The CX Podcast | The Digital Divide with Andrew Clayton

Back to insights

“Customer-first, not digital-first. Work in the shoes of your customers and figure out what they want for today and tomorrow.”

Those are the sage words of Andrew Clayton, Head of Customer Experience at Close Brothers. Having previously worked as an executive across multiple sectors for the past 30 years, Andrew provides us with some great insight into how organisations can handle the gap between those who benefit from the Digital Age and those who don’t.

Emma and Andrew discuss how to create a ‘design tribe’ that sits within teams and units across the business, how to identify, approach and support ‘vulnerable customers’ and some of the future challenges for organisations going through this transformation.

There is loads of value for any CX exec leading teams in the digital age, so we hope you enjoy the show.



  • Been leading transformation for the last 15 years across financial services, utilities and healthcare
  • Focused on how to drive sustainable customer organic growth

How to bring brand and purpose together

  • Purpose is the new buzzword, but how do you bring it to life for your customers and people every day?
  • Make the purpose resonate with everyone in the organisation
  • Reinforce it through your comms channels every day
  • How do you bring purpose to life every day
  • Put your customer at the centre of your decision-making

Bravery to say we let the customer down

  • That covers not just the customer, but your wider brand
  • It covers your people experiences as well
  • It all works together as one

How has the digitalisation of the financial services industry impacted CX?

  • You need to be sensitive where digital makes sense in a relationship-based business
  • You need to dissect the customer journey end to end
  • Augment the journeys, not replace them
  • And involve the right people to make that change

Deciding which journeys need humans, and which should be digital (or both?)

  • Walk in the shoes of your customers
  • Understand how the journey feels for each segment
  • Where can digital demonstrate value
  • How do you manage and govern those journeys

How do you involve the customers with the testing?

  • Different industries are at different stages of test and learn
  • It’s a critical part as they experience the outcome
  • Customer labs can really help
  • But the caution is- make sure you’ve got the right team so they’re ready to be implemented when they can scale

What skillsets enable digital customer experiences?

  • You need to democratise skills in the organisation
  • It can’t be done with a centre of expertise
  • I’ve created a ‘design tribe’ that sat within teams and units across the business

Getting cultural buy-in across the organisation

  • It’s a daily job of leaders to reinforce the purpose
  • Make sure you pick out highlights of great work
  • Are we ensuring the changes we are making are positively affecting the purpose around customer?

Going from bricks and mortar to fully digital

  • They need to be humancentric AND digitally-enabled
  • There are touchpoints where we can digitalise and remove friction
  • High volume transactions that don’t bring value to the customer can be alleviated by automation
  • For B2B – how can we use digital tools to enable sales and accounts (internally)

Employee journey for that digital transformation

  • It’s always hard to change peoples behaviours in day to day work
  • Engage and involve them so they can see the value early
  • Lots of training, support, coaching and communication
  • It’s a change project in itself

Ensuring customers are embracing the changes

  • Your ‘listening post’ needs to always be on
  • You need the ingredients and accountability to own the feedback and action it
  • AI is great for high volume simple transactions which make things easier
  • The biggest challenge is to make omnichannel works 

How to identify, approach and support ‘vulnerable customers’ 

  • You need to identify who they are first and in what form
  • Understanding what the needs are i.e. different interactions
  • Equip your agents with the emotional intelligence to identify them
  • Commitment from leadership top-down that it’s key

The greatest challenge when digitalising customer experience

  • It’s not a tech challenge, it’s a people challenge – both internally (your people) and customer
  • Make sure you have the capabilities in place within your organisation, creating the right teams to co-create and innovate
  • ‘Digital garages’ aren’t the answer- involve the right people from day one

What keeps you motivated to keep pushing ‘customer first’

  • I’m passionate about helping companies grow and doing the right thing for customers
  • And working with customers who put purpose and values at the centre of the organisation
  • There is still a lot to do!

Using Covid as an excuse to not deliver a good customer experience

  • People have long memories and they won’t be able to hang onto those excuses

What are the future battlegrounds and innovations in the world of customer?

  • Delivering a great brand experience and continuing to earn trust
  • Sustainability and diversity agendas
  • Are your products fair value?
  • Use of data and predictive analytics
  • Tackling society challenges – need to think beyond your own organisations
  • Demonstrating the value of CX to drive retention and positive referrals

 spotifyapple podcasts

Want to know more about how S&S can help you and your organisation?

  1. Subscribe to this podcast and check out some of our cutting edge knowledge and ideas on the insights page
  2. If you’re a senior leader or change agent, join one of our change communities to network and share with like-minded individuals
  3. If you have a problem that needs solving across business change, agility, delivery or transformation and you don’t want to go down the big, traditional consulting route- get in touch