When the 2019 Best of the City came out, Nanaimo didn’t have any licensed cannabis retail store. Now, in 2020, a cannabis retail store has placed second for customer service in the Best of the City survey.
Mood Cannabis Co. finished second in a category that received more votes than any other category in the survey.
Cory Waldron, Mood owner, and Paul Boudreault, manager, said they were extremely happy to hear that the company did so well in that category, and expressed thanks on behalf of management and staff to all customers for their support.
Boudreault said Mood’s customer service can be attributed to friendly, knowledgeable staff. “That’s the perception that we want [people] to walk away from with our customer experience, that they’ve received a very qualified product recommendation and they’ve had a fun experience while doing so,” he said.
Something that’s fun and challenging about the cannabis retail business is the range of clientele, he said. Customer service can mean taking time to get to know individuals, and at that point, he said, recommendations become easy.
“There is no one type of person that enjoys cannabis,” Boudreault said. “It is every walk of life that we will have come into our store from the cannabis curious to the very experienced user.”
Boudreault said with the same range of products available to all cannabis retailers, Mood has tried to set itself apart with its prices and selection as well as service. Waldron noted that customer service has also meant extra attention to COVID-19 health and safety regulations.
Mood only opened its first location in mid-January, two months before the pandemic was declared an emergency, so Waldron said it’s hard to know to what extent business was impacted.
“The cannabis industry was fairly lucky that it was deemed an essential service here in B.C.,” he said. “We’re a new company and we don’t have any past data to go off, but it’s been fairly steady throughout the pandemic.”
Out of more than 150 businesses nominated in the customer service category, only Costco Wholesale beat out Mood Cannabis Co. for customer service.
“I’ve been a Costco member for more than 20 years and I still love to shop there; I always get great customer service there,” Waldron said.
Both the owner and manager at Mood thought it might be a good idea for the News Bulletin to add a ‘Best Cannabis Retail Store’ category in 2021.
“It was kind of funny, somebody had nominated us for Best Flower Store, and it’s not incorrect, we really are selling dried flowers,” Waldron said. “But maybe the cannabis store category might be more appropriate.”