Turning Transactions into Long-Term Relationships
Sure, not everyone experiences love at first sight. But your mission as a business owner is to try charming every customer into a long-term relationship with your store.
So what are the things that make any relationship work? More than likely, it is something you are passionate about. It probably gives you a sense of confidence, and you probably feel comfortable with the other person. Invariably, you find that the relationship enriches your life in a rewarding way.
So wouldn’t it make sense that we value businesses that make us feel the same way?
We want to be attracted to the product or service. We want to feel comfortable in the environment we are shopping in, and confident in our choice to make a purchase. Overall, we definitely want to feel rewarded by the experience. If you get all of these feelings from one store, do you think you’re likely to go back?
Still, love is not always in the air. The typical American business will lose 15% of its customers each year. That is a scary thought, especially for small business owners. So what can you do to build relationships?
6 tips on how to keep a customer for life
In the cannabis industry, retailers have a crucial opportunity to create a customer service experience that helps shoppers feel attracted to their business, confident in their expertise, comfortable with the overall experience and rewarded for their patronage. Here are 6 tips to help you accomplish these goals.
First impressions definitely leave a mark and a little aesthetics go a long way. In fact, survey data shows that 95% of consumers report that exterior appearance is important when selecting a store to shop in. The survey also notes that:
- 30% of customers believe a business’ appearance is extremely important
- 66% believe a business’ appearance is at least somewhat important
And the interior of your store is even more important. When it comes to the decision not to return to a place of business:
- 53% of surveyed customers said disorganization was the primary reason
- 32% said the store being dirty was the primary reason
Needless to say, customers are more likely to keep visiting a business that is not only cleaner but also easier to navigate. Make sure people can find the products or services they are looking for.
This is extremely important for cannabis retailers because, there is still some stigma attached to operating a cannabis business. Some people still imagine it as unscrupulous doctors or criminal drug dealers, but with cash registers. Thankfully, a lot of cannabis retailers have taken extra care to make sure their retail locations are top-notch. While your sense of feng shui is unique, the thing to remember is that you want your retail store to be clean, well organized and comfortable for customers.
Make it a welcoming space that shoppers can’t wait to get back to. But don’t stop at decorating your brick-and-mortar shop. Apply these same concepts to your e-commerce platform and SEO efforts. A clean and organized website is just as important as the look of your physical location.
2. communicate with customers
Customer relations management should focus on personalized communication to promote customer loyalty and improve customer retention rates. By keeping the lines of communication open over an extended period of time and not just right after a purchase you show the customer that you care.
However, maintaining contact with customers over a lifetime can be difficult in the cannabis industry given the current limitations for cannabis advertising. So it is important to make sure you are creating various avenues for customers to engage with your brand. This includes:
- Customer service/support
- In-store marketing
- Local SEO
- Social media marketing
- SMS/MMS text marketing
As we mentioned before, customers like to stay with businesses that they can feel a sense of confidence in. Make sure to keep customers informed, including things as simple as hours of operation and the products you carry.
Taking communication to the next level, you can utilize cannabis SMS marketing to keep your existing customers engaged. Texting gives you a way to deliver messages with a 99% open rate, meaning it lets you communicate directly to customer’s phones. Not only that, it allows you to run promotional campaigns targeted at your most loyal customers making them feel valued.
Don’t forget, establish a voice for your brand. Talk to customers like real people, and give your brand a personality they can connect with.
3. make the checkout process easy
IIf you’ve ever been trapped in a congested line at the store and had to stop mid-checkout and sign in to an account on a tablet, you know that doesn’t feel very easy either.
Business relationships tend to work out and last longer when they don’t get bogged down with hassle and frustration.
Online shopping can also take a hit from complicated checkout processes. According to recent reports:
- In the first quarter of 2018, the average cart abandonment was 75.6%.
- Some sites see 8 out of every 10 visitors (80%) move items to the cart but leave without making a purchase
- 26% of customers abandoned their cart because the online checkout process was too complicated
- Businesses saw a 35% increase in conversions with a better checkout design
- 59% of smartphone users prefer businesses with mobile sites or apps that enable them to make purchases quickly and easily
Needless to say, simplifying your checkout process both in-store and online can make a significant difference in increasing customer retention. For in-store, springbig has made it easier to get guests through checkout while still engaging with your loyalty program. We have removed the need for kiosks for tablets to sign in and collect points. Customers can simply sign in with their phone number, scan their wallet’s QR code, or use a text to join code.
