Selling cannabis is unique for many reasons. But the biggest factor that sets it apart is the number of customers coming in that are new to the product. There’s a lot for new customers to navigate in the world of cannabis—not to mention the legal issues and stigma the cannabis community is trying to move past.
Getting it right at the medical dispensary counter is often a game of questions, especially with new cannabis consumers. But unless your budtenders are asking the right questions, you may not uncover your customer’s needs. And if you’re not asking the right questions, budtenders won’t know the right problems to solve with cannabis. So how can you nail your dispensary customer service?
There’s an art to asking questions at the dispensary counter. In this article, we’ll go over how your budtenders should ask questions and what they should be asking every customer.
Medical Dispensary Customer Service Questions
Start with a Quick Connect
Greeting your customers with a quick question is a great way to open the lines of communication and make your customers feel welcome. Don’t worry about a sales pitch, just a simple, “Hello, how are you today?” will suffice. It helps establish you as the person to go to for help and makes the customer feel welcome.
Ask Both Open-Ended & Closed-Ended Questions
It’s important to get an understanding of your customers and their needs to determine the right products to recommend. But identifying those needs means the budtender must probe for answers. This requires two different types of questions: Open-ended questions and closed-ended questions.
An open-ended question allows the customer to offer explanations about themselves, their situation, or problems, and the kind of solutions that interest them. (i.e., How do you feel? What do you need? What do you like?) A closed-ended question is answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”
Alternating between open-ended and closed-ended questions is the best way to get the most information about your customer’s needs, and how they feel about a proposed purchase. For example, you could ask, “Have you tried this product?” If they say yes, then follow up with “How did it make you feel,” or “What did you like or dislike about it.” If they answer no, then you could follow up with a question like, “What do you find appealing about this product,” and “What is your most desired outcome?”
Find Out What Experience Your Customers Are Looking For
The single most important question a budtender needs to ask is what type of experience the customer wants. What do they want to do while using a cannabis product? If they don’t know, give them some suggestions. Ask if they want more focus and energy, or if they want to relax and couch lock. See what situations they want to use cannabis for, like bedtime, video games, or going out on the town.
Unless you know the exact product they want, always offer them a range of products to help them narrow down their needs even further. When you help someone go from knowing nothing to holding the perfect solution, you’ve aced dispensary customer services, and you probably created a customer for life.
Be Inquisitive (But Not Nosey)
Helping a customer find the products that will work for them requires asking some personal questions. Always try to keep your questions focused on their symptoms and your products without delving into too much sensitive information.
Do they need pain relief? Help with nausea? Stick to the basics rather than the underlying conditions, and remember that your customers might not want to discuss their diagnosis in detail. Never get pushy; instead, let them open up to you about what they want to accomplish with cannabis. Make recommendations based on what they share with you.
Budtenders are educators who enjoy teaching people about cannabis in a friendly non-judgmental way. And while your budtenders should be knowledgeable enough to answer any customer questions, knowing how to ask questions is just as important.
There’s an old saying that says if you ask your customers the right questions, they will tell you what to sell them and how to do it. But the key is you really have to listen. It’s easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm of a product while describing it and start talking too much. Instead, ask the right questions and let the customer talk.