|Enhanced Accessibility Site Service*||X|
|Communicate with Customers|
|2-Way Text from business number|
|Email and Text Announcements & Automated Campaigns||X|
|Client Portal with Customer Login||X|
|CRM – Customizable Fields and Tags||X|
|Scheduling & Appointments||X|
|Automated Follow-ups and Reminders||Follow-ups only|
|App Market and Integrations||X|
|Estimates & Invoices||Invoicing Only|
|Generate More Reviews|
|Review Acknowledgment Service||X|
|Review Monitoring and Alerts|
|*This feature is available with Thryv 4.0 Websites, as of 5/4/2020 and newer. Service provided by AudioEye®.|