Word of mouth and referrals are without a doubt the number one source of new prospects for marijuana dispensaries or any local business.
Think about it – The clientele who visit marijuana dispensaries are there because they are passionate about marijuana products. If a customer has an enjoyable experience at one particular dispensary, they will share their positive experience with their colleagues.
Don’t believe me? If there’s one thing marijuana users like more than marijuana itself, it’s talking about it.
But is this effective? Absolutely.
If your friend, family member or co-worker claims they’ve been to every dispensary in the area and tells you “this one is THE BEST,” you will believe them. You already trust this person and know they are a credible source of information.
The next time you need to stock up on cannabis, there is a very high chance that you will visit the dispensary your colleague recommended. There is no reason to waste your time and money trying out the other mediocre dispensaries when you can go straight to “THE BEST”.
Triggering these conversations between customers and prospects is what we call work of mouth marketing.
The digital are has presented a new form of word-of-mouth marketing: online customer reviews.
Although most customer reviews you see online are from people you’ve never met, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Here’s how you get more customer reviews online.
- Provide amazing products and services. Customers will want to support and advocate your dispensary if you do good work. If you don’t do good work, online reviews may have a negative ipact on your business.
- Create and verify your business listings online. This includes Google My Business, Leafly, Weedmaps and anywhere else users leave reviews online. If customers can’t easily find you, they can’t leave a review.
- Ask your customers to write a review for your dispensary. There’s no harm in asking. Most people don’t think to leave reviews on their own, even if they really like the dispensary. If you have a regular customer who your budtenders have build a relationship with, mention it to them. Communicate that it will help bing in more customers and grow your business. I’m sure they would be happy to help out.
- Incentivize customers to leave a positive review. Use in-store signage to promote a special offer to anyone in your dispensary who leaves a review online. The offer doesn’t need to be anything big or expensive. Maybe a free lighter or pack of rolling papers? Be careful how you message this offer. You don’t want to sound like you are paying the customer for a review. You can position the gift as a thank you for the customer feedback.
- Reach out via email. Send a promotional offer to you email list thanking your loyal customers for their business and all the amazing customer reviews online. Offering email subscribers a discount for leaving reviews might convince the subscribers who haven’t left a review to do so.
It is extremely important to stay in touch with your network online and monitor reviews. If there is any negative feedback, make sure you address the review and solve the problem at the root cause. Marijuana dispensaries are dependent on acquiring repeat customers, so maintaining your online reputation should be one of your top marketing priorities.