When your cannabis business invests the time and money into making your customers feel valued, brand loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing will increase organically. It’s a known fact in business that it’s far less expensive to retain existing customers than it is to attract new ones, so investing in loyalty initiatives should be a top priority for every cannabis business.
The key to success is building more than a simple loyalty program that offers a discount after a customer makes a purchase. Instead, you need to develop a user experience that makes every customer feel valued. That means, you need to understand who your customers are and how to connect with them to make them feel like you care about them in an authentic way.
Research studies provide data-backed insights that can help you build user experiences to make your customers feel valued and increase customer loyalty. Following are six things to focus on based on a recent consumer study conducted by Ometria that will help you develop programs for your cannabis business.
The number one way to make customers feel valued and boost their loyalty to your cannabis brand is to offer them promotions and perks that you don’t offer to everyone else. Exclusive discounts and special events are just two of the ways you can show customers that they matter to you in a believable way.
Consumers feel valued when they believe your business has taken the time to get to know them. Based on Ometria’s research, making sure you only contact your customers about products and promotions that are relevant to them is the second best way to make them feel valued.
On the flip side, contacting them about products they’ve already purchased or topics that aren’t meaningful to them is one of the best ways to annoy them (66% of consumers are annoyed when they receive communications promoting products they’re not interested in). Therefore, investing in an email marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) tool that allows you to track your customers’ behaviors and preferences is critical.
What do you do after a customer makes a purchase? According to the research, sending a follow-up email message with related content after a customer makes a purchase is the third best way to increase loyalty.
Considering that Ometria also found that email is the top channel consumers prefer to learn about brand offers, new products, and other news from businesses, your cannabis business should be using an email marketing tool that allows you to automatically send post-purchase follow-up email messages. Not only are you missing an opportunity to build customer loyalty if you’re not sending post-purchase email messages, but you’re also missing an opportunity to make another sale.
Asking for feedback on customers’ purchases and overall experiences is another essential way to make them feel valued and build loyalty. When you ask people for their opinions and show them that you actually listen to them and act on what they say, you’ll strengthen your relationship with them, which inevitably leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
There are a number of tools you can use to collect feedback from customers, including QualSCORE, which is a feedback tool specifically for the cannabis industry.
According to separate research by cannabis market intelligence company Headset, loyalty customers spend more and buy more. They’re transactions are an average of 35% larger than non-loyalty transactions.
However, it’s critical that you develop a loyalty program that rewards customers in the way they prefer. The Ometria research study shows that most consumers prefer to be rewarded with points followed by discounts on items they’re interested in and unexpected gifts and perks.
Communication is the foundation of making people feel valued, because it helps to build an emotional connection with your brand and strengthens the relationship between consumers and your business. The trick is to communicate with consumers in the right way, so they want to hear from you.
As mentioned earlier, Ometria’s research found that email is by far the top channel where consumers want to hear from brands, particularly about offers and products. This is great news for cannabis businesses that face so many obstacles promoting and communicating through other digital channels. Email is preferred by 66% of U.S. consumers, which is nearly double the 33% who prefer Facebook.
Key Takeaways for Cannabis Businesses
Bottom-line, you need to understand your customers to develop a successful loyalty program. Furthermore, when it comes to making customers feel valued and building brand loyalty, authenticity matters – a lot. If consumers don’t believe that you’re offering them special benefits or experiences because you truly value them, your efforts could do more harm than good.
To that end, build relationships with your customers, not just transactions. Your time and monetary investments will pay off in the long-term.