Think about the last time you went to a grocery market. Can you remember any details of the in-store experience? Was the store dim or well-lit? Were the displays attractive and well-organized, or were they crammed with misplaced products?
Did you have to spend time searching for what you wanted? If you needed help, were there enough staff to assist you, or were there long lines? And most important: were you able to find and purchase everything you needed?
If this last answer was “yes,” you probably had a good customer experience.
If you’re like many customers, you may not remember many specific details of your shopping trip. But you can be assured that someone worked very hard to create this perfect customer experience for you.
Operators of cannabis dispensaries can learn a lot simply by visiting other retail stores with these questions in mind. So next time you walk in the door of your local grocery store, make it your aim to focus on the customer experience from beginning to end. There are a few ways you might do this.
While we’ve given you the example of the supermarket, you might begin your customer experience education at stores that specialize in one particular product, such as wine shops or chocolatiers.
One thing that product specialists do well is educate customers. In order to be able to do this, they must know as much as possible about what they’re selling.
A wine merchant should know the best vintages to recommend to customers, and a chocolatier should know the difference between single-origin and blended chocolate.
Of course, there are many differences between visiting a chocolatier and a cannabis dispensary. But even though the inventory, rewards programs, and point of sale practices may differ, the customer experience has much in common.
Due to the restrictions surrounding the cannabis industry and the current inflationary environment, you must work hard to satisfy both your new customers and your veteran customer base.
As you know from operating your dispensary, restrictions on the cannabis industry pose certain challenges. Cannabis retailers must be mindful of how they engage with social media. Federal regulations still prohibit text messaging programs from including cannabis-related terms. And of course, credit or debit card payment methods are still disallowed.
All of these cannabis-specific regulations might detract from the convenience of the customer experience in your shop. So cannabis businesses have to go the extra mile both to attract new clients and to maintain regular consumers.
springbig can help you with these issues. Our compliant platform integrates seamlessly with your marijuana dispensary’s point-of-sale system, marketing, and customer loyalty programs, creating a convenient experience for your clientele.
You won’t have to give the logistics a second thought – and this will help you to concentrate more on your store experience.
If you need to revamp your product display strategy, look into the practice of visual merchandising, which is optimizing your display for maximum sales. An Inc. Magazine article lists several tips for for employing this practice:
While cannabis dispensaries do not utilize storefront displays, you can use other types for maximum effect. Showcase displays can feature your most valuable items, while “found-space” displays enhance all the nooks and crannies in the store. Your register is the perfect location for enticing samples of edibles or topicals.
We talked about the role of wine merchants and chocolatiers and how they can help their customers to make the most informed decisions. As a cannabis retailer, have you embarked on a budtender education program? How much do your customer service professionals know about your products?
Are they well-versed in how to recommend products both for medical and recreational use? How is their brand recognition – are they familiar with luxury brands? Make sure they do their research. Regular staff meetings are a good venue for product education.
Dispensary owners are sometimes more focused on inventory management than their level of service. But the attitude of your staff makes a huge difference in whether your shoppers have a pleasant experience – or whether they want to give their business to other dispensaries.
When customers walk into your marijuana dispensary for the first time, are they immediately greeted by a well-trained staff member? If a customer’s experience is less than stellar, does one of your employees try to help?
Are your budtenders contributing to your success as a cannabis dispensary? “Service with a smile” may be a cliche, but there’s a reason the phrase is so popular.
Consumers want to spend their money at places where they feel valued. And your staff is essential for creating that environment.
Of course, the physical environment of cannabis dispensaries is just one piece of the puzzle. The pandemic hastened the trend towards online sales, curbside pickup and social distancing. These days, many consumers prefer to do all their shopping on their smartphones. (Some even prefer an automated chat feature to an actual human.) Because of this, your digital environment is just as important as the in-store experience at your dispensary.
So you should draw your customers in with the same friendly atmosphere when using digital marketing. Create a uniform brand identity for your physical and virtual environments so that your digital customers feel a familiar environment when entering the store. Then, work on customizing your loyalty program to reward cannabis consumers both within and outside of the shop.
Contact springbig today to learn about how you can optimize the shopping experience for your customers. Our suite of tools makes us the leading cannabis marketing platform. Let us help you grow your business and create an optimal customer experience.