The Michelli Experience

New York Times #1 bestselling author, Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., shares customer experience, leadership, and business insights from Mercedes-Benz, Starbucks, Ritz-Carlton, Zappos, Pike Place Fish, and many more. At The Michelli Experience, we help front-line employees, managers, and senior leaders deliver relevant and engaging service experiences. To that end, we provide keynote and workshop presentations, short-term and extended consulting services, and bestselling books to meet your needs.

This is the second installment in my series “It’s Emotional–Creating an Unprecedented Team and Customer Experience in This Pandemic.” This series is designed to offer tools to manage your emotions as well as support the emotional journey of your prospects and customers.

There are days in this pandemic reality that quite literally seem upside down. While disorienting at times, I am heartened by how core leadership and human experience skills resoundingly apply; particularly when those skills are tempered by some new emotional guidelines.

This is the first installment in my series It’s Emotional–Creating an Unprecedented Team and Customer Experience in this Pandemic. This series is designed to offer tools to manage your emotions as well as support the emotional journey of your prospects and customers.

This week’s installment is titled Focus on the Hole. I take exception with the overuse of some words these days, particularly when those words suggest we are powerless or helpless.

One of my least favorite words (which I intentionally repurposed) for the title of this series is the word UNPRECEDENTED. Normally when we hear that word these days, it is used to signify the magnitude of the challenges we are all facing. With regard to challenges, let’s look at what the word implies.

This is the 5th and final installment in my series Break the Glass, where we are looking at what you can do to deliver a positive human experience in this time of great business disruption. (Next week will start a new series on the role emotions play in customer experience delivery.)

Sales trainers have long championed the concept of ABC. Which stands for always be closing. They suggest that when presenting your service or product, you should always be moving the conversation to close the sale. In the context of our current pandemic, I would modify ABC so that it stands for always be connecting.

This is the 4th installment in my series Break the Glass, where we are looking at what you can do to maintain a positive human experience in a time of great business disruption.

Our focus today is on being surprisingly kind.

Prior to COVID-19’s disruption across much of the world, my team and I launched something we call the Surprisingly Kind movement. We are collecting and sharing stories of surprising kindness.


Thanks for joining me for the third installment in my series titled Break the Glass, where we’re looking at ways to take constructive action in these unprecedented times.

This week we’ll explore the importance of setting expectations for team members and customers alike. We’ll also link expectation setting to the third of the four key behaviors covered in this series – namely letting people know if and when you are open.

No matter what the status of your business – now is not the time to go radio silent.

Last week we talked about the first of four categories of constructive behaviors that this series will cover, namely listening to the needs and pain of your team and customers. This week we will focus on anticipation and I will link anticipation to the second category of constructive behavior, which is offering value, thought leadership, and kindness.

I have been surprised at how quickly some owners, leaders, and managers have lost their focus on the people who created their success. Those leaders certainly prioritized team members and customers when business was good, but due to panic prompted by threats of business survival. In essence, self-preservation leads to “self-absorption.”  

I want to offer a glimpse into a personal practice that helps me in these times. I truly hope that this approach will be helpful to you as well. It involves taking time every day to list and share the things for which you are grateful. Here’s an example of a recent day of writing...

This week I'm sharing lessons from the most challenging week of my career (and quite frankly, I had it easy compared to so many). When I’m talking challenges, I’m talking about leadership challenges faced by people I’m proud to call clients and friends. Let’s start with the word – leadership.

This past week I participated with phenomenal teams who stared into an uncertain future and led.

When lamenting unforeseen and adverse events, my momma Michelli was prone to say, “I would never wish this on anyone, but now that it’s here, what are we to do?”

Not surprisingly, during the past week, my mind has searched for “momisms,” “dadisms,” and the wisdom of the ages, to cope with uncertainty like none I’ve encountered in my lifetime. Leveraging off my mom’s aforementioned phrase, I’ve been reflecting on this question – what can we learn and do in the face of this Pandemic?

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