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.

The next few weeks will be “make or break” for retailers. With more shopping occurring online (particularly through mobile devices), brick and mortar retailers are looking for ways to get people to leap from their couches and into their stores.

Here are some things to consider as you build a lasting customer relationship based on positive sales experiences.

I often consult with leaders who are trying to develop human-centric cultures. In the context of that work, I have shared my view that it's essential to make it easy for compassionate and caring people to stay with your business and also to make it easy for ungrateful and scarcity-minded people to find employment elsewhere. Unfortunately, I have seen many examples where talented and positive people churn because the culture does not suit them. Wouldn’t it be great if your company was actually too optimistic and positive such that it drove the miserable away?

In this Thanksgiving week (where we formally take pause to give thanks), I thought it would be worthwhile to remind ourselves of the importance of driving a year-round culture of optimism and gratitude.

Wherever you get your news, you are likely to read or hear something about the role sales-enhancing technology will play this holiday season. There's much at stake for this year’s retailers with spending projected to break a record and possibly top the 1 trillion-dollar mark.

Whether it's the way Target will be using augmented reality to help families visualize the Christmas trees they will be choosing for their homes, how Walmart will be enabling shoppers to scan the toy catalog using their mobile devices to rapidly locate items, or Best Buy’s use of push messaging to give shoppers real-time discount alerts – technology will be a shopping enabler this holiday season.

From my perspective, when it comes to customer experience excellence, what gets rewarded gets done and what gets talked about also gets done. After 25 years of consulting in what used to be called customer service and now is called customer experience, I have seen the power of well-designed customer experience reward and recognition programs as well as the effectiveness of leaders who tell stories of optimal customer experience delivery.

My favorite example of leadership storytelling involves David Feinberg, M.D. and the way he used stories to (in David’s words) “lead a revolution to put care back into healthcare.”

Let me give you a sense of how far customers are willing to be tracked in the name of personalization and convenience. Granted, my example comes from Sweden, but I sense it is a harbinger of things to come on a global basis.

I am convinced that most people want to make the lives of those they serve better. When they fall short, those individuals often need help to develop a specific skill or the confidence to believe they will find better options if they persist. Customer experience excellence is a core competency, not an instantly attainable destination. Great leaders help develop that competency in their team members by navigating the nuances and complexities of human experience delivery.

Smartsheet (a solution provider that helps organizations streamline information sharing both internally and externally) announced their Achieve as One Alliance and I'm honored to be a founding member of that alliance along with others like Keith Grossman, President of TIME, and Nick Sinai, former US Deputy CTO and Adjunct Faculty Member at the Harvard Kennedy School.

The alliance’s charter is “to explore how organizations can bridge the gap between people and technology to drive greater organizational effectiveness and achievement.” In keeping with that objective, Smartsheet recently asked Engine Research to look at the relationship between communication flow, organizational effectiveness, and customer impact. Here are a few findings from that study...

If you are someone who doesn’t like to wait, writing a book is not for you! This week my book, The Airbnb Way – 5 Leadership Lessons for Igniting Growth through Loyalty, Community and Belonging will be released!

Given that I’ve written nine business books, The Airbnb Way was completed rather swiftly. Several of my prior books took closer to three years from inception to publication! I share all of this to illustrate two points that relate to social trends, collaboration, and project completion.

There are some fairly subtle and under-the-radar changes taking place for a brand about which, I have written two books (The Starbucks Experience and Leading the Starbucks Way). Let’s quickly look at five of them and what each tells us about the adaptive course Starbucks is taking toward continued customer experience excellence.

 

I am convinced that NO leader sets out to create a siloed organization; however, organizational silos are highly present, naturally occurring, and self-perpetuating.

I recently wrote an article for Forbes, which outlines key factors that collaborative teams should consider when they seek to innovate and drive customer value. Leveraging Airbnb as an example, I highlight convenience, personalization, and personal care as prime targets.

What efforts have you taken to breakdown silos in your organization? What's your approach to creating collaborative innovation directed toward customer convenience, personalization, and personal care?

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