Blog Details

5 Steps to Patient Retention for Cannabis Dispensaries

5 Steps to Patient Retention for Cannabis Dispensaries

It’s the question all Cannabis dispensaries want to know the answer to… How do I retain my patients? With directory-style platforms like WeedMaps or Leafly, it can be pretty easy for Cannabis dispensaries to get lost among the rest. Economists have long proved that once a market gets too saturated, companies enter a vicious cycle of commodity products in which the competition centers around the lowest price and customer loyalty is but a far-away dream. Since customer retention is one of the main goals of any profitable business, we are here to tell you our best tips (backed by science) on how to perfect your patient retention skills. Here’s a 5-step plan to patient retention for cannabis dispensaries!

1. Find Your Niche Market

Theorists, Andrew Burke, André van Stel and Roy Thurik have stated the importance of companies finding a “blue ocean”. In other words, an untapped customer segment that will attract new customers willing to pay more for your differentiation (your added and unique value). This is the starting point in the road to customer retention. A lot of dispensaries have very similar value offerings. The most common being that they carry the best strains and products and that they have the most knowledgeable staff. The thing is, in a saturated Cannabis market, when the majority of dispensaries are making the same promise, not only do you need to excel in these areas – which are an expectation from the patient’s point of view – you need something that sets you apart and attracts an unexplored clientele to your dispensary. Some examples are taking a holistic approach and deciding to offer free yoga classes in your dispensary, or another example would be catering to foodies and specializing in CBD & THC foods (even offering some cooking classes). In conclusion, find something that makes you unique that people can connect with. This concept can then expand to become your “blue ocean”.

2. Make An Amazing First Impression: Both Physically And Digitally

ClickFox’s research on brand loyalty found that first impressions are the most important aspect of customer loyalty. The stats behind it? 60% of customers decided when a brand becomes their favorite immediately after their purchase or service begins. (Just check out the Apple stats!). The research also suggests that companies view their website and social media channels as their first impression. Brand quality, brand image and customer service are the main drivers of customer loyalty. You can apply this with STRAIN in so many ways. We provide white-labeled APPs which means that your dispensary colors, logos and brand will be showcased through a beautifully-designed APP. In addition to the APP, we have a subscription that includes a FREE website, which (as everything built by STRAIN) features a modern, sleek, user-friendly design. So, not only do we take your digital brand quality and image to the next level, but we also include marketing material for printing purposes for when you launch your brand new APP!

3. Offer A Seamless Purchase Process

Take this scenario of an outdated dispensary purchase process. The patient arrives, they have to take out their card at the entrance, and then they have to wait for a long time while watching some generic movie in the waiting area. When they finally pass through the entrance to make their purchase, they have to take their card out again for the receptionist. They proceed to see what’s in stock, they’re not familiarized with the strains you carry or the sales you have running. They feel lost and, meanwhile, they have someone in the car waiting for them. The patients have no choice but to buy whatever’s on sale, wait for the budtender to prepare their order, then they have to pay cash, and if they don’t have enough money, they take it out of the ATM, which includes an extra free. When they finally leave, they have to eat those gummies right away to help them get through all the anxiety of buying them in the first place!

Making It Seamless Helps You Retain

By making life easier for the consumer you’ll allow them to feel relaxed and at home when they visit.  According to CommerceHub 86% of people are willing to pay more for a product to receive a better customer experience. There are tons of ways to make the purchase process easier. When dispensaries are powered by STRAIN, for example, the process runs a little bit differently. Patients see what’s in stock, they get familiarized with the strains, see their loyalty points and see your sales. They’ve also been receiving industry news through your APP during the past weeks! With STRAIN, customers order through your APP, arrive at the dispensary and show their phone for a quick license scan and a quicker check-in. They glide through the waiting area while catching a glimpse of new products on your TV Menu, have their order ready and they know exactly the amount to pay (if they didn’t already pay for it through the APP). They leave happy with their experience and decide no other dispensary is worth the extra hassle.

4. Run An Easy Loyalty Program

Do you know what’s worse than a dispensary with no loyalty program? A dispensary with a complicated loyalty program that frustrates its members. After all, we’re in this to help make people happier right? Punch cards get lost, daily specials get confusing, and if patients don’t have a record of their points, they may as well head on over to the next dispensary (after all, they don’t know how many points they have and they have to walk 5 minutes less to the other one). We get it. That’s why here at STRAIN we make sure to configure a loyalty program directly in your POS and seamlessly connect it to the patients’ profile.  Let your loyalty program run on auto, and give the point tracking power back to the customer. Gamification Theory states that game-like dynamics with customers can easily transform them into apostles of your brand, they become engaged, you retain them. So, yes! Let patients fill up their point banks all the way to the top! Choose some fun colors for your APP and make a game of it! Wait for that gamification to start kicking in and enjoy your newfound loyal customers!

5. Get Your Brand Awareness On Point!

We came across this amazing research (request to authors for full version) Exploring the impact of brand image on customer loyalty and commitment in ChinaTurns out, brand awareness can not only have an impact on customer loyalty and long-term commitment. It also influences perceived quality, enables satisfaction and influences to a greater degree the extent to which customers are willing to express commitment. So yes, that’s right, they’ll be telling all their friends about you! There is a multitude of ways to create brand awareness, from billboards to blimps, though here at STRAIN we believe brand awareness should be easier and cheaper to achieve. We offer dispensaries a white-labeled APP that will have their logo on customers’ phones 24/7. You will also have door stickers so everyone knows you’re powered by STRAIN. Dispensaries will have presence on the APP store. And, since we’re offering a free website, they’ll have presence in web searches too.

Go for it!

Now that you know our tips for patient retention, it’s time to implement! Be sure to contact us to schedule a demo and let us do part of the work for you!  

Book your demo today!