Retail queen Mary Portas is back in a new Channel 4 series - Mary Portas: Secret Shopper in which she tackles the customer service levels of Britain's high street shops.
As well as having more experience than you can shake a stick at, Mary has a brilliant knack of making things appear remarkably simple. In last night's episode she gives a three point plan for dealing with customers - hello, smile & service - which when you think about it is pretty much all that's involved.
If customers have been good enough to come in to your shop then the least you can do is say hi and be helpful. Hardly rocket science but her undercover filming put many of the high street's top names to shame.
With these principles in mind - what would happen if she got on a train or bus? Top execs would be running scared.
Public transport operators need to realise that customer perception of their brand is largely based on face to face contact with company employees, and investment in the business should reflect this emphasis.
At the end of the day smile costs nothing but the returns are plenty.