Andrew headed the John Lewis Intelligence Team, with responsibility for
customer service and analysis of demographic trends. He believes service tends
to reflect internal culture; you can’t teach it and stick it onto an unhappy
organisation. Even when cuts need to be made, Andrew argues that changes to
process can often reduce costs while enabling service levels to be maintained, or
even improved. The priority is to keep in touch with customers’ expectations.
Andrew McMillan spent over 20 years with John Lewis Partnership, the last eight
responsible for leading customer service across the department store division.
Now an advisor to both private and public sectors, he is widely recognised for
developing John Lewis’ much admired sales and service culture - consistently
held up as an example of best practice.
Andrew started as a management trainee in Brent Cross. 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. They acted as an internal consultancy
across all areas of service including strategy, product differentiation,
demographics and customer analysis by catchment area.
In presentations Andrew explains that customer service quality should reflect
internal culture; you can't just teach it and stick it onto an unhappy organisation.
And in a climate where many are making cuts, he argues that creating a distinct,
discernable and appealing personality for a business through the employees, by
viewing them as an asset rather than a cost, can deliver a degree of long lasting
competitive differentiation few achieve, but many aspire to.
Sahar Hashemi OBE
Co Founder: Coffee Republic Coffee Chain and Skinny Candy
When Speaking Minds was founded in 2007 in New Zealand, little did we envisage that this would grow into an international brand with offices in India and London in less than a decade. We set up the business to share what we had learnt, from the privileges we have had in our jobs – of access to knowledge.
Bringing India to the rest of the world was our driving force.
The dna of our business is genuinely about sharing knowledge with the
world, from thought leaders and experts who are notable achievers in
their field. Raga D'silva quit her highly successful corporate career in
New Zealand in 2007, to set up a dream business of connecting
knowledge, insights, motivation from exceptional talent with the
corporate world, globally.