increase in sales close rate
of phone calls routed to texts
hours saved every week

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About Budget Blinds of Salt Lake and Davis Counties

One of the original 10 Budget Blinds franchises, the Salt Lake City location opened in 1994. Run by Lindsay’s Fekitoa’s grandparents and mother, their location focused primarily on delivering blinds to customers’ homes in Salt Lake and Davis Counties. “We were one of the first 10 original Budget Blinds franchises and the first one in Utah,” said Lindsay, co-owner of the franchise. In 2021, Lindsay and her husband, Efi, took over the franchise and the business model has expanded to offering shutters, drapes, shades, and more.  With just 8 employees, the Budget Blinds team is busy. Keeping up with customer communication was a challenge before Podium. In September of 2021, after the Budget Blinds convention in Nashville, Lindsay and Efi decided to give Podium a try. And they’ve seen strong results in just under a year.  In only 9 months, Budget Blinds has increased their sales close rate from 45% to 60% and saved their team countless hours by routing 25% of their phone calls to text conversations. “The bottom line is that we can just streamline things a lot better with Podium,” said Lindsay. “The value that Podium Phones has brought to us has been time savings and profitability. It’s made those two things easier because we can streamline phone calls and texting all together.”

The Challenge

Before Podium, Budget Blinds of Salt Lake and Davis Counties didn’t have the option to text their customers. Their current phone provider wasn’t routing calls to the same phone numbers and sales reps were using their personal cell phones to connect with customers. Altogether, Budget Blinds was struggling with the following challenges:

  • Adding texting with their current provider was too expensive. Lindsay and Efi inherited a Veracity phone contract from the previous Budget Blinds franchise owner. And while Veracity handled the Budget Blinds phones and internet, Lindsay was interested in adding texting as a way to connect with customers. Veracity suggested WebEx as an option with a $70 price tag for every user. “The price was outlandish and it just didn’t work for us,” said Lindsay.
  • Working with their old system was frustrating. The phone contract the Fekitoas inherited wasn’t user friendly. The mobile app was hard to use and phone calls weren’t routed to the right person. “The app was glitchy and everyone got phone calls instead of just the one person that was supposed to be getting the call,” said Lindsay.
  • Contacting customers after hours required the use of personal cell phones. Before Podium, sales reps were using their personal cell phone numbers to connect with customers. This made it difficult for Lindsay and Efi to track customer calls and to get a clear picture of customer history with communication scattered across multiple channels.

The Podium Solution

With Podium, Budget Blinds of Salt Lake and Davis Counties has saved time and increased their profits. A higher close rate and better call deflection to text conversations is making both the customer and the employee experience better. Plus, sending review requests and payment links via text has made both of those processes faster and easier. More specifically, Budget Blinds uses Podium to deliver:

  • A single number for text conversations and phone calls. With other vendors, the option to add texting was a separate experience and using the same number for texting and phone calls was important to Lindsay. “We’ve had an established phone number since 1994 and it was just a natural transition to have everything bundled with Podium—phones and our texting,” said Lindsay. “For me, that consistency of having the numbers be the same really made the decision to bring on Podium.”
  • A higher sales close rate. “We’ve seen a better closing rate since we implemented Podium,” said Lindsay. “We’re noticing that from our leads and people who have texted us.” The Fekitoas attribute that increase to more streamlined communication with Podium. “Our close rate has gone up because communication is easier,” shared Lindsay. “When people are up late in bed and want to text something, they can initiate that conversation or send in a question. There are no barriers to connecting with us now.”
  • Full visibility into all customer communication. Now that all calls, customer notes, and text conversations are housed in the same system, Lindsay and Efi can get a clear view into all customer communication. “It’s so much easier to see what was said to each customer over text or in an email or on the phone. With Podium Phones, it’s a lot easier to see what was said and get real clarification,” said Lindsay. With Podium, they can easily catch any mistakes or get to the bottom of any miscommunication. “It’s helping us with accountability when things go wrong—getting to the bottom of what happened if something does go wrong.”
  • More time to focus on growing their business. Podium has opened up time and opportunities for Lindsay and Efi to spend time on other tasks to help them grow their business. “Now we can schedule texts and avoid playing phone tag with customers,” said Lindsay. “It’s just easy to send a text and confirm appointments. And I don’t like to be on the phone so it’s so much easier to send a text and call it good.”
  • Customer calls routed to the right person every time. With Podium, customer requests—texts and calls—are routed to the right person without a different phone number and without using anyone’s personal cell phone. “Podium has just made it a lot easier for sales reps to get in touch with customers,” said Lindsay.
  • Generating better leads. Since implementing Podium, the Budget Blinds team is seeing a better response from Google leads. “We’re generating better leads from Google with Podium now. We have more people calling and texting us now,” said Lindsay. With the option to text when a customer finds Budget Blinds online, more customers are reaching out and the lead quality has improved.
  • Faster response times to leads. Podium has made responding to leads a lot easier for the Budget Blinds team. “We’re definitely noticing higher response times to our leads. And texting helps so much after hours,” said Lindsay. “Even when customers have reached us after normal hours, we’re still able to see the text and know if it’s a problem that needs to be handled right away or if it’s something that can wait over the weekend.” 
  • A better app experience. “Logging into the app and seeing the conversations and call logs—to know who’s calling and when they called—it’s so much easier to track customers with Podium,” said Lindsay. With the Podium app, Lindsay can check in on customer conversations with sales reps wherever she is—at home or at the office. “I use Podium to track our reps’ communication with customers. I can see responses and know that they’re doing what they need to do to make the customer experience better.”
  • An easier way to collect online customer reviews. The Fekitoas are also experiencing another benefit with Podium texting—a better response to review requests from customers. “When a job is complete, we have the option to send a review request from text or through email,” said Lindsay. “But when we text the review request to our customers, we get more reviews.”
  • A faster way to collect payments through text. Sending payment requests has also improved after implementing Podium. Now, the team can send a payment link right in the text conversation they’re already having with a customer. Having the payment links in text messages has been incredibly helpful,” said Lindsay. The new payment experience is easier for customers and the employees at Budget Blinds.

Results & ROI

In just 9 months, Budget Blinds of Salt Lake and Davis Counties has used Podium to see results like:

→ 25% of phone calls now routed to text conversations “Since Budget Blinds is pushing more brand consistency across every franchise, Podium Phones has made streamlining communication through one phone system has been so much easier,” said Lindsay. And the Budget Blinds team is seeing that with more customers consistently choosing to text instead of stay on a call. By offering both options with the same phone number, it’s easier for customers to continue conversations through text, saving the Budget Blinds team 25 – 35% of the time they used to spend on the phone.

→ 33% increase in sales close rate Before Podium, Budget Blinds consistently saw a sales close rate between 40 – 50%. Now, with Podium Phones and texting, Budget Blinds has increased their sales close rate, despite market slowdowns. “Usually we can plan on our closing rate landing between 40 – 50%. With Podium, we’re now between 50 – 60%,” said Lindsay.

→ 10+ hours saved every week by routing phone calls to text conversations By giving callers the option to text instead, Lindsay and her team have saved at least 10 hours every week on the phone, and have been able to offer each customer their preferred communication channel.


“Podium is worth every penny. We’re able to communicate efficiently with our customers through Podium. I would tell anyone on the fence, I would 100% pick Podium.”

Podium Phones can help your business too. Learn more about Podium Phones.

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more sales calls captured weekly
additional revenue captured per month
hours saved per week by automating Review invites
of annual subscriptions saved
increase in customer reviews

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About Mountaineer Heating and Cooling

Founded in 1981 and run with just 15 employees, Mountaineer Heating and Cooling specializes in installing and servicing HVAC equipment in North Carolina and the surrounding states. Joshua Jones, the founder’s son-in-law, is the Office Operations Manager and Controller at Mountaineer and runs the day-to-day finances, manages the marketing, and coordinates with the management team to make sure the business runs smoothly. 

Joshua’s father-in-law started Mountaineer more than 40 years ago after a mentor  encouraged him to go into HVAC. The competition in the area was low and the need was high. With no experience, he and his brother started the business out of their garage with a truck they borrowed until they could pay it off. The business has had a few ups and downs with the recession in the early 2000s and the impact of the pandemic in 2020, but in the last year—since implementing Podium—the company has produced more revenue than any other year in business. 

In just 18 months, Mountaineer Heating and Cooling has witnessed strong growth and introduced a customer-focused experience for payments, communication, and appointment scheduling with Podium. In previous years they struggled with a failing phone system, slow payments from customers, and no way to capture missed leads that went to voicemail or didn’t even register on their phone system at all. With Podium, Mountaineer Heating and Cooling is seeing immediate results—at least 2 additional sales leads every week, a record-breaking start to the year in revenue, more than 200 hours saved every year, a 10x increase in Google reviews, and so much more.

The Challenge

Before Podium, Mountaineer Heating and Cooling had a difficult time collecting payments, scheduling appointments with customers, getting new reviews for Google, and following up with leads and customers via phone. Their antiquated phone system and manual processes to connect with customers weren’t working. More specifically, the Mountaineer team struggled with the following challenges:

  • Relying on phone calls delayed appointments and payments for weeks

Joshua noticed a gap in communication with Mountaineer customers. “A lot of our clientele includes customers that are buying a second home, but these customers aren’t always available to communicate from 8:00 – 5:00 every day,” said Joshua. Customers were calling back after hours to leave voicemails, initiating a phone tag that was frustrating for both Mountaineer employees and their customers. Joshua explained, “It could take weeks to schedule an appointment and weeks to get invoices paid.”

  • Collecting Google reviews from customers was difficult

“I was having a lot of trouble getting any responses back from customers for Google Reviews,” said Joshua. The process to collect reviews—manually pulling a list of customers to ask and then emailing each customer—took too much time and rendered too few reviews. Mountaineer was only collecting one or two reviews a month before Podium.

