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House of Michael Warren

Designer, Musician, Sculptor

The importance of client experience

I was recently asked how client experience affects design. On the surface, it’s a very simple answer; however, I think a lot of designers nowadays focus on user experience and forget about client experience. If you work in branding, client experience is a vital aspect of a successful brand identity.

There is a misconception about branding. Most people who don't work in the field think slapping a logo on a billboard is considered branding. This isn’t a cattle ranch. We aren't just marking our property. While aspects of branding can be tangible pieces, that’s only a subset of branding. As designers, we are responsible for building the intangible elements as well. Those are the look of the brand, the messaging of the brand, and most importantly, how we want the brand to be perceived. All of this builds the brand identity.

The struggle we have with branding is we can’t control the brand identity. As I said earlier, we can only build what we want it to look like, and how it talks, and how we want it to be perceived. We build the guides and the foundation. We deliver what we want the brand identity to be. But the final identity; what the brand means, how the brand makes people feel, and how the public views the brand, is controlled entirely by the client.

Enter client experience.

An important thing to note is that a lot of responsibility rests on client-facing employees to deliver the brand identity. All they can do is their best in guiding clients to build the brand that the designer is wanting to create. Every customer interaction provides an opportunity to steer the client to that end goal. It’s a major task because every interaction has an equal chance to be good or bad.

With good interactions, you build loyalty and relationships, turn your clients into advocates, earn trust and reliability, and most importantly, it establishes the brand identity you are aiming to create.

The bad interactions simply break trust. And when you lose someone’s trust, you lose their faith in you and it instills doubt in their mind. Trust is one of the hardest things to earn back.

By putting in the effort with every customer interaction to deliver the complete brand experience, it moves your company a step closer to success.

It’s a hard job being a voice for the company. It requires patience, intelligence, compassion, and empathy. You have to deliver bad news and good news. I think it’s equally important to remember the importance of happy and brand-educated client-facing employees because in the end, they are the ones being an ambassador for the brand you spent your effort creating.

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