2018 has brought on quite a few cultural shifts within the cannabis industry, and because of that, the customer experience within the cannabis industry has changed, too. We’ve seen the customer experience in any retail position change drastically in the last 10 or so years. Retailers today understand that the buyer’s journey no longer begins and ends inside a storefront, and for this reason, the leading retailers are beginning to offer a customer experience beyond their physical locations.
What is customer experience marketing?
The goal of customer experience marketing is to stop selling services and products and start meeting customer expectations and making every experience more personal. The best marketers are the ones who put the customer at the center of their marketing strategies and focus on improving their experiences through engagement practices and touchpoints.
However, the customer experience often comes at a price. Most people struggle to overcome not knowing their customers well enough to deliver the more personalized experiences and relevant offers. The key point is to gain a complete view if individual customers, which means that data silos are a no-no.
If your cannabis company has the ability to listen to your customers and treat them well, you win! All because you’re delivering the experiences your customers WANT. You can also succeed as a direct result of your exceptional customer experience.
Because buyers in this day and age are more empowered than ever before.
The average customer is very demanding and wants nearly instant gratification. Additionally, it takes 12 positive experiences to repair the damage caused by one negative experience with a business. Today’s customers are also good at spreading things around, like bad customer reviews, which in a lot of cases, go viral that can cause a serious PR problem for your brand since Americans are better at helping friends and family avoid possible negative experiences and commenting very little on positive experiences (because they’re simply expected!). On the other hand, though, Customers often associate brands with the way they make us feel from customer service to retail ambiance and the digital journey.
The cannabis customer experience
The current landscape of cannabis shopping experiences leaves a lot to be desired. Most shoppers demand (on some level) more personalization that is currently possible to provide in the cannabis industry due to unfair legal restrictions. The cannabis market is also practically flooded, as there are more dispensaries than Starbucks in most places.
The most successful members of the cannabis industry will be the businesses that not only compete on price but those who make sure to go above and beyond with their customer experiences. Offering a personalized experience improves the customer experience even more by creating loyal customers that will trust the cannabis brand, spend more on their products, and evangelize the brand to facilitate in bringing the brand more customers!
A good customer experience in the cannabis industry also means greater insight into customer behaviors, increased trust, higher customer satisfaction rates, increased brand loyalty for long-term profitability and increased brand awareness.
Interested in beefing up your dispensary’s customer experience? Here are 3 tips!
1. Start a rewards program
76% of customers have come to expect rewards for being loyal to a business.
Luckily, a rewards program is by far one of the easiest ways to attract and delight your customers. By putting your customers first, you can easily enhance your in-store experience and build up your customers lifetime value. Before you implement anything concrete, ask yourself if you yourself would find the reward valuable. Additionally, loyalty programs are a really simple way to convert one-time shoppers into repeat customers.
The most successful loyalty programs are the ones that provide you with insights and analytics, such as your message open rate and other KPIs. Your rewards should also be crystal clear, easy to redeem and provide value to your customer. Finally, you should make sure that your rewards program is easy to sign up for so that nobody changes their mind halfway through! Try to limit your requirements to a name, an email address or phone number, and a short list of preferences.
2. Invest in your website
On average, you’re going to see 10x more customers visiting your website than your actual store in any given month. With 80% of all customers beginning their buyer’s journey online, you should be considering your website a PART of your store. Make sure it has resources that provide value to an online shopper, such as online ordering, product lists or menus, a solid about page, and a blog full of interesting information, specials, or in-house deals. Doing this will help you increase your brand’s value and of course your conversion rate.
3. Keep in touch
Create a more personal relationship with your customers by not stopping the outreach after a transaction. One of the best ways to build brand loyalty is through communication, but not advertising. People see on average 4000 advertisements per day and we tend to tune them out. If you’re advertising and not communicating, you risk losing your customer base. Be sure to talk to them instead of spamming them. Focus on topics like new products, promotions and specials on their favorite products, and of course changes to store operations.
Investing in the customer experience might seem like a lot more work than say paying for a billboard in a prime location or paying for the number one spot on a search inquiry, but it’s at least more cost-efficient. Earning and retaining customers is key to running a successful business in a saturated market. Want to learn more about how to elevate the customer experience? Get in touch with the cannabis marketing experts at Team Maryjane today!