  • Using their antiquated phone system was risky and complicated

Before adding Podium Phones, Mountaineer was using a phone system that had been hacked several times, required a lot of maintenance, and was overly complicated to use. “The phone system we were using was from a guy in Tennessee who had a side business. We felt like a side project,” said Joshua. “It was overly convoluted for a rural Appalachian HVAC company.”

  • Relying on their old phone system frustrated customers

It wasn’t uncommon for the Mountaineer team to run into problems after hours with their phone system, preventing customers from calling in with emergency maintenance needs. “Customers couldn’t get through to us and that doesn’t look good when customers are paying for you to be on call,” said Joshua. “We would find out on Monday morning that customers had tried to call us four times during a heat wave and we had no record of it.”

  • Listening to customer voicemails was a complicated process

When customers would call and leave a voicemail, Mountaineer’s previous phone system would save the message as an audio file and email it to the technician. “Sometimes the voicemails would be transcribed and sometimes they wouldn’t,” said Joshua. “But the worst part was that the technician didn’t actually get a phone call. And they didn’t have a convenient way to call the customer back right away.” The technician had to listen to the voicemail through an emailed link, open another app, find the customer’s phone number, and then call the customer through the app. “Customers were not satisfied and the experience was terrible for every technician.”

  • Missing prospect calls meant missing sales

With every missed call, Mountaineer Heating and Cooling knew they were missing potential clients. And with an average of $12,000 per job, they were missing out on a lot of potential business and revenue when calls went to voicemail. “Before Podium Phones we missed 20% of our sales calls,” said Joshua. “We were missing 2 out of every 10 calls. That’s $24,000 we were missing out on every week.”

The Podium Solution

With Podium, Mountaineer Heating and Cooling added efficiency and convenience to both the customer experience and the employee processes. With a reliable phone system, a faster payment solution, real-time conversations through texting, and a platform that prevents missed calls and missed leads from falling through the cracks, Podium is helping Mountaineer boost revenue and increase customer satisfaction. Mountaineer Heating and Cooling uses Podium to deliver:

  • Real-time connection with customers through texting

“I brought on texting with Podium to make the whole customer experience better,” said Joshua. By offering customers a way to connect with Mountaineer through text messages, scheduling appointments is convenient and easy. “A lot of our customers respond after hours so we just check it the next day and get everything scheduled,” said Joshua.

  • An increase in online customer reviews

“We’ve had so much success with Podium Reviews,” said Joshua. Now that they automatically send review requests via text, customers are quick to respond and happy to write a review right after a positive interaction with Mountaineer employees. In just six months they’ve collected more than 60 reviews.

  • Faster payments with text-to-pay

Mountaineer uses Podium Payments to collect customer payments via text. By requesting payments through text the Mountaineer team has eliminated the old frustration of collecting every payment over the phone after several back-and-forth phone calls and voicemails. “Now, I send a message to the customer that they can call and pay their invoice or we can text them a link to pay,” said Joshua. The option is helping Mountaineer get paid faster while offering a better payment experience to their customers.

  • Missed calls don’t mean missed sales anymore

“Since we started using Podium Phones, nothing has fallen through the cracks. We haven’t missed a single lead,” said Joshua. Now when a prospect calls and an employee can’t pick up the phone right away, they can send a text instead. Podium Phones plays a message to the caller offering the opportunity to text instead. And when customers choose to leave a voicemail, the message is transcribed and housed with all of their other messages in the same platform as their texts, Webchats, social media messages, and more.

  • A single location for all customer communication

“The best thing about Podium Phones is that everything is right there. Whether people are texting you, emailing you, or calling you—it’s all in one place and everyone sees what everyone is doing,” said Joshua. With this background information, Mountaineer employees can provide a better experience to their customers. Now there’s no need to log in to separate platforms, wait for an emailed link to hear a voicemail, and open a separate app to call the customer back. “Podium Phones really enables us to be more customer focused than we were before.”

Results & ROI

In just 18 months, Mountaineer Heating and Cooling has used Podium to see results like: 

→ 2+ more leads per week and ~$96k per month with Podium Phones

With Podium Phones, leads aren’t falling through the cracks. Now, leads are increasing. “Everything is there in the dashboard so we can get to everyone, we can respond to everyone,” said Joshua. “And now we can call everyone back and know who we’ve called back and who hasn’t been called back.” With the Podium Phones missed call auto reply text feature, Mountaineer is turning previously missed calls into up to $96,000 in additional revenue per month.


→ 20% more sales calls captured weekly

Podium Phones is making it easier to convert leads into closed sales. “Podium Phones has made our lives significantly better,” said Joshua. Automations make it easy to follow up with missed calls, missed voicemails, and even after hours with an option for the caller to text Mountaineer. “Our general manager calls Podium the best decision we’ve made since moving to a digital customer database.”  


→ A record-breaking year in revenue 

“Since implementing Podium Phones, we’ve made more money in our first quarter than ever before,” said Joshua. Now that missed calls and voicemails don’t lead to missed sales and scheduling appointments and requesting payments is as easy as sending a text, Mountaineer Heating and Cooling is reaping the benefits.


→ 4 hours saved every week by automating review requests through text

“Adding Podium Reviews has saved us at least four hours every week,” said Joshua. By automating review invites and getting rid of their previously manual process, the Mountaineer team is saving at least 20 hours per month and more than 200 hours per year.


→ Text-to-pay helped save 22% of annual maintenance subscriptions 

“We mostly use Payments with our service and sales departments, but we also use it to remind annual customers to renew their subscription,” said Joshua. And the new process is working. Payments has helped Mountaineer save 22% of their annual maintenance subscriptions that they generally expect to lose every year.


→ A 10x increase in customer reviews

In just six months, Mountaineer Heating and Cooling has collected more than 60 reviews, averaging 10x the number of reviews they used to get before Podium. “We were averaging maybe one or two Google reviews a month before Podium,” said Joshua. “But in just the last six months we’ve collected more than 60 reviews.”


“Podium pays for itself. It’s worth every penny—it creates a better customer experience, turns missed calls into sales, and helps us not lose track of any lead or customer. Nothing falls through the cracks with Podium.”

Podium can help your business too. Get started now.

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Revenue collected via text-to-pay
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Reviews gathered over 24 months

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Founded in 2004, Valley Roofing & Exteriors was built on the principle of quality. When 20-year-old Anson Martin saw a shortage of reputable roofers in the area, he jumped at the opportunity to fill the need. And after the first year, 16-year-old Joe Showalter joined the company, harnessing his energy for speed and accuracy—typically used on the basketball or volleyball court—into quality roofing skills. “I fell in love with the business and just really got interested in how everything worked,” said Joe. 


As Joe helped spearhead the move into different product lines, installation types, and even services, he moved around the company in different roles. But after several years, he was ready for a new challenge. “I asked Anson if there was an opportunity for me to move up in the company and do something different. That’s when I got into sales and management,” said Joe. Now as the Sales Manager, Joe runs a team of six sellers that bring in $10 million in annual revenue. 


Since 2020, Valley Roofing has used Podium to build a better customer experience—implementing texting for faster communication and mobile payments for added convenience—and tying it all together with more quality online reviews, averaging a 4.9 star rating and making their presence known throughout several of Virginia’s largest cities. 


The Challenge


Before Podium, Valley Roofing struggled to find an easy way for customers to communicate with both the office staff and roofing technicians, and simple operations grew unmanageable. Valley Roofing wrestled with issues such as:


→ Insufficient systems and processes

As the company grew in the first five years, it became clear that to scale, the current systems and processes needed to change. “Anson and I recognized that we needed systems in place if we wanted to do bigger things,” said Joe.


→ No reliable way to gather customer reviews

Anson and Joe recognized how critical positive customer reviews were to their business, but they didn’t have a great way to capture testimonials, let alone get them online.


→ Customer communication hurdles

Anson and Joe made it a priority to be as honest and transparent as possible.
“In our industry, it’s really easy to get a bad reputation. That usually happens when you’re not communicating with your customer or not showing up on time,” said Joe. And customers were feeling the strain. “One of the biggest complaints we were getting was, ‘I have no idea who I’m supposed to talk to here,’” said Joe.


→ Valuable time wasted on the phone

“Our phone was ringing off the hook. Most new leads would call in, but even web form leads would need a sales rep to call them and set up an appointment,”
said Joe. The back and forth on the phone to schedule an appointment took up a significant amount of time for the sales team and tied up the phone lines for the front desk as they fielded new inquiries.


→ Missed phone calls meant lost sales

With so much of their work reliant on weather, Valley Roofing would often get a big influx of customers calling in after a rainstorm or windstorm. But when the team couldn’t get to every call or answer every inquiry, they lost the potential business. Joe explained,
“If you’re not quick to pick up, or you don’t have a good system in place to intercept all those messages flooding in, customers are going to go with someone else.”


→ Delays in receiving payment for completed jobs

“When we started getting into higher volumes of work with more clients, it was obvious the process for payments was slow and problematic,”
said Joe. Between generating and mailing invoices, waiting for delivery – assuming it didn’t get lost in the mail – and waiting for customers to respond, the average time for an account to receive payment averaged three weeks after a job was done.


The Podium Solution

With Podium, Valley Roofing implemented a better way to connect with customers, a faster process for payments, and a more streamlined experience for collecting customer reviews.
More specifically, Valley Roofing uses Podium to deliver:


→ A single point of contact for every customer

With Podium, Valley Roofing customers now have one point of contact for their roofing project. Even when they need to speak to a different team member—such as moving from a sales conversation to a production conversation—it’s simple and easy. Customers can use the same number and same contact for their entire engagement with the business. “They don’t have to guess. It’s a single point of contact and it’s very simple,” said Joe.


