In the cannabis industry, there are a ton of options when it comes to marketing. You can go about earning business in a variety of different ways, including content marketing, social media, text and email marketing, and running digital advertisements. However, as we continue through 2018, we’ve noticed that there is no other tactic more effective than having happy customers advocate your brand on your behalf. The customer experience is at the root of it all.
Any successful business has had at least a few happy customers, but the issue is getting them to take the extra step and promote your brand. The act of making your customers happy isn’t the end-all guarantee that they’ll evangelize your brand, because making them happy is expected of you. If you really want to start turning your happy customers into brand advocates, you need to pick them out and meet them on their level, nurture the relationship between your brand and your customers, and make it easy for them to spread the word!
Is your brand noteworthy?
You can’t just ask your customers to tell their friends about your cannabis business or dispensary and expect them to follow through unless you give them (or do) something exceptional first. You need to meet your customers on their level in a way that makes them WANT to gush on about your brand to their friends. If your customers interact with you online, meet them online. If you run a dispensary, make sure the customer always has a great customer experience in your store. Here’s a list of several things you can do to ensure that your customers are having an above and beyond customer experience that makes them want to talk about you, wherever they may be interacting with you.
Make a more lasting impression with your customers by over-delivering and under-promising. Just because you can have an order delivered in a day doesn’t mean that you should alert the customer to that fact. For example, you run a dispensary delivery service and a customer across town places an order that can be delivered in a half hour. You should tell your customer that the order will be delivered in 2-4 hours, and then deliver it in 30 minutes. You will have made a more lasting impression on the customer than if you’d have told them it would be there in 30 minutes in the first place, and, as a bonus, you gave yourself a window of time in case something were to come up preventing you from a timely delivery.
Ask for their input.
If you’re not already asking your customers for their feedback you’re missing out. Making it loud and clear that your business is customer-centric by being open to feedback and always willing to update policies and grow shows the customer that your brand is always trying to better itself for your customers. In most cases, customers that have minor discrepancies with your brand (like having to wait for an extended period of time or not having their product in stock) will happily overlook them if you show them that you’re actively trying to improve and make things right. So ask for reviews, put up a suggestion box in your store, read and respond to your messages on social media, and get the feedback that’ll help you improve for your customers.
Send handwritten notes.
In today’s digital world, anything handwritten tends to stick out better than everything else. It shows something special about your business by taking the time to sit and write something as opposed to typing it out and mailing it. If you want the attention of a specific customer after an event (such as a big purchase, or following up after an event) you can send them handwritten notes or postcards. Anything handwritten is remarkable compared to the rest of the average mailbox, and it’s something the recipient is sure to discuss.
Refer to them by name.
You can always form a stronger connection with someone when you remember their name and use it in conversation. Nobody wants you to talk to them like a robot or a weirdo though, so avoid starting your sentences with their name or using their name too often. When you use the name casually enough at appropriate points in conversation, it can really do wonders for the way the customer perceives your brand. It shows that you’re listening to them, and customers appreciate that. Especially customers in the cannabis industry who require their needs to be accounted for when choosing cannabis products.
People love to talk about the things they learn or find interesting, especially if there’s only one source (you). Your customers (and even your prospects visiting your website) are happy to share information about your company if it provides value, too. As part of your content marketing strategy, you should make sure that you’re educating your audience with content, and then follow up by telling them where to get the offers you’re sharing in your content.
Start a loyalty program.
The most believable advocates are the ones who have done lots of business with you in the past and continue to do business with you today. In order to earn more repeat business, a loyalty program works wonders. By offering incentives just for shopping with or using your brand you can turn customers into return customers. Satisfy them again and again for advocates.
Provide better customer service.
Go above and beyond at every opportunity you can. It might seem expensive and time-consuming but the fact is that the best brands and most successful businesses are always customer centric and they focus heavily on the customer experience. You can always improve your reputation by responding to your customers and handling their issues quickly. The customer is at the center of everything you do. While the customer isn’t always right, it’s always right for your brand to make the effort. Going the extra mile with your customer service will help you go even further.
There are a lot of simple things you can do to turn your happy customers into brand advocates. Here at Team Maryjane, we’ve been helping our clients in the cannabis industry effectively connect with their customers since our inception. Want your target market singing your praises? Get in touch with us today!