Build Better Relationships with your Customers and Patients with Two-way SMS Messaging

Blackbird June 29, 2020

Many cannabis businesses have implemented successful SMS and MMS text messaging to interact with their customers and patients. They may send new offers on their dispensary menus, rewards available through their loyalty program, or pickup order and delivery status updates. Text messages have been shown to have an open rate as high as 98% compared to a 20% open rate for marketing emails. With two-way SMS messaging, your dispensary team can answer questions, respond to requests from your customers and patients in-the-moment, and provide a seamless pick-up and delivery process.

What is two-way SMS messaging?

Two-way SMS messaging is a feature of texting platforms that allows customers and businesses to communicate.  One-way messaging is well-suited for sending out information that is less likely to require a response like weekly sales deals or vendor specials; however, some situations require a conversation. Two-way messaging is perfect for communicating with your customers about information that is specific to their order. Whether you need to replace items in an active order due to limited availability or respond to questions customers left in their order notes, two-way messaging allows your team to quickly connect with your customers. Increasing communication with your customers provides a better overall shopping experience while increasing the likelihood of returning customers.

How does two-way SMS messaging help your dispensary?

Take a moment to think about how your team might respond to this situation;

A customer has placed an order for a delivery from your dispensary. You are currently running a promotion that offers free delivery for orders of $100 or more before tax. Your customer’s order is at $98 dollars before tax. They left a note on the order saying “please make sure I have enough to get free delivery”.  In addition to not meeting the minimum for the delivery promotion, they chose something on your menu that you just sold through.

Your team may want to reach out to the customer to let them know they did not meet the minimum giving your customer an opportunity to add an additional item. Your team may also want to communicate that an item they ordered is out of stock and offer suggestions for what they could replace it with.

What tools does your staff have to respond to a situation like this? Many people may try to call the customer and hope they answer or they may reach out to them via email and wait for their response. Either way, it limits the time your staff can spend with other customers and could result in miscommunication and dissatisfied customers.

An image of the two-way SMS messaging feature in the MyBlackbird software. The image displays a text conversation between a dispensary employee and a customer with some discrepancies in their order. The conversation is transcribed below;

Zayn Green: "Hi Maria, this is Zayn with The Nest. I’m reaching out with some questions about your order. Please reply to this text or give us a call at 555-NEST."
Maria: "Oh is there something wrong with my order?"
Zayn: "We just sold out of the GG#4 you ordered, would you like to replace it with a Grand-Daddy Purp preroll?"
Maria:"Yes, that’s fine."
Zayn: "Great! I will update that. You are a few dollars short from free delivery. Would you like to add an item to your order? We have indica gummies on special today."
Maria: "Yum, yeah let’s do it. What is my new total?"
Zayn: "With the gummies and free delivery, your new total is $118.27. Your order is scheduled for delivery tomorrow from 11am-2pm. Anything else I can help you with?"
Maria: "Nope! Thanks for looking out, I appreciate it!"
Zayn: "Thank you Maria, have a great day"

With two-way SMS messaging, your staff can respond to multiple requests or concerns at once, limiting the time spent calling customers or waiting on email responses. With an integrated E-commerce and texting system like Blackbird’s online menus and CRM tools, your staff can communicate with customers and process orders from the same platform.  This reduces the amount of time it takes to respond to your customers and the time it takes to switch between separate SMS texting and online ordering softwares. The result is a streamlined customer experience that increases customer communication and boosts efficiencies in your dispensary.

Maintaining Compliance with Blackbird

Maintaining compliance is a critical aspect of running a cannabis business. Blackbird’s Customer Center tools follow the guidelines of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) which requires explicit opt-in for marketing messages as well as clear and understandable instructions for unsubscribing from your customer list. Through Blackbird’s Customer Center and online menus, two-way SMS messaging is for transactional updates and is not intended for marketing purposes. Your customers agree to receive transactional messages when they place an order through your online menu. Transactional messages contain information that is necessary for the use of your business or service. (i.e., order updates, answering customer concerns, or other transaction-related information).

SMS/MMS Text Message Reporting and Analytics

Data is a valuable resource for evaluating how well a tool works for your business. Blackbird provides robust reporting and analytics for all of our software offerings, including the two-way messaging feature of the Customer Center and online ordering. If you are using Blackbird’s Customer Center for direct-text marketing, Blackbird’s reporting allows you to track both marketing and transactional messages sent through the MyBlackbird platform. You and your team can see how many messages have been sent, who on your team sent them, the number of segments used, as well as more in-depth information like how many actions (i.e. check-ins or link-clicks) resulted from an individual campaign. You can also get a more granular look into which customers and patients are responding to your text messages using the Customer Messaging Detail tab of the Customer Center report.

Conclusion

Two-way messaging can increase your dispensary staff’s efficiency while elevating the overall customer experience. With an integrated online ordering and CRM platform from Blackbird, your team can respond to customer concerns or questions in-the-moment and provide a seamless customer experience from online order to pickup. 

Ready to use two-way messaging to give your customers a better shopping experience? Schedule a demo with Blackbird to see how we can help streamline your dispensary workflow.

Sources

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  • Cannabis should be legal. Blackbird believes that all adults should have safe access to cannabis for medical and responsible recreational use.
  • Be the best. Blackbird strives every day to service our clients and customers as efficiently and humanly as possible. We are a customer service company first and foremost. We want you to be happy – we do this together or we don't do it at all.
  • People are everything. Blackbird's value is derived directly from the happiness of our clients and fulfillment of our staff. We believe there is value in treating our employees with dignity and respect.

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