→ A more convenient way to communicate with customers

Now, with the option of texting, Joe and Anson are seeing a dramatic uptick in customer engagement and a faster response time for messages. Converting phone calls to text messages has saved the team time and improved the speed of conversations. “Customers respond to text messages,” said Joe. “Sometimes you don’t get what you need from an email for 24 hours or you don’t get a returned phone call for a day or two. But people can’t resist typing back a text message response.”


→ A better, faster review request process

Prior to Podium, Valley roofing had collected a total of 22 reviews in 2019 – just under two per month. Once they allowed customers to leave a review by texting them, they immediately saw those numbers rise by 4.3x. Best of all, customers now had a fast, easy way to share their thoughts on Valley Roofing with the community.


→ A customer-focused payment experience

By offering customers the ability to pay Valley Roofing for their work through a secure payment link in their existing text thread, Anson and Joe were able to shorten the time between a completed job and getting paid from almost three weeks to just under one day. “Podium made the process very simple. We can get paid immediately and move onto the next job.” 


Results and ROI


In just two years partnering with Podium, Valley Roofing has enjoyed results like:


→ Managed 3,400 conversations in Podium in 2021


Joe and the Valley Roofing team understood the value of communicating with customers in the channels they prefer, and took action to meet their needs. “Sometimes you don’t get what you need from an email for 24 hours or you don’t get a return phone call for a day or two,” said Joe. “But it’s almost like people can’t resist typing back a text message response.” 


→ Decreased response time to new leads down to 15 minutes


New leads expect a rapid response when they inquire about a service. Valley Roofing understood this and turned to Podium to ensure leads are answered within minutes. 


→ Reduced wasted time on the phone by 40%

By offering texting as an option to customers, Joe estimates the amount of time his staff has saved by not wasting time on the phone is at least 40%. “With Podium, we can text back and forth and we don’t even have to pick the phone up,” said Joe. “The team’s time has been freed up to do more of the more important tasks.”


→ 182 reviews in just 24 months, average a 4.9 star rating


The Valley Roofing team is committed to providing a service that leaves every customer delighted. Their north star is “making sure that at the end of the job the customer is going to refer us—that has really kept us head above our competition in the area.” But in order to sustainably capture the fond favor their customers have, they implemented Podium to drive an impressive 182 reviews in just two years.


→ Processed $1.67M with Podium Payments in 2021


“Our old methods of collecting payment were very cumbersome,” Joe explained. “Especially when we started getting into higher volumes. If we can make it easy for our customers to pay, they’re likely to remember that and come back”. 


→ Improved speed-to-payment by 11.4x (from 21 days to 22 hours)


Payments that used to take weeks now take less than 24 hours with Podium Payments. And the process is much simpler, too. “The payment process isn’t nearly as hard as the actual work, which it used to feel like.”  The invoice is texted directly to the customer, making it easy to get a quick customer response and get the invoice paid. 


“Contracting and home improvement companies can be hard to get in touch with. But Podium solves that problem with a central platform to communicate with customers. And with Podium Payments, it’s easier for us to do business with our customers because we’re easy to do business with.”


Podium can help your business too. Watch a demo here.


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Convert more website visitors by taking online conversations to text messaging.

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increase in website traffic
new leads
hours a week saved in phone calls (and 1 FTE)

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About Roof Life of Oregon

Specializing in roof maintenance and roof replacement, Roof Life of Oregon is a residential roofing company in Oregon. Roof Life prides itself on delivering friendly customer service with decades of roofing experience. 

The founder, Patrick Morin, built Roof Life after washing roofs more than 40 years ago. Now, the company serves thousands of customers in the Portland area and the surrounding suburbs. 

Melissa Hill, a Digital Marketing Manager at Roof Life, has been at the company for 10 years. She sat down with Podum to share how Roof Life has implemented texting and Webchat to better serve their customers and increase reviews, leads, and traffic to their website. 

The Challenge

Before Podium, Roof Life of Oregon struggled with their online presence, connecting with customers in off hours, and wasting time trying to connect with customers on the phone to schedule services. Specifically, their challenges boiled down to:

Showing up online
Competitors were referencing Roof Life in Google Ads making it harder for Roof Life to show up online and win customers. “The biggest pain was needing to step up our digital marketing by improving our online reputation. Other roofing companies were using our name in Google Ads and we wanted to stand out,” said Melissa.

Creating accessibility for clients
The Roof Life team knew it was important to be accessible to their clients, even on weekends and after hours. Clients have emergency roof leaks at all times of the day and the team knew they needed to increase their accessibility. Melissa explained, “We wanted to be accessible at all times for our clients. Roof leaks and other emergencies can happen at any time so we wanted clients to have a quick way to contact us from our website.”

Spending hours on the phone scheduling services
“We were wasting so much time calling customers. It was one person’s full-time job to call customers to schedule services,” said Melissa. With a company policy in place to call customers three times to try and connect, Roof Life spent too much time on the phone, often without speaking to an actual customer. 

The Podium Solution

With Podium, Roof Life created a better way to connect to prospects and customers, book appointments, and collect reviews. With texting and Webchat, Roof Life of Oregon uses Podium to deliver:

A customer-focused scheduling experience via text
With Podium, Roof Life implemented texting as a channel to communicate scheduling with customers. It’s been so effective that when the full-time employee responsible for scheduling work left the company, Podium messaging replaced all of her work and they haven’t had to hire a replacement.

“The owner loves it. He couldn’t believe the amount of people we actually got to say yes to booking appointments over text. All of a sudden he had 20 renewal clients in one day and he said, “how did this happen?’” said Melissa.

A better way to collect customer reviews and increase their online presence
After implementing Podium to request reviews via text, Roof Life increased their average star rating on Google and Facebook which has increased their overall leads. Melissa explained, “The online reputation tools were huge for us. With Podium, the review request is quick and to the point. It’s not time consuming, it’s simple.”

A convenient way to connect with customers at all hours
When they know you’re live and right there, we can just chat back and forth, instead of sending them an email and waiting for a response,” said Melissa as she described the benefits of Webchat on their website. With a better way to connect, customers and prospects can quickly get in touch with Roof Life.

Results and ROI

With Podium, Roof Life of Oregon has found incredible results like:

→ Saved 40 working hours per week

Roof Life has now had more than 2,700 conversations with customers via Podium in the last 12 months. These interactions haven’t just saved 40 working hours per week, they’ve saved the cost of one full-time employee. Melissa explained, “ I hear a lot, ‘Thank you for the quick response.’ Customers say ‘wow, that was quick, thank you.’”

→ Increased average star rating from 3.8 to 4.7

With Podium, Roof Life added 331 new customer reviews to Google, increasing the average reviews per month from 2 to 7. “If you want to simplify your life and gain a good reputation online, get Podium,” said Melissa.

→ Increased website traffic by 23%

Roof Life added 1,544 leads from Webchat, a direct result of the 23% increase in website traffic. “Our lead volume has gone up because more people come to the website now, because of better reviews, and fill out the form or text us through webchat,” said Melissa.

“Podium is a game-changer. It’s allowed us to service our clients in a timely manner, improve our reputation online by offering our clients a quick and easy link to leave a review, and an easy way to respond to us with no hassle involved.” 

Podium can help your business too. Watch a demo here.

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Take control of your online reputation with hundreds of authentic reviews.

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Convert more website visitors by taking online conversations to text messaging.

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Gain critical insights into your business through custom surveys and NPS.

Revenue processed with Podium Payments over the last 12 months
Revenue generated from first text marketing campaign
Reviews gathered in first 18 months with Podium

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Guyou Construction is a full-service energy solutions provider that is known for its high-quality products and boutique experience—but that experience doesn’t stop at its products and installations. The number one priority at Guyou is to provide outstanding customer service while helping customers find the best solar, roofing and maintenance solutions for them. As a result, their reputation as a top-of-the-line solar solution company began to spread throughout Orange County, San Diego County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, and now Sacramento County, and suddenly, their business was wanted everywhere from Los Angeles to San Diego.


As their business continued to expand across Southern California, the Guyou team saw a need for a way to seamlessly gather reviews and feedback, as well as an effective and frictionless method of communicating with potential – and existing – customers.


As LeRoy Reynolds, Guyou’s Director of Information Technology explained, “I think it was just one of those things where the company wanted something that they could open up an avenue of communication with customers. And that’s a huge driving point for us. We want to be in communication with customers, and make sure there’s an open line of communication where they can contact us how they choose.”


How Guyou Construction Transformed Their Online Reputation


As a company that focuses heavily on the customer experience, LeRoy and his team thought that gathering reviews was a must. Being a largely customer-centric business, with installations and maintenance acting as two of the main services, reviews about how your employees interact with customers can have a huge impact on potential leads. Guyou takes immense pride in their customer service, and that’s a direct result of the CEO’s values—Marcus Gayou wanted to foster a welcoming, friendly, and helpful environment for his customers and employees.

“One of the reasons I joined the company is it’s very family-oriented”, said LeRoy. “Marcus Gayou, the CEO, is very hands-on with everything. He wants to make sure everybody’s happy. He wants to make sure that the work has good quality. That’s one of the reasons why we push good reviews and ensure we get those five stars.”


LeRoy wanted a simple way to gather testimonials that they could promote online, so they started using Podium Reviews.
After getting started with Podium, the process of gathering reviews became easier and more streamlined for Guyou’s employees. As Marissa Billiu, Guyou’s Referral Manager told us, “once a job is complete… I’d call the customer, introduce myself, and explain that we were out there to replace a bad inverter, ‘How’s everything working now? Great? Okay, cool! I’m trying to grow our online presence. Would you mind helping us out, leaving us a positive review?’ They’ll say yes. And then I’ll send them a link through Podium.” Podium makes it simple and convenient for home services professionals like Marissa to gather reviews. Not only that, but it makes boosting their online reputation a breeze.
Marissa also went on to explain, “When I was making phone calls asking for reviews, I wasn’t getting as many reviews as when I’m texting these people because you just have to think about everyone’s day today, they’re at work, they’re driving, they’re living in a fast-paced environment, so it’s easier just to respond to a text. So in my world, that’s what I choose to do and it’s working.”

