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How to Centralize All Customer Interactions & Team Messages in One Platform (Podium)

This post is part of a series called Easy Business Messaging With Podium (Quick Start Guide).
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Staying in touch with your customers and making it easy for them to contact you is crucial if you want to provide them with a great customer experience. That also means going where your customers are and having many contact points. This can include your Facebook Messenger, a dedicated helpdesk, a live chat option, your email inbox… and the list goes on and on. 

Centralize Messages Using One Platform
Keep track of all your customer interactions and team messages in one place using Podium.

Needless to say, keeping track of all those platforms and messages can be time-consuming. Not only that, but with many places to check your messages, it’s all too easy to let a message slip through the cracks. 


To top it all off, you might also have a separate platform to manage all your team communication.  But what if you could keep track of all your customer interactions and team messages in one place?


It turns out you can—thanks to Podium. In this guide, we’ll talk about the benefits of using a centralized communications platform. Learn how Podium can ease all your customer interactions and team messages.


Benefits of Using a Centralized Platform for All Communications 


Manage Your Communications With Podium
You don’t need dozens of tabs or apps when you use a centralized application like Podium.

There are many benefits from using a centralized customer interaction platform like Podium to manage all your communications. The most obvious benefit is that you don’t need dozens of tabs or apps open to ensure no message goes unnoticed.


But there are at least five other benefits you can expect from adopting a centralized communications platform like Podium:

1. It Saves You Time

Think for a moment how many minutes or even hours you waste every day going from one platform to the next. Having a tab on your browser for each of your messaging platforms might make it convenient to switch between them. But loading a conversation takes precious time. 


With a centralized customer interaction platform, you don’t need dozens of tabs open nor do you have to wait on the messages to load. Instead, it’s all there, in one place. Access the messages more quickly and respond to your customers more quickly, thus reducing the time spent on customer support and interaction.

2. You’ll Have Context for Every Conversation

How many times has a customer reached out to you via one channel only for the conversation to be moved to a different one? For example, they might have messaged you on Instagram and one of your employees redirected them to your official help desk. Having interactions with your customers across many platforms makes it hard to keep track of their support requests and communication history. 


Podium gives you the entire messaging history in one convenient location. Easily keep track of previous chats and messages and have context for all your conversation. 

3. Better Customer Experience


When all your communications are stored in one place, you don’t have to worry about missing messages. No matter which team member picks up the conversation, rest assured they’ll be able to see all the conversation in one place.  

 Better Customer Experience
Podium allows you to provide a better customer experience.


Having all the context in one place allows you to provide better support for all your customers. Likewise, being able to easily answer all their questions regardless of which platform they’re using is another way to provide them with a better customer experience. 

4. Increased Sales

As a result of better customer experience, you’ll also benefit from increased sales. Happy customers are more likely to return and buy from you again. Providing them with timely responses along with an easy way to reach you is a good way to keep your customers happy. 


Besides, if you take advantage of all the features that Podium has to offer, like live web chat, you’re giving them an opportunity to reach out in case they've got any questions about your products or services. Then point them in the right direction, offer help, and answer their pressing questions. Your response might be just what they need to go ahead with their order. 

5. Improved Brand Reputation

Lastly, don’t forget that all the above directly relates to how people perceive your brand. If you’re known for speedy customer service and responsive employees, your customers will have a positive image about your brand. They'll be more likely to recommend you to their circle of friends and relatives. 


This can lead not only to an increase in sales but also an increase in leads, customers, as well as subscribers and followers. 

Podium Messaging for Customer Interactions 

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of the Podium texting platform, let’s take a look at how you can use Podium Messaging for customer interactions. 

Podium Inbox
Use Podium messaging to interact with customers.

Your Podium inbox allows you to receive customer messages. Here are four specific ways to interact:

1. Connect With Customers Everywhere

As mentioned earlier, Podium brings all your customer interactions into one centralized platform. With Podium, it doesn’t matter if your conversation started through Facebook Messenger, Apple Chat, Instagram, text message or even your own website. 


All you've got to do is connect all your channels with your Podium account and all the messages will come to your Podium inbox. Instead of having dozens of tabs or apps installed on your computer, simply login to Podium. 


There’s no need to worry about messages going unnoticed and there's no need to jump from one platform to the next. Your Podium Inbox will keep all your messages in one place. Your customers can still start the conversation on their favorite platform while you get to manage it from a single unified inbox.

