Building Trust & Relationship with Your Customers With Real Time Inventory Search Tool
- What’s the interaction like in your dispensary between staff and patients, or customers that come in to shop with you?
- Do the cannabis varieties and products in your inventory change often?
- How knowledgeable can you expect your staff to be in regards to the changing products in your inventory?
- How equipped is your staff to provide customers with insights, recommendations, or suggestions on which product would be best for their needs?
- How are you empowering your staff to build rapport, trust, and a lasting relationship with your customers?
These questions all tie back to one thing: Customer Experience. What type of experience are you and your staff providing patients and customers when they visit and purchase from your dispensary?
Another important question: On average, how long does it take for your customers to make up their mind about which product(s) to purchase? The longer it takes per transaction, the less transactions you are able to make in a day.
As you are running through these questions and answers in your head, walk through your store from your customer’s or patient’s perspective. From checking in, to sitting in the waiting room with a menu in-hand, to standing at the counter trying to make a selection…. What do you see and experience?
Chances are, when they are introduced to your staff member (patient consultant/budtender) they typically receive a friendly greeting and are asked, “What can I do for you today?” If they are not already informed on the product they wish to purchase, the staff member will begin to ask them a series of questions to identify what they are looking for.
When the staff member feels they have enough information, they will begin to provide recommendations to the customer based on what they think will be best. From our research, these recommendations to-date have been based on one of the following:
- The staff member’s personal experience using that product.
- What they heard from their friends or colleagues who tried the product.
- What they remember from talking to other patients.
- What they remember reading on marketing materials from the brand you purchased from.
- What they can find by searching Google or Leafly for the closest strain name match.
(Note: If you have a way we haven’t heard yet, please let us know!)
Pulling what they can from the spotty, unreliable, and limited resources listed above, they proceed to make suggestions to the customer or patient. Finally, the customer is left to make a final decision as to what they now believe to be the best option for them.
After the purchase, the patient or customer goes on their way and your employee is likely left feeling they provided real value in that suggestion. And as long as that customer comes back into the dispensary to purchase again and doesn’t make a complaint about a poor experience, then all is great. Right?
This is not always the case. A quick search on Facebook will show you there are hundreds of people in private patient groups that complain, or express frustration, about the product recommendations they were given. See below for a few examples.
There are many red flags and opportunities for improvement in this process. Most circle around staff members not being adequately informed on the use and effectiveness of products in their inventory, and also lacking the tools to quickly find reliable data-backed answers in real-time. To mention a few of the most obvious (and easily fixable) red flags:
- Staff are making recommendations to patients about what to purchase based on their knowledge, which can put your dispensary into legal trouble.
- People have a hard enough time remembering what they liked or didn’t like about the products they use personally. Remembering what friends, colleagues, and customers have said becomes less reliable as the minutes go by.
- Generalized strain information found online is not reliable and doesn’t take into account the many variables playing a significant role in product or flower effectiveness, such as how it was grown, fertilized, harvested, dried, processed, and packaged.
How can you improve your in-store process and build trust, loyalty, and a strong relationship with your customers?
The first important step in this direction is gaining access to product use, outcome ratings, and statistics from products and customers in your state.
Due to requests from our dispensary partners for a tool to provide this solution, we investigated this need thoroughly and created the Releaf Consultation Tool. This tool allows patient consultants and budtenders to search their dispensary’s inventory in real-time to see product by product use and outcome statistics from real patients using those products.
With one click your staff can now see which products in your inventory your customers have reported using for specific symptom relief, and which of those products were reported as most effective (and least effective) in providing relief. This tool even allows you to search multiple symptoms at one time to match the unique needs of each individual customer.
Equipped with this data & information, your staff can now provide quick, accurate, and local insights on how specific products in your dispensary are performing for the reasons your customers are using them. This allows your staff to avoid making medical recommendations while also providing significant value to customers by informing their purchasing decision.
In addition to providing customers with insights on how effective products were in providing specific symptom relief, your staff can also give insights on the other ways your products are impacting individuals. For example, patients likely won’t want to take something in the morning for “Anxiety” or “Back Pain” relief if it’s also likely to make them feel sleepy or drowsy. With our Product Analytics page within the Consultation Tool, your staff can now provide insights on additional feelings and side effects experienced & reported by customers.
Better data = Better results, for everyone.
Releaf’s Consultation Tool provides a quick, easy, and effective way to provide patients with the customized care they need and deserve, educate staff on products in your inventory, and keep customers moving in and out of your dispensary efficiently without sacrificing quality. When we asked Melissa from Maui Grown Therapies, one of our dispensary partners, about her thoughts on our Consultation Tool she said:
“The patient consultation tool is one of the most exciting features offered by Releaf. Patient education specialists and Sales associates can quickly input patients’ symptoms and product type preferences, and then be presented with in-stock product matches that have worked for other patients with those same symptoms.”