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Andrew McMillan

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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

Since joining Charteris, in addition to retail and finance, much of Andrew's work has been in the public sector and he has helped a number of local authorities develop their strategy to deliver a distinct and differentiated customer experience. He has also worked with a number of NHS Trusts to define and develop their patient experience in line with the aspirations set out in Lord Darzi's NHS Next Stage Review final report.

 
"Andrew was brilliant. He has a lovely manner on stage , he was a pleasure to deal with, his appearance was immaculate and he tailored his content perfectly for us. Delegate feedback was excellent. We were very happy indeed and would happily recommend him to anyone who needs a message relating to service delivery and developing a mindset of exceeding customers' expectations in the retail or service delivery sector. 10/10!"   Salon Success Conference - March 2012

Specialising in customer experience, Andrew was with the John Lewis Partnership for over 20 years, taking the lead on customer service. Now a consultant with Charteris, he has helped many organisations including NHS Trusts, develop strategies to improve customer service.

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