A business starts with an idea and passion, but can only become a success when customers take notice. Getting customers to routinely choose your storefront is a task easier said than done, especially in the saturated cannabis marketplace. There are a few ways to make your dispensary stand out, but a proven strategy is having outstanding customer service. In fact, surveys show that when customer care is done well, customers are more likely to be loyal and even spend more money.
A positive customer experience starts and ends with the dispensary’s budtenders. Shopping for cannabis can be personal or even intimidating, and customers need a trusted and welcoming resource to help them navigate through the products and services that are offered. Excellent customer service stems from body language and tone of voice. Becoming a budtender isn’t just about being knowledgeable about different strains of marijuana, it’s integral to have people skills. On average, budtenders spend about 90% of their time interacting with customers about cannabis –which should be reflected in each dispensary’s training program. From patients to recreational users, customers depend on budtenders for guidance and support throughout the shopping experience.
Having an intentional onboarding process for customers can be a gamechanger for the dispensary. One of the most effective approaches involves specific retail initiatives such as loyalty programs, fast checkout times, digital payment options or quotas. Outlining goals gives a clear picture for employees to understand what the long-term user journey should look like.
Another tried and true method for customer success is quick response times to customers’ questions or feedback. Fast response times with various support channels (i.e. in-person, over the phone, or e-mail) can define the customer’s experience. Per ZenDesk, 69% of consumers judge the quality of customer service based on the speed at which they receive a resolution to their request.
It might be tempting to create speedy automated responses, but ambiguous feedback only adds to customers’ existing frustrations and may negate any ongoing marketing efforts. No one likes to feel like a number. The more personal and thoughtful a dispensary’s customer service method can be, the better. Also, a simple practice that is underrated? The follow-up. Reaching out to active users to get feedback lets customers know that they are heard and important to the business.
Only when your team is happy, your customers will be as well. Recent studies show that building a strong customer service strategy requires also creating an environment with high employee morale. Employees that are content will be more engaged and excited to serve customers.
Employees also appreciate being listened to. Providing a framework for 360 feedback can also foster a positive work environment. A system where employees can give and receive confidential and anonymous feedback produces a safe space for growth. If employees know they’re being invested in, whether that’s via money or training, they will be more likely to stay with the company long-term.
Remember, your employees are on the frontline of your business. They are often the ones who spend the most time with the customers. So, believe what your care team says about your product. Oftentimes, they can give the best insight into product gaps and needs.
Take the chance on being intentional, thoughtful, and dynamic about the customer journey. Word of mouth marketing is a powerful tool, and an upset customer can discourage 20 more customers to avoid your dispensary. If your customers enjoy certain retail experiences, they will refer, recommend, and continually support your business as you evolve. Thoughtful customer service is the cornerstone of most adoption strategies and will directly cater to customers’ ever-changing needs. In a world full of blue checkmarks, be the one that truly cares.
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