But did you know, experts say by the end of 2020, Customer Experience (CX) will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiators worldwide? Still,
for many companies, customer experience feels like something that’s mostly out of their control.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer Experience is the sum of all the interactions a customer has with your company over the life of the “relationship”.
Most importantly, it’s the feelings, emotions, and perceptions your customer has about those interactions.
It’s more than just their thoughts about the products they purchased, or how long they had to wait in the check outline.
The customer experience and customer journey starts with the first interaction with your brand,
whether that’s seeing you on a billboard, walking in fresh off the street, or receiving a recommendation from a friend.
Why is Customer Experience important in the Cannabis Industry?
CX in the cannabis industry is vitally important. The stigma sometimes attached to cannabis, and
the uncertainty of first-time customers means it’s critical to focus and understanding how your customers interact with your company.
Being able to understand your customer’s needs and direct them towards the most beneficial products, helps develop credibility and trust.
Creating a positive and inclusive environment helps a customer feel safe, comfortable to ask questions and be open to try new products.
Is Customer Experience the same as Customer Service?
The short answer is no, but it’s one of the Six Key Components to Cannabis Customer Experience.
Excellent customer service begins with the first interaction with an employee. Budtenders who embody the values and goals of the company directly reflect your company brand to the customer.
Educated employees also build trust between a customer and a business. If a customer feels taken care of, they’re more likely to spend more and return more frequently.
According to Anne Forkutza, an Experience Director at Cova POS:
“Even the most experienced budtender must be able to educate beginner and expert consumers alike with the facts, address their questions and ease their concerns all at the same time”.
But there’s a lot more to Cannabis Customer Experience than just dealing with the budtenders.
A lot goes into a positive experience for a customer. How they interact in the waiting area, the music you play, and the ease and flow for purchasing products. How simple it is to order online, receive a delivery, or pick up in-store… everything is a contributing factor.
Even if they’re not interacting with another human being.
Personas and Journey Mapping
To really dial in your CX you’ll want to identify your Customer Personas and Customer Journey Maps to better understand how each unique segment of customers experience your business differently.
We’ve put together a quick how to guide to get the most out of your CX initiatives.
Listening to Your Customers
It goes without saying… it’s important to provide a variety of products.
As a business you do your best to keep up with new brands and try to predict what your demand will be.
Every customer has their own tastes and preferences, and the products you carry can influence their purchasing behaviors.
But, with limited shelf space and inventory constraints, how do you know which products to carry?
Good CX involves listening to the customer’s input and reviews, and letting them influence changes in your product lineup. However, often this can be a guessing game. Suggestion boxes are one way to address this problem…an outdated, slow, manual process.
Luckily, there’s a better and easier way.
RipeMetrics: A Systematic Approach to CX
At RipeMetrics we’ve pioneered a better way to automatically and systematically approach the customer experience.
With the information, you collect from a Customer Experience Management (CXM) platform you can make better-informed business decisions. For example, you can easily identify which products customers are having issues with, and which brands aren’t in stock but customers are demanding.
While a quality Point of Sale (POS) system can help track each customer’s purchase history and provide a smooth check out experience,you need a CXM platform to take control of the customer experience with a systematic process.
Take control of the Customer Experience by establishing a systematic CXM process.
Customer Experience Management (CXM) refers to a system of:
- Collecting customer feedback
- Engaging with customers to create relationships
- Measuring effectiveness and bottom-line results
- Improving retail experience based on customer feedback
CXM is an automatic approach to collect feedback, engage with the customers to close the loop, analyze the feedback to measure the metrics, and act on it to make operational improvements.
It helps companies create repeat and ongoing positive interactions to build meaningful relationships. It’s all based on the fine art of communications.
By actively engaging, listening, and responding to customers, you gain their trust, loyalty, and enthusiasm. And by taking into account their feedback and behaviors, you’re able to make more intelligent business decisions that feed bottom-line results.
The Importance of Customer Experience Management (CXM)
For example, with the information you collect from a CXM you can make informed business decisions on what products will bring in the most profit.
According to Harvard Business Review, 73% of businesses agree that being able to deliver a reliable and positive customer experience is critical to their growth and success today.
As the cannabis industry is maturing, it’s crucial that customer experience be a leading focus. Stigmas against cannabis are still prevalent and strong, employees are the front end of altering the negative stigma and creating a space that helps flourish the cannabis industry.
Click here to learn more about how the RipeMetrics Customer Experience Management Platform can help your cannabis business retain more existing customer and provide a better overall experience.