Knowing that you need a review management solution and getting down to choosing one are two hugely different things. This is already a time-consuming task—the worst thing would be to select the wrong software. Starloop and Podium are two very solid options, but with different functions and features.
Let’s take a closer look at these review management tools.
What is Starloop?
Starloop is a simple software solution for acquiring new reviews and review management. It offers automated solutions to save you time while you generate legitimate new reviews. What’s more, it takes away all the gimmicks and plants a tree for every review received.
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What is Podium?
Podium is a messaging platform with the added advantage of review management. Its emphasis is on customer engagement, which encourages more positive reviews. You can combine all your messaging services into one location, chat online, and send payment messages.
A Review of Starloop for Online Review Management
The benefit of Starloop is its simplicity. Because of its simplicity, it’s also incredibly successful at generating new reviews. To set up your Starloop account, you only need five minutes, and you are ready to start inviting customers to leave reviews.
The automated software sends messages for customers to leave reviews on Google and Facebook. All they need to do is click on a link and leave a review. To encourage your customers to review your business, Starloop uses a unique business model—it plants one tree for every review its members receive. This is an excellent way to motivate people to leave reviews without offering them meaningless incentives.
Starloop software has a user-friendly dashboard giving you an overview of your reviews and reports. This feature allows you to see the review, star-rating, customer, and the site the review has come from (Google or Facebook).
- So far, Starloop has planted almost 50,000 trees
- It’s a very cost-effective solution
- There are no limits on the number of customers
- No long-term contracts
- You might find it’s limited in features as it’s designed for businesses looking for a simple way to get more reviews.
A Review of Podium
Podium can help your company get more reviews from Google, Facebook, and a good number of industry-specific review websites. You can set up automated messages so that reviews come in with little effort from you. Reporting allows you to see where your reviews are coming from. With sentiment analysis, you get insights into your customers’ opinions. There is a handy feature to compare your reviews with similar companies to see how you are doing up against the competition.
Aside from this, Podium has a solution to combine all your messages into one location—making it easy to stay in touch with your customers. You can video chat and web chat or set up team chats for increased employee collaboration.
Another handy feature is the ability to send payment reminder messages with links that enable the customer to pay directly. While gaining more reviews, you are also able to chase up those late payments.
- There are solutions for various industries such as auto, retail, healthcare, and financial services
- You can run the software with multiple locations
- It comes with review notifications so you can respond faster
- All these features come at a significant monthly cost
Starloop vs. Podium — How They Compare
Starloop is simplicity at its best. You sign up, you send your messages, your reviews come in. It’s straightforward to read reports and the friendly Starloop team offers support and training if necessary.
It’s not to say that Podium is complicated to use. You might want to use some tutorials to make sure you get the most out of all the features. The reports are visually simple, which helps, and there are additional resources available. However, because the software has more features, it’s more complicated and costs more. In the end, you may not need all of its features if you only want to improve your online review profile.
In terms of automation, Starloop and Podium are pretty much on an even-par. You can send messages, or you can choose to set this up automatically. Podium has a slight advantage in that you can personalize your messages. Starloop once again uses simplicity, but you can deny the effectiveness. The message has your company name, a picture of a tree, and the words “A tree gets planted for every review we get.” This is followed by a “Write Review” button.
By far, Starloop has the advantage. Starloop has a 14-day free trial, and then it costs just $197 per month. It comes with a 30-day guarantee, which is also very reassuring.
Podium doesn’t list prices on the site, but you can expect to pay around $399 per month for one location. Additional locations will cost more, as will some extra features, such as webchat at $100 per month. You can sign up to try for free, but it doesn’t state how long that free period is for.
Ethical Incentives to Get More Reviews
Again, what better way to encourage someone to leave an online review than to help the planet? Customers feel like they are doing good, and you get more reviews. All the while, customers think better of your company as you are actively trying to make a difference. There are no ethical incentives to leave reviews with Podium.
What Users Say About Starloop and Podium
When looking at what people say about Starloop, you will notice the impressive number of new reviews that businesses receive. One user got more than 30 5-star reviews in their first month. Another company was able to triple the number of received reviews in six months. Starloop members also report a direct impact on new leads generated. Overall, everyone is impressed with the ease of setup and use and excellent staff support.
89% of customers would recommend Podium. The built-in chat features save you a lot of time not having to answer customer calls. The mobile app is excellent with a good user interface. Many agree that it is easy to use, and the team helps to set up automation. Some of the main complaints seem related to the pricing plans. Also, users say that it’s quite difficult to cancel their subscriptions.
Starloop vs. Podium — In Conclusion
The bottom line is this: what do you want from your review management software? If all you need to do is get more reviews for a reasonable monthly fee, Starloop is the best option. With the incentive of planting a tree for every review, you set your company up as one that cares for the environment.
If you are struggling to engage with your customers and feel that a messaging platform will improve customer experience, then Podium is worth considering.
In the end, Starloop is one of the best options for small to large businesses who want to improve their review reputation. There is no other review management tool that plants a tree for every review received.