How SMS Marketing Optimized Guyou’s Referral Process


In addition to Reviews, Guyou has also been using Campaigns to gather referrals from existing customers.


Marissa explained, “Every month or so, I’ll come up with something creative about the referral program. ‘Hey, reminder, we have summer specials going on right now. Don’t forget to tell your friends and family,’ and then I just send a message to all of our customers and I get responses that way as well.”


These promotional messages didn’t just bring in responses – they also generated revenue. Marissa’s first referral campaign resulted in an 11.1% clickthrough rate on their first campaign, compared to the average 2.5% clickthrough rate commonly seen with email campaigns, plus three referrals and one sale for over $30,000. Through a single SMS marketing text message, Marissa was able to lock down a noteworthy sale that resulted in tremendous ROI.


Marissa’s innovative use of Campaigns to gather referrals has helped to bolster Guyou’s online reputation while simultaneously rewarding repeat customers, making it a win-win for both parties.


Implementing text-to-pay and Podium Card Readers


With multiple departments in need of a streamlined payment solution, LeRoy looked to Podium Payments. “A few different departments use Payments, including our service department, install department, and site audit department.” Centralizing these departments’ transactions within Podium improves Guyou’s visibility into what drives revenue, and makes financial tracking a breeze.


Podium Payments provides a flexible solution for Guyou as they continually strive to improve their customer experience. By offering text-to-pay and recently implementing Podium’s Card Readers to collect payment via credit card on-site, they cover every type of payment individual customers might prefer.


LeRoy explained, “We can say, ‘Well, we can do this at the time of service, or you can pay upfront.’ And sometimes that’s where that comes into play because they prefer to pay on the spot, ‘Oh, I don’t mind paying right now.’ So we send them a link through Podium where they complete their purchase, ‘Okay, well, we’re going to send you a link,’ it goes through Podium and then they go through that link and make the purchase. And from what I’ve heard, we’ve had some great success with it.”


The ease of use didn’t stop at customers though—it also made life significantly easier for Guyou’s accounting team. After seeing the early proof that Podium Payments provided an easy-to-use and highly effective way of tracking revenue, the accounting team couldn’t wait to expand Podium across other departments of the business. “Our accounting team said, ‘Yeah, how is this being done? Okay, do that for everybody.’ They said, ‘Hey, this is a very good way to get payment. We get our invoicing done faster. We get things done faster on the cashflow side,’” LeRoy explained.


Podium as an all-in-one solution


As LeRoy reflected on using Podium’s suite of business tools, he explained, “If you want to be a company that can [gather] quick payments and monitor cashflow pretty quickly, Podium is a great option… there’s a lot of flexibility with it. So for smaller companies that want to be very communicative, this is definitely the way to go.” Podium has become Guyou’s go-to solution for effective communication and payment gathering.


As Guyou Construction has expanded over the years, it needed software that was capable of expanding with them. Podium offered that for them, and allowed them to remain true to their core values as a local business. “We’re focused on expanding as much as we can, but keep our friendly execution. We want our customers to be able to come to us and ask us questions, or if they have any concerns, we can put them at ease. Which we do well.”


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While some HVAC dealerships’ sales are cooling down during COVID19, others are heating up. The difference? A sleek digital transformation.


Over 20 years ago, Trane Technologies, one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of heating and cooling systems, decided to partner with its dealers through an “elite” program. Dealers who met certain criteria would receive benefits from the company to boost their online presence. These benefits included online lead generation, social media advertising, and online banners.


After many years of success, Trane wasn’t pleased with the value they were providing, and dealers were having a hard time gauging the true worth of some of the program’s non-quantifiable benefits.  Concerned, Trane executives began brainstorming ways to deliver more effective and measurable value to their elite members. It was time to level up their dealer elite program.


Podium gives dealers tools for a sleek customer experience


Like any successful business, Trane knew that manufacturer sales depend not only on the product itself but on the customer experience as well. After talking it over, Trane executives scrapped the program’s old benefits and focused afresh on improving the customer journey.


Most modern consumers expect a sleek digital experience, from the first impression to a done deal. In response, Trane revamped its elite offerings to allow members to choose from a list of software products and services to enhance their digital presence.


Out of those software solutions, more dealers chose Podium than any other platform.


Dealers who chose Podium increased revenue for Trane by 8% more in sales than those who didn’t


Through Podium, these dealerships began interacting with website visitors, texting customers, boosting their online reviews, and implementing touch-free payments. This provided a smooth and personalized experience unmatched by competitors. In fact, during COVID19, dealers with Podium delivered 8% more revenue for Trane than those that did not.


Suddenly, Trane’s elite program was providing the type of value they always envisioned.


“Getting Podium through Trane’s Elite Program has been a huge benefit,” said Gary Nordin, Head of Information Systems at Renaud Electric Heating and Cooling. “We have seen the value immediately. We are glad that Trane sees the value too and made the move to a better process in collecting reviews and growing our business.”


Since January, Elite Trane dealers who choose Podium have, on average, experienced:

  • 402% increase in online reviews
  • 77 website visits per month converted to phone calls
  • 15% conversion of web chat conversations to actual sales
  • 4% Positive YoY growth despite a global pandemic


“It is very clear how important customer experience is to the success of our business. Our dealers’ ability to connect with customers should drive strong online reputation scores and provide a better homeowner experience. Now that thousands of our elite dealer partners are operating their businesses with Podium, they are delivering a higher quality customer experience to homeowners. Podium is helping Trane Technologies deliver a differentiated experience which has translated into meaningful growth of our business.” – Jason Bingham, President, Residential HVAC & Supply


Pandemic or not, our goal is always to help companies like Trane delight their dealers’ customers through a seamless digital experience.


Aptly put by  Katherine Shin, Trane’s President of Customer Experience: “When customers are happy, the dealer is happy, and when the dealer is happy, the manufacturer is happy.”


And when you’re happy, we’re happy.

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After a year unlike any before, home service businesses across the country are looking for solutions that will help meet demand, increase their team’s output, and overcome obstacles stemming from COVID-19 to make 2022 their greatest year yet. To help these businesses succeed, Podium recently hosted a virtual summit to share best practices and celebrate local home service professionals everywhere.

Hear how professionals in HVAC (Betty Weinel, Hauser Heating & Air), windows (Joel Masters, Portland Window Coverings), and roofing (Joe Showalter, Valley Roofing) utilize Podium’s communication and payment solutions to grow their businesses, modernize their communication channels, and improve their team’s efficiency and productivity.

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Joel Masters has been selling window coverings for 14 years. In 2017, Joel started his own online gallery in partnership with Hunter Douglas, the world’s leading manufacturer of window treatments. A year later, he opened his own brick-and-mortar store.


“It was by far the scariest thing I’ve ever done,” Joel told us. But despite his fears, he has steadily grown his business over the last few years and now employs a team of seven. He’s added invaluable business experience to his knowledge of the window covering industry. And he’s learned how to make his customer experience unlike that of any of his local competitors.


“We created a showroom that’s different from a lot of other Hunter Douglas offerings,” Joel told us. “People come in, we walk them through the showroom, help them understand what’s available in the market and what might work for them.” Once the customer had seen their options and asked any questions they had, Joel and his team would book a home call for their design team to go out and measure, provide a quote, and move toward closing the sale.


While Joel had been steadily growing his business for the first couple of years, his online reputation wasn’t reflecting the quality of his customer experience. Portland Window Coverings had a solid star rating on Google but with only a handful of reviews. Joel knew that customers would only trust a high star rating if the quantity of reviews was also high. But Joel was a busy business owner who already had too much on his plate. He didn’t feel he had the time or resources to manage his business’s online reputation.


Collecting reviews with a simple text link.


Joel reached out to the web design agency he had hired to build his website. He told them about his need to improve his online reputation and collect more reviews. Since some of their other clients had seen success with Podium, they recommended it to Joel.


Joel and his team started using Podium to send review invites to customers via text. They nearly doubled their monthly review volume and have maintained a 5.0 average star rating with more than 100 reviews.


Joel was relieved to see that his team was quickly bringing in more reviews and that his online reputation was on its way to more accurately reflecting the offline customer experience his team was providing. As he started to understand all that the Podium platform had to offer, he quickly realized that he could use it to connect with customers in a more efficient way.


Connecting instantly with website visitors and customers.


While Joel historically relied on his website’s ‘contact us’ form to collect leads and would reach back out to those leads over the phone or via email, that form was generating only a handful of leads each month.


“I used to have a ‘contact us’ form on the website that people could fill out,” Joel told us. “But that feels like a bit of a commitment, right? They aren’t ready for that type of engagement yet.”


Joel needed a way to communicate with his customers digitally since coming into the showroom was no longer an option. He recognized that he needed something other than his website’s ‘contact us’ form—something less intimidating, more natural, and that would allow for synchronous, two-way communication.


“These days, online chat is an expectation,” Joel told us. “People want to have a way to interact from your website.” That said, what Joel didn’t want was another chat tool that relied on a third-party source to field conversations or something that felt like an automated chatbot. When he saw Podium Webchat for the first time, he felt confident that his team could use it to more effectively capture leads and communicate with customers.


“I saw the potential in Webchat right away,” Joel told us. “When we can begin conversing over text, it can evolve into something very promising for us.”


