Being a successful budtender doesn’t come easy. Yes, there are some bad or mediocre budtenders working at cannabis dispensaries and adult-use stores, but there are also many budtenders who are helpful, compassionate and make the process of legally procuring cannabis products a comfortable and positive experience.
We asked Leafly followers to weigh in on the good budtender behaviors that they really appreciate, and the feedback we collected takes a closer look at the traits of a good budtender as identified by cannabis consumers who have regularly visited dispensaries. Some of these habits are clear and simple notions of effective customer service, but they make a world of difference when it comes to the overall customer or patient experience.
Below are four traits successful budtenders embody.
1. They know the product well and handle it respectfully
People like @hydef appreciate it when budtenders know what they’re talking about:
Successful budtenders know the store’s inventory and can speak to the different nuances within each product and strain. When showing the bud or product to customers, budtenders are clean and avoid touching product with bare hands. The combination of product knowledge and proper handling delivers an interactive customer experience without distraction.
2. They create relationships with their customers and patients
Despite the constant influx of patients and customers throughout the day, good budtenders remember their regulars and are able to suggest new products based on their previous purchases. Twitter user @bumblebeenie agrees, saying:
Everyone likes to feel special once in a while, especially at their local establishment (think of all the times the bartenders from Cheers exclaimed “Norm!” whenever the character entered the bar). That said, it’s okay if you can’t remember everyone who visits your location. Just go out of your way to have a positive interaction with your visitors and work to understand why they walked through the door so you can make recommendations based on their needs.
Remember, relationship building is the first step to cultivating a memorable experience for your customers that leaves them coming back for more and recommending your store to their friends.
3. They’re passionate about cannabis and its surrounding culture
Not every customer or patient bleeds green, but many do seek a sense of culture and passion in the stores or dispensaries they frequent. Budtenders have the ability to deliver this element of culture and passion, making a customer’s purchase more of an experience than an exchange.
Leafly fan @Nuggjarz has been impressed with a dispensary for staffing helpful, passionate budtenders:
Good budtenders know industry influencers, important cannabis holidays and events, and a solid amount of background information about cannabis to create that positive interaction with their patrons. Their passion and industry savviness helps position them as a credible resource for cannabis information.
4. They tailor their service to all levels of experience
Each customer has a unique relationship and experience with cannabis. Tailoring explanations to an individual’s level of familiarity with cannabis sets the great budtenders apart from the rest of the crew.
CosiestAmoeba noticed when a budtender went above and beyond to help the visitor feel comfortable during his/her first visit:
Some stores and dispensaries default to basic explanations that work for some customers but leave others seeking more information. Don’t treat all your visitors the same because they’re not. Some may just want “any indica available” while others may expect a product that can deliver specific effects or flavors. The best budtenders leave first-time consumers and veterans feeling the same way: happy, heard, and taken care of.