improving dispensary customer experience retention increase sales

How Expensive is a Bad Experience

In the next couple of years, customer experience is poised to take over as the number one brand differentiator (Walker), securing it’s dominance over both price and product.  For businesses, this has marked a big shift. With ties to customer retention, customer satisfaction and up-selling, 85% of retail brands are deeming customer experience top priority. (Dimension Data)

Failing to provide a positive customer experience inevitably results in a loss of customers and revenue. Disappointed customers make it a point to share their poor experience. On average, 13% tell as many as 15 people about their unpleasant experience. When surveying lost customers, 67% cite a bad experience as their reason why. (Huffington Post)

What’s even more alarming is most businesses are unaware that they even had a dissatisfied customer. Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers take the time to make their grievances known to management or the business personnel. This startling truth means that no news is not necessarily good news and you can’t assume a lack of complaints means everyone is a satisfied customer. It’s reported that 91% of these unhappy, non-complaining customers simply just leave. Well, leave and tell their friends. (Think Jar)

So, what is it that today’s consumers are looking for in order to have a positive customer experience?

Over 50% say they think it’s important to be able to solve product questions and find information on their own and want some sort of self-service type of option. (Zendesk) As consumers become more self-reliant in this information age, Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of the relationship with a company without interacting with a human. (Gartner)

 

Customer Experience Inside the Dispensary

For dispensaries, providing an excellent customer experience comes with its own set of unique challenges. Many dispensary visitors are trying cannabis for the first time, or for the first time again. Oftentimes, they come looking for a specific benefit or effect but are unsure of which type of product would be the right fit.

 

On top of the lack of knowledge about cannabis products, the current climate of the industry is still rife with stigma. Not to mention, everything — from compliance laws to lab test results to packaging to scientific research — is changing so quickly that it’s no wonder why confusion and misinformation keep circulating.

In order to be successful, these challenges must be surmounted so that a dispensary can convert each intimidated patron into both a confident consumer and loyal customer. Interestingly, nearly all hurdles can be overcome through access to credible and current education about cannabis.

It may sound superficial, but other contingencies of success include a dispensary’s appearance and its adoption of modern technologies. Many dispensaries are acutely aware of the benefits that come with revamping their spaces and deviating from the stereotypical aesthetic of the past. To set themselves apart, they are opting for a clean and uncomplicated design more reminiscent of high-end retail stores. Utilizing the right technology helps differentiate from not only competitors, but from the types of dispensaries that have yet to evolve to feel more current, as well as inclusive of new cannabis consumers in today’s market.

Customers are looking not only to find and confidently buy the right product, but also to feel more comfortable about using it when they get home — and dispensaries are doing their best to handle this responsibility as efficiently as possible. Thankfully, this no longer has to be a monumental burden.

 

Click here to learn how education & technology can reinvent the dispensary experience and increase sales.