Publish Date:
December 22, 2023

Top 8 Podium Alternatives for Replying to Reviews

Discover the 8 best Podium alternatives to help you manage client reviews across platforms and build a strong brand presence to improve customer loyalty.

More than 80% of customers research a brand before buying. Your online reputation shows just how reliable your company is — and whether someone should do business with you. That's why you'll see so many enterprises using reputation management software.

As such, Podium has its advantages. Sure, it has an impressive number of positive reviews and comments. Still, it may not be the best review management software for your small business — which is why so many people are looking for Podium alternatives.

For companies that are just starting out, this tool is noticeably costly — starting at $249/month, with prices reaching up to $649 monthly. On top of that, there's the complex integration process you have to worry about and a headache-inducing number of features. 

Top 8 best review response software for your small business

If you're just starting your business, you may wonder why even pay for brand reputation management software.

The 2022 ReviewTrackers survey found that fast review response times are closely linked with maintaining a positive reputation. Not only that – customers don't tend to trust companies with lower than 4-star ratings, and a whopping 94% of consumers say that a bad review made them avoid a business.

Being able to respond to both negative and positive reviews can make or break your company's success.

So, we've hand-picked the best Podium alternatives that are easier to use, cost less and will perfectly fit your small business needs to help you grow faster.

ResponseScribe

ResponseScribe is a personalized review response service that responds to reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, and many other industry-specific review sites. They have options for AI-powered responses, human-powered responses, or a combination of the two. 

Pros

  • Outsourcing review responding means your team can save time and focus on other core aspects of running your business. 
  • ResponseScribe's expertise is trusted by over 10,000 local business clients – constantly posting responses in line with your brand image for both negative and positive reviews.
  • Personalized responses boost positive brand reputation and consistency, creating more authentic and engaging customer interactions.
ResponseScribe (Podium alternative) reaction to negative customer feedback
ResponseScribe review tool – replying to positive feedback
  • Broad reach, supporting responses on 50+ sites (including Google, Facebook and other social media platforms, Yelp and industry-specific websites).
  • Easy and secure integration with review sites.
  • Businesses can remain involved in the review management process – you will receive texts and email alerts, allowing you to edit or approve responses before publishing.
  • Fast responses – within 1 hour for AI-powered and 24 hours for human-powered.

Cons

  • All-human-powered responses for many monthly reviews can cost up to $400/month, although this is still significantly cheaper than the more advanced Podium options.

Pricing

ResponseScribe has three pricing tiers, based on what kind of support you need:

  • $20/month for 100% AI-powered responses
  • $30/month for a combo of human and AI responses – this is the perfect mix, according to Colson Hillier, Alcorica's CMO
  • $100/month for all human-powered responses

Note that these are all for handling up to 25 responses monthly. The prices are higher for 50, 100 and 200 monthly responses. ResponseScribe also offers a special volume-based discount for multi-location teams.

Mara Solutions

Mara Solutions is a customer experience tracking software that reads all your customer feedback and reviews so you don't miss any of it. It uses AI and machine learning technology to get a quantified and structured view of the customer experience.

Mara Solutions AI review reply assistant
Image source: Software Advice

Pros

  • AI review management assistant helps to save time replying to customer interaction by proposing personalized answers.
  • Advanced machine learning techniques create language models trained specifically for your industry. The algorithm understands irrelevant information within the category. The category-specific sentiment analysis of opinions can determine whether neutral words are positive or negative in a specific setting.
  • The software creates clear data visualization dashboards based on the collected review information, automatically analyzing current trends and developments.
  • The review management assistant works in every language and can be copy+pasted to respond directly in review platforms.
  • Supports customer engagement feedback collection across multiple platforms: Google Maps, Tripadvisor, Trustpilot, Amazon, Apple App Store, Google Play.

Cons

  • This is a relatively new tool with little popularity and customer feedback on software review websites, so there is no social proof of its efficacy with large amounts of data.
  • There are no automated reply sending options.
  • The top limit of 500 monthly answers may not be enough for enterprise-level companies.

Pricing:

You can test out Mara Solutions with a two-week free trial. After this period, you can choose one of the three pricing plans:

  • Small – €30/month/100 answers
  • Medium – €50/month/200 answers
  • Large – €100/month/500 answers

With annual payments, you get 10% off the monthly price.

