Podium, a customer messaging platform for local businesses, announced that Podium Starter is now available to local businesses in the United States. Created as a response to wanting to assist local businesses’ recovery from COVID-19, the free suite of tools is designed to enable local businesses to adapt to the new normal by being able to quickly and easily get a start on texting their customers.
Podium Starter combines the fundamental benefits of its best-in-class suite of messaging tools into a free, basic starter pack for the first time. Designed specifically for local businesses, companies can set up Podium Starter and begin messaging customers in under five minutes through a simple self-service portal. After that, businesses will instantly have the tools to start customer messaging, contact-free mobile payments and webchat using texting and messaging channels that customers use and trust.
“The need for local business isn’t going anywhere, and we understand the immense challenge that these entrepreneurs are facing right now,” said Eric Rea, co-founder and CEO at Podium. “By offering a free introductory version for the first time, we’re aiming to make it possible for every local business to message their customers at a time when they need it most. We’ve already seen some success with our trial run through our text-to-takeout restaurant program in Utah, and we’re excited to see businesses across the country take advantage of our latest offering.”
Podium Starter’s essential tools can help local businesses get a start on building and maintaining contact with their customers and operating via text, including:
Staying open despite low foot traffic – Companies can utilize text to do business — sending pictures, answering questions, coordinating and more — without opening their doors.
Accepting safe, no-contact payments – Customers can pay without handing a card over, touching a credit card reader or using a pen to sign a receipt.
Enabling texts right away – Podium Starter is easy to use and free, and businesses can begin texting customers within minutes of signing up.
"Leaning on Podium's platform to help run our business has really helped us keep going as we had to recently shut down the dine-in portion of our operations," said Sun Choi, an owner of Yummy's, a family-owned Korean barbecue restaurant. "We have continued to stay connected and serve our customers through Podium's new free service, which lets everyone keep a safe distance while still supporting our business."
In just over five years, the Podium platform has been used by half of all smartphone owners in the United States to interact with a local business. Podium now has 45,000 businesses utilizing the platform across the United States, Canada and Australia, ranging from single-location SMBs to large enterprise companies with thousands of physical locations.
To find out more and sign up for Podium Starter, visit podium.com/starter.