Regardless of what type of industry a business is in, it thrives off of its customers. This is why it’s critical that you do everything possible to ensure you customers’ experiences are unbeatable.
There are tons of dispensaries in Tacoma and surrounding areas, which is why you have to deliver an experience your customers can’t find anywhere else. Give them a reason (aside from killer product) to visit your store instead of someplace else . . . even if that place is cheaper.
This industry relies heavily on word-of-mouth to get their sales. If you offer an unbeatable experience for your customers, they will tell all of their friends about your store. They’ll recommend you, and they’ll keep coming back.
But, how do you know what best customer services practices create an experience like that?
Many business owners take the common advice of “think like a customer.” As a dispensary owner, this doesn’t always work because not every customer thinks the same. Your customers are as diverse as your products, and their preferences tend to vary just as widely.
With that in mind, here are four best customer services practices that will help your dispensary win more customers and keep them coming back.
Be a resource, not just a store
Your sales staff (budtenders) should not only know which strains to recommend to customers and what sales are currently going on, but they should also be knowledgeable of the myriad uses marijuana has.
This will help them recommend strains and types of cannabis that best fit with your customers’ needs, preferences, and medical uses.
By positioning your brand as a resource, your dispensary becomes more than just another marijuana retail store. Your customers know they can come to you for recommendations, for answers to their questions, and for solutions to their cannabis problems. New marijuana users and experienced users alike will keep coming back, because it will be obvious you care about your customers.
With that in mind, you do not want your budtenders offering recommendations for specific ailments. They are not medical professionals, and you do not want to run the risk of having legal issues pop up. Instead, have them share anecdotes of what has worked for them or for other cannabis users, being careful to not make absolutes or guarantees.
Create customer loyalty
One of the best ways to get your customers to become regulars is to get to know them as people, not just customers.
Make sure your budtenders are taking the time to have a short conversation with each person that comes into your store. Talk about the different strains they’ve tried, strains they haven’t, your budtenders’ personal favorites, or what strains your customers have aversions to.
Plan and host a big company event (such a BBQ) to get to know your regulars more. Promote the event across your social media profiles, and be sure to mention it in your email newsletter. The more hype you create about the event, the more people will attend. This gives you a better chance of truly connecting with your customers while you’re not on the other side of the counter.
By getting to know your customers on a personal level, rather than just a sales level, will help your budtenders make better recommendations and develop a solid rapport with your customer base.
One of the things that keeps customers coming back to a certain dispensary - aside from awesome products and great prices - is comfort and familiarity. If they feel you know them and will take care of them, they’re far more likely to keep coming back to your store and to recommend you.
Layout is everything
When it comes to discussing the best customer service practices for dispensaries, there’s nothing that helps the customer experience more than creating a welcoming, comfortable environment.
Some people want to just get in and get out quickly, or they want to be left alone to look at things without being bothered by your sales staff. Some people want to come in, socialize, and learn about the latest strains.
Your dispensary should be laid out in such a way that both types of customers are comfortable and can get some insight into how your products can help them.
Have the store as open as possible, and laid out in a way that encourages browsing as part of the sales flow. Bright colors, images, and things that grab their attention will help make the store look more interesting and unique. And, just as with any industry, you want to ensure the check out process is as quick and efficient as possible.
[Related: Seattle Dispensaries: World of Weed]
Establish industry authority
Creating an in-depth dispensary marketing plan that includes participation or hosting of local events will help you take your customer experience management to a whole new level.
Offer information about your dispensary to local businesses and open up a discussion about partnering up with them to expand your customer base.
Hold classes and seminars, much like wine industry experts hold classes on wine tasting and becoming a wine connoisseur. The stigma surrounding the use of cannabis is still present, but it’s definitely declining as marijuana becomes more widely acceptable. Take advantage of this opportunity to become an industry authority in your area.
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