Review reply.ai

Review reply.ai is a pretty basic reputation management tool that uses AI to help you keep up with customer reviews. For an additional fee, it's possible to collect data about your previous online presence and make the responses unique to your brand's reputation and voice.

Customer engagement and review monitoring charts in Review reply.ai
Image source: Review reply.ai website

Pros

  • Uses AI to reply to user-generated content quickly, on-brand and in tune with their key feedback.
  • Each pricing plan comes with unlimited responses, so you're not restricted by the number of replies you can send out to your customers.
  • Notifications about new or specific star reviews with a location management dashboard.
  • Visual data analysis charts make tracking progress easy and seeing which aspects of your online presence need more work.

Cons

  • If you want automated responses and have multiple locations, the tool can get quite expensive – these options are only available with the Pro plan, with the cost based on the number of venues.
  • There is little information and social proof about this software online.
  • Review reply.ai can only be used to monitor reviews on Facebook and Google – most Podium alternatives from this list offer much more.

Pricing

Review reply.ai offers a free demo and three pricing plans, all with unlimited responses:

  • Lite – $30/month
  • Pro – $75/month/location
  • Enterprise – Custom

Reviews.io

Reviews.io is especially recommended for e-commerce businesses as a way of encouraging more positive reviews. The contract-free plans are fully customizable and include such features as:

  • Automated review requests with customizable email templates and SMS invites
  • Options to showcase reviews across the web
  • Converting reviews into high-impact content

This tool is dedicated to getting more customers to publish reviews about your product or service and showcasing this feedback – not to help you reply to these comments.

Display Google seller ratings
Image source: G2

Pros

  • Easy to use, clear interface, built with the end-user in mind.
  • Completely customizable flow for smarter review generation with options to segment your audience and set specific conditions for sending feedback invites.
Reviews.io flow for designing unique email sequences for more effective review acquisition
Image source: G2
  • Review Booster is great for encouraging non-e-commerce customers to review.
  • All feedback collected with Reviews.io contributes to your Google seller rating.
  • Integrates with the most popular platforms, including Google, Shopify, Squarespace, Instagram, Twitter, Klaviyo, MailChimp and HubSpot (extra options with additional Bolt-ons).

Cons

  • Some features are locked behind an additional paywall.
  • Review.io company pages sometimes appear below Trustpilot's page.
  • Some users had terrible experiences with the Reviews.io customer service.
  • There is a focus on e-commerce shops and sellers using popular tools like Shopify, with limited support for other in-house shop web apps.

Pricing

There is a 14-day free trial. Then you can choose from one of the four plans available:

  • Early Stage – €30/month
  • Growth – €99/month
  • Professional – €189/month
  • Enterprise – from €499/month

Note that all prices are excluding VAT. There are no annual contracts and a 90-day money-back satisfaction guarantee.

Jounce.ai

Jounce.ai isn't so much of a reputation management solution as an AI-powered copywriting and artwork creator for marketing agencies. It's still a tool for managing online reputations, with many smart templates for product descriptions, company bios, blog copy ideas, social media posts, emails and review replies.

Available templates for writing review responses, emails, headlines and other professional copy
Image source: Dial Chimp

Pros

  • Jounce.ai uses natural language processing and machine learning to generate content quickly and accurately while learning from previous user input.
  • By adding prompts from client feedback, you can automatically create a campaign strategy, including marketing frameworks and content calendars for driving more engagement on your website, shop and social media.
  • Document-sharing options for easy collaboration between team members.

Cons

  • There are no options for reputation management as such – no review generation invites, automated replies or analytics.
  • Although this Podium competitor offers many time-saving templates for improving customer engagement, you may still need to alter the generated text and have to publish it yourself.
  • Users report difficulty reaching the customer service team.
  • The system works on a word count credit which is easily exceedable if you want to write many personalized replies monthly.

Pricing

Jounce.ai has not provided any pricing information on its website.

Birdeye

BirdEye is all about creating a marketing strategy driven by feedback and prioritizing customer experience. It's a cloud-based reputation management platform for improving your online presence and attracting new customers. Some of its main features include business listings management, options to generate reviews, two-way messaging, surveys for customer feedback collection and referral management tools.

