(For those curious, their business name translates to “new advice”.)
You may have heard of some of their clients: Mercedes Benz, Porsche, DHL, Hyundai, and Shell, to name a few.
Before the pandemic, all of neueBeratung’s innovation workshops were held in person. So like many businesses when the pandemic hit, they had to pivot quickly to a remote setup.
To Markus’s delight, by leveraging a combination of Butter and Miro, neueBeratung has actually been able to hold far more workshops than they ever did before the pandemic. This has led to more productive and sustainable outcomes for their clients—and more smiling faces.
Here’s the story of how neueBeratung took their consultancy business completely remote with Butter.
Butter is the tool that comes directly from the wishes of every moderator. It’s the tool that I would dream of. It really helps the moderator to facilitate workshops, bring people together, and help them work together online.
Challenge: Juggling two tools at once 🤹
“Before the pandemic, we worked at our clients’ offices. We had a lot of relocation and a lot of travel. In normal years, I stayed at hotels 150 nights out of the year,” said Markus—who’s been consulting for over 20 years.
That’s a lot of hotel stays.
“In Spring 2020, we had an appointment for a physical kickoff workshop. Then the lockdown came and we had to postpone it. Everyone thought, ‘Okay, this is two weeks. This is five weeks. This is seven weeks.’”
“At a certain point, the client’s CEO said, ‘We can’t postpone it anymore. I have to run the project. Can you do it online?’”
“And we said, ‘Yes, of course we can.’ So we developed a whole strategy process online.”
It took a little while to work out the digital kinks—especially when it came to complex workshops.
“Dealing with two products—one for video communication and one for online workshops—is really annoying. Especially when you work with several clients, all with different IT and workplace infrastructure.”
“We always tried to keep it simple, using the Miro’s built-in video chat or combining Miro with the client’s favorite video tool. But either the combined experience was poor, or the client’s team had difficulties using the built-in Miro product.”
Managing two tools at once was a big challenge for Markus and his clients.
“When you have a separate tool for video chat, the participants often get lost between the two tools. As a moderator, you lose a lot of time trying to find them again and showing them their place on the board.”
“And that’s the point where Butter came in.”
Solution: Enter Butter 🧈
Markus discovered Butter in the summer of 2020—right after the initial Butter launch.
“Butter comes directly from the wishes of every moderator. It's easy to use for participants and it has so many useful features for moderators. Plus, it combines video chat and Miro in one tool. That's awesome.”
“We had done the first phase of the strategy project in other tools. And then we proposed using Butter for the second phase.”
Here’s what Markus said were the biggest difference-makers.
Smooth Miro integration
The biggest early win for Markus was Butter’s native Miro integration.
“The deep integration of Miro is one of the key aspects that we use.”
Markus says the Miro experience was made even better by the ability to combine them with breakout rooms.
“We had six working groups within our client’s company—25 people altogether. We had each group in separate Butter breakout rooms, all using Miro boards. And the experience was awesome.”
Markus doubled down on his love for the breakout rooms. “The killer feature for us is really the new breakout rooms.”
“We use breakout rooms to split people into specific themes. We put all the IT people, or the marketing people, or product people together in their own rooms. And then we give them a specific space to work on in their Miro board.”
Markus says this just wasn’t possible in other tools.
“Breakouts are a mess in Teams, and they’re okay in Zoom, but they’re super easy to handle and to plan in Butter.”
“In Teams, for example, only the initial moderator for the team meeting can set up the rooms. And that's it's really hard to work with that as a moderator.”
“As a moderator [in Butter], you can now really say what you want to do in which breakout rooms—like which Miro board should open or which person you want to put in which breakout session.”
Seamless client onboarding
We asked Markus how they onboard clients to Butter.
“Frankly, we don't really do this. Because I don't think it’s necessary. Which is the best compliment I can give you.”
“When you buy an iPhone or an Apple Watch, there's no manual in it. But when you buy a microwave, which should be a simpler product, you have a manual like this,” he said, spreading his hands out wide.
“But this is the best compliment I could give you, that there's no warmup or check-in needed for Butter.”
“Every client was thrilled when we showed them Butter. What people really like are the reaction buttons. And the sound effects. They really bring out the child in you.”
Results: More workshops than ever! 🥳
neueBeratung’s shift to remote was a complete success.
“Just last week [December 2021] was the final presentation of this project. It spanned one and a half years, and we did it completely online with Butter.”
Markus noticed a few key differences with his client interactions after the shift to remote workshops.
Deeper client involvement
“You would think in the world that we are now living in, that the number of workshops would decline. But for us, it really boosted things. You can’t do a consulting project on the telephone or through a PowerPoint presentation. So now we mainly interact with our clients through online workshops with tools like Butter and Miro or MURAL.”
“It really helped because we brought together people who wouldn't have worked together when we had physical workshops. In this example, the company has three offices within Germany. So they would have traveled to do this as a physical workshop.”
“We had almost 100 workshops with this client. We never would have been able to do this in a physical manner.”
“We also saw more involvement from the executive level. When you have a two-hour remote workshop, you really only have to spend two hours. You don't have to travel. You don't have to check into a hotel.”
“For this project, we had all the CEOs of the client’s subsidiaries joining us. Before the pandemic—before using Butter—they would have sent their marketing or product heads and wouldn’t have come themselves.”
“The impact of having senior leadership involved is that the results of the project are no longer challenged afterward because they worked on the projects themselves. And they can really bring the outcomes to their organizations and their employees to get to the next level.”
“The sustainability of the results is much higher than before.”
“This makes your life easier as a facilitator, too. Normally, you would have to summarize the results, talk to the CEO, talk to the board, and talk to the board of the subsidiary.
“When I all have them together, I know that everyone is in the same boat, and we have the same direction.”
One unexpected outcome was the relationships Markus and his clients built through Butter.
“We had one single physical workshop in September when we met the whole team in a giant meeting room, socially distanced. We recognized that there was already a relationship between us and the project group and also within the working groups, even though the whole experience was completely online before.”
“Butter really helped us to build up this relationship during the project.”
Markus’s Butter Tip: Build a Showroom
Markus’s top Butter tip: just try it!
“I have clients coming to me saying, ‘I really want to do a workshop with you again, but it's not possible in these times,’ And I say, ‘Yes, of course, it's possible! I do workshops every day, I do more workshops than I did in my whole life in this in this pandemic.’”
“But there are really people who can't imagine it or who don't want to experience it. And that really makes me sad.”
So how does Markus convince clients to try Butter?
“We have a Butter showroom with a workshop board that we show to clients who can’t imagine how this whole thing works online.”
The showroom does double duty, as Markus’s team also uses it as a playground to stay up-to-date with what’s new in Butter.
We want to give a big thanks to Markus and neueBeratung for sharing their Butter story with us 👏