With Webchat added to his site, Joel’s prospects and customers could now start asking questions with the click of a button—whether they wanted to schedule a home call with the Portland Window Coverings design team, ask questions about custom treatments, ask follow-up questions after purchase, or anything else. And they could do all of that while safely quarantined in the comfort of their own homes.


“Webchat helps us stay on the ball. It makes us look better than we are at times.”


“Our web interaction is up 583%,” Joel told us. “And clients truly enjoy being able to chat through the widget and start the process with a simple click to talk to an associate.”


Joel had not only solved how to connect with website visitors and communicate with customers, but had also made his business much more efficient in the process. What Joel’s team used to accomplish with a customer over the course of 24 hours or so, they were now able to do in a matter of minutes.


“I think of our customer communication like rugby, where I’m able to continuously pass the ball to a teammate running besides me and they can keep running,” Joel told us. “Each player runs the ball as far as they personally can, then passes it. It works incredibly well for our business.”


On top of communicating more effectively and efficiently with customers, Joel’s team had been able to consistently gather new leads. In the last year, they’d generated around 30 inbound Webchat leads every month. But before he even had time to celebrate that win, an entirely new kind of challenge was knocking at his door.


Transforming the payment process during a pandemic.


In March of 2020, Joel found out about the launch of Podium Payments, a text-to-pay option that would allow his business to send payment links to customers via text. Because of his success using Podium to get reviews, connect with website visitors, and communicate with customers, he didn’t hesitate to start using Podium’s text-to-pay tool. And it was perfect timing.


COVID-19 had reached the U.S. and was taking its toll. People everywhere were under quarantine and leaving their homes only when absolutely necessary. Joel himself was suddenly running a business entirely from home. Like most local businesses, Joel had historically accepted payments from customers mostly in person. But since the pandemic began, his team had been accepting a lot of payments over the phone, and he didn’t believe that was the best option for his customers or his business.


“Not only are people apprehensive about giving a credit card number over the phone—as they should be—but I also don’t want to take it over the phone,” Joel told us. “It places a liability on us.”


Joel started searching for a way to collect contactless payments. Since he had started using texting to collect reviews from customers, connect with website visitors, and communicate with customers, when he found out about Podium’s text-to-pay tool, he didn’t hesitate. Instead of wasting time taking payment over the phone, creating liability for his business, and requiring customers to do something they often were uncomfortable with, Joel’s team started sending a simple payment link via text.


“Text payments actually do what a lot of Podium does for us, which is help us look better than we are,” Joel told us. “As good as we try to be, we’re still a small business. I don’t have the financial backing of a big corporation to put together these awesome ways to pay right in an app or something like that. So it opens that door for people to process payments and interact with me financially in a way that is not only comfortable, but feels very professional. And I think it’s overlooked by a lot of companies.”


As COVID-19 cases have decreased and customers have slowly started physically coming into Portland Window Covering’s showroom, Joel has added Podium’s card readers so that customers can choose to pay over text or right there in the showroom.


“We process 90% of all our transactions through Podium Payments on either a card reader, mobile reader, or text-to-pay every month,” Joel told us. “That represents about a $60,000 savings in fees compared to my previous payment solution. And 93% of all transactions process in less than five minutes. It’s just become an integral part of everything that we do every single day. So it allows us to take payments in any way that a client is available or feels comfortable with.”


Now that Joel and his team have made it through the worst of the global pandemic, they’re now capitalizing on the tools they used to get through those challenging times to set their business apart from local competitors and provide a modern experience that customers aren’t used to getting from a local business.


“Podium is so integrated into our day-to-day business,” Joel told us. “I don’t know how we would do what we do at the level we’re doing it without Podium or something like it. And honestly, to my knowledge, I don’t think there’s anything else like it.”

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For Valentine Roofing, it’s not about roofs but the people living under them. That may sound trite, but it’s truly baked into the way they run their business. Take their Peace of Mind program, for instance, where they install new roofs free of charge for people in need in the Puget Sound area. Plus, their commitment to their customers and community is visible in each customer communication. 


“Connor (the founder of Valentine Roofing) is a real person of integrity,” Steven Heller, Sales & Technology Manager at Valentine Roofing, told us. “And he wanted to start a company that put the customer first, focused on seamless customer communication and going the extra mile.”


Steven explained to us that roofing has historically been one of the least trusted industries out there, according to many studies. People are usually going through a difficult time when they need their roof repaired or replaced, and the process is incredibly disruptive to their lives. If you’ve been displaced from your home, and your roofing company fails to communicate or deliver on expectations, that’s going to impact your life in a significant way. 


“Our focus is on, how do we provide the best customer experience?” Steven told us. “People hate waiting around for days or even hours to hear back. We try to measure our response time in minutes rather than hours.”


Valentine Roofing has always been focused on providing a superior customer experience, but it wasn’t until two years ago that they discovered a better way to deliver that experience. 


“We were communicating with our customers primarily through telephone and to a lesser degree, email,” Steven told us. “And we realized that we’re in the 21st century and people are communicating in different ways. So, by forcing ourselves to stick with only phone or only email, we were really limiting ourselves.”


Problem #1: Inefficient and inconsistent communications.


Valentine found that the speed and content of their communications with customers didn’t always represent their business values.


“Our team is top notch,” Steven said. “Every employee here is just firing on all cylinders. But sometimes, if left to our own devices, and we’re typing a message from scratch, we might miss things or we might not word things the way that would be best worded. Half of the time spent composing any message, email or text or whatever, is just thinking about what do I want to say? How do I want to word this? And especially, like I said, our team is so qualified, they’re really thinking about how they say things and they’re very customer service oriented but that requires some thought and that requires some brain power.


Solution: Streamlining communications with text message templates.


With Podium, Valentine discovered that they could create text message templates for every point in the customer journey, arming their team with clear communication at the click of a button.


“We’re on a mission right now to ignite the customer experience,” Steven said. “We’ve been customer focused for so long, but we’re just identifying ways that we can improve. So, one of the things that we realized is that our connection with customers on an individual level is so important. So, we developed bios for each one of our employees here who will have contact with the customer, and they’ll send that bio out to the customer just introducing themselves along with a photograph because you can attach photographs in Podium. So, the customer knows who they’re talking to. We’re trying to humanize that connection. We don’t want them just to feel like they’re talking to a nameless, faceless company but that they’re talking to a real human being here and having this conversation with this person who is invested in the success of this project. 


Result: 9,930 customer conversations managed with Podium.



Problem #2: Online reputation didn’t reflect reality.


Valentine’s online review ratings were decent, but they didn’t have enough reviews to rise to the top of local search results. 


“We realized that we had not been focusing enough on our reviews prior to Podium,” Steven said. “We’re one of the biggest, if not the largest, roofing company in the Puget Sound area, and our reviews did not reflect that. Our reviews on Google and Facebook, not that the quality wasn’t good. Our scores were good, there just weren’t enough reviews. 


Solution: Collecting reviews via text.


With Podium, Valentine started sending their customers a simple text invite to leave a review with the tap of a couple of buttons. 


“It was so easy to use Podium to harness that ability to just send the customer a [text] review request,” Steven said. “I don’t fill out reviews for things that often myself. It’s just that I don’t have time and it’s a pain. But once I saw how it works with Podium, when a customer gets a review request it’s like two taps, pretty much, two or three taps and they’ve posted a review. And maybe they’ve said something, maybe not but we’ll take a five star review just the same whether they comment or not, although we love to hear what they have to say. So that was just the ease and the simplicity just to get people to be able to fill out a review was key.”


Result: 592 new reviews with a 4.6 average star rating



Problem #3: Inefficient payment process was costing time and money.


Valentine noticed that their payment process wasn’t as efficient as it could be, resulting in unnecessary work for their accounting team (and their customers). 


“Before Podium Payments sometimes people would call in,” Steven said. “Predominantly our accounting team would just send out a QuickBooks payment link and they would pay via that. It worked okay. It was just slower. It relied on someone here back at the office to generate that or they would call in and speak to our sales support team who would process the transaction. So, no matter what, we were adding layers of other people who they would have to call in or wait for us to email them. So, it just slowed everything down.”


Solution: Collect payments via text and wireless card readers.


With Podium, Valentine started collecting payments through either a simple text link or wireless card readers, making it faster and easier for their accounting team and their customers.


“The first step when Podium Payments became a thing is that the estimator would, on the Podium app on their phone, generate a link and send it via Podium to that customer,” Steven said. “So, they would receive it as a text message. Super easy. Also, once they saw how easy it was to pay and they could use Apple Pay or whatever their digital payment solution or situation was right on their phone. It was just so fast. And to be able to have the estimator right in front of the customer generate that link and send it to them, it was awesome.”


“The next step was a few months ago when we got the card readers. As soon as I showed that to the sales guys they were just losing their mind. I did a little demo showing how you just generate the payment, the customer taps their card, done. They loved that and they immediately started just flocking to that because it’s a more secure transaction as well. The pricing is a little better because the customer has the card present. I used to be in the payments industry for many years so I’m familiar with how it works.  I don’t know what degree of our down payments are via Podium pay but I would venture near all of them. So, yeah, it became the way that we operate.”


Result: $6.7 million collected via Podium Payments.


“For us, knowing that communication is so important, Podium is a key piece in our strategy for our relationships with our customers,” Steven told us. “I don’t know how we would operate the same way without it.”

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Dane Beazley’s Australian plumbing company, Gold Coast Plumbing, was doing fine. 

And that was a huge problem. 

Dane didn’t start his business to do “fine”; he had a vision of becoming the community’s premier plumbing company.  Dane was confident that once his team got a job, they would showcase top-notch work—the only problem was getting jobs in the first place.  

Dane’s first thought was to maximize online reviews, the lifeblood of local business. Businesses with only one or two locations don’t have the luxury of building brand awareness and trust through storefronts across the country. Instead, they rely on customer reviews to attract new clientele. As every small business knows, online reviews can either trumpet the sound of success, or ring the death knell. 

Over the next few weeks, Gold Coast Plumbing received a handful of positive reviews, but not enough to solidify their status as a premium company. 

“We had some testimonials on our website, but nothing like the social proof that comes from a good number of Google reviews.” 

“We had some testimonials on our website,” Dane said. “But nothing like the social proof that comes from a good number of Google reviews.”  

That’s when Dane turned to Podium. With Podium’s Reviews tool, Golden Coast Plumbing was able to automatically ask every customer for a review. After a completed job, customers would simply receive a text link to the company’s Google review page and rate their service. The process was so fast and easy for customers that within two years, Gold Coast Plumbing’s reviews skyrocketed from 50 to 400. 

Even better, the number of positive reviews was helping Dane realize his dream of GoldCoast Plumbing being the area’s premier plumbing company. 

“I believe there was a point where we hit a certain number of reviews, and we were seen as an authority in the field,” Dane said. 

With this newfound status as a gold-standard company, Dane said Gold Coast Plumbing was able to charge a greater fee for their high-quality work. 

“It’s about raising the standard out there, because if everybody can raise their standard, we can all charge a little more,” Dane said. “It’s disappointing when you hear of guys out there that are just charging enough to cover their materials, when they could be living a life they get a lot of enjoyment out of.”

“People aren’t wowed by average anymore. You won’t get a good review from just doing average things; you need to go beyond that.”

One reason Golden Coast Plumbing continues to get such great reviews is their emphasis on customer service and eagerness to go the extra mile. For example, Golden Coast Plumbing has recently implemented Podium Webchat—a tool that enables the company to chat with customers and set appointments through text. 

“Right from the very first moment we make contact, the customer has that sense that ‘yeah, I’m dealing with a company that cares and has taken the time to acknowledge me,’” Dane said. “And if they have to change a booking, they can just reply via text—how easy is that?”  

Additionally, Dane says Webchat has increased inbound leads by 20% because there are fewer missed calls and more text messages. Employees can respond to these texts at any time and interact with a greater number of potential clients. 

Above all, Dane knows that the key to a truly exceptional business, and fantastic online reviews, is delighting customers in as many ways as possible. 

“People aren’t wowed by average anymore,” Dane said. “You won’t get a good review from just doing average things; you need to go beyond that. It’s like what Podium is doing by being a leader in their field. If we align with people like that, it’s only natural that all boats float on the rising tide.”

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Hunter Douglas is a worldwide leader in manufacturing architectural products and window coverings. Their global federation consists of more than 100 businesses. We caught up with two of them, Ambiance Design Windows and Portland Window Coverings, and asked how they’ve each become the top-rated providers of window treatments in their respective areas. 

“About two years ago, we decided to bail completely on print advertising,” Dan Hawley, Co-owner at Ambiance Design Windows told us. “We put all of our marketing dollars into Google campaigns… we really focused on reviews because I saw the value there.” 

But shifting marketing dollars to Google and focusing on reviews didn’t lead to overnight success. At first, they were getting just two or three reviews per month. Within three days of a sale, Dan’s team would send a review invite via email, but most of those emails weren’t even getting opened.  

Dan knew that if their ratings weren’t better than the competition, it wouldn’t matter how much he spent on advertising. Reviews are how homeowners decide where to buy. He was determined to become the top-rated provider of window treatments in the Blue Bell, Pennsylvania area. But he knew that sending review invites through email wasn’t going to get him there. He needed a better approach.

In September of that year, Dan heard about Podium and decided to try it. “Podium helped cohesively pull everything together for us in one tool that was simple to use, easy to access, and readily available on multiple platforms,” he told us, “which drove our reviews up 500% month over month.”

If texting works for reviews, then what else can it unlock?

Podium was working. Ambiance Design was quickly becoming the top-rated provider of window treatments in the Blue Bell area. That’s when Dan started to think bigger. He thought of all the other ways they could use Podium—for scheduling, appointment reminders, calendar requests, and more. What he didn’t expect was how Podium would change how they attract and convert leads into paying customers. 

Dan heard about Podium Webchat and added it to the Ambiance Design website. Instead of having to fill out the contact form and wait, visitors could now click the chat icon and ask a question with one click. Better yet, the conversation would move automatically to a text message, which meant the visitor could leave the website without ending the conversation.

“I’ve even been using it to chat between my staff members,” Dan told us. When he has a question regarding a customer, he just chats his team directly in Podium. Then, he assigns the conversation to the right staff member. That staff member then has all the context they need without having to restart the conversation. 


“We’re encouraging our dealers to adopt Podium’s messaging tools. The days of email communications have gone by the wayside. If you don’t make a meaningful connection with customers within five minutes, they’ll go to a competitor.  Podium creates a frictionless buying experience starting with Google search and ending with an effortless way to pay.”
– Jamie Ziegler, Director of Product Management, Hunter Douglas


Around the same time that Ambiance Design was unlocking the power of text messaging, another Hunter Douglas dealer across the country was figuring out the same thing. “It’s funny because initially I was like, I just need reviews so I get good rankings,” Joel Masters, Owner at Portland Window Coverings told us. “What I didn’t realize was how much Podium would become a part of our everyday life as a communication tool.” When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Joel quickly realized that texting was the answer.

Adapting to a global pandemic.

Like most local businesses, Portland Window Coverings was heavily impacted by COVID-19. Social distancing affected every part of the customer journey: attracting new leads, providing consultations, installing window coverings, and collecting payments. With their showroom closed, they had to rely on their website to capture new leads and convert them into paying customers—and they had to do it without in-person contact. 

Podium Webchat gave visitors to the Portland Window Coverings website an easy way to reach out and ask questions. They weren’t going into the showroom, but in some ways this was even better. A single employee could now help multiple customers at the same time. “Through the whole COVID process, Webchat is what made a big difference in our business,” Joel told us. 

Collecting secure, contactless payments.

None of this matters unless prospects become paying customers. That’s why Joel and his team have also started using Podium to collect payments via text. “We want to swipe that card when we can,” he told us, “but a lot of times we have a quote and they want to think about it.” Whether the customer is practicing social distancing or not, they often aren’t ready to pay until they’ve gone home to think it over for a while. When you’re considering spending several thousand dollars, you want to be sure you’re making the right decision.

Now, when the customer is ready to pay, Joel’s team quickly sends a secure link via text instead of reading credit card numbers over the phone or sending an invoice through the mail. The customer opens the text, clicks the link, and can even pay using Apple Pay or Google Pay. “I didn’t think I could be more happy with Podium until we started using their Payments tool,” Joel told us. “Podium is one of those things that you don’t know you need until you have it, and then once you have it, you can’t live without it.”

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What happened to the once-dreamed-of 15-hour workweek? Despite past predictions that the workweek would shrink, people are working more than they used to. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always translate into more wealth. Though they work more, millennials seem to be worse off financially than prior generations. 

This begs the question: How do you win people’s attention when they have fewer dollars and even fewer hours to go around?

Vasili Tsoutouras, CEO of Adelaide-based Allstate Pest Control, asks himself that question every day. “People are really time-poor, again,” he told us. With 17 years in the business, Vasili has seen firsthand how customers have changed. He’s learned that the quickest way to the heart of today’s customer is by saving them time. 

“I was looking for a way to interact with customers better, quicker,” Vasili told us. Even something as simple as a technician running a few minutes behind would often turn into a game of phone tag. The technician would call the office who’d then call the customer. It was frustrating for all involved parties. 

Vasili thought messaging might be the answer to his problem, but he’d been burned by clunky texting platforms in the past. 

Vasili’s team used to send out messages using their management system. Unfortunately, they couldn’t attach files, and customers couldn’t even respond. “It was very clunky and limited,” Vasili told us. “It was less than ideal.”

The technology wasn’t Vasili’s only concern. “As an organization, one of the big things that worried me was what happens when someone messages back and the person’s unable to take that message,” Vasili said. 

While at work one day, Vasili saw a story on LinkedIn that got his attention. The story was much like the one you’re reading now. He read about a Podium customer who had seen great success with messaging. He started doing some of his own research. Six weeks later, Vasili ran into the Podium booth at a conference in Australia.

“I thought, that’s convenient. All right, sign me up.” 

“I went back to Adelaide and got Podium going. I had everything up and running before the training even happened. I was already getting reviews. When my Podium contact went to train me, I was like, ‘I don’t know if you need to train me.’ It’s that easy.” 

Now, instead of phone tag, if a technician is running behind, it’s just two clicks of a button. The customer is notified instantly that the technician is running late. Because the message comes from the technician rather than the office, the technician builds rapport with the customer before they even arrive at the home. The customer feels comfortable. The technician is ready to do their job. All barriers are gone.

“The best thing about Podium is that everybody in the organization, from me down to the last technician, can see those conversations appearing,” Vasili told us. His team can see not only the conversations coming in, but also whether they’ve been assigned to anyone. They route each conversation to the right team member, and the customer never even knows that they’ve been handed off. The days of conversations falling through the cracks are gone. 

Vasili shared a recent example with us. One day, a customer messaged Vasili’s team with a concern. The message went straight from Webchat to Allstate’s team inbox. They discussed the problem and responded to the customer within a few minutes. 

“In the past that probably would have been a phone call, or an email. It would’ve taken a long time to solve the customer’s issue,” Vasili told us.

“What makes it so special is the speed with which you can handle a customer inquiry, even issues from the field.”

Customers aren’t the only ones who’ve changed. Vasili told us that he’s seen a shift in the mindset of his field technicians. He’s found that they’re trying harder than they did before implementing Podum. They take more care to delight customers and get reviews. As Vasili put it, “They wear it as a badge of honor.”

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Local businesses can be just as modern as any tech company. Paschal Air, Plumbing, and Electric is proof of that.

