Author | Joshua ChapmanDate Posted | April 19, 2024

5 Podium alternatives you should try out

“Get more leads. Make more money.” This is Podium’s core sales pitch to small businesses looking to grow their sales online. 

However, based on feedback from current and former customers, this is not what they got. From complaints of overpriced features to warnings of poor customer service, it’s clear that for many small and large businesses, Podium is not the growth solution they were looking for.

So, if not Podium, what platforms are out there for businesses looking to increase their leads and drive growth? In this guide, we’ll look at five of the best Podium alternatives currently on the market and address how they make up for common complaints about Podium. 

This way, you can find a platform ideally suited to help your business boost its reputation, increase its visibility, and drive sales online and in-store.

Top customer complaints about Podium

Overall, many customers were pleased with their Podium experience, rewarding it with 4.5 out of 5 stars on G2. However, not everyone felt that Podium was right for them — with most bad reviews focusing on these core areas:

  • Not enough features
  • Poor customer service
  • Lack of integrations
  • Pricey add-ons

1. Lacks important features

One of the most glaring issues that came across in reviews of Podium was that it lacked some of the features customers wanted and many competitors offered. Sometimes, these features were more nice-to-haves:

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However, in other cases, customers felt like Podium was charging for something that should be free in the first place.

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These omissions also include some core features that many competitors offer, such as a local listings tool and social publishing features. This means that for many customers, Podium just cannot do as much as they would like.

2. Poor customer support

Another common complaint about Podium was that the customer service was not good enough. This included issues with hard-to-reach and unreliable staff.

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Poor customer service is a problem across several Podium alternatives, which is why Chatmeter offers a dedicated customer success team entirely based in the United States.

3. Issues with tech stack integrations

Chances are, if you’re investing in software like Podium, you also use a ton of other apps to manage your business online. These could include a CRM, accounting software, and more. 

Unfortunately, some customers felt that Podium didn’t integrate well with their overall tech stack, which meant they lost functionality and had to do things manually. 

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4. Expensive add-ons

One of the biggest complaints about SaaS products, in general, is pricing schemes that hide important features behind ever-increasing costs. Unfortunately, Podium seems to be no different, with some users complaining that there are too many hidden costs.

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This means that Podium can quickly cost you far more than you had originally budgeted for.

5 best Podium alternatives to try out

If you’ve experienced any of the above complaints (or want to avoid them in the first place), you’re likely looking for Podium alternatives that will fit your needs. Below, we list five of our favorite options you should consider.

1. Chatmeter

PULSE AI Risk Monitoring Dashboard

Chatmeter harnesses the power of AI to help businesses engage with their customers, build their reputation, and increase their traffic and sales. 

Unlike Podium, which focuses primarily on lead generation through communication channels, Chatmeter helps you by increasing your visibility online. It does this by offering multi-location businesses easy ways to:

With these abilities at your fingertips, more people can learn about and decide to engage with your business, leading to more traffic to your storefronts and website.

Chatmeter pros

  • More features: Chatmeter offers far more features than Podium, including some of the most important for multi-location businesses. This includes a customer sentiment analyzer, a review response generator, and more. 
  • White glove support:  Chatmeter offers industry-leading support services with a U.S.-based support team that is ready to help you get the most out of our platform.
  • No nickel and diming: Chatmeter offers pricing plans that suit multiple budgets and come with all of the most important features companies are looking for, including our reputation management, listing management, and analytics tools.


2. Sprout Social

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Sprout Social is a social media management tool that offers companies a comprehensive way to grow their business through social media channels. 

Not only will Sprout Social help businesses plan their social media calendars, but it will also help you better understand your audience and connect with them on an integrated inbox. 

Sprout Social pros

  • Boost social media: A great specialized tool for improving your company’s visibility on sites like Facebook and Instagram.
  • Analytics: Helps you learn more about your audience by analyzing how they interact with your social posts online.  

Sprout Social cons

  • Lack of non-social features: Sprout Social is highly focused on social media and offers very little in areas like listings, local pages, or reviews.
  • Cost: Can be a costly solution, especially if social media is not your primary marketing channel. 


3. Zendesk

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Zendesk is a customer service platform that can help you manage customer and client communications through a single portal. 

Not only does this help you give customers better service, but it’ll also help you sell more through an integrated sales pipeline and calendar.

Zendesk pros

  • Easy to use: Customers are happy with how easy it is to set up and use right out of the box. 
  • Unified workspace: Makes it easy for your team to work together to create a better experience for your clients and customers. 

Zendesk cons

  • Narrow use case: Zendesk won’t help you boost sales through better SEO, social media presence, or reputation management.


4. Birdeye

Birdeye is a platform designed to help businesses in certain niches grow their reputation online. Although anyone could use Birdeye, it is primarily created for specific industries and their needs. 

It includes features that allow businesses to manage their social media, book appointments, and coordinate communications online.  

Birdeye pros

  • Social media: Birdeye has social media features that allow users to generate and post content across multiple accounts.  
  • Specialty features: Birdeye has some niche features that may help certain businesses like patient appointment booking and referrals.

Birdeye cons

  • Spotty customer service: Birdeye, like Podium, has some incredibly negative reviews about its sales and customer service practices.
  • Difficult UI: Some customers feel that Birdeye is too complex and requires too much training to get the most out of it. 


5. Swell

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Swell is a specialized Podium alternative that primarily focuses on the healthcare space. It enables these kinds of businesses to gather feedback from clients and patients, which can help businesses improve services and employee satisfaction.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for many of the features Podium offers but for the healthcare space, this is an option worth looking into.

Swell pros

  • Anonymous and public feedback: Helps clinics get all kinds of feedback that can be used to improve services and grow their business.
  • Review management: Offers tools that help healthcare professionals get more reviews for their clinics. 

Swell cons

  • Some bugs: Reviewers online reported instances where certain features went offline temporarily


  • G2: 4.5 stars from over 300+ reviews
  • Capterra: 4.6 stars from 300+ reviews
  • Better Business Bureau: No current ratings or complaints on BBB

Try a better Podium alternative

Choosing a new service can be daunting. There are pros and cons for every service, and enough reviews out there that it can feel like no choice will be quite right.

That’s why we always recommend that you take a step beyond reading about a platform and give it a try. If you’re contemplating a change from Podium or are just looking for a platform that can help take your multi-location business to the next level, then you should see what Chatmeter offers. From industry-leading customer service to cutting-edge AI tools, Chatmeter offers businesses everything they need to grow their brand and increase their sales online. 

Schedule a live demo today and see how Chatmeter can revolutionize your business’s online engagement. If you’re not quite ready to schedule a demo, try out our interactive walkthroughs, which will give you a sense of what Chatmeter looks like and what it can do for you.



Take a tour of Chatmeter