How to Handle Online Dispensary Reviews

There’s a million different review sites out there, but how many have your businesses name on them? You’ve just Googled your dispensary and all of a sudden you’re seeing profiles that you’ve never created with incorrect or outdated information on them. It’s a challenge for any ganjapreneur to keep up with, let alone master. Between Leafly, WeedMaps, THCFinder, and even mainstream sites like Yelp, there’s a steady stream of reviews coming in about your shop. Follow my steps below and you’ll be ahead of 90% of your competition.

Claim Your Profiles
Most places will go ahead and set up a page for your dispensary before you even know it. Often, they’ll pull information from your site; other times they’ll pull from each other. This means you’ve lost control over the flow of information. Take it back by claiming the profile. On most pages, you’ll see something that says “Is this your business?” or “Claim this listing.” It’s usually helpful to be by the business phone, as some do PIN verification with a quick call, but having an e-mail address registered to your domain (yourname@yoururl.com) is another easy way to prove you’re responsible for the account. This is also a huge reason to revoke e-mail access for employees that are no longer with your company. If a site that doesn’t know you from the hundreds of other dispensaries listed receives an email from John Doe-sntworkhere, they might turn over access.

Post Stunning Pictures
Once you’ve successfully claimed a profile, you can go to work. You’ve spent a good chunk of change creating a space that is welcoming to your clientele, be it patients or recreational users, so show it off. Having good shots of exactly what your shop looks like gives people an immediate first impression when viewing you online. You can also look to save money when it comes to product photos. There are a number of great photographers available to shoot those high-end nug close-ups, but in my experience people prefer seeing what your actual buds look like. These “action shots” of your buds in jars or on scales are more authentic, as anyone can pick out the best of their harvest and trim it perfectly. Try showing great looking product in everyday circumstances.

The Menu Must Be Right
Customer frustration over menu discrepancies will tank you from the opening moments with a first-timer. Some people make long drives to get their favorite strain and severe disappointment sets in when they see you’re sold out. Communication between your budtenders and desk staff is paramount so that the moment something is off the shelf, they’re on it. There’s nothing more refreshing than visiting a WeedMaps menu and seeing it was updated in the last half hour. I’d always instruct desk staff to make minor changes, adding a word here or there to a description, so our menu looked fresh for everyone who visited our profile. Patients noticed.

Take Advantage of Specials
Most sites will let you post their version of a status update, a key way to communicate with potential customers. Simply adding that you’ve received a new strain that day or Budtender X is working can bump you to the top of the recent activity log. There are customers who spend most of their day surfing these sites and are looking for dispensaries that interact. A bonus is the ability to offer specials on your page (usually a reflection of your first time or referral deal works) to reach bargain shoppers. Again, the key is staying active.

Respond to Reviews
This is, by far, the best piece of advice I can give you. Respond to negative reviews. Have someone in your company who can take the emotion out of the situation and has strong empathy skills. While some negative reviews (“YOU GUYS SUCK!”) warrant less communication on your part, people who leave a detailed account of a bad experience are expecting you to reach out. All of the major sites give you the ability to post an official response. Understand that not everyone who was unhappy is out to get something free and think about them more as your eyes and ears when you can’t be in the shop. If someone thought the service was rude, a manager should be able to tell you when they were in and who the employee was. They didn’t like a certain strain you offered? Maybe there’s an issue in your cultivation facility. No matter what, do not get into a shouting match on the internet with someone.

Respond to Positive Reviews
The happy campers deserve your time just as much as the next person. They’re also usually much easier to respond to. When others visit your page, seeing interaction between a company and customers that’s positive is a great sign and encourages them to leave their own. Again, this is a great place for you to comb for information as well. I would make sure to sift through the reviews and let employees know when they received a shout out online. It’s an easy and free way to boost morale.

Have a question about how to maximize your online profiles? Talk to me in the comments below.

Author: Jake Browne

Photo Credit: Dank Depot

 

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