Article by Nicole Van Rensburg, New Business Trends
When I set out to open a medical cannabis dispensary in the Chicago area, I recognized that a move into the new cannabis industry would be riddled with challenges. I decided then and there that I would draw upon the years of skills I had amassed in the healthcare field. With that said, my experience in the cannabis industry has taught me several invaluable business lessons that have shifted my business practices and outlook.
Considering the commoditized nature of the cannabis industry and that most licensees are non-vertically integrated (having very little control over how the medication is produced), creative means for differentiation must be employed to retain patient loyalty.
By nurturing a company-wide value discipline that focuses on “patient intimacy,” you develop a deep understanding of your patients that fosters a close and long-term relationship. This requires looking insightfully at the customer journey to better understand the patient’s experience, ongoing interactions with the plant, and motivations for commitment to a cannabis regiment.
For example, upon intake, each of our patients is now presented with (and encouraged to maintain) a customized cannabis treatment plan that maximizes relief while meeting their lifestyle needs. Many of our company’s staff members are medical cannabis patients themselves, so product recommendations are often made based on personal feedback.
In today’s hurried business world, quality time taken with each customer to ensure an extraordinary level of service, expertise and guidance – goes a long way.