By Marshall Ogen, Vice President of Business Strategy at CannabisBPO
Post originally featured as a GUEST BLOG for CannaTech:

Think globally, act locally” rings very true for the cannabis industry as cannabis expands online across the globe, a vast number of products are not allowed to be sourced or sold outside of their growing regions. While hemp-based products broke out of this mold, THC products still have a journey ahead, but the road is being paved.

Cannabis businesses must continue to look to the future, that is what brought us to this point, and while the growth and retail aspects of the market remain local, the future is global. Businesses must keep abreast of global market trends on legalization and scientific and technological advancements. And Israel is the tip of the spear, in terms of cannabis science and technology research, CannaTech is a key connection to the roots of our industry while we grow across the globe.

CannaTech’s forward-thinking leads us this year to Cape Town where industry experts and analysts will continue to discuss the investment that African nations are placing into the cannabis sector. These countries have the opportunity to improve the economic landscape of the citizens, and the GDP of their respective countries. It’s truly incredible to watch. As always, participates will be immersed in the scientific and technical aspects of the latest trends in Cannabis, a hallmark of every CannaTech event.

Speaking of science, during the early years of the cannabis space, discussions often talked about ratios such as 20:1 101, 5:1 and 1:1. While we all think of these as the CBD:TCH ratios, it’s time to think of these ratios in a second mindset. Craig Binkley, a globally recognized branding expert and a member of CannabisBPO Advisory Board said “if you’ve got a great product, great branding, and a great distribution model congratulations you’re about 30% there. What is the 70% in his equation? It’s customer engagement, customer journey and a two-way communication portal between the brand and consumer. In other words, brands that will pass the test of time focus on their customer with the same rigor as they focus on their plants and products. Consumers do not want to feel like their relationship with their brand or dispensary is 20:1. They want to feel like the relationship is 1:1.

Dan Berman, CEO of CannabisBPO likes to call the cannabis industry “the ultimate open source” because there is not a tremendous amount of protectable IP, yet. Therefore, the psyche of the consumer truly matters when trying to establish brand loyalty. A great case study on the strong focus towards customer service and brand loyalty comes from the shoe retailer, Zappos who operates in the States. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh said, “at, we decided a long time ago that we didn’t want our brand to be just about shoes, or clothing, or even online retailing. We decided that we wanted to build our brand to be about the very best customer service and the very best customer experience.” This is exactly how the cannabis industry needs to think. This mindset will be the difference in gaining loyal customers, and market share both on a local, and global level.

Customer experience is the passion of CannabisBPO, and why we are the first cannabis-focused contact center provider in the space. We saw the opportunity to become a thought leader on the customer journey for the cannabis sector. Our organization brings an interesting perspective based on our family of operating entities. Our first sister company, Concentra Solutions is about to celebrate our 30th anniversary specializing in contact center quality assurance for customer experience, compliance and performance improvement. While our second sister company, PharmaCentra celebrated 16yrs as a specialty concierge contact center provider for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. We recognized that cannabis was the overlapping part of these two companies if placed in a Venn diagram, given the aspects of compliance, customer journey and our understanding of how to correctly engage with patients, practitioners and the multitude of players across the healthcare spectrum.

I have outlined the background on our organization to share that CannabisBPO possessed the mechanical aspects of the ability to appropriately service the cannabis sector, but we needed a 1:1 relationship to help be our Sherpa in the cannabis sector. We needed a group to immerse us into the cannabis ecosystem both from a networking and from a knowledgebase perspective. After a thorough study, CannaTech became our 1:1, and from their thought leadership, we have been able to help companies provide the customer journey needed for growth in cannabis.

As our 1:1 relationship grew CannabisBPO forged a formal relationship with both CannaTech and iCan to provide preferred service structures for iCan accelerator companies and we are proud to sponsor the CannaTech events globally. Traveling to CannaTech’s global events is an investment. For CannabisBPO, it’s an investment that has paid dividends due to CannaTech’s 1:1 customer approach.

The relationship between CannaTech and CannabisBPO is an example of the relationship that cannabis companies need to have with their customers. Giving great customer service is part of the equation that will lead to a healthy and prosperous industry. Let’s change how customers think about customer service by making it a staple of our industry. Trust me, when you think 1:1, your brand will be rewarded with loyal customers who will promote your products.

CannabisBPO is a specialty provider of contact center services for the cannabis industry. With locations in Canada and the US, the company offers outbound and inbound contact center services in a 24/7 setting. The company’s core service channels are text, email, mail, phone, chat and social media for customer service, sales, and technical support projects. CannabisBPO helps cannabis companies drive revenue and mitigate risks. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Marshall Ogen is the VP of Business Strategy for CannabisBPO and has over 25 years of experience in outsourced contact centers, quality assurance, having consulted with many of the world’s most recognizable brands to ensure successful customer engagement activities. He is a strategic advisor to the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association, a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) Marketing and Advertising Committee and the co-chair of the Mid-Atlantic Professional Association of Customer Experience (PACE).