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Joseph Michelli          

Organizational Consultant & Bestselling Author of "The Airbnb Way" & "The Zappos Experience"

Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D., C.S.P., is an internationally sought-after speaker, author, and organizational consultant who transfers his knowledge of exceptional business practices in ways that develop joyful and productive workplaces with a focus on customer experience. His insights encourage leaders and frontline workers to grow and invest passionately in all aspects of their lives.

Dr. Michelli is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Nielson BookScan, and New York Times #1 bestselling author. His latest book is "The Airbnb Way: 5 Leadership Lessons for Igniting Growth through Loyalty, Community, and Belonging". His other titles include "Driven to Delight: Delivering World-Class Customer Experience the Mercedes-Benz Way," "Leading The Starbucks Way: 5 Principles for Connecting with Your Customer, Your Products, and Your People," "The Zappos Experience: 5 Principles to Inspire Engage and WOW," "Prescription for Excellence: Leadership Lessons for Creating a World-Class Customer Experience from UCLA Health System," "The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary," "The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company," and "When Fish Fly: Lessons for Creating a Vital and Energized Workplace" which was co-authored with the owner of the "World-Famous" Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle.

Michelli holds the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association (NSA). He is a member of the Authors Guild, an editorial board member for the Beryl Institute's Patient Experience Journal (PXJ), and is on the founders' council of CustomerExperienceOne. Other achievements include winning the Asian Brand Excellence Award and being named as one of the Top 10 thought leaders in Customer Service by Global Gurus. He received his master's and a doctorate from the University of Southern California.

Having journeyed with a close family member through a six-year battle with breast cancer, Dr. Michelli is committed to social causes associated with curing cancer and abating world hunger.

Speech Topics


You are not alone in wanting to deliver outstanding customer experiences. According to Forrester Research, customer experience elevation is on the strategic priority list of 92% of businesses. Despite that prioritization, consumer satisfaction continues to decline. This presentation outlines the difference between companies that “aspire to” and those like Mercedes-Benz USA that “execute to” deliver customer delight. It outlines the importance of leadership vision and approaches to inspire customer-centricity for everyone who represents your brand. Moreover, the presentation offers practical tools on how to integrate technology with human service delivery to create a unique, special bond with your customers.


Let's face it: the wants, needs, and desires of your customers are constantly changing. In this presentation, Dr. Michelli distinguishes between product, service, and experience-based strategies for acquiring, retaining, and driving referrals from your customers. Leveraging key principles from customer experience design technology, Joseph shows the importance of crafting a Way We Serve™ Statement, which helps staff members understand the nature of the optimal experience you seek to deliver. In this keynote, Dr. Michelli also demonstrates how to make cost-conscious decisions that drive customer loyalty and increase customer spend.


A Harvard Business Review research article suggests that customer experience initiatives are failing because they are not grounded in cultures of service excellence. In "Transforming Your Culture," Dr. Michelli looks at how brands like Mercedes-Benz USA create a compelling vision of change urgency, align leaders in pursuit of tangible customer experience objectives, offer technology and process tools to delight customers, and change the internal conversation to discuss the business from the customer’s vantage point. If you are seeking a fundamental shift toward true “customer-centric” execution, this presentation will offer a roadmap and tools for transformational change!


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. This presentation helps participants utilize essential strategies for seizing opportunities in a rapidly changing world.


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 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."

Pandemic-Related Presentation Topics

  • Better Than Normal - Creating Exceptional Technology Aided and Human Powered Experiences
  • Leading Resilience - Positioning for Success Beyond the Pandemic
  • Stronger Through Adversity - Lessons on Effectiveness from 150 Global Leaders
  • Coping With Uncertainty - The Art of Human Connection
  • Transparent, Vulnerable, Honest and Consistent - Communicating Humanity Across Technology Platforms
  • World-Class Human Experience - Excellence through People, Process, and Technology
  • