Joseph Michelli

Business Consultant and Organizational Psychologist
Joseph Michelli
  • Bestselling author of five books, including The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary
  • Featured on television programs such as The Glenn Beck Show and CNBC’s On the Money
  • Delivers the tools that businesses need to create joyful, memorable, and meaningful experiences for both their customers and employees

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As an organizational consultant with an up-close view of some of the most successful and transformative corporations in the world, Dr. Joseph Michelli delivers the tools that businesses need to create joyful, memorable, and meaningful experiences for both their customers and employees. From studying such experiential branding pioneers as Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Seattle's Pike Place Fish Market, he is an expert in fostering the passionate performance that takes companies from merely serving and satisfying their customers to delighting them. Dr. Michelli's funny and passionate presentations asks audiences if they are doing all they can to create a unique and memorable experience for both their colleagues and customers, and he leaves them with the tactics and strategies to be leaders in the re-creation of the work environment.

Ordinary into Extraordinary. Dr. Michelli is the bestselling author of five books, including The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary. In this Wall Street Journal bestseller, he explains how Starbucks--one of the quintessential customer service pioneers--delivers consistent product and service to its patrons, reinventing an entire industry. In When Fish Fly: Lessons for Creating a Vital and Energized Workplace, Dr. Michelli examines how his co-author John Yokoyama transformed a nearly bankrupt fish stand into a world-renowned destination shopping experience. With revolutionary employee engagement techniques, the Pike's Place Fish Market was able to increase accountability and profitability by recreating the organizational culture and the customer experience. In his book Prescription for Excellence: Leadership Lessons for Creating a World Class Customer Experience from UCLA Health System, Dr. Michelli describes how to combine innovation, safety, and service to elevate and humanize your customer experience. Similarly, in The Zappos Experience: 5 Principles to Inspire, Engage, and WOW, he illustrates five principles you can use to "zappify" enduring success.

Delivering "Wow." In his book, The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Dr. Michelli outlines the principles that make Ritz-Carlton the gold standard in luxury hotels. He dissects and explains the rich Ritz-Carlton culture, showing how it reaches from top to bottom, creating a shining example of empowerment, trust, and discipline. According to former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, "Dr. Joseph Michelli has done a great job of capturing the five key leadership principles which Simon Cooper and the Ritz-Carlton team have been applying relentlessly, energetically and with localized creativity. Anyone interested in excellence in the 21st century would profit from reading The New Gold Standard."

More About Dr. Joseph Michelli. In addition, Dr. Michelli has been featured on such television programs as The Glenn Beck Show and CNBC's On the Money, and for over a decade he hosted an award-winning daily radio show in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has partnered with BusinessWeek Online to create a series of customer service-oriented educational videos.

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Dr. Michelli presents on a wide variety of topics and customizes his presentations for your business or organization’s needs. Before the presentation, Dr. Michelli takes his time to learn about your organization so he can interweave teachable lessons that are relevant to your group’s unique circumstances.

The Zappos Experience – 5 Principles to Inspire, Engage, and WOW. Culture, culture, culture! This presentation highlights tools that have created a rich and unorthodox service culture at Zappos. Against all odds this online business (known primarily for selling shoes in a playful and emotionally engaging ways) has revolutionized social media strategies, developed an environment which has earned it a consistent spot in the top ten of Fortune Magazine’s best places to work, created zealous fans, and attracted as a purchaser for more than 1.2 billion dollars. In this keynote or workshop, Dr. Michelli outlines the 5 principles leaders and frontline worker can use to “zappify” enduring success (Serve a Perfect Fit, Make it Effortlessly Swift, Step Into the Personal, S T R E T C H, and Play to Win). It’s time to integrate (not balance) work and fun. It’s time to benefit from the unique and effective customer employee and customer engagement techniques of Zappos!

