Andrew McMillan spent 28 years with John Lewis Department Stores, the last eight of which he was responsible for customer experience across the department store division. That customer experience culture is something that has now became synonymous with the John Lewis brand.
Andrew started his career as a management trainee with the John Lewis Partnership at Brent Cross. He quickly moved up through the management ranks and led a number of selling teams in different branches culminating in managing the furniture floor in the flagship Oxford Street branch.
From there he moved to the head office to take charge of the department stores' customer-centric Intelligence Team. They acted as an internal business consultancy reporting on competitive strategy, product differentiation and value, catchment area demographics for new branches and customer service.
In 2000, Andrew McMillan was asked to lead on customer service for the department store division. The role saw him develop JLP's market-leading culture and attitude towards customer service and sales with the 20,000 customer-facing Partners in 26 John Lewis shops across the UK. During his tenure, JLP won awards for customer service from Which?, Verdict and Retail Week and were frequently cited in the media as a leading customer oriented organisation. Andrew was also responsible for the management and resolution of the group's escalated customer complaints.
While at John Lewis, Andrew advised many other non-competing organisations on their customer service strategy and became recognised as an expert in the field.
Immediately after leaving John Lewis, Andrew McMillan joined a City-based consultancy firm as a Principal Consultant. During his career there Andrew specialised in employee engagement, customer experience, and customer centric business change. He led projects for Plymouth City Council where he helped them re design the access to, and provision of, Adult Social Care services – a project which subsequently won a national award.
He supported a number of NHS foundation trusts to successfully develop and implement their patient experience strategies. He also worked with a number of high profile private sector clients including Virgin Atlantic.
British Council of Shopping Centres
Andrew McMillan joined the Customer Experience Committee at the British Council of Shopping Centres during his time at John Lewis; he was asked the Chair the committee in 2010. This role maintains Andrew's strong links with the retail community, where he has a particular interest in promoting the viability of the UK's shopping centres and High Streets as valuable social spaces in addition to the commercial benefits they bring.
During Andrew’s chairmanship the committee developed and grew the awards substantially to well over 100 shopping centre entrants which has raised the profile and importance of customer experience in the retail property sector.
Whether it’s a small, family-run firm or a large multinational, Andrew places an emphasis on understanding what makes (or can make) them different. Often different parts of an organisation believe they have different purposes, but Andrew enables them to cut through their differences in perception and experience. By uncovering inherent values and a shared enthusiasm he brings about employee engagement and growth.