A client-centric approach starts from the very basis of your business and infiltrates through everything you do, both online and offline, for your clients. Technology is driving industry, so finding creative solutions that work for real people helps your business remain competitive. Human-centered design looks at the experience of the client from the minute they land on a webpage, walk into a store or phone your company. Customer service is part of the process, but a design that ties into your audience at their core goes much deeper and reaches every element of design in your business.

Here are eight clear reasons why human-centered design makes a difference and how you can implement it into your business model:

1. Differentiates Your Brand

About 45 percent of people say they would pay more for great customer/client experience. It’s one of the things that separates brands from one another. Focusing on the client helps you tap into exactly what your target audience wants and deliver it.

The best place to start is to work with us by digging down into who your audience is. Study analytics from your website and internal data on current clients. It’s not uncommon for a client to first meet a brand because of its resources, like a blog article on the website. If needed, poll clients to find out their needs and wants. Once you have a clear picture of who your typical client is, create a client persona and run any design decisions through the filter of your persona.

2. Improves Client Retention

It costs around five times as much to gain a new customer as it does to keep one you already have. However, there is always another business on your heels trying to steal your clients. When your company is client-centered, you’re more likely to keep them. Why would they go elsewhere when they’re happy where they are?

Start by auditing your business from the bottom up. Make sure every element of your website works efficiently for the client. Check your in-person interactions, and retrain customer service staff. Design a business that always puts your client first, and you’re more likely to retain the clients you have. Flip Flop Freelance is happy to give you suggestions on how to improve client retention on your website.

3. Creates Excitement

When you focus on the experience of the client, you generate a buzz about your brand. Put yourself in the shoes of the client. Advertising inundates them all day every day.

Make your website stand out by adding experiential graphics that take the customer from their typical mundane world into something amazing, fresh and related to what you offer. For example, if you sell surf gear, why not create an entry into your online store that looks as though waves are crashing in on both sides? Creating an interactive environment adds excitement to what you’re already doing.

4. Increases Revenue

Focusing on strong CX often results in increased revenue. If every element of the client’s journey is easy, then they’re more likely to trust their hard-earned dollars with you.

For your part, focus on creating an intuitive design that’s easy for customers to use. Get feedback from clients and staff on what needs improving. For example, is your checkout process as simple as it can be? Does the customer know the next step in the buying process when they land on your home page? Human-centered design includes tweaking small things, conducting A/B testing and refining your site until it’s perfected.

5. Increases Client Loyalty

When you focus on the client and anticipate their needs, the client notices the stellar service. If a client is happy, they are more likely to remain loyal to your brand.

To ensure clients remain loyal, work with Flip Flop Freelance to create a website that’s easy to use, have a store that’s easy to navigate and employ customer loyalty programs. Think about the brands you are most loyal to and would never consider leaving. What are the things they do that keep you as a customer, and how can you implement those things into your model?

6. Saves Clients Time

People today are busy. The average person works a full-time job while raising a family. On top of those commitments, they may volunteer, have pets and have extended family needing help. If your business causes them too much time, they’ll walk away from you.

Some ways you can save customers time include creating a website that is uncluttered and easy to use. When Flip Flop Freelance designs your website, they suggest making sure there is ample white space, so major elements are easy to find and not hidden by too much clutter.

7. Improves Word-of-Mouth Marketing

The way consumers find new products and services has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. Today, around 67 percent of people start their buying journey online, even for something they buy from a physical store. The type of info people seek online includes basic information, such as store location, items in stock, customer reviews and a search for complaints against the company. Social media is a source for many, and people do sit up and take notice when someone posts something negative or positive about a brand.

Staying client-centered and focusing on human-centered design allows you to generate positive word-of-mouth marketing. A happy client is more likely to write a review or tell others about your amazing services.

Guest Blogger, Lexie Lu

Lexie Lu is a web designer and UX strategist. She enjoys covering topics related to UX design, web design, social media and branding. Feel free to subscribe to her design blog, Design Roast, or follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.