Customer Service is the Key To Cannabis Retail Marketing
Customer service is the foundation of cannabis retail marketing and should be at the top of your list of essential dispensary marketing tips.
This is not just limited to bricks & mortar retail dispensaries as the same can be said for online dispensaries and mail-order marijuana sites.
If you own and/or operate a retail cannabis store and have been involved with cannabis retail marketing, you already understand that your products can be confusing for many customers, particularly for mature cannabis consumers and those new to using weed.
Every retail cannabis dispensary and online dispensary must build significant trust with prospective customers through education & information that overcomes customers’ fears and misconceptions in order to grow the business.
In addition, cannabis stores and online dispensary websites need to create a retail and online environment of inclusion so that all customers, with varied experiences with cannabis products, can feel comfortable and welcome.
Your retail sales associates are the first members of your dispensary team that will interact with all of your retail customers. It’s important that they buy into your cannabis retail marketing strategy of how impeccable customer service leads to increased customer retention.
In this article, we’ll outline and discuss 7 cannabis retail marketing tips that are focused on customer service that you can implement at your dispensary in order to grow your customer base and increase daily sales.
Cannabis Retail Marketing Tip 1: Greet Every Single Customer
The first tip for cannabis retail marketing is super simple and super essential. Greet every customer who walks in the door.
Your greeting is their first impression of your store, so make it count and give everyone an enjoyable experience when they walk into your dispensary.
You can use phrases like “welcome” or make eye contact in order to create an instant impression of friendliness which will go a long way towards easing any fears they may have while shopping with you.
In most US states and Canadian provinces, ID checking laws require dispensaries do this anyway so as mentioned, this first tip is simple but effective for retaining customers and increasing sales.
If the first thing your customer experiences is a warm and welcoming tone, this sets the pace for what’s to come.
This greeting should also provide an opportunity for budtenders/sales associates to assess how much help this customer may or may not they need, as well as where the customer is on their cannabis journey.
So, for example, “Have you been here before?” is a great question to suggest to your team members to ask new customers in order to welcome and get acquainted with them.
If they determine the person is not a first-time customer, say “Welcome back!”
If they find the customer is new to cannabis and your dispensary, your team member should seem knowledgeable about cannabis products or direct them to a sales associate who can answer their questions.
When discussing how to greet and assess customers with your sales associates in your next cannabis retail marketing meeting, you should teach them that a customer’s body language is very important and should be the first thing they assess.
Let them know that some customers may walk in confidently while others seem nervous or uncomfortable, but all new users will have an energy that can be picked up on by educated & well-trained budtenders who know what they’re looking for.
Mastering this art of the budtender & customer interaction will do wonders for your cannabis retail marketing strategy and your bottom line.
2. Remember Customer Names & Preferences
In some retail environments, there are just a few companies that remember and use the customers’ names on a daily basis.
Most retail employees rarely, if ever, remember and consistently use the names and remember the faces of the customers they see most often, let alone the customers they see only occasionally.
The impact of using a customer’s name is immeasurable. It can make them feel like they are the only person in an entire world, and it creates this feeling that you truly care about everyone who shops at your dispensary.
If your retail cannabis marketing doesn’t include greeting regular customers by their first name you’re missing out on something small that impacts the customers in a big way.
I love it when I walk into a retail dispensary and the staff remember me, my name, and my preferences. It feels like home. It’s super friendly. It makes me want to come back.
I’d bet that you would feel the same way. I also bet that many other people would as well.
This is why it’s remembering the names of frequent, regular customers is a key to increasing both customer retention and monthly sales.
It makes your words more personal and is interpreted as being caring and empathic. Naturally using your customer’s name will build strong bonds that are hard to break which will positively affect your customer retention and monthly revenue.
3. Master The Interaction of Budtender & Customer
The second tip for cannabis retail marketing is where your sales associates can show off their skills and your dispensary’s knowledge of cannabis.
After the greeting, the initial assessment and any initial browsing that the customer needs to do are done, it’s finally one-on-one time with the customer. This customer-budtender interaction is super important.
Part of your cannabis retail marketing plan should be to educate your sales team about the different types of cannabis customers they’ll encounter day to day.
The novice shoppers who need help finding what they want.
Or, the connoisseur pot experts who know exactly where their passion lies but may not always be able to find answers from a competing dispensary’s store associate. This is your team’s opportunity to shine.
The first step of this interaction should be identifying where the customer is in their cannabis journey. This will help guide your interactions with them from there on out.
Your sales team may likely already have a rough idea based on their initial assessment but regardless, it’s always useful to simple ask can ask an open-ended question to get a better understanding of what they are looking for.
We suggest asking something like: “So, what are you looking for today?” or “What are you interested in this afternoon”? Their answer will be what guides everything that follows.
This cannabis retail marketing tip is an example of how your budtenders can tailor their interactions with customers based on the customer’s level of experience.
A novice user might answer “I’m not sure” while more experienced users will respond by identifying themselves as such and providing additional information when prompted for it.
Keep in mind that if the customer is a novice user, your sales associates should keep explanations simple, and be careful with cannabis-specific jargon.
You don’t want to overwhelm new users with information. They won’t be able to remember it all, and it could increase their anxiety.
On the other hand, if your customer is a weed connoisseur, you should not explain terminology or different consumption methods.
Your job is simply to match them with products that are right for their taste and introduce new products or product categories alongside it if possible.
If I could offer one piece of advice it would definitely be telling your customers about any deals that are going on so they can save money too.
4. Upsell & Cross-Sell Effectively
There are 2 main principles for cannabis retail marketing: Upselling and Cross-Selling.
