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The Secret to Customer Loyalty in the Cannabis Space

Three ways to watch your business grow.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In business, education is everything. 

Every industry and job comes with some education prerequisite. Doctors go through decades of training before starting their practice, salespeople learn their product and pitch ahead of selling, and hairstylists study at beauty schools to get their licenses and fine-tune their skills before beginning their careers.

Education is critical in the cannabis business, too. By educating every facet of the cannabis supply chain—from the budtender to the consumer—you will create a ripple effect that leads to a better consumer experience and garners trust and transparency in the supply chain. How do you educate an industry at scale?

Related: Why Cannabis Education Matters

1. Offer a variety of comprehensive learnings 

Education doesn't have a one-size-fits-all solution. Different people learn in different ways. You may recall taking quizzes and evaluations in your grade school days to determine whether you are a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner. 

Because of these differences, it's essential to deliver various comprehensive educational offerings. By offering a wide array of learning content, such as videos, phone applications, readings, self-service tools, and live training and support, you create a full-service learning suite that meets the needs of any learner.

2. Evaluate platform use to optimize education 

Designing educational offerings with your customers in mind and providing various training options for different learning styles is only the beginning. Evaluating the workflows and how each facet of the learning platform is being used is just as crucial. 

To do so, actively solicit feedback at key points across the onboarding process and adjust learning pathways to ensure that you are attuned to how people use your platforms in real-time. By retrospectively monitoring and analyzing customer use of platforms, you can optimize the experience based on data-driven insights.

Different organizations operate and learn differently, so it's important to tailor each learning experience to meet each business and employee's unique needs. If you don't yet have an instructional designer on staff, consider a consulting engagement with a professional to help improve your training processes and content.

3. Ensure consumer-facing staff are confident 

Given its federally illegal status and the various social stigmas associated with consumption, cannabis can be intimidating. They will have a wide understanding of the plant, how it's processed, and the different product offerings. 

To be a standout dispensary with repeat customers, your budtenders and customer-facing staff must be experts on the POS and technology systems they are using, product offerings and effects, and the standard operating procedures of your store. If they are not armed with this crucial information, you run the risk of annoying customers via slowdowns and long lines from not using POS correctly, as well as appearing uneducated on cannabis offerings which can be alarming to a new consumer. 

Understanding the software is one thing; understanding the consumer is another. Software won't teach everything – but the unified experience of technology, product knowledge, and people skills will arm your budtenders with the tools and confidence to successfully sell cannabis and create a memorable consumer experience that they will come back to.

A confident budtender sells confidently. 

Educating cannabis growers, processors, operators, and budtenders on how the cannabis industry works will create trust and transparency down to the consumers, who power the cannabis industry through their purchasing. 

Education optimizes the cannabis industry.