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As good as the real thing?

I’m a big Biffy Clyro fan. I’d argue that they’re one of the best live bands around at the moment, and yet, I didn’t initially buy tickets for the recent livestream of their new album. In truth, I was sulking a bit – the tour had been postponed and I didn’t want to spend £16 to watch a half-hearted performance from the sofa – but fate had other ideas.

On the day of the livestream, I was having a separate, unrelated sulk, and my better half decided to try and cheer me up by getting a ticket for the livestream later that evening.

I’m very glad he did: It was probably the best performance I’ve ever seen.

The sound was perfectly mixed, and the overall production was nothing short of stunning. I felt sorry for ever having doubted them. Biffy had taken a disappointing situation for all involved and made the absolute best of it – with a truly memorable performance that would never have been possible with the traditional band/stage/audience set up.

This got me thinking… Much like seeing your favourite band in the flesh, I understand that there’s still nothing quite like meeting clients face to face. However, with a situation that doesn’t look to be changing any time soon, how are you dealing with it? Are you doing a sad approximation of your usual process, or are you innovating, ripping up the rule book, and putting on the best show you can?

At Paradigm Norton, the aim is always to “surprise and delight” – to go over and above to deliver a truly special service to clients. I’ve seen some great examples of this over the last few weeks, and it doesn’t have to be ground-breaking:

You’d always offer a client a cuppa and a biscuit if they’re coming to the office, so why not send a posh box of their favourite teabags, or a box of goodies to arrive in advance of the meeting? Similarly, if your meetings are usually quite interactive, try using an iPad to explain some points that you might usually jot down on paper or draw on a flip chart. These are simple but thoughtful touches, that help to give the sense of being “in the room”.

Thinking bigger picture, I imagine that many of you will already have had client events that you’ve needed to postpone, and will have written off the idea of a traditional Christmas party this year, but there’s still plenty of time to think about what you could do instead. After all, unlike my recent gig experience, clients aren’t getting the benefit of reduced “livestream” prices, and while the planning is important (and arguably what they’re paying for), it’s the human element that really adds value.

So, a challenge to you: You are Biffy Clyro. Your clients are your loyal fanbase. How are you going to raise the bar and deliver an experience as good as the real thing?

Rebecca Tuck, Paraplanner, Paradigm Norton

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