Prescription for Excellence – Leadership Lessons for Creating a World Class Customer Experience from UCLA Health System. Imagine running a business that requires the innovation of Apple, the commitment to safety of NASA, and the customer service of The Ritz-Carlton. Further, imagine your mandate demands you are a world-class educator, your work product holds life and death in the balance and you are responsible for discoveries that shape the future of medicine – that is the charter of UCLA Health System and as such UCLA offers a view into a diverse set of challenges faced by most businesses. Borrowing from transformational leadership at UCLA, Dr. Michelli outlines lessons on how to catapult your business to preeminence at an unusually rapid pace, transform the satisfaction and engagement of your customers through a service-centric approach, achieve enviable profitability during economic downturns and re-design, elevate, and humanize your customer experience. Through the context of business principles like Commit to Care, Make the Best Better, and Create the Future, Dr. Michelli offers insights to elevating service excellence by consistently executing against the highest service standards.

The New Gold Standard: Leadership Principles for Creating Legendary Customer Experiences. In this presentation, Dr. Michelli examines how to deliver legendary customer experiences such as those consistently offered by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. The New Gold Standard presents cutting edge leadership strategies for selection, training, and retention of the “right” staff. It demonstrates how leaders and front line workers can drive staff engagement and ownership behavior that ultimately produces transformational customer experiences.  Expounding on leadership principles such as “Define and Refine,” “Empower Through Trust,” and “It’s Not About You,” this presentation examines ways to keep your service relevant to changing customer needs and shifting economic times.

The Starbucks Experience – 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary. By strategically focusing and executing on the details of the internal and external customer experience, Starbucks has become an employer and coffee provider of choice. In essence, Starbucks has become a name synonymous with coffee itself. While most people see Starbucks as a coffee company that serves people, its success is based on the inverse. It is a people company serving coffee. In this keynote or workshop, Dr. Michelli shows frontline workers and business leaders how to “stage” and perform on their brand’s promise. He analyzes the importance of identifying a desired emotional connection with the customer. Further, Dr. Michelli helps participants see the important distinction between “good” and “bad” profit (for example, bad profit is that made at the expense of the customer need). Using principles like “Make it Your Own,” “Surprise and Delight,” and “Embrace Resistance,” Dr. Michelli shows how to create the ultimate customer experience. Lights, camera, action – your experience awaits.

When Fish Fly: Lessons for Creating a Vital and Energized Workforce. Dr. Michelli helps you create a unique and durable experience that energizes employees and draws customers. Excerpting from his book of the same name, Dr. Michelli reels in the complete fish story behind the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle (where they are known for throwing fish and engaging antics). In this keynote or workshop, Dr. Michelli examines core principles like “Commit It,”  “Be It,” and “Coach It” which create Pike Place Fish’s uniquely vital and creative culture. A culture that leads to excellent customer service, legendary employee morale, a fun and dynamic work environment, and ultimately makes a “World Famous” difference in the lives of those they serve. This presentation offers a cohesive strategy for achieving world famous results for owners, managers, front-line workers, and customers alike. If Pike Place Fish can achieve world fame from a small storefront, with zero advertising in a smelly, physically arduous profession, just think what is possible for your company!

Service or Experience?  Defining your Way We Serve Statement. Let’s face it – consumer behavior has fundamentally changed since the third quarter of 2008.  While some business leaders have decided to drop prices to the lowest possible level, others have sought ways to add value to their existing goods and services.  In this presentation, Dr. Michelli presents customer trends verifying the wisdom of adopting a cost-effective commitment to elevating service and customer experience.  Building on data showing that even in these difficult times 50% of consumers are paying more for a better experience and 50% of customers are still leaving businesses because of bad experiences, Dr. Michelli shows how to strategically design a relevant experience targeted to customer retention and acquisition of your competitors’ disgruntled customers.  The experience design process begins with crafting a Way We Serve Statement to help all staff members understand the nature of the optimal experience to be delivered. In this keynote, Dr. Michelli also demonstrates how to make cost-conscious decisions that drive customer loyalty and increase customer spend.

Service Serves Us. Survival in business is rather simple. No company makes money or stays in business unless they serve the needs of others.Moreover, creating “craveable” customer experiences drive consumer loyalty.Conservative estimates suggest it costs 6 times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one.  When consumers cut back on spending patterns, it is all the more important to focus on customer retention.  Opportunities also exist to identify the as yet unmet needs of your current customers so you can offer solutions to address those needs and increase your customers’ desire to spend more money at your business.  In this keynote or workshop, Dr. Michelli discusses ways to innovate solutions that will enhance the life of the customer, such that existing customers spend more and increase their referrals to your business.  By identifying the drivers of loyalty, Dr. Michelli helps audience members understand how to allocate limited financial and staff resources for maximum customer experience return. 

Service is an Inside Job. Who delivers compelling experiences that draw customers?  The short answer is everyone in the business!  Dr. Michelli’s keynote or workshop challenges each audience member to take ownership in their workplace to assure long-term viability.  By making distinctions involving varying levels of employee engagement (owners, renters, and squatters), Dr. Michelli helps redefine the role of every employee to being that of an “equity generator.”  He demonstrates that every employee affects the engagement level of colleagues and contributes to positive or negative customer experiences.  Dr. Michelli shows how a single employee can change a culture, lift morale, innovate breakthrough products, create customer evangelists, and even save a business.  This inspirational presentation is an impassioned yet optimistic call for strong action in these turbulent times. It is a call for “rock-solid” execution of customer service standards.

Leading Staff Engagement – Serving Those who Serve Your Customer. Products can be quickly duplicated by competitors. Starbucks took an extremely ordinary product and revolutionized the way people perceive and experience it. The Pike Place Fish Market has not only changed the way fish are sold but has innovated a business approach referred to as the "Fish Philosophy." Just as Starbucks has transformed the coffeehouse experience, so too can you maximize your "ordinariness" for positive impact, organizationally and in your communities. Examine how cutting edge leadership and front line workers can make a consistently extraordinary difference -- on and off the job.

Roll-up Your Sleeves – It’s Your Turn to Serve. Creating extraordinary customer experiences is not rocket-science. It takes a grassroots commitment from individuals to listen for the stated and unstated needs of customers. Customer experience excellence requires staff members at all levels of the organization to look for and make changes in processes and policies that interfere with the fulfillment of customer needs. Whether customer-facing or serving in an operational support function, everyone is in the service business and Dr. Michelli helps participants link what they do to service objectives of their organization.

Change or Die! Securing Maximum Innovation and Staff Engagement. This presentation examines the primary drivers of change in the technological age. It demonstrates ways to establish flexible service and quality standards while encouraging the sharing of unique ideas and talents of employees. By making important leadership distinctions between "being" and "doing," Dr. Michelli offers a fun yet practical approach to infusing greater employee vitality, ownership and fun. It helps participants utilize essential strategies for seizing opportunities in a rapidly changing world.

The Road to Practical Innovation. Innovation is a daunting word. In this presentation, Dr. Michelli demystifies the innovative process. By exploring the inside (ideas of staff) and outside (benchmarking other businesses) lanes, Dr. Michelli demonstrates how your business can gain a competitive advantage in creative product development and service delivery. Dr. Michelli shows how to effectively elicit and implement staff-generated ideas while also looking for best practices both inside and outside of your industry. Dr. Michelli offers structured and advanced innovation strategies that lead to results-based breakthroughs.

Leadership - The Art of Lasting Significance. From Dr. Michelli’s perspective, leadership involves engaging people to do the right things to profit people. While much research has been done on leadership success principles, Dr. Michelli focuses on two unifying aspects of leadership greatness - positive influential communication skills and the ability to develop leaders who develop leaders. Utilizing a leadership legacy model, Dr. Michelli helps managers and leaders understand the importance of finding ways to know and engage what is likable about those they lead. Further, he guides leaders in the process of understanding that their influence is shaped by both their effort and by the scope of leaders they develop. Leadership - The Art of Lasting Significance takes participants through a process to define their own personal “Leadership Legacy Statement.”

Leave Your Mark. Why do you come to work here? That fundamental question is the foundation for a presentation that looks at the transformational power of work and service. By shifting the focus away from the task nature of work to the underlying purpose of a person’s job choice Dr. Michelli helps participants re-identify and ignite that passion and calling of the work in which they engage. Dr. Michelli guides employees at all levels of the organization understand how they can do more than transact business and instead how they can develop gifts and talents in the service of powerful transcendent goals.

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