What is Upselling: suggesting a customer buy a higher-quality, more expensive product.
What is Cross-Selling: suggesting a customer buy an additional product.
The key to this tip on cannabis retail marketing is to understand that upselling and cross-selling are delighting your customers. You should do these things in a way that makes them happy, not just more profitable for you.
The goal of upselling and cross-selling in cannabis retail marketing is not to make customers buy items they don’t need. Instead, it’s about showing them something new that may interest them.
For instance, if an experienced smoker comes in looking specifically at pre-rolls you could try educating him/her on some different options and/or product categories before guiding them towards what he or she really wants, like your new infused pre-rolls.
This example of cross-selling in cannabis retail marketing just makes sense. You’re letting the customer know about a cool new higher-quality product they might be interested in and weren’t aware of before!
Essentially, cross-selling is just a simple dispensary marketing tip that shows your customers all their options so that way you can upsell something even better if necessary. It’s truly a Win-Win.
Your budtenders or sales associates can make upselling and cross-selling more effective by being mindful of the customer’s needs. This is a dispensary marketing tip that your staff should all be aware of.
For example, if someone tells you that they have a strict budget your team should choose to not persuade them into buying something additional. Respect their budget and that they may be in a rusdh to buy their weed.
If you try to force an upsell or cross-sell as part of your retail cannabis marketing strategy it could cause resentment, which would leave both parties unhappy with each other, and leave your dispensary with a potential negative review.
5. Package Online Orders ASAP
There may be something that some dispensary owners don’t know about how their customers make pick-up orders and that could positively affect their entire cannabis retail marketing strategy.
Some customers make their pre-orders in their car in the parking lot of your dispensary because they prefer to browse and make their choice in private, then walk into the dispensary and walk right out with their order.
If you could manage to package your pre-order in 10-minutes or less, you could get an edge on your competition by making online orders and fast pickups super quick for time-conscious customers.
Some customers prefer to browse and shop in-store. Many others prefer to just order online and get what they need as fast as possible.
In your next cannabis retail marketing session, consider an approach or process that could help speed up your online pickup orders and watch your average daily revenue increase.
6. Monitor & Measure Your Online Customer Reviews
Have you ever heard the old saying “what gets measured, gets done”? Well, it’s totally true for your cannabis retail marketing to be effective.
If you want to improve your service quality and make sure that all of it’s worth it, then you need to implement a simple way of measuring the results of this part of your cannabis retail marketing strategy.
The first step to measuring your dispensary’s quality of service is to regularly monitor your online reviews from Google, Leafly, Weedmaps, Instagram, Reddit, and other channels.
It’s important for you and your cannabis retail marketing to know what people like about your dispensary. It’s even more important what they don’t like or why they won’t come back.
Use this information as a guide when making changes in store policy and your cannabis retail marketing strategy.
Or, provide coaching on better customer service strategies so that the next time someone walks into your cannabis store he/she will be ready with an open wallet and a smile on their face.
In addition to monitoring your online reviews, another dispenarfy marketing tip is to ask your customers for feedback through surveys. You can collect their email addresses or phone numbers in order to send out messages with that link to a survey.
If you want to get the most responses possible, make your surveys quick and easy to fill out on mobile phones with just one or two questions.
Also, we highly recommend that you provide an incentive for completing the survey like a discount on their next purchase or offering bonus points for your loyalty program.
Make sure that if there are any poor experiences left behind by customers then follow up quickly so these issues can be addressed asap.
Cannabis Retail Marketing Tip 7: Monitor & Track All Service-Related KPIs
In order to ensure that your cannabis customers are getting the best experience possible at your dispensary, you should monitor the following service-related metrics on a weekly basis, in addition to monitoring online reviews and sending out surveys.
These service-related KPIs are a vital part of cannabis retail marketing and understanding how to use them effectively can ve the key to growing your business.
- Average daily transactions
- Average transaction amount
- Average price per item
- Average basket size (the number of products in an online or in-store sale)
- Basket mix (the types of products bought together)
- Daily store revenue
The data from these KPIs are like gold! You can use it to find valuable customer purchase insights and to forecast trends in products to improve your cannabis retail marketing.
For example, maybe you see that people who purchase a certain product category or strain also tend to be buyers of another type of product or product category.
This data will help with cross-marketing efforts because you know customers are more likely interested in buying certain products together than apart.
Or perhaps when planning out your 4/20 event next year you should consider looking back on how well certain promotions went during previous years so as not repeat any successes without fully exploring other options first.
In the end, metrics are just numbers. Make sure your sales associates know that metrics are important, but meeting the customer’s needs is always the priority.
We Can Help You With Your Cannabis Retail Marketing
When it comes to cannabis retail marketing, customer service has to be priority number one simply because the competition between cannabis retail stores and online weed dispensaries is intense.
Customers are finicky and if your dispensary can please them, give them what they want, at a good price, quickly and efficiently, and in a friendly manner, you will be winning for years to come via positive online reviews and increasing the number of returning customers each week/month.
Remember that as a dispensary owner, you and your sales team have the responsibility as cannabis retailers to educate your customers and help them with a positive experience on their cannabis journey.
In addition to in-store and online customer service, we recommend dispensaries implement an SEO, or Local SEO & blog content marketing strategy as part of your cannabis retail marketing plans.
Simply because everyone who is looking for a convenient place to buy weed near them will always hit Google or Bing search to find a solution – and you need your dispensary to show up prominently on Page 1.
If you need help with your cannabis retail marketing or with dispensary SEO & cannabis content marketing, we can help you.
Call us for a free 30-minute phone consult or email us to request a quote.
We’re Ready To Help You Grow!