8 Tactics to Optimize Your Dispensary’s Customer Experience in 2019  

If your New Year’s resolution is to gain more market share, then you should read this blog post all the way through.

The cannabis industry is expanding. Some states are establishing effective business models, and newly legalized states are looking to them for guidance. As the ground around cannabis steadies, dispensary operators will have to focus on internal operations now more than ever to remain competitive. ONE Cannabis has drawn from its own facilities to compile a list of tactics that are sure to optimize your dispensary’s customer experience in the new year.

Improve your layout: impulse lanes and lighting

Impulse lanes are a simple improvement. Have small items in plain sight by the registers. Most stores do this, which is why you see lighters, drinks, and a slew of other easy-grab items in checkout aisles. Another easy way to spotlight key products is to focus the lighting on them. The human eye naturally gravitates toward bright spots, thanks to photopigments called melanopsin. Light up your inventory accordingly.

Streamline customer loyalty programs

2019 will be the year of the customer. Effective customer loyalty networks can help tailor the purchasing experience to the customers coming in regularly. It’s the best way to communicate directly with consumers and compile data based on their buying habits. An effective loyalty program doesn’t just offer points and rewards based on purchases. It also creates personalized communications with the customer, offers discounts on products relevant to their shopping history, and provides exclusive access to unique experiences like in-store events or limited product runs.  

Update the menus

Menus are a central source of information for customers. Inventory changes often, so even the most experienced cannabis connoisseurs will benefit from an updated selection list. The best way to keep it updated is to have prominently visible, digital monitors that feature a clean menu, organized by category.

If you’re still using markerboards, it’s worth it to upgrade. The screens give your operation an added air of professionalism and makes the menu revision process simpler.

Finally, consider having sleek and simple paper menus available in the waiting area. Create a branded menu that your team can easily update as products change.

Consider partnering with a franchise

Yeah okay, we may be biased.

We’ve laid out the benefits of franchising here, but there’s no question that partnering with experts will give you a market advantage. You’ll also become a respected part of a larger network. Take that opportunity to leverage huge chunks of data to find out what trends are in the market. And enjoy the increased brand awareness and improved buying power.

Rethink your waiting room

Make your waiting room a learning room. Regardless of efficiency, there will be times when customers are on standby. Utilize that time by crafting the space around them to stimulate education and preparation. Have literature on hand that can explain the purchasing process to newcomers. The more they understand, the more comfortable they are purchasing products. Remember to offer paper menus to customers when there is a longer wait. This will help reduce their time needed in the saleroom.

Take a customer-first approach

It’s the year of the customer, remember?

Employees should regularly initiate friendly, organic engagement that draws the customer in.  The customer should feel comfortable talking with your team and truly enjoy the conversation. A key factor in manifesting this atmosphere is ensuring your employees want to be at work. Recognize their attitude, give feedback whenever necessary, and reward those who routinely offer good customer experiences. Doing so will foster a positive environment that employees can carry with them into customer care.

Give back

Adopt a highway, volunteer, do whatever you think is best. A dispensary doesn’t thrive in a community that isn’t thriving. Use your resources to organize and improve the area in which your dispensary operates. If not out of the kindness of your heart, do it for the monetary motivations. An enriched community is the ideal place to operate.

Know your tax implications

Taxes are a critical–and convoluted–component of operations. If you don’t already, it’s important to understand the ramifications of different tax laws. Be aware of changes in regulatory issues and surround yourself with trusted advisors. Most states, as well as municipalities and counties, will audit routinely. Make sure you’re up to snuff.

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