7 Ways To Elevate The Customer Experience At Your Dispensary

BY
Tom Mulhern
|
October 13, 2022

Sure, some may have been buying pot from a guy on a couch not so long ago, but since then standards have changed.

Nowadays when customers walk into a cannabis shop to find it lacking transparency, guidance, and finesse, they'll head out the door and up the road to one that's got it right.   
In this article, we'll cover just that. How to get it right, with expert David Thomas!

Recently, Kaya Cast's Tom Mulhern sat down with cannabis and dispensary connoisseur David Thomas to get his take on how to ace the customer experience in today's modern cannabis world.

Together they deep dive into his advice on improving the customer experience when shopping at a cannabis dispensary to retain and entertain clients where it counts.

Meet David Thomas

Interviewee David Thomas has seen great success in recent years thanks to his strengths in marketing, intuitive design, problem-solving, and general cannabis business knowledge.

It takes an innovative person to see holes in the flow of a growing industry and take it upon themselves to fill them in with the necessary solution - but that's precisely who David Thomas is. 

Interviewee David Thomas has seen great success in recent years thanks to his strengths in marketing, intuitive design, problem-solving, and general cannabis business knowledge.

It takes an innovative person to see holes in the flow of a growing industry and take it upon themselves to fill them in with the necessary solution - but that's precisely who David Thomas is. 

More specifically, David the Founder and CEO of BudSense, a digital & paper menu and inventory platform for cannabis retailers. BudSense provides transparent stats/pricing in an easy, scalable program for both the budtender and the customer to navigate. His team studied the market and every aspect of the industry to perfect the software from scratch. It's created by cannabis retailers for cannabis retailers. They continue to intake feedback from customers and professionals to tweak it as they go. 

computer and lockers at a dispensary



Along with founding Budsense, Davis is also the Co-Founder of Douglasdale, Jimmy's Cannabis Shop, and a partner in Farmer Jane Cannabis Company.  Needless to say, this guy gets it when it comes to how to succeed in cannabis.

With all his accumulated knowledge -  through study, exploration, and trial & error - we asked David to let us in on some of his most useful advice for thriving in the space by leaning into operations, including business, and people. Here's what he said mattered most. 


1 - Have good product.

This goes without saying; the customer likely isn't coming back if your product is bunk. You're a cannabis retailer, so make sure the cannabis is good quality. Don't put profit ahead of product, try your product - and buy the best!


2 - Make it about the experience.

The experience is paramount. The reason we call it cannabis-infused customer experiences, rather than centering the cannabis, is because it really is about the impression of the shop and its hosts.

They can get decent products anywhere, (and great product at your store) but we want them to want it from you. Now that you've got the foundation solidified, here are David's tips for growing your business through integrative and holistic customer care.

computer screen


3 - Use fun incentives.

Something in us can't resist a discount. Hosting daily sales, happy hour, bulk deals, free goodies, etc., is a great marketing strategy. Add some cool interactive promotions (games and prizes, exhibits with freebies, free CBD-infused refreshments) to educate customers on a product while having them try it. 

4 - Explore: become a weed connoisseur.

Become the customer, the grower, the distributor, etc. There's no better way to give someone what they need than by observing and walking through their experience yourself. By educating ourselves on the plant's growing conditions, the smells & tastes of different strains, psychoactive effects, inventory & distribution operations, storefront navigation designs, supply chains, etc., we can then engage in a comprehensive consultation with the consumer. We can better intuit their needs and teach them with more depth. What are you waiting for? Go buy some weed!

cannaabis on a scale

5 - Use visual cues.

Now that you're well educated on the many aspects of the industry and product itself try using a visual anchor to accompany your explanations with customers. Having a visual reference, like a menu that displays relevant product details and pricing in one clear centralized space, is so helpful for navigating a consultation with a client. It makes the storefront experience (especially for novices) less overwhelming because they can see products further sorted into categories, numbers, and symbols. As David said, "your job as a cannabis retailer is to help people along that journey".

Your job as a cannabis retailer is to help people along that journey.
- David Thomas


The retailer can design the menu interfaces strategically with marketing in mind (priority sells placed front and center) and can easily edit and refine the interface with various icons, layouts, and changes. BudSense allows for tons of instant customization like this and makes shopping and stocking so much simpler.

6 - Remember it's a marathon not a sprint.

David urges us to remember that this industry is growing at an unfathomable pace, and it'll feel like you can never keep up with everything there is to learn. You can't, so stop trying to do everything. Do your best, forget the rest. Exchange experiences with others and reevaluate as you learn.

There's a quote: "A choir can sing a beautiful note impossibly long because singers can individually drop out to breathe as necessary and the note goes on..", which applies to any overwhelming endeavor, including owning a cannabis dispensary in a brand new market. Just remember, it's can-abis, not can't-abis.

A choir can sing a beautiful note impossibly long because singers can individually drop out to breathe as necessary and the note goes on.
- Parable of the Choir

7 - Lose the perfectionism.

Don't be afraid of making mistakes; you'll make many (and triumph too). The sooner you make peace with that, the easier it will be to bounce back and recover. Moving through hurdles quickly and adapting is key, as well as knowing your strengths and weaknesses so you can properly delegate tasks accordingly. 

Be comfortable with trying, but then what's even more important is trimming what doesn't work.
- David Thomas


David is passionate about delivering the most comfortable and enlightening customer experience possible and has set the bar for this really high. We know you're just as devoted, so hopefully, some of his success can be yours too.

