The staff of your dispensary or marijuana retail location is a critical aspect of whether your business will be successful. A single bad experience with an employee at your business can ruin a customer’s perspective of your brand forever.
For your dispensary or retail location to have an advantage among competitors you must operate within the rules of compliance, stay flexible in an ever-changing atmosphere, and perhaps most important: hire the right staff members.
The following are some tips to help your budtenders be the best.
Crush Customer Service Basics
The basics of successful customer service etiquette are simple: be courteous, efficient, and friendly. A little respect goes a very long way in creating a solid impression with your customers.
Know the Difference Within Your Customer Base
If your business caters to both medical and recreational users, it is very important to understand the difference between those groups of consumers – both of which have different needs. Medical marijuana patients rely on the product for their health and use them to treat and alleviate their symptoms for conditions that are often chronic. Train your employees appropriately to be able to assist a wide range of individuals.
Fully Comprehend All Products
Understanding each one of the products your business carries is essential, even if just at the most basic level. It is typically not hard to discern when a person doesn’t understand something, especially when you ask them a question specific to it. Make sure your employees are trained on all your products so that when asked about them there are no blank stares to be had and your staff can speak on everything eloquently. Have them sample different strains and test edibles, vape pens, and any topicals your location carries.
Ask that your employees go more in-depth with their recommendations, rather than the canned answers of “indica=couchlock” and “sativa is more energetic.” Have them base their recommendations on the customer’s needs. Budtenders should be able to easily inform customers on the effects of every strain you offer, the ailments they treat best, their taste, origin, and harvest date, and anything else relevant to the product.
The more well-versed your budtenders can make themselves regarding the endocannabinoid system, the major cannabinoids, and how both THC and CBD interact with the brain and body, the more legitimate your business will be within the cannabis industry.
No Assumptions Allowed
Make sure your employees avoid making any assumptions about your customers, whether it be about how much money they may spend or how they will consume their purchases.
First-time customers or those who are new to shopping at dispensaries are taking a leap of faith walking into your cannabis retailer. It is important to avoid any kind of condescension with all customers, but especially with those who new to visiting dispensaries.
A dispensary’s environment can often be busy, with many customers and occasional vendors coming in to conduct business. It is important that the staff you hire are capable of multi-tasking and doing so with a positive demeanor. Understanding the difference between trying to serve too many customers at one time and helping someone eager to make a quick purchase while another is still considering their options makes for a quality employee.
Budtender etiquette is important to maintain to create a good impression with your clientele. Budtenders should never be caught sticking their bare hands into a jar of weed, and instead always use a utensil so as not to contaminate the product.
Everyone enjoys being made to feel special, and an easy way your staff members can achieve this with your customer base is by remembering aspects about your location’s regulars. When your budtenders can make recommendations based on a customer’s past purchases, that will go a massively long way in both retaining that customer and bringing in new referrals from them.
It’s OK not to be able to immediately remember every detail of every face that walks into your business. If your staff members do everything in their power to provide a positive interaction with each person who walks through the door, those customers will keep coming back.
Show Your Appreciation
When you show your employees you appreciate their work, it both reinforces positive behavior and can incentivize others to endeavor for more. Consider implementing some sort of recognition initiative that will provide your employees something to strive for.
Great budtenders keep themselves apprised on the industry entirely: from knowing all the popular influencers, the important cannabis holidays and events, and enough background info on marijuana to always be able to achieve a positive interaction with your customers. When your employees demonstrate passion and industry knowledge, your business is positioned as one that hires credible resources of cannabis information.
Assertive and diplomatic individuals make for great marijuana retail staff. Unfortunately, not everyone will know or respect the rules of a dispensary, and when/if any negative situations arise it is important to be able to diffuse them as professionally as possible. It is typically best to avoid confrontation and allow security to handle the especially unruly visitors.
Determine your top performing budtenders and consider a shadowing phase for new hires to accompany those budtenders during the initial training phase. This will help to establish a program of best practices and assist new hires in understanding how your company serves your customers.
Staff members that offer a friendly demeanor and communicate effectively are assets to your cannabusiness.