When it comes to online e-commerce, springbig supports a seamless menu integration that gives customers access to your dispensary’s online store. In other words, your loyal fans can place orders right from their digital wallets.
4. hire great budtenders/curators
Staff your dispensary with budtenders and curators who care about the success of your business, and care about the people who walk through the door every day.
In a recent survey, 68% of customers said that poor customer service is the reason they did not return to a business. Beyond that, 4 out of 10 (40%) consumers will recommend others not frequent a business after a poor customer service experience. Word of mouth marketing is sometimes the most valuable, therefore, it is safe to say that making each experience a good one is crucial, especially in an increasingly competitive market like cannabis retail. Additional data also indicates:
- 47% of consumers have made the choice to switch to a different brand due to bad customer service within the last year
- 66% of 18 to 34-year-olds report that their customer service expectations have risen in the last year
7 out of 10 (70%) American consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service. In other words, customers feel it's worth it to pay more for a better experience.
Employees are the most valuable asset for any organization because they are the ones keeping all the parts moving. Your retail staff should:
- Be aware of dispensary protocols
- Know your products well enough to inform customers
- Understand your brand and your corporate culture
- Be proficient in using your dispensary POS system
- Use a budtender rating service like our partners at BudTender
Hopefully, you’re using a dispensary POS software that is easy to navigate and intuitive. Thankfully, springbig seamlessly integrates with all major POS platforms in the cannabis industry so your budtenders won’t have extra hoops to jump through. Our platform makes it incredibly easy to apply offers or reward points, add new members, and check-in.
5. reward customers
Remember, a little reward goes a long way. We ought to know, considering rewards are part of what makes springbig the leading cannabis CRM and dispensary loyalty platform. We know better than anyone how to add value to each experience.
Keep in mind that statistics show:
- 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with companies that offer personalized experiences
- Customers in that 80% are also 10 times more likely to become a brand’s most valuable customers
- 82% of customers say exclusive offers would increase how often they shop with a brand
Finding a way to reward customers for shopping at your store is an easy way to encourage them to come back. Additionally, you can set up a system of rewarding customers based on a variety of factors, including:
- Average spend
- Overall spending history
- Visit frequency
- Total number of visits
- Product preferences
Making personalized rewards is a great practice for retaining customers. It lets people know that you appreciate their level of engagement with your business, and offers an incentive to keep that same energy and interaction going.
6. lifecycle marketing
Imagine forgetting your anniversary (again)… and your spouse’s birthday (every year)… and worse, their favorite brand of concentrate carts! doesn’t go so well, does it?
But if you remember every anniversary and birthday, and you know exactly which brand of Indica concentrate oils your customers likes, you will surely leave a lasting impression over the customer’s lifetime.
At the end of the day, this is what lifecycle marketing is about; taking customer milestones and the personal data you’ve learned along the way to tailor messages, rewards, and promotions towards them specifically. It is another effective way of keeping members of your audience engaged with your brand. If you want a customer relationship to last a lifetime, you should keep track of what that lifecycle has to teach you.
If you have trouble remembering, don’t worry, springbig has your back. Our integration with all major dispensary POS software allows us to keep track of vital data points, such as:
- Spend history
- Visit frequency
- Preferred brands and products
With these details, cannabis retailers can target their customers at various stages of their lifecycle with unique marketing meant to elicit a specific behavior. Springbig allows you to disrupt shopping habits with offers, keep consumers interacting with text messaging (featuring MMS and Emojis!), and emphasize calls-to-action with rewards.
Going steady with springbig
To reiterate; if you want to be in a faithful relationship, it takes work. You have to communicate. You’ve got to put your best foot forward and show that you care. Let them know you listen to their needs and do the little things that make the connection rewarding.
In other words, make your customers fall in love with your store. That is how you keep a customer for life. Just think of the springbig cannabis CRM as your own personal cupid.