Popped into M&S in Milton Keynes today. Not expecting anything exciting to happen, just need to grab a quick lunch. It was freezing – air conditioning way too high but at least it made the rather gray day seem a bit warmer once you stepped outside again. With the schools enjoying the first week of the summer break, I expected things to be buzzing and they were – the usual crowd, comprised of people like me, looking for lunch on the go, mixed with lots of kids and their accompanying adults. I stepped up to pay. They have one of those “Please go to till number x” announcements which reminds me of standing at the Post Office as a teenager. Bingo – my day was about to be transformed. What makes one till at M&S any different to the next? The person behind it of course. Because it wasn’t just a friendly checkout assistant, it was Vinod, M&S’s finest – in my view – checkout assistant. He’s always friendly, interested and interesting. He looks right at you in the most engaging way, a refreshing change from so many assistants in so many outlets who don’t even manage to make eye contact. We had a quick chat as he efficiently processed my order. Just the usual: “Off on holiday soon? Hope the weather’s OK for you” and “Did you find everything you needed? How about a coffee with that?” It’s all in the delivery of sincere customer service. Vinod’s got a natural way with him: he’s a natural people person and a great asset for M&S. He made my day.