Paschal has been serving Fayetteville, Arkansas since 1968. Until 2012, they’d grown to a headcount of only 20. That’s when Charley Boyce took ownership. Since then they’ve grown to 110 and counting, and they’re just getting started. 

We asked Charley how Paschal has managed to grow so consistently under his lead. “It’s all about people and processes,” he told us. “It’s about making sure we have the right people and that we know where we’re going, and then constantly refining the processes.”

Any business owner will tell you that finding the right people is challenging. HVAC business owners often tell us how hard it is to find and keep quality technicians. Paschal has done an amazing job of finding employees who live up to the company’s long-standing reputation. But making sure their employees have the right technology and processes they need to be effective hasn’t been as easy.

“We don’t hand out just anything to third parties,” Marketing Director Jade Rundle told us. “We like to keep things in-house and make sure we’re growing the right way.” Much of that approach is driven by how quickly things now change online. 

 “What worked for us five years ago doesn’t work for us today,” Charley told us. “Stuff is changing and you’ve got to change with it.” A few years back, Charley found that his team was missing a lot of opportunities due to obstacles in communication. He knew they had the right people on their side, but they needed to refine their processes and adopt more useful tech. 

Reviews were just the beginning.

Charley heard about Podium from another business owner while at a dealer meeting. He knew right away that Podium could help Paschal give a voice to their customers through quality reviews. What he didn’t know was that it would become much more than that. 

“It’s gone from just this little widget that we were going to use to help get reviews,” Charley told us, “to being integral to what we do and how we conduct ourselves.” Now, they use Podium to not only get reviews, but also collaborate as a team on a daily basis.

Working smarter as a team to resolve customer concerns.

Stephanie Johnson, Customer Relations Manager at Paschal painted a picture for how difficult customer service can be. When their team was smaller, it was much easier to communicate as a team to solve their customers’ concerns. As the business grew, it became nearly impossible to keep track of everything. 

“There was a lot of walking around trying to track people down,” she told us. “We tried out a couple of other apps, but they weren’t supportive to our needs.” Those apps would often fail to function in the more rural areas of Arkansas. Instead of helping them communicate instantly, they were only getting in the way. 

Retaining thousands of maintenance customers with convenient messaging.

For most HVAC businesses, maintenance programs are crucial for retaining customers. HVAC is a highly seasonal industry. Apart from adding new services like plumbing, Paschal has streamlined how they nurture their maintenance customers. “It’s a heck of a lot easier when we’re dealing with thousands of maintenance customers. We can push out thousands of texts,” Charely told us. “We can carry on many more conversations, as opposed to calling, they don’t answer.” 

Before leaving Paschal’s office, we asked Charley what advice he would give to other local business owners. Here’s what he told us: “You’ve got to change. Your customers are doing it, and either you’re going to do it or your competition is—you might as well beat them to it.”


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A negative review is an invitation to win a customer. At least that’s how David Simmons, Digital Marketing Manager at Into Blinds, thinks about them now. But he didn’t always think this way. At one point, bad reviews were nothing more than a bad headache. 

For ten years, Into Blinds has been a family-owned business that provides Australian-made blinds, curtains, security doors, and more to Australian customers. While they’ve grown steadily since the beginning, that growth started to accelerate three years ago. 

As Into Blinds began investing more in Google Ads, radio spots, and organic search, they grew 40% each of the last three years. But this rapid growth made it harder to stay close to their customers and provide individualized experiences. This was leading to an uptick in negative online reviews. 

As a result of these growing pains, David and his team implemented a live chat program. Although the program helped, it was costly and didn’t provide a direct connection with the customer, since the interactions were happening with a third-party vendor, not the Into Blinds team. 

“The trouble with that live chat was that the customer would have to be logged in at that exact time. It was very costly, and our customers weren’t really getting that direct connection with us.” 

Unfortunately, with Into Blinds’ legacy live chat solution, bad reviews were still just bad reviews. David and his team were still far removed from their customers. “We used a solution that employed people from around the world to man the live chat,” explained David. “Though the live chat operators were great, they didn’t understand the mindset of Australian consumers.”

Customers want to be understood, but they also want immediate solutions to their problems. It’s not easy to meet both of those expectations. David was working hard to find a better way to meet and exceed customer expectations by delivering personalized interactions. At this point, his hopes had all but gone out of the window.

When one door closes, another opens.

At work one day, David noticed a LinkedIn message from Adrian Condidorio at Podium. “I’ll be quite honest, I get a lot of these requests from a lot of people. I don’t normally entertain them, but Adrian conducted himself in a way that seemed more professional than other salespeople,” explained David. “Then, I was put in touch with Aiden Somerville, who’s an account executive at Podium. I was going to tell him at the beginning of the call, ‘You’ve got 10 minutes to sell me on this or I’m going.’ In less than five minutes, I knew I needed to get more of my team involved.”

It turns out, David is a pretty good himself at selling Podium. He pitched the idea to a few directors on his team. As he related, “I logged into live stats on Google Analytics in real time and said, ‘Here are 20 people in the virtual showroom on our website. We can’t grab them, we can’t talk to them, we can’t do anything with them. If we had Podium, we could answer their questions, guide them through and turn them into an appointment right now.’ 

The rest is history. After three months of using Podium Webchat, Into Blinds has generated nearly 400 leads for their sales team.

A negative review is a window of opportunity.

With the ability to message customers in real time, David and his team now frequently turn negative reviews into positive ones. “We find that when we turn a negative review into a good ending, we have more potential customers read those reviews than any other type of review,” David shared. “From our customer’s point of view, to know that there’s a care factor for the customer—that when there’s a mistake, we rectify it—that’s the best type of review you can get.” 

With Podium, David and the Into Blinds team can see exactly who is sending out the review requests. They now have a leaderboard to show what is coming in from each individual, and the employee who gathers the most each month gets a “fairly substantial cash prize.” In short, they’ve created a reviews-centered culture.

“Since then, we haven’t ever looked back. Podium is the best thing I’ve ever seen for customer relations—that includes both ease of managing reviews and interacting with customers,” David concluded. “It’s just, it’s amazing. That’s all I can say about it, it’s totally amazing.” Close curtain.

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Reviews are crucial to the management team at Alpine Specialty Cleaning. After 50 years in the business, they had a lot of loyal customers. 

Alpine knew they were the number-one carpet cleaner in the Pacific Northwest, but their online reputation wasn’t reflecting that success. As of 2016, they had collected only 100 reviews with a rating of only 4.1 stars.

“Our owner is obsessed with reviews,” said Cody Alexander, Administrative Manager at Alpine Specialty Cleaning. “Reviews are everything for our business because of how many competitors we have in our industry, but before Podium we didn’t have an effective way of collecting them.”

Once Alpine implemented Podium, it didn’t take long to set itself apart from the competition. In three years, Alpine has collected 2,318 reviews on Google and now boasts a 4.9-star rating. 

“Now, we’re the top-rated carpet cleaner in the Pacific Northwest on Google,” related Cody. “So, when someone searches for businesses like ours online, we show up in the number-one spot.”

In addition to showing up at the top of Google search rankings, Alpine was able to take advantage of the increased traffic to their website. They added Podium Webchat to their site and are now collecting 170 new leads every month.

While reviews were a good avenue to get input from customers about high-level operations, the team at Alpine wanted to collect more in-depth feedback. When Podium launched Feedback, they were quick to sign up.

Cody is responsible for monitoring the feedback as it comes in and makes sure to follow up with anyone who rates the business with a score of eight or lower to see if there’s something he can do to fix the problem.

“We look at Feedback as an opportunity to learn and improve,” said Cody, “so when I respond I’m trying to get as much information as possible to see if there’s something we can do to make the customer happy. Without Podium Feedback, we wouldn’t be aware of a lot of customer problems that arise.”

“Because we’re a family-owned business, it’s important for our interactions to feel personal,” concluded Cody. “And, being able to text with our customers to collect feedback and answer questions makes it easy for us to do that, while also being more convenient for our customers.”


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The Challenge

Tyler Kroeker, marketing director at Budget Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, a full-service HVAC company that services the St. Louis area, knew from experience how hard it was to collect customer feedback. Kroeker had tried a number of solutions over the years to collect feedback and build the business’ online presence, but was unable to find one that worked.

“Managing your online reputation has become an absolute cornerstone to any service industry-based business,” said Kroeker. “Getting reviews online is really, really tough. If somebody’s angry, they’re very willing to go online and say whatever they think needs to be said. But it’s very hard to get a happy customer to do the same thing.”

The Solution

Budget Heating, Cooling & Plumbing had tried several different approaches to solving this review problem, from business cards and using the main Budget Heating website to ask for feedback, all the way to software tools and services, but nothing seemed to work. So, he was understandably hesitant when approached by a Podium rep. After hearing that Podium had direct API access to Google, his interest was piqued.

Kroeker knew from trial and error that clicks and seconds matter a lot to a customer trying to leave feedback. All of their previous solutions were too clunky to get good results, but Podium was different.

“Podium streamlined the process and made it simple for customers to leave a review, which made the choice a no-brainer,” said Kroeker. “I wish I would have found this solution a lot earlier. It would have saved me a bunch of time, a bunch of money, and we’d be a whole heck of a lot better off because of it. Managing an online reputation has become so critical that, without Podium, we wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are now. It’s just leaps and bounds beyond what we’ve used before.”

The Result

The huge jump in customer reviews has helped Budget Heating, Cooling & Plumbing become the obvious choice for new customers searching for the right service company, but beyond the search and marketing benefits, this constant flow of customer feedback has helped them improve their business.

