September 9, 2022 10:00 am ETEstimated Read Time: 4 Minutes
Medical cannabis generates a lot of revenue. The legal cannabis industry in America is anticipated to bring in an estimated $32 billion in annual sales this year—that means a lot of people will be buying cannabis from a dispensary. If those dispensaries want to have good customer retention, they need to be on top of their game. While dispensary success is based on a lot of factors, there is one in particular that often gets overlooked: good budtenders.
A good budtender can really bring a dispensary to life. A bad budtender can take the life right out of it. A dispensary can offer quality, consistency, and affordability, but if the budtenders are rude and unknowledgeable, people will stop coming back.
Budtenders Help Create a Sense of Community
Neighborly spirit is a critical component of the cannabis community that stretches back decades. Cannabis consumers are known for hanging out in the same circles, exchanging or gifting products, and sharing knowledge. After all, the cannabis community has long been ostracized by mainstream society, leading members to band together. Cannabis is slowly becoming more widely accepted and less stigmatized, but that doesn’t mean the camaraderie is going anywhere.
In the age of legalization, budtenders—the sales and customer service representatives at cannabis dispensaries—stand to contribute significantly to the sense of community in the cannabis industry. As the link between those who sell and buy cannabis, they are positioned perfectly to foster connections. Budtenders can walk new customers through the often-intimidating process of dispensary shopping. Conversely, they can translate the legal industry for those more used to purchasing off the illicit market. Budtenders are also known for sharing helpful tips, tricks, and pointers.
Good budtenders are also extremely important because they represent the face of a business or brand. When people come into a cannabis dispensary to make a purchase, their first impression largely depends on the interaction they have with their budtender. Having budtenders that know cannabis and can answer patients’ questions is a pretty important factor when you own a medical cannabis dispensary.
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A good budtender may not always remember you by name, but they will always treat you with courtesy and professionalism. When a budtender provides good service to a medical cannabis patient, that patient is very likely to come back to that dispensary again. Medical cannabis patients generally want a consistent, reliable source to secure their medicine and will be repeat customers when the experience is a good one.
Budtenders Don’t Need to Know Everything
Good budtenders can recommend particular varieties of cannabis based on the desired results a patient is looking for. Some strains of cannabis produce more laid-back and sedative-like effects, while others produce more cognitive and thought-provoking effects. They can also recommend dosages and different methods of consumption. However, they don’t need to know everything.
Although cannabis knowledge is one of a budtender’s greatest provisions, it’s unreasonable to expect them to know every last detail. Honestly, this would be virtually impossible considering how much we are still learning about cannabis as a society. If a budtender doesn’t know the answer to a question, they should simply convey this and assist patients in finding the answer. A bad budtender will blow the question off or give some sort of faint-hearted reply.
A lot of budtenders work for tips. This gives them extra incentive to be good at what they do. Many budtenders receive about the same amount of pay as cashiers in convenience stores, for example. If they do a good job, it’s always a good idea to give them a tip. After all, if you were at a bar having a drink, wouldn’t you tip your bartender? I like to remember that budtenders need cannabis too.
As a patient becomes a regular with a medical cannabis dispensary, the budtender or budtenders they interact with will begin to learn a lot about them. A good budtender will keep customers coming back by developing a good reputation with them. If you have a bartender that is extremely helpful, polite, and knowledgeable, make sure to let them know how awesome they are. Budtenders are the backbone of the industry.
Ashley Priest is a patient, mother, entrepreneur, and activist that fights to end prohibition globally for a better future for all. Ashley has a passion for sharing education pertaining to the goddess plant known as cannabis. She believes that a single seed can tip the scales and that together through education we can end the stigma that is preventing cannabis from flowering to its full potential globally.
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