Obviously, you love your customers. At least, I hope you do.
But, how do you show them?
If you answered something like, “By providing great customer service and great products,” then you need to read this post.
Because that’s not enough.
Your customers put their trust in your brand, and they give you their hard-earned money because of that trust. In return, you need to make them feel appreciated.
In fact, 82% of customers will leave a business because they feel the company doesn’t care about them. Customers want to be treated as individuals, rather than just a dollar amount. They want to feel like they matter to you and your business, and that you genuinely care.
They place great value on customer appreciation, and so should your business.
The Importance of Customer Appreciation for Dispensaries
At this point, you may find yourself wondering why stellar service isn’t enough anymore.
Well, great service is expected. It’s not a luxury to have a dispensary available that has great products and great empathy. This is why dispensaries now have to go the extra mile to really drive customer loyalty -- especially in places that have a dispensary on nearly every street.
This is where customer appreciation comes in.
Customer appreciation goes beyond being nice or offering daily deals. It’s about making each and every one of your dispensary customers feel as though they genuinely matter to you and are invaluable - because they should and are.
Fortunately, there are several inexpensive customer appreciation ideas that can help make your loyal customers feel like the valued patrons they are. After all, happy customers boost business.
So, for those ready to give back to your customers, here are 14 customer appreciation ideas you can start implementing today.
14 Customer Appreciation Ideas for Dispensaries
1. Choose a Customer of the Day
Most people love saving money, especially when it comes in the form of a surprise. Choose a “customer of the day” and use that as a way to drive foot traffic by announcing the promotion via social media. Post a picture of the lucky winner to encourage more visits from followers.
Keep track of your sales with the POS system, and gift the 50th customer a discount. Even something as little as 10% off an eighth of flower, it’s really the thought that counts - also, that’s a great deal. Ultimately, you just want your customers to know your dispensary appreciates them year-round.
2. Reward Your Customers With a Loyalty Program
Want to build trust and rapport with customers while encouraging them to keep coming back? Create a mobile-friendly loyalty program. Simply ask for your customers’ phone numbers / email addresses, have them respond to a confirmation text, and they’re subscribed! You can then set up a reward system, have a stamp card, and track the frequency of subscribed shoppers on your phone, computer, or tablet.
3. Give Special Thanks to Loyal Customers
This next customer appreciation idea requires a bit more work, but will definitely keep a positive rapport going with your most loyal customers - which will keep them coming back.
Your POS system likely does a great job of tracking inventory and monitoring sales, but it can also track the customers who have subscribed to your loyalty program. Every few months, take a look at what your most loyal customers are purchasing and how often, and keep track of that information in their customer profile.
Write your appreciation in a “thank you” card, and include a little discount. The next time these customers are checking out, hand them their card. For example: If loyal customer Heather regularly buys the same strain, offer her a discount on her favorite. Even though she wasn’t going to buy anymore for a bit, she may jump at that offer - especially if it includes an expiration date to instill a sense of urgency. Even if Heather doesn’t use the coupon, she would likely still appreciate the gesture.
In fact, recent studies show consumers appreciate and value greeting cards more than they did 10 years ago, and find them to be meaningful.
4. But Also to Your Not-So-Loyal Customers
There will always be customers who come in a few times, sign up for your loyalty program, and then seem to just vanish. More than likely, it’s nothing you’ve done, and you still want their business. So, how do you get those customers to come back to your dispensary? Try sending those customers a “We Miss You” email or text with a discount code to use at checkout. If they do plan to come back, that will definitely get them running. Just make sure to include an expiration date to give a sense of urgency.
5. Give Perks to Customers Who Leave 5-Star Reviews
This is not to encourage dishonesty, but rather to show appreciation to those customers who took the time to let others know how great their experience was. Reward customers who leave 5-star reviews with a discount, such as 10% off glass products, or 20% off cannabis products.
6. Have Time for Your Customers
Sometimes, it’s the little gestures that have the biggest impact. The most affordable way to show customer appreciation - and raise your brand’s popularity - is to always, without fail, practice stellar customer service.
Actions such as greeting each customer when they walk in, saying “goodbye” to them when they leave, and creating a welcoming atmosphere is something that will set your dispensary apart from the rest.
And, don’t forget the value of good conversation. Take the time to chat with each customer, whether it be about the products or about their dog.
Not only does small talk make your customers feel important, but you can learn helpful information about your customers that you can use for future sales. You can learn a lot about preferences and expectations - knowledge you can then utilize going forward.
7. Have Them Take a Rain Check
This may seem like a bit of an outdated retail concept, but it breathes new life in a dispensary. Giving your customers a rain check is a great way to convince customers who left empty-handed to give your dispensary another shot. If your store was out of what a customer was looking for, ask for their email, and offer to email them when the product is back in your store.
But, you still don’t want an inventory issue to get in the way of a sale. If the customer doesn’t want to give their email, provide them with a discount coupon for that specific item, or item of similar price. It’s a value-driven way of saying, “We’re sorry we let you down.” But, the coupon encourages them to come back and get their favorite product from you, rather than going to another dispensary.
8. Show Off Your Customers
Nearly everyone is on social media these days -- and the majority of your customers certainly are. So, why not indulge a few of them in their dreams of becoming Insta-famous? Encourage customers to post about your dispensary or products on their Instagram for a chance to be featured on yours. You can regram your favorite customer posts to show your appreciation -- and to get those likes.
9. Be a Resource, Always
Be more than just another pot shop. Be a valuable resource for your customers. Reward subscribed customers with emails that provide them with expert tips and information they can actually use. Give tips on how to get the smell of weed out of your house. Or expert advice on pairing chocolate and cannabis. Link back to your weekly blog posts.
The key is to serve as your customers’ one-stop shop for all of their cannabis needs. Products? Check. Information? Check. Helpful advice and recommendations? Check.
And adding these customer appreciation ideas to the mix makes your customers more engaged with your brand -- and more likely to keep coming back.
10. Hand Out Branded Products
Have a day where you hand out branded products, such as t-shirts, hats, or tote bags, to your customers at checkout. Not only will customers appreciate the gift, but it also serves as a marketing tactic that will drive both website and in-store traffic. The more those customers wear your products, the more people will see your logo, dispensary name, and website.
11. Give to Charity in Honor of Your Favorite Customer
Reach out to your favorite, or your most loyal customers, and ask about their favorite charities. Make a donation in their name as a way to show serious appreciation for their continued business.
Another way is to do an entire charity campaign, where customers can donate to charity when they checkout. When a customer does opt-in, show your appreciation by matching their donation.
Not only is this tax deductible, but it also leaves a lasting and positive experience in the customer’s memory. They will likely send other customers to your store, and you can post about it on your social media.
12. Gift Birthday Specials
While a basic “Happy Birthday” email or text has positive benefit, you can turn things up a notch by offering a discount - redeemable for the entire week. Not everyone can stop by a dispensary on their birthday (unfortunately), so give them a bit of time.
13. Respond online
50% of all social media users complain about brands, yet only a third of those issues are really addressed. Respond to all comments and mentions as much as you - or your marketing person - can.
The three most important aspects of customer service, according to consumers, are: Fast response (59% of consumers), knowledgeable service agents (48%), and a quick resolution to the issue (47%).
14. Organize a Customer Appreciation Event
Customer appreciation events are a surefire, tried-and-true way to show appreciation toward your customers. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, either. Something as simple as inviting customers to have refreshments in your dispensary for the evening, or hosting an afternoon barbecue, goes a long way in establishing a strong consumer-brand relationship.