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.
Andrew McMillan speaks at conferences and seminars worldwide, and across all business sectors, as well as local government, health and not-for-profit.
In presentations, he explains that great customer experience cannot be taught but reflects a great internal culture. By developing a personality and values that are realistic, honest, and shared, organisations can deliver a degree of long lasting, competitive differentiation that few achieve, but many aspire to.
Content for Andrew’s speeches is created collaboratively and tailored to the exact requirements of your event, so no two presentations are ever identical. Along with stories and examples from his extensive experience, presentations also include practical solutions that can be implemented quickly and with minimal cost.
The list below illustrates some of his most frequently requested topics:
- Developing a distinct and differentiated customer experience delivered through employees to define the brand
- Leadership and customer service
- Organisational development to enhance customer service
- Defining and shaping organisational culture
- Selling though service and relationships
- Managing customer complaints to enhance reputation
- Fun at work to improve commercial success and productivity
- Engaging internal communications
A keynote speech from Andrew is typically 45 minutes duration with up to 15 minutes Q&A, if required. Although he is happy to speak from as little as 20 minutes up to an hour, where appropriate to the event.
Once again many thanks for the outstanding job you did on the Connected 2012 event, I've received many nice thank you notes from Retailers.
Andrew McMillan's visit was a real success. His material was well tailored to his audience and he had a good understanding of us as a business so was able to make it relevant. He has a very engaging tone and manner which meant the audience was actively engaged throughout his session. We have had some very positive feedback from associates and I have been in meetings since the session where people have referenced Andrew's material so I know it has well and truly sunk in.
I was really pleased with Andrew McMillan – your “wild card” suggestion really worked well with my group. He was exactly how you said he would be and he really listened to the things I said during our phone conversation as he tailored everything really well to the business situation. So all in all – great!
A quick note to say thank you very much for speaking at our conference yesterday. Everyone I've spoken with enjoyed your presentation and the messages around leadership and building the spirit within seem to have really resonated with them – which is exactly what I hoped for.
Thank you for joining us today. It was a great presentation, with great impact – you certainly left us with a lot to think about. You'll be pleased to know you created a lot of lively debate in the next session too!
Thank you once again for your wonderful presentation on Tuesday which really was perfect and was a great finish to what we had presented in the morning. I had some amazing feedback from everyone on your presentation and I think it was definitely what we needed so many thanks for attending and I am glad enjoyed your time with us.
A letter of thanks on behalf of Dr Stephen Dunn, Kay Fradley and our Patient Revolution Council for your excellent presentation last week. As anticipated, the content was engaging and reflected precisely the areas of our strategic interest.
Very inspirational, maintained a good tone throughout, every attendee was engaged. 4 days later and it is still the main topic of conversation. Hit exactly the right note and tailored for relevance. Highly recommended for any sector!
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