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Andrew McMillan

London, UK

Specialist in employee engagement, leadership and customer experience

Manager, Customer Service, John Lewis Department Stores (2000-08)

Principal, Engaging Service (2012-present)

“Andrew’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.” – CAPITAL ONE

Andrew specialises in employee engagement, customer experience and the leadership required to create the link between the two. Previously, he spent 28 years working for the John Lewis Partnership, starting as a management trainee to becoming responsible for customer experience across the department store division.

Andrew’s aim is to make individuals and organisations happier and more fulfilled through a sense of collective purpose, so they engender trust, loyalty and advocacy from their customers while becoming more productive and, as a consequence, more profitable. He helps organisations join up their own internal dots to create their unique link between employee engagement and consistently great customer experience.

Whether it’s public sector, not for profit or a large multinational, Andrew places an emphasis on understanding what makes (or can make) them different and special for their customers. 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 also looks at the roles of leadership, communication, trust and enjoying work in creating success.  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.

Andrew has spoken at conferences worldwide. He does not have a standard ‘deck’ of slides, preferring to create presentations from a substantial slide library that reflects his experience at John Lewis and beyond.  Consequently, presentation content is created collaboratively with clients and tailored to meet the precise needs of their event, with bespoke slides being written when required.  Along with stories and examples from his extensive experience, presentations also include practical solutions that can be implemented quickly and with minimal cost.

Andrew started his career as a management trainee with the John Lewis Partnership at Brent Cross in North London. He quickly moved up through the management ranks and led a number of selling teams in different branches, culminating in heading a department in the flagship Oxford Street branch.

From there he moved to the head office to take charge of the department stores’ 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 experience.

In 2000 Andrew was asked to lead on customer experience for the department store division.  The role saw him develop JLP’s market-leading culture and attitude towards customer experience and sales with the 30,000 customer-facing Partners in 26 John Lewis shops across the UK.  That customer-driven culture is something that has now became synonymous with the John Lewis brand.  During his tenure John Lewis frequently won awards for customer experience from Which? Verdict and Retail Week and were regularly cited in the media as a leading customer oriented organisation.  He was also responsible for the management and resolution of the group’s customer complaints.

While at John Lewis, Andrew advised many other non-competing organisations on their customer experience strategy and became recognised globally as an expert in the field.

His speaking topics include:

  •  Consistently delivering differentiated customer experience to define the brand
  • Leadership and change in a behaviour driven organisation
  • Authentic marketing
  • Defining and shaping organisational culture through storytelling
  • Fun at work to enhance commercial success and productivity
  • Selling though service and relationships
  • Managing complaints to enhance reputation
  • The challenges and future of retail

 

Our Comment

"Andrew's enlightening insight into viewing employees as an asset rather than a cost, demonstrates how it becomes possible to deliver a degree of long lasting competitive differentiation that few achieve, but many aspire to. Along with stories and examples from his extensive experience, presentations also include practical solutions that can be implemented quickly and with minimal cost."

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