Andrew McMillan

Andrew McMillan

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Former Head of Customer Service, John Lewis

To book Andrew McMillan please contact your JLA Agent.


Andrew headed the John Lewis Intelligence Team, with responsibility for customer service and analysis of demographic trends. He believes customer experience tends to reflect the internal culture; you can’t teach it or stick it onto an unhappy or directionless organisation. Understand what the organisation and its people are for, what makes it special, establish a shared vision, and the rest will start to fall into place.


Andrew McMillan is an expert on employee engagement, customer experience and the leadership and culture required to create and connect the two. He spent 28 years working for the John Lewis Partnership, ultimately becoming responsible for customer experience across the department store division. He now advises organisations of all types and sizes, helping them to identify and develop a brand personality and to re-establish the core values that led to their success in the first place.

Andrew started as a management trainee in John Lewis’ Brent Cross branch. He moved up the ladder to head a department in the flagship Oxford Street store, before switching from the shop floor to the Intelligence Team. The team acted as an internal consultancy across all areas of service including strategy, product differentiation, demographics and customer analysis. During his tenure John Lewis frequently won awards for customer experience 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.

After John Lewis, Andrew took the lessons from the company’s culture and applied them to other organisations. His aim is to make individuals and teams happier and more fulfilled through a sense of collective purpose, so they engender trust, loyalty and advocacy from their customers while also becoming more productive and more profitable. From the NHS to Virgin Atlantic, he has helped enable leaders and employees to share a vision of what they are for and what they can achieve, and how to make that vision a reality.

Andrew also looks at the roles of leadership, communication, trust and enjoying work in creating success. He helps organisations join up their own internal dots to create their unique link between employee engagement and consistently great customer experience. 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 resilient competitive differentiation that few achieve, but many aspire to. He challenges organisations to understand what makes (or can make) them special. Along with stories and examples from his extensive experience (including an objective look at John Lewis’ triumphs and struggles), he provides practical solutions that can be implemented quickly and with minimal cost.

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Conference Speaker Andrew McMillan on Customer Service

Leadership vs. Management