Ticketing with Birdeye – Turn negative feedback into tickets to take immediate action
Image source: Software Advice

Pros

  • The online reviews tool allows you to generate many customer reviews for improving your online presence – and showcasing them on your website, social media platforms, Google Ads, Amazon and many more sites.
  • There is one unified inbox for streamlining two-way text messages with customers.
  • Supports email and text review campaigns with one centralized dashboard.
  • Has better and more in-depth reporting than Podium.
  • The listing management features ensure that your business information is accurate, up-to-date and consistent across all directories, one of the top factors in the Google search algorithm.
Birdeye listings feature, highlighting the incomplete or inaccurate information
Image source: SoftwarePundit
  • Includes a referral generation tool where users can create, send and track referral campaigns.
  • Webchat for real-time engagement – including automated FAQs and live conversations, allowing your staff to join in at any time to solve complex matters without scaling up customer support.
  • Payment processing options are available (for an additional fee).

Cons

  • The surveys, insights, benchmarking and ticketing options are only available in the Premium Plan.
  • There are many negative reviews about the quality of customer support.
  • Many features in one platform make it difficult and unintuitive to use.
  • Customer feedback and sentiment reporting aren't clearly understandable.
  • Not the best option for small businesses – Birdeye charges a lot for additional options you may never need and monitoring hundreds of websites you've never even heard of (and probably neither have your customers).

Pricing

Birdeye offers a demo and free trial (15 days) to test its capabilities. The pricing tiers are determined by the products you choose and your number of locations. For a single location, the cost is as follows:

  • Standard Plan: $299/month
  • Professional Plan: $399/month
  • Premium Plan: Custom quotes only (includes surveys, ticketing, insights & benchmarking)

NiceJob

NiceJob is a word-of-mouth marketing platform dedicated to small, local businesses. It's a reliable and low-cost option, but it may not be enough if you're looking for more advanced customer engagement and reputation management software.

Some of its unique key features include:

  • Option to add multiple companies to one account for the same base price
  • Employee leaderboard for insight into which workers gathered the most reviews and positive ratings
  • Internal CRM that allows to import client data and view all event information

This platform also offers an SEO and review-optimized website creator (Convert Website), with a 10% more sales money-back guarantee. It's automatically updated with new content, pushes recent reviews live and can send new leads directly to your phone.

Automatically configured review campaigns on NiceJob with message customization options
Image source: SoftwarePundit

Pros

  • More affordable than Podium, which, paired with easy use, makes it great for small companies.
  • An easy-to-use online reputation management tool that allows customers to leave reviews easily.
  • AI-powered reminders are sent out to customers who haven't left a review yet.
  • Smart funnel for distributing reviews to the sites where the largest number of people will most likely see them.
  • Automated review sharing on social media sites and referral invites.
  • Five dynamic widgets for showcasing reviews and collecting contact information (Engage, Stories, Trust Badge, Collect Reviews, and Collect Leads).
  • Option to directly reply to Google and Nicejob customer reviews from the dashboard.

Cons

  • Fewer tools are available than with other Podium alternatives (no live chat, surveys or payment tools).
  • No option to customize review campaigns by marketing channel or timing.
  • Much fewer integrations than other multi-channel management solutions from our list (but still more than the Podium Starter plan has to offer).
  • You must respond to reviews left on platforms other than Google manually.
  • Very basic insights (number of gathered reviews, average rating and ratings by review sites).
Automatically configured review campaigns on NiceJob with message customization options
Image source: SoftwarePundit

Pricing

NiceJob offers a Free plan for basic needs. You can also try out their Grow plan with a 14-day free trial. The cost for more advanced plans is based on the number of customers you serve each year:

  • <2,500 – $75/month for Grow or $174/month for Grow+Sites
  • <5,000 – $95/month for Grow or $194/month for Grow+Sites
  • <10,000 – $145/month for Grow or $244/month for Grow+Sites
  • >10,000 – $290/month for Grow or $389/month for Grow+Sites

The Grow+Sites plan has an additional setup fee of $399. For enterprise, franchise and multi-location solutions the price is established individually.

ReviewPush

ReviewPush helps you track reviews and mentions across social media channels. You can also reply to customer queries on all major review sites, including Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor and Facebook. Reviews from different sites are collected into one centralized dashboard and sorted chronologically.

