Some Dispensaries Just Get It.
It has only taken the cannabis industry a few years to make a tremendous shift from illegal dealing to sophisticated retail. As this industry begins to mature, the need for dispensaries to separate themselves depends upon their marketing strategy. No longer is cannabis associated with tie-dyed patterns or Bob Marley, but is now represented in more refined ways.
It's all about the experience. Customer service, ambience, and brand positioning are important to the success of any business, including a business in the cannabis industry. In order to draw in more customers and increase sales, dispensaries need to strategize deeper than the quality of their products and focus more on the entire buying experience.
Imagine walking into a restaurant where the building is tired and skimpy, the staff is unhappy and unknowledgeable about the menu, and your meal takes forever to arrive at the table. The food may be exquisite, but it would not resonate that way in the customer's mind because of the poor dining experience.
Successful dispensaries understand the elements of providing a stellar customer experience. This starts with the outward appearance of the dispensary and ends with the flow of shopping inside. Create a praiseworthy experience and avoid neglecting the cornerstone of a successful business operation with these 3 tips.
1. Make a Great First Impression
The lobby is a dispensary’s first touch point with a customer and an important factor to its reputation. Whether or not they admit it, people do judge books by their covers. The quality of the lobby will automatically be evaluated by a customer, and will influence the shopper’s impression of your business as a whole.
The lobby should reflect the goals of the business, the customers it wishes to attract, and the overall brand. An impressive lobby doesn't need to have leather couches, crystal water glasses, and chandeliers, but should have organized furniture, create smooth traffic flow, and feel welcoming. Easy access to the check-in window, ample seating or standing room for customers, and memorable aesthetics such as artwork, collateral and music, are big pluses.
Here are 3 beautiful lobbies that we love!
Dockside Cannabis (Washington)
2. Empower The Staff
Just because a staff member uses cannabis regularly, doesn't mean they are outgoing and experts on every cannabis product. Similar to the restaurant analogy, if your server is rude or uncomfortable around others, then it will dampen the customer experience. Hire staff members that enjoy interacting with people and bring something special to your team. If staff members can connect with customers positively, they will most likely visit the dispensary another time.
In addition, dispensary management should routinely train personnel on new products and business functionality. A staff member that can answer any and all questions about cannabis products, from novices to experts, will see ticket sales skyrocket. Dispensary staff should strive to educate customers, showcasing their cannabis expertise in order to help customers find exactly what they need.
3. Reward Customers
Why is this important? Reciprocity. Instinctively, people are influenced to "repay" or "give back" when something gratifying is given to them. When a customer is honored with loyalty points for their actions within a dispensary, they are motivated to use those points and spend more often. This creates a positive cycle for dispensaries because customers are encouraged to continue shopping at that dispensary.
Successful dispensaries that use Baker products display an iPad for customers to enter in their phone number in order to gain points. They are even given points every time they make a purchase or when they simply walk into the dispensary. When customers redeem point-based rewards, the result is loyalty to the store.
Noteworthy storefronts, capable staff members, and customer reciprocation goes further towards guaranteeing repeat customer traffic than product quality alone. In order to rise above competition in the cannabis industry, strategizing on a deeper level, from the color of the couches to content in targeted message campaigns, will drive more revenue.