Check out  the full episode here! Or follow the Kaya Cast for more episodes every week! 

listen to kayacast podcast


Sure, some may have been buying pot from a guy on a couch not so long ago, but since then standards have changed.

Nowadays when customers walk into a cannabis shop to find it lacking transparency, guidance, and finesse, they'll head out the door and up the road to one that's got it right.   
In this article, we'll cover just that. How to get it right, with expert David Thomas!

Recently, Kaya Cast's Tom Mulhern sat down with cannabis and dispensary connoisseur David Thomas to get his take on how to ace the customer experience in today's modern cannabis world.

Together they deep dive into his advice on improving the customer experience when shopping at a cannabis dispensary to retain and entertain clients where it counts.

Meet David Thomas

Interviewee David Thomas has seen great success in recent years thanks to his strengths in marketing, intuitive design, problem-solving, and general cannabis business knowledge.

It takes an innovative person to see holes in the flow of a growing industry and take it upon themselves to fill them in with the necessary solution - but that's precisely who David Thomas is. 

Interviewee David Thomas has seen great success in recent years thanks to his strengths in marketing, intuitive design, problem-solving, and general cannabis business knowledge.

It takes an innovative person to see holes in the flow of a growing industry and take it upon themselves to fill them in with the necessary solution - but that's precisely who David Thomas is. 

More specifically, David the Founder and CEO of BudSense, a digital & paper menu and inventory platform for cannabis retailers. BudSense provides transparent stats/pricing in an easy, scalable program for both the budtender and the customer to navigate. His team studied the market and every aspect of the industry to perfect the software from scratch. It's created by cannabis retailers for cannabis retailers. They continue to intake feedback from customers and professionals to tweak it as they go. 

computer and lockers at a dispensary



Along with founding Budsense, Davis is also the Co-Founder of Douglasdale, Jimmy's Cannabis Shop, and a partner in Farmer Jane Cannabis Company.  Needless to say, this guy gets it when it comes to how to succeed in cannabis.

With all his accumulated knowledge -  through study, exploration, and trial & error - we asked David to let us in on some of his most useful advice for thriving in the space by leaning into operations, including business, and people. Here's what he said mattered most. 


1 - Have good product.

This goes without saying; the customer likely isn't coming back if your product is bunk. You're a cannabis retailer, so make sure the cannabis is good quality. Don't put profit ahead of product, try your product - and buy the best!


2 - Make it about the experience.

The experience is paramount. The reason we call it cannabis-infused customer experiences, rather than centering the cannabis, is because it really is about the impression of the shop and its hosts.

They can get decent products anywhere, (and great product at your store) but we want them to want it from you. Now that you've got the foundation solidified, here are David's tips for growing your business through integrative and holistic customer care.

computer screen


3 - Use fun incentives.

Something in us can't resist a discount. Hosting daily sales, happy hour, bulk deals, free goodies, etc., is a great marketing strategy. Add some cool interactive promotions (games and prizes, exhibits with freebies, free CBD-infused refreshments) to educate customers on a product while having them try it. 

4 - Explore: become a weed connoisseur.

Become the customer, the grower, the distributor, etc. There's no better way to give someone what they need than by observing and walking through their experience yourself. By educating ourselves on the plant's growing conditions, the smells & tastes of different strains, psychoactive effects, inventory & distribution operations, storefront navigation designs, supply chains, etc., we can then engage in a comprehensive consultation with the consumer. We can better intuit their needs and teach them with more depth. What are you waiting for? Go buy some weed!

cannaabis on a scale

5 - Use visual cues.

Now that you're well educated on the many aspects of the industry and product itself try using a visual anchor to accompany your explanations with customers. Having a visual reference, like a menu that displays relevant product details and pricing in one clear centralized space, is so helpful for navigating a consultation with a client. It makes the storefront experience (especially for novices) less overwhelming because they can see products further sorted into categories, numbers, and symbols. As David said, "your job as a cannabis retailer is to help people along that journey".

Your job as a cannabis retailer is to help people along that journey.
- David Thomas


The retailer can design the menu interfaces strategically with marketing in mind (priority sells placed front and center) and can easily edit and refine the interface with various icons, layouts, and changes. BudSense allows for tons of instant customization like this and makes shopping and stocking so much simpler.

6 - Remember it's a marathon not a sprint.

David urges us to remember that this industry is growing at an unfathomable pace, and it'll feel like you can never keep up with everything there is to learn. You can't, so stop trying to do everything. Do your best, forget the rest. Exchange experiences with others and reevaluate as you learn.

There's a quote: "A choir can sing a beautiful note impossibly long because singers can individually drop out to breathe as necessary and the note goes on..", which applies to any overwhelming endeavor, including owning a cannabis dispensary in a brand new market. Just remember, it's can-abis, not can't-abis.

A choir can sing a beautiful note impossibly long because singers can individually drop out to breathe as necessary and the note goes on.
- Parable of the Choir

7 - Lose the perfectionism.

Don't be afraid of making mistakes; you'll make many (and triumph too). The sooner you make peace with that, the easier it will be to bounce back and recover. Moving through hurdles quickly and adapting is key, as well as knowing your strengths and weaknesses so you can properly delegate tasks accordingly. 

Be comfortable with trying, but then what's even more important is trimming what doesn't work.
- David Thomas


David is passionate about delivering the most comfortable and enlightening customer experience possible and has set the bar for this really high. We know you're just as devoted, so hopefully, some of his success can be yours too.

Check out  the full episode here! Or follow the Kaya Cast for more episodes every week! 

listen to kayacast podcast


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