Cultivating Excellent & Memorable Dispensary Experiences

Image Credit, Alex Person

Article by: Alaina Dorsey, Contributing Staff Writer

Customers or Patients?

You know they’re patients, but are you treating them like customers? This question may not cross your mind, but the level of service your dispensary offers may have patients and caregivers feeling it.

Cannabis is a lovely boon bestowed upon those of us in legal states. Our information harks from evaluating Maryland, Illinois & Pennsylvania patient comments, although the information and experiences can be applied to any dispensary.

You may be apart of a national chain of dispensaries, so your company “culture” and standards are already set in stone. Or you may be a local owner breaking into the green rush.

No matter your type of cannabis business, here are ways to improve patient experiences.

Because better customer care betters your profits. And who doesn’t want a thriving, stable business?

Value Your Patients

This doesn’t just mean on a name-base. This means an understanding of the various types of patient profiles and knowing how to tailor to their experiences.

Each person’s lifestyle and conditions molds what they’re looking for upon entering your dispensary. It’s up to you to use empathy to prepare for their presence. A positive, educational experience creates a loyal customer.

As some patients mentioned, they’re willing to pass closer shops, even drive an hour for a “primary” dispensary. They want to feel at home. They want to be secure that you can help them.

For example, there are cannabis patients who have little to no experience with the different ways to consume cannabis. And then there are tons of strands to choose from. They just know that they need a new source of relief and cannabis is the answer. Are you going to rush this person into buying a strain that doesn’t address their unique issue? Are you going to throw products at them and hope one sticks?

Every person on the front-end of your dispensary must be knowledgeable, patient and overall invested in understanding each patients’ needs. Even when it’s crowded. Even if there’s a delay with payment methods. Patients are relying on you to help bring them relief and improve their lives. Providing that guarantees a long-term consumer and front row cheerleader for your brand.

While reading comments, patients were eager to offer up their absolute favorite shops. The common denominator was always a positive, informative experience.

Treat Online As An Extension of Your Store

Major complaints about dispensaries were the lack of consistency with online information and transactions. Patients want to know what’s actively in-stock.  They have the right to compare products and deals. Who wouldn’t want to save money? However, offering the best deals but then selling out repeatedly without updating that online creates issues. This is especially true for those who place orders online and then arrive to nothing. Otherwise, what’s the point of setting up on Weedmaps and Leafly? If you’re going to offer online ordering (and you really should if you want to be successful) then commit the resources to doing it well, or it could cost you customers.

Again, patients are seeking out your dispensary for medical help. And they need to be able to trust you to follow through. It’s important to keep in mind what remains unsaid until a transaction goes south. Some patients are traveling from far away for specific strains and options. Others may have limited time to pick up. So being able to order in advance and grab-and-go keeps their life in place.

Visit Your Competitors!

There’s so much more to expand on this topic. But this is a great start if you feel that your dispensary needs a jumpstart. Baby steps!

Honoring patients’ needs will always grow your bottom line. As it goes, people will always remember how you make them feel.

And if you make them feel like you’ve deceived them so you can dig into their pockets, they’ll move onto a competitor who spoils them.

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