CoCo Farms does more than claim great customer service—it has the international recognition to prove it.

The c-store industry competes for business in many ways, but providing a friendly environment with the customer at the center remains essential to any winning strategy. To stand out, a store really has to take service to another level, something on which CoCo Farms prides itself.

It’s not an empty claim; just last October CoCo Farms earned international recognition from Shell Oil

[1] as a Gold Retailer at a four-day global reward presentation and gala in Dubai. Over 1,000 people from 60 different countries attended, including CoCo Farms General Manager Kal Maani.

As indicated by the “Smiling Stars” imprint found on the certificate, superior customer service played a large part in the recognition, part of Shell’s global “People Make the Difference Real” initiative. For the entire year mystery shoppers visit Shell retailers, taking copious notes and ranking the customer care provided by the retailer. Pictures taken at the site are also part of the evaluation. “To be recognized not only do you have to provide excellent service in a clean, well-appointed space, but you also have to be very consistent about it,” explains Maani. “It was gratifying for our team to score so high internationally since we strive to be first in the hearts of our customers.”

Shell also measures exemplary store performance using metrics such as fuel volume and store sales. Creating a popular store that moves a lot of merchandise and fuel depends on finding out what people want and giving it to them, which, when you think about it, is another form of customer service.

“About 80 percent of the merchandise we sell is consistent across sites, with the balance being tweaked to the specifics of our markets from Yonkers to Scarsdale,” adds Maani. “You really need to know what’s going on in your inventory—what’s working and what’s not. Without technology, you can’t get enough control over a multi-site enterprise selling many thousands of items.”

The CoCo Farms’ team has been a user of SSCS’s Computerized Daily Book back office system for over a decade.

“You can’t meet the challenges of the market and grow without the technology to back you up,” states Maani. “SSCS software has a long reach—it adds efficiency to every part of the store, with analyzing inventory movement in a timely manner at the top of the list. When technology does so much of the work, we get more time to do what we do best—creating relationships with our customers.”

SSCS congratulates CoCo Farms for achieving Gold Retailer status, and looks forward to our continued partnership. If you are a reader that is interested in how technology can help you better concentrate on your customers and support service excellence, please don’t hesitate us to call at (800) 972-7727.

[1] Eight of CoCo Farms’ nine sites sells Shell-branded fuel.