How Educated Budtenders and COAs Can Help You Lock In Customer Loyalty
The cannabis and hemp-derived products industry is competitive. The popularity of these products has brought more and more competition into the marketplace. To try to keep up with and even beat your competition, you’ve stocked your shelves with the most popular inventory, and you’ve done your share of advertising and are ranking well with your SEO. So if you are asking yourself, “What more can you do?” The answer is, “You can lock in customer loyalty.”
There are so many cannabis and hemp-derived products on the market today that it would be easy for a customer to switch retailers if they wanted to. Likely, they might be able to find a comparable product from the one you stock for just a couple of dollars less. So why wouldn’t they switch?
Likely, your customer doesn’t switch distributors simply because they trust you. They trust your product, and they trust that they can get the answers they need from someone who knows what they’re talking about.
Repeat customers like this will help you grow a solid, reliable business that can weather most economic and market challenges. They are the foundation you grow from. But how do you develop this kind of loyalty? The first step is to have a quality product that you can be proud of. If customers know that anything they get from you is of superior quality, they’ll keep returning. But, on the other hand, if they have a bad experience when they try one of your products and that experience is not corrected, they will likely be out of the door forever.
So let’s assume that you do carry a premium quality product, like The Hemp Doctors’ D8 Vapes. Then the second component to creating customer loyalty is to get them to trust you. And the way to do that is to provide your customers with a knowledgeable staff who can guide them in their search for wellness products.
The Role and Importance of Budtenders
We will use the term budtenders as an overall label for any of your employees who will be interacting with customers and giving them advice. These are your frontline people and the face and voice of your company.
The cannabis industry is like any other industry where the staff’s specialized knowledge is essential in attracting and keeping customers.
Imagine walking into a flower shop where the counter person doesn’t know the difference between a daffodil and a begonia. Or if you went into the hardware store looking to fix a leaky toilet, and the employee suggested applying lots of electrical tape.
The point is, the cannabis retailer has to supply their customers with knowledgeable staff in the same way as other niche businesses. Your current and potential customers will look to you and your staff as experts on all things cannabis. Without proper guidance, those customers are going to walk out the door. Or even worse, they are going to get bad advice from your employee, get a bad result, then walk out the door. In either case, you will lose the loyalty of that customer. So to ensure that this doesn’t happen, you will need to put time and money into educating your budtenders.
Educating Your Budtenders
A survey back in 2016 found out that only 55% of the cannabis dispensary staff surveyed had any formal training. Without formal training, the other 45% are likely giving out either bad advice or advice they’ve developed through their own personal experiences. And while personal experience can be considered when recommending things like flavors or how to roll a joint, formal training on each of the products you carry, how effective they are, and how to use them is invaluable in keeping customers.
Just as important as a broad product knowledge that allows for recommendations and customer training is an intimate understanding of the nuances of cannabinoids and individual usages. This is especially true when you talk about cannabis strains and the products made from them.
The many strains of cannabis and their associated terpene and flavonoid profiles for each determine not only the user’s experience of taste and aroma it determines the beneficial effects it will have on the client. Therefore, your budtenders need to have an intimate knowledge of each of these terpenes and what to expect from their combinations and the products made from them.
Let’s take products that are heavy in the Pinene terpene, for example. Your budtender should be knowledgeable enough to advise the client that the flower will give off an outdoorsy pine aroma and the wellness benefits associated with that terpene. Or, if the product is heavy in the Limonene terpene, it will have a citrusy scent and have a different set of benefits from the Pinene. Your budtender should be educated enough to know which strains are heavy in which terpenes so that they can then guide the customer to the best strain for their needs.
Certificate of Analysis (COA)
A COA is an invaluable tool in educating your budtenders. This is because the COA shows a breakdown of the product or flower and the number of cannabinoids and terpenes within that product. So, first, teach your budtenders how to read a COA so that they can familiarize themselves with the breakdown of each product.
Second, when working with a client, have your budtenders pull the COA of the products that best fit the client’s needs. Then have the budtender teach the client what to look for on the COAs and help determine which product is right for them. This education system will go a long way in gaining your client’s trust and respect as they make that purchase and for every purchase in the future.
We Have the Answers You Need
We at The Hemp Doctor wholesale are committed to not only providing our retailers with the newest and highest quality products on the market today, but we are also committed to getting you the information you need to be successful. Of course, education on our products begins with the COA, and you can be assured that we carry a COA on every product we make available for retail. If you aren’t already one of our many happy retailers, we invite you to contact us today!