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Podium taps ChatGPT for reputation management

The customer interaction and payment specialist with operations in Australia has integrated ChatGPT into its platform to help local businesses respond to customer reviews on social media

Podium, a customer interaction and payment specialist with operations in Australia, has integrated ChatGPT into its platform to help businesses respond to customer reviews on social media in a timely and professional manner.

The capability is available through a feature called “review response suggestions”, which generates responses that take into account the context of customer reviews. Businesses can edit and personalise their responses before posting them.

For now, the feature supports Google reviews, with Facebook reviews to follow, enabling businesses to respond to customer feedback across multiple platforms.

Podium said by responding promptly and professionally to reviews – whether positive, negative or neutral – businesses can build trust with their customers, leading to greater brand loyalty and improved customer retention.

According to Podium’s research, 84% of Australians are influenced by Google reviews when choosing a business. In addition, about half said how a business responds to reviews can change their perspective on the business, while 46% are likely to look at a local business’s Google listing before visiting.

“As a business owner myself, I understand how crucial online reputation management is to local businesses in Australia,” said Eric Rea, CEO of Podium. “That’s why we’re excited to launch our ‘review response suggestions’ feature, which will make it easier for businesses to manage their online reputation.

“Our integration with ChatGPT is designed to unburden local businesses – from dentists to retailers to mechanics – enabling them to manage their online reputation more efficiently and spend more time working on meaningful, face-to-face or revenue-generating tasks.

“As technology and the needs of local business evolve, so too must Podium. This is the latest example of our dedication to innovation, R&D and providing the tools our customers need to meet and exceed the needs of their customers,” he added.

Rebecca Browne, marketing and brand manager at Sydney-based car dealership Phil Gilbert Motor Group, said the response suggestions generated by ChatGPT on the Podium platform had been significant.

“Given the vast amount of data we’ve generated by using Podium over the years, the tone and language suggested for the review replies are consistent with what I would write myself.

“The quality of the review replies is more diverse and there would be no way for people researching our business online to know that the feedback to our guests was generated by AI,” she said.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT has taken the world by storm, opening new opportunities for businesses to take advantage of generative AI to improve productivity.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claimed the technology would fundamentally change every software category. The software giant’s Bing AI chat already uses a model that combines the Bing index, ranking and answers results, with the reasoning capabilities of OpenAI’s GPT models.

Other tech bigwigs such as Google and Baidu are reportedly building similar AI models, while Amazon has expanded its partnership with a startup that is working on a ChatGPT rival.

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