Customer Experience Services, Device Use & More at Graph Expo 15

After attending Graph Expo 15 in its traditional Chicago home, I was struck by a few key emerging trends in customer communications. Usually, when I attend an event like Graph Expo, I hope to walk away with a handful of key insights to justify the time and travel. This year’s Graph Expo did not disappoint.

But, first I should mention that my primary attention was focused away from the exhibit floor – Venture had a full team already doing reconnaissance on the latest and greatest (hot topics – cut-sheet inkjet, managed workflow automation, higher quality/faster output, etc.). So I won’t be recapping the latest, greatest from the exhibit floor. Instead, I attended a number of briefings and presentations to see what the brightest minds had to say about where they believe we are headed. These presentations included panel discussions hosted by InfoTrends and Xplor, and represented a good cross-section of the industry.

The key takeaways for me from The Windy City:

  • “Customer Experience Services” will be a growing area for vendors to expand their relationship and provide strategic input. What does it mean? It’s still in its infancy but put the term on your radar. Your customers are/will be looking for you to provide these services.
  • Digital device use has reached a tipping point. Half of all time spent by the average user on digital devices is now via smartphone. PC, laptop, tablet and “other” devices make up the other half collectively. A mobile-first communication strategy, now more than ever, needs to be the focus for any organization to communicate with their customers. Is your organization meeting your customers in their delivery channels of preference?
  • According to one speaker, Visual Search is quickly becoming the preferred method to search for information. But, are the devices and the content in place to make it a good experience? Apparently so as the Google Goggles app is gaining in popularity but my limited experiments didn’t yield much success. Still, if Google is involved, it’s probably best to pay attention.
  • Which “channel” is it – Multi/Cross/Omni?? Multi-channel is (still) the reality for most, Cross-channel remains aspirational for the majority and Omni-channel is nirvana. Omni-channel is still most appropriate where a retail presence is in the mix and it’s a term very few customers use, or understand, today. So, Multi-channel is still the most appropriate term for the majority of applications, especially for transactional customer communications.

If you attended Graph Expo, please share your observations by posting a comment below or emailing me atmjwilkes@venturesolutions.com.