Want more and better ratings? Podium will help

You’ve run an attractive family furniture store in your hometown for many years. You offer great products at fair prices and provide top-notch customer service. You’re also a community leader, supporting many worthy causes. 

So where did that blistering online review come from? 

An occasional complaint is inevitable in the retail trade, but it can live forever in cyberspace, sowing sour seeds across a wide field for all to see. Why can’t more satisfied customers write compliments to present a more accurate picture? 

Probably because you aren’t asking them to – or you’re not asking at the right time on the right channel. 

That’s where Podium comes in. Podium, a new Home Furnishings Association solution partner, is an interaction management platform that engages customers when and where they are most likely to respond favorably. 

Customer reviews on Google My Business, Facebook or other sites are very influential. You want positive ratings, and a lot of them, because shoppers follow a happy crowd. To generate those favorable reviews, Podium helps you message purchasers even before they leave your store, asking them to complete a brief survey. They can answer in 30 seconds. “Three clicks and they’re done,” says Brian Rea, a channel account executive for Utah-based Podium. 

It works, says HFA member Dan Griffin of Griffin’s Furniture in Clearlake, Calif. 

“Their review invite feature will allow you to rack up 5-star Google reviews,” Griffin says. “Google controls 80 percent of the ad market, so if you’re not connecting with them, you’re missing a giant opportunity. An invite and response can literally take seconds. We have more Google reviews in our county than the combined reviews of all my competitors.” 

Podium provides follow-up communications, too, using messaging tools to schedule deliveries and put drivers in touch with customers to make sure purchases arrive exactly when promised. Its programs establish meaningful communications with online shoppers, building relationships that draw them into your store. Podium also channels feedback and messages from all sources into a unified inbox, so you don’t have to keep up with Facebook, email, texts and other scattered social media. 

“They can also install a text bar on your website so you can gain immediate access to your shopping customers, also enabling you to send texts and pictures,” Griffin says. “I operate the whole platform from my mobile phone. A new Podium notification to my phone has a high likelihood of resulting in a new sale!” 

Podium offers free enrollment for new clients and special pricing for HFA members. For more information, contact an HFA membership specialist at 800-422-3778. 

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