2. Keep Track of Conversation History

It’s not uncommon for customers to start many chats with you. Sometimes, those chats will be related to the same issue. Or, they might be on a completely different topic. Having this context readily available is invaluable for your team members and employees, regardless of who responds to the customer in question.


With detailed conversation history, they can provide better support to your customers and direct them to the appropriate pages or resources on your website. Besides, your customers don’t have to waste time getting important information from their coworkers or logging into different apps.

3. Let Your Customers Send You Files

In some cases, you might need more documentation from your customers. This may include documents, PDF files or even photos. Podium Messaging makes it easy for your customers to upload file attachments. 

Podium message attachments
Adding attachments to messages in Podium

On top of all major file types, Podium also makes it easy for your customers to send video files. This option is invaluable in case your customers have problems that would benefit from a more visual explanation.


4. Automate Your Workflow

Direct communication with your customers is always the best option. But, there are certain parts of the communication that could benefit from automation. A common example is to send an automated message to customers asking for their feedback


You could also set up an automated message to ask your customers to leave a review or a testimonial on places like Yelp, Facebook, and Google My Business


Another way to automate your customer’s interactions is to set up an automated workflow sending reminders about upcoming appointments, newly generated invoices, late payments, and more. 


This frees up your team’s time to handle other customers while still ensuring that all the relevant messages go out to your customers.

Podium Message for Team Interactions 

Aside from keeping all your customer interactions in one place, you can also use Podium Message for team interactions. No more chain emails or different threads in several different platforms. Podium Message makes it easy to communicate with your employees and team members. 

Podium TeamChat
Podium Teamchat

Here are three things to try:

1. Create Different Groups for Different Teams

No matter how big your business is, you probably have different teams for different aspects of your business. For example, you might have a marketing team that’s in charge of answering all presale questions while your sales team handles the final sales and customer onboarding. 


Podium Message makes it easy to create groups for different teams so each conversation can easily be found in the appropriate group.

2. Send Private Messages to Individual Team Members

You can send private messages to individual team members and they can send private messages to each other. This means they can easily get in touch with another team member if they need more information or if you need to assign a specific conversation to a specific team member. 


Your employees don’t have to rely on an external messaging platform just for team conversations. Podium Message makes it easy to separate team and customer conversations while still keeping them in one platform.

3. Create Templates for Your Team Members

Another benefit of Podium is that you can easily create templates and share them with your team members. This makes it easy to respond to messages quickly and send the right information—without having to retype it every time. 


Templates can be customized with customer’s details. So you don’t have to worry about sending generic messages that sound like they came from a robot. 

How to Use the Podium Inbox to Streamline Business Communications

Now that you know how you can manage your customer and team interactions with one Podium customer interaction platform, let’s discuss five ways you can use Podium Inbox to streamline business communications:

1. Control Team Member Permissions for Conversations

With Podium, you can fine-tune member permissions for each conversation. This ensures that the right team member gets the right message and handles the conversation appropriately. For example, all tech-related questions should be addressed by a tech support agent rather than a sales agent or a billing agent. 


Your customers will thank you as well since their requests will be handled by the right person without unnecessary phone transfers or opening up several different tickets to get to the right department.

2. Group Conversations

Podum Group Conversations
Use Podium's smart grouping capability to manage messages.

Podium uses smart grouping for all your incoming messages. Easily see which messages are still open and which ones are in the process of being handled. This allows you to respond to messages more efficiently, without wasting anyone’s time. 

3. Assign Conversations to Team Members or Different Locations

With Podium, easily assign conversations to different team members. Besides that, you can also assign conversations to different locations. This is perfect if you've got a business that operates on a national or international level. 

4. Chat on the Go

Thanks to mobile and desktop apps, your team members can chat with each other as well as your customers even when they’re on the go. 


Whether you’re working from the office or from home, Podium makes sure that no message will go missed. Easily reply to all your customers from anywhere. 


5. Create Autoresponders


Podium works hard even when you can’t be there to answer customers personally. Easily set up an autoresponder by installing Podium’s web chat onto your website. The web chat funnels all your customers messages and questions to your inbox so you can address them as soon as you’re back online.

Get Started With the Product Podium Today

Having a centralized platform for all your customer interactions and team messages is crucial if you want to ensure stellar customer support and easy team communication. 


Without a centralized platform, your employees will waste time switching between different applications and trying to find past customer communications. But the more quickly you can respond to customer messages, the better support you can provide to your customers. This ultimately improves your bottom line. 


If you're looking for a full-feature messaging platform that includes centralized messaging, Podium is a great choice to try out. Good luck! 

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