ReviewPush overview of customer reviews and engagements received during the last 30 days
Image source: GetApp

Pros

  • Unlimited multi-site review request functionality for multi-location businesses.
  • Easy response options, e.g., responding to new reviews directly from the email alert about the comment from a customer.
  • Multi-level dashboards and reporting for different management levels (corporate, regional, district and store).
  • Store ranking comparison dashboard for an easy view of how they rank against each other.
  • Various reports are available — helping capture meaningful and timely data about the online reputation of every location, saving hours of manual tracking time.
  • ReviewPush users value the customer support team that is always available and willing to resolve any issues or queries.

Cons

  • The user interface is lacking in some aspects, potentially making navigating the more advanced features difficult.
  • Limited integration options are available.
  • No clear pricing plan is available on the website.

Pricing

There is a 21-day free trial available; however, ReviewPush does not offer any other pricing information for its website visitors.

Top 8 Podium alternatives: comparison table

ResponseScribe Mara Solutions Review reply.ai Reviews.io Jounce.ai Birdeye NiceJob Reviewpush
AI-powered responses Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Limited No
Human-powered responses Yes No No No No No No No
Review monitoring Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Industry-specific sites Yes Yes No No No Yes No No
User-friendliness Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Best for Automated AI and human-powered review responses Analyzing customer experience with AI review Single location businesses with smaller reputation management needs Generating more customer reviews Creating professional copy and images with AI Listings management and review generation SEO optimization and review widgets for websites Reporting for multi-location businesses
Price From $20/month From €30/month/100 answers From $30/month From €30/month N/A From $299/month Basic Free plan N/A

Selection criteria – find the complete reputation management tool

Features

Look for Podium competitors that offer a comprehensive suite of features, including online review monitoring, sentiment analysis, social media tracking, brand mentions, customer surveys and competitor analysis. Custom reports and analytics are also important for tracking progress.

User-friendliness

An intuitive and user-friendly interface makes it easy for novice and experienced users to navigate it. The setup process should be straightforward, and the dashboard should provide clear insights into your reputation monitoring.

Review source integrations

Ensure that your chosen Podium competitor integrates with a wide range of review sources, such as popular review websites, social media platforms and industry-specific websites, for comprehensive multichannel management.

Response management

The best Podium alternatives facilitate efficient response management by enabling you to display reviews and reply to them directly from the platform. Look for features like automated responses, response templates and assigning responses to team members.

Monitoring online reviews

The tool should provide real-time monitoring of online reviews and mentions, enabling you to promptly address negative feedback and capitalize on positive comments. It should also offer instant notifications for urgent situations.

Price

While cost is a factor, prioritize value over price alone. Consider the features, usability and the impact the tool can have on your brand's online reputation when evaluating its cost. Watch out for unclear pricing plans, hidden costs or expensive features you may not need right now.

A free trial is a great way to ensure that the review campaign management tool of your choice is the best fit.

Conclusion

Product reviews, ratings and brand reputation have influenced buying decisions. Most online shoppers expect to see at least 140 reviews when researching a product. Local businesses can largely profit from a Podium alternative, helping them to rank higher in the local search and improve customer relations.

ResponseScribe is your #1 pick for streamlining the process of improving brand loyalty. We operate on the most popular reviewing websites and even industry-specific ranking sites. What sets us apart is the option of human-powered responses – a premium functionality in times of the growing popularity of AI solutions.

Start your free trial today to see how your reputation management strategy can benefit from a human touch in nurturing customer relations.

FAQs

Why look for Podium alternatives for online reputation management?

Podium was founded almost a decade ago and since then online reputation management software has been constantly evolving. There are currently many more solutions for a better price, in line with the latest technology.

What is Podium and how does it work?

Podium is a marketing and communication platform. It consolidates reputation management, website chat, marketing campaigns and mobile payments all in one platform. It’s used to convert more leads, boost customer retention and satisfaction.

Podium vs. Birdeye – is there a difference?

Both Podium and Birdeye are enterprise-centric reputation management software that help you get more reviews. However, Podium is focused on getting 5-star customer reviews and handling negative comments. Birdeye also includes functionalities for increasing online visibility and more detailed reporting.

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