If you're just talking *to* your customers and not *with* your customers, you're missing the boat. In today's marketplace, creating a unified but personalized experience for customers is now the baseline for excellence.
But the award winners in this year's Interactive Customer Experience Association Excellence Awards didn't just meet that baseline — they leaped over it.
The ICX Association earlier this week handed out its 2015 Excellence Awards to 14 winners in the categories of digital signage, kiosk and self-service, and mobile, as applied across many vertical markets. The awards, judged by a panel of 24 industry experts, recognized achievement in the use of technology to create outstanding customer experiences. The awards ceremony, held at Skydeck Chicago on the 103d floor of the former Sears Tower, was part of the 2015 ICX Summit, a conference devoted to showcasing the many ways technology can be used to create transcendent customer experiences.
ICX Association Executive Director Scott Slucher said he was impressed with the depth of quality in all the submissions. "Having looked at every submission, along with the judge's evaluations of those entries, it's encouraging to me to see so much good work being done with technology to create transcendent customer experiences," he said.
"Part of our continuing mission is to recognize good work in the industries we cover," said Kathy Doyle, executive vice president and publisher of Networld Media Group, the parent company of this site and organizers of the ICX Association. "These award winners represent innovation excellence and good business practices."
The 2015 ICX Association Excellence Awards winners:
Best Corporate Communications Deployment: Digital Signage - Acorda and Téléciné, "Synapse TV"
Best Digital Out-of-Home Deployment: Kiosk/Self-Service - Verifone Media: VNET In Store
Best Digital Out-Of-Home Deployment: Mobile - Verifone Media: VNET In Store
Best Entertainment/Gaming Deployment: Digital Signage - AMC – Allure Global Optimized Digital Menu Board Deployment
Best Government, Education or Non-Profit Deployment - Rotman School of Management – University of Toronto
Best Health Care Deployment: Digital Signage - The Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital Digital Network
Best Health Care Deployment: Kiosk/Self-Service - ContextMedia Exam Room Tablet
Best Restaurant/Foodservice Deployment: Kiosk/Self-Service - Buzztime BEOND Tablet
Best Retail Deployment: Digital Signage - Toronto Blue Jays Flagship Retail Shop
Best Retail Deployment: Kiosk/Self-Service - Shell Fuel Rewards Kiosk
Best Retail Deployment: Mobile - IndoorSPIRIT by SPIRIT NAVIGATION
Best Travel/Hospitality Deployment - San Francisco International Airport
Best Entertainment/Gaming Deployment: Kiosk/Self-Service - LA Interactive for LA STAPLES Center
Restaurant and bar entertainment provider NTN Buzztime Inc., which won the Excellence Award for its tablet in the Best Restaurant/Food Service Deployment: Kiosk/Self-Service category, said the award recognized achievement in the deployment of technology to create transcendent customer experiences.
"Casual dining remained relatively unchanged for decades before Buzztime embarked on its mission to redefine it by delivering unparalleled entertainment and service improvements," said LaShawn James, senior director of dining experience at Buzztime, in an announcement about the award. "We are pioneers in engaging bar and restaurant patrons with new digital experiences, and it feels great to have that recognized by ICX."
Technology-driven visual communications provider RMG Networks Holding Corp., which won "Best At-Large Deployment" for its deployment of an interactive and mobile digital signage experience in the U.A.E., said the award validated the company's efforts on the project.
"We are grateful to the ICX Association for selecting RMG Networks with the 'Best At-Large Deployment' award," said Robert Michelson, CEO and president of RMG Networks. "The award is a validation of our team's effort to deliver advanced technology that helps organizations overcome challenges by providing solutions to more effectively run their business."
Digital signage software provider Omnivex Corp. saw three of its customers — San Francisco International Airport, the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and the Toronto Blue Jays Shop — win ICX Association Excellence Awards. SFO was recognized in best travel/hospitality deployment category for its interactive wayfinding installation in the airport's newly renovated Boarding Area E. Rotman School of Management was recognized in the best government/education/not-for-profit category for the digital signage deployment on its campus. The Toronto Blue Jays Shop was recognized in the retail deployment category for its digital signage rollout in the new standalone Jays Shop at the Toronto Eaton Centre.
"We are very excited that SFO, Rotman and the Blue Jays Shop won ICX Association Excellence Awards," Omnivex Corp. CEO Doug Bannister said. "It is a fantastic to see their efforts recognized from among the finest in their industries."
Also, cloud-based shopper engagement technology provider ComQi took home awards for Best Entertainment Deployment, at L.A.'s Staples Center, and Best Health Care Deployment, for the Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, Illinois.
ComQi partnered with Toshiba Business Solutions to create an interactive environment that enhances the fan experience and builds team loyalty at the famed Staples Center in downtown L.A.
"To be recognized for powering and enabling the Staples Center's vision of an ultimate fan experience is truly an honor," said Stuart Armstrong, president of ComQi North America. "ComQi's EnGage CMS is already helping to increase foot traffic at one of the most renowned arenas in the world."
ComQi partnered with Aceso, an interactive patient care and digital media solutions provider to the health care industry, for a series of digital displays at Marianjoy that enabled patients and visitors to experience relevant and timely content in the suburban Chicago facility's common areas.
"Inspiration and encouragement are big parts of the healing process," ComQi CEO Ifti Ifhar said, "so it's very gratifying to see how ComQi has helped Marianjoy communicate these kinds of messages to patients and their families."
The ICX Association, based in Louisville, Kentucky connects B2C brands with technology designed to elevate the customer experience by partnering with supplier-side members to deliver content that explains, researches and demonstrates technology-based approaches to brand-side members.
Christopher Hall / Christopher is the managing director of the Interactive Customer Experience Association and former editor of DigitalSignageToday.com. A longtime freelance writer and reporter, he's bringing a fresh perspective and critical take on the industry. www