The Messaging Platform has become a part of Budget’s daily operations, as well. Kroeker recognized that interacting with customers in the way they prefer is a winning strategy, so he has been a huge advocate for his team using text messaging with their customers. “Everybody has the power of a computer in their hand now, and that’s where the power lies,” explained Kroeker. “I don’t care if it’s a teenager, or my 82-year-old grandmother, everybody is getting to the point where they’d rather text from a phone rather than have these lengthy phone calls or fill out these long forms. Podium allows us to do that now.”


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Americans like self-storage—90% of self-storage facilities are located in the United States and there are over 68 million square feet in self-storage options to choose from. But for customers in need of a unit, finding the perfect self-storage amidst all those options can feel stressful and overwhelming.

Rather than exacerbating a customer’s existing stress levels, the folks at TNT Storage and Property Management use reviews and two-way messaging to help ease pain points, answer questions quickly, and elevate the customer experience, making it easy for customers to find a storage unit that best fits their needs.

Boxing Up Old Strategies

But according to Spencer Tuohy, the Director of Business Development at TNT Storage, getting customers to share their experiences through reviews was tougher than expected. “Even though people were having good experiences, they weren’t willing to share it because [leaving a review] was such a pain. And by the time they got home, they wouldn’t log in to their computer and then write us a review because it’s out of sight, out of mind.”

TNT tried different approaches, but none were successful. “Getting reviews was super difficult. We tried various things. We tried setting up a laptop in the office. We also tried asking for a review once someone made a payment or rented a unit. And we tried sending email blasts of review invites. None of it really worked.”

Tuohy considered using Trustpilot to help gather more reviews and showcase customer experiences. However, the partnership proved problematic since the reviews would be posted to Trustpilot’s website and not TNT’s. With Trustpilot, there was no way for TNT Storage to respond to negative reviews or remedy bad customer experiences. And for TNT Storage and Tuohy, owning the review process was imperative. “It’s my customer and it’s my business. It shouldn’t be owned by some third party company.”

Making a Move

Upon meeting a Podium representative at a local tradeshow, Tuohy’s solution became obvious: Podium could help them gather reviews conveniently and quickly—and make it easy for customers to connect with them through their channel of choice.

And unlike Trustpilot, Podium’s Review tool provided total control and transparency for both the unit tenant and TNT. Via Podium’s two-way messaging, TNT could completely own the review invite process, allow customers to choose where the review was posted, and TNT could respond quickly to negative and positive reviews alike.

Additionally, Podium could be easily integrated with Tuohy’s CRM. This enabled TNT to automatically send a review invite when the experience was fresh in the customer’s mind. “Podium is tied into our site link API. So after somebody rents a unit, about anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes later, they get a Podium review invite texted to them.” 

This feature helped TNT aggregate more reviews and put customer experiences up on a pedestal for prospective customers to see. Since May 2017, TNT’s reviews have gone from 475 reviews to 2,504 reviews across 55 locations. And should a negative review pop up, TNT Storage makes a concerted effort to respond within 24 hours. “We don’t argue semantics on the internet. I’d rather get somebody on the phone and see if we can resolve it that way.”

Meanwhile, Podium’s Webchat proved to be a bit of a surprise for TNT because it helped open up new lead opportunities for TNT. “I thought Webchat was going to be current customers chatting in with us. It’s actually a lot of new leads and new customer tenants.”

Not only that, Webchat helped open up the phone lines and allow customers to connect with TNT over their preferred channel. “I want to get the right space for them. So however they want to talk to me, they can. If they want to call me, email me, chat me, text me, whatever they wanna do, I’ll talk to them any way they want to. I don’t want to miss out on a tenant because we don’t have texting or a webchat service and that’s how they prefer to do talk.”

Unpacking Measurable Success

For TNT Storage, the results were clear. Not only were they able to showcase customer experiences more easily, but they were fielding more inbound leads because of the boost in customer reviews. And in the span of 12 months, TNT received over 3,000 new leads thanks to Podium’s comprehensive, centralized interaction platform.“You deliver what was promised. And the customer support has been super fast and really easy. They get stuff resolved really quickly. Plus, Podium is a service that actually works and it’s been great for our business.”


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Zerorez is an innovative carpet cleaning company that has franchise locations across the United States and continues to grow. Chris Carson, the head of marketing, is one of the people responsible for making that growth possible.

As he searched for the best ways to acquire new customers, Carson narrowed down the criteria that his customers were using to choose a cleaning service and quickly realized that two things were crucial to getting more customers: differentiating on customer service and helping people see that differentiation through customer reviews.

“By far, the most important criteria for making a decision on a service provider is: do I have a recommendation – whether that’s a personal recommendation or a recommendation from online reviews?” said Carson.

“Reviews are what we found to be the most beneficial to us in capturing that customer who is looking for carpet cleaning, so we turned to Podium. We fell in love with the idea of proactively asking for reviews and making it super easy for the customer to leave the review.”


First, Zerorez worked hard to provide great service through their techs and simply had them send the invites to each customer one by one. Many of the techs were too busy or would forget about it, so they switched to a multiple invite feature method that allowed their office team to upload batches of customers all at once, but this made the invites less timely. To help solve these issues, the Zerorez team decided to get automated.

Podium built a direct connection to the Zerorez point of sale system that would trigger a review invitations to go out as soon as a job was marked complete. Now, every customer receives a review invite soon after their service. This consistency, combined with the ease of leaving a review on the customer’s end, helped blow up their review numbers.

“Podium has been great because it is super easy for the customer to leave the reviews,” related Carson. “What made it even better for us was when the team at Podium helped integrate into our point-of-sale system. It made everything so much better for us, because now we’re not asking our techs or our office team to do any more work than they already do. The invites go out after every job automatically, so nobody even has to worry about that part anymore. Podium is already easy for the customer to go through the process, and so it’s just been incredible all the way around.“


Aside from reviews, Zerorez was an early adopter of Podium Messenger. They did this because it allowed their customer service team to quickly follow up on all service appointments to ensure they were delivering an optimal customer experience. Questions and concerns were quickly answered and resolved using the shared inbox, which helped build customer loyalty and drive positive recommendations.

“The locations that are actively using Messenger have found that their responses to problems are much quicker than they ever have been in the past,” said Carson “People are much more comfortable texting back and forth in most cases, so if they’ve got a problem, we’re able to quickly respond.”

Not only have these text conversations resulted in one-off happy customers, Carson also confirmed that their Net Promoter Scores (NPS) have gone up.


The value of collecting online reviews goes far beyond your star rating. Each of these reviews represent a real customer with valuable feedback of what your business has done well, and what your business could do to improve. Carson said that Zerorez has started to utilize the Sentiment Analysis feature to “help improve our operations from the reviews we’re getting and trends that we’re seeing and being able to address issues that are popping up frequently.”

“We also love the competitive analysis,” said Carson. “Being able to look at how you compare against your competitors is very helpful. The competitive analysis helps guide you on important SEO metrics like amount of content, overall rating, and recency of reviews.”

Combining review management and customer interaction into one convenient platform has helped Zerorez maintain a great relationship with their customers which will continue to power their growth.

“Reviews impact my buyer’s decisions,” concluded Carson. “That’s what I have seen, and that is what the data says. So I know if we have enough good reviews, people who are looking for carpet cleaners and run across my business will give us the nod.”

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Stephanie Glenn is the customer service manager at Paul’s Pest Control, a privately owned and operated pest control company that has been serving Florida since 1971. Their positive word-of-mouth referrals were working well for their business among long-time locals, but Stephanie realized years ago that they were missing a huge opportunity to also work with new residents.

“Many new residents don’t care about what’s been going on for the last 30 years,” explained Glenn. “They just care about getting something taken care of right here and right now. When someone’s moving into the area they don’t have that history of Paul’s Pest Control, so they’re learning about us through our Google and Facebook reviews to figure out what company they should use.

As Stephanie and the team at Paul’s Pest evaluated Podium, they realized how big of a key differentiator it was to have text capabilities with their review solution.

“The biggest thing was the fact that we could send reviews via text message,” said Glenn. “Text message is a much better way to reach the customers than an email. I see this even on a personal level, I check my text messages all day. If you send me a text message, I’m going to see it right away. People are constantly checking their text messages. So, after seeing what Podium could deliver, I walked back into our management meeting, and told everyone, ‘We need to do this.’”


Improving your online review presence is a great investment because it can enhance all of your other customer acquisition efforts. “Our rating jumped a half star on Google within 24 hours,” affirmed Glenn. “We’re now having customers tell us that they chose us simply because we had the best reviews on Google. We got more reviews from Podium in one month than we had gotten in five years through our old method.”

Podium has also been able to help Paul’s Pest Control grow their business in a new market as well.

“We recently started operating in a different city where we hadn’t been advertising,” stated Glenn. “We were kind of a fresh name there. In the first month that we were with Podium, we started feeding those Google reviews. All of a sudden, we have all these customers who love us giving us reviews on Google. So, it put us in a really great place in a city that we hadn’t really built a name in yet. It pushes people to want to make that phone call to us instead of to another company that’s been there for a lot longer.”


With a constant flow of customer feedback, Paul’s Pest Control is able to reinforce their strengths, while pinpointing any weaknesses in the business or negative experiences that may occur from time-to-time.

“It’s great being able to address concerns immediately because that customer has the opportunity to let us know right away how they’re feeling,” explained Glenn. “If they had a negative experience, we can find out right away instead of finding out too late. They can tell us and we can address it and correct it before it becomes a problem, and before they start sharing it with others. We have the opportunity to make it a good experience right from that Podium feedback.”

Though Paul’s Pest Control signed up with Podium to help improve their online review presence, they have also seen additional benefits through the Messaging Platform.

“I also have customers that will respond through the Messaging Platform after leaving a review and put in a request for other services,” concluded Glenn. “So, it has been a great means of communication, and it’s also an opportunity for me to thank customers for the feedback that they’re leaving for us.”


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