SPARKS! Blog

Mike Donnelly

Recent Posts

Why You Should Welcome Difficult Conversations at Work and How to Learn from Them

There’s no denying it has been a heavy year. But times of high stress and emotion are not unique to 2020. In these instances, you may notice a change in morale among your teams.  

You may find that current events worldwide spark a need to address them within your organization. Your ability to navigate abnormal circumstances and crises, big or small, is contingent on your ability to have difficult conversations with employees that build trust and calm fears.

...

Share this now with someone you love :)

[NEW VIDEO] LEADERSHIP GAME CHANGER: Welcoming Employees Back to Work After COVID-19

There’s a glimmer of light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic tunnel and now is the time for smart leaders to craft their inspirational messages.  The world is about to go back to work, and when we do, we want to be ready.  This means above all else, preparing your people through consistent communication for what is next.  
...

Share this now with someone you love :)

How Customer Service Can Help Your Business Survive Coronavirus

Just the word “CRISIS”  spikes human emotion like few words in the English language.  We know that when emotion is high, it becomes more difficult to communicate with your people and your customers.  So first things first: remain calm, or, as we say in our organization, “let’s keep our head”, take a deep (covered) breath and focus on actions that you can control.  
...

Share this now with someone you love :)

REWARD AND RECOGNITION: All it Takes is a Little Effort

I’ve got a bone to pick with the “certificate of achievement” -- you know, the fancy print-out paper personalized to acknowledge the accomplishments of someone special. It’s a popular prop among team leaders who want to reward and recognize. Sadly, I’ve seen its presentation done wrong too many times and I’ve had enough!

I’m often asked my thoughts on how organizations can build a better culture of “thanks” via an employee recognition program. It’s easy, really: Identify processes, milestones, or efforts worthy of praise, then brainstorm simple, yet thoughtful ways to recognize those who have achieved or surpassed them.

...

Share this now with someone you love :)

Saving Signs Around the World...It's #NationalSaveASign Month

It’s #NationalSaveASign Month!

One service-related concept we referenced a lot during my time as a leader at Walt Disney World was the notion of “good show and bad show”. “Good show” is a Disney term for anything that adds to the guest experience. “Bad show” is anything that detracts from the guest experience. 

This simple, but extremely effective concept is easily understood by cast members and is something your organization might consider adopting as your own. Where most organizations miss the boat is thinking that service is only delivered by humans. When in reality, everything your customer comes in contact with speaks volumes about how you operate.

...

Share this now with someone you love :)

Great Guest Service is a Continual Process [VIDEO]

When it comes to customer experience, complacency can be a silent killer. On the flip side, continuous improvement generates loyalty. Static organizations – or those unwilling to innovate and evolve – all but push their customers toward competitors who are willing to meet their needs and expectations.

Doing all you can to keep your customers happy on the front line starts with doing all you can to keep your TEAM happy internally. Enabling and encouraging great guest services is a continual process. It’s not a periodic reminder or a one-off effort.

...

Share this now with someone you love :)

From ME to WE: Generosity as a business strategy [video]

What if instead of saying, “what can THEY do for ME?” we asked ourselves, “what can I do for THEM?”

As leaders, it’s time to consider shifting our focus to the virtue of generosity as our guiding principle. Those who infuse humanity and generosity into their personal and professional relationships are simply happier people. Organizations that focus on giving more than what is expected – authentically – enjoy more SUCCESS than those who do not.

Sadly, many communities, organizations, and leaders dismiss this simple, but invaluable insight. Yet, the virtue of generosity proves itself again and again in organizations everywhere. Teams that embrace this philosophy feel more connected, inspired, and invested in each other, as well as in the organization they represent.

...

Share this now with someone you love :)

CONTRACT VS. CAREER EMPLOYEES: GUESTS DON'T CARE [VIDEO]

When it comes to who is serving them, your guests don’t know (and frankly, don’t care) whether that person is a contract employee or a career employee. They simply expect ASSISTANCE … from whomever is there to offer it. 

Guests make assessments of their experience based on the people, the place, and the processes they encounter. But it’s often the people aspect of the visitor experience that outweighs the place and process. 

...

Share this now with someone you love :)

Shaping Guest Experiences: Your Best Employees Are Your Greatest Asset

Customer expectations are continuing to rise. When bombarded with countless businesses and brands all fighting for their loyalty, customers are on the hunt for companies that just “get it.” People are craving businesses who prioritize authenticity, competence, and personalization over nearly everything else.

Placing the guest experience before profit margins is no easy feat, but those who are able to strike the balance connect with the No. 1 differentiator in business.

...

Share this now with someone you love :)

Spark Customer Loyalty in Seconds: The Art of Efficient POS Transactions


Modern day point of sale (POS) transactions take too long. Long gone are the days where you can walk into a store, pay for a candy bar, and leave – all while the same songs plays through your car stereo.

What used to be a quick and efficient customer interaction has been flooded with employees who are forced to plug swipe cards, apps, and other lackluster campaigns in an effort to retain your business.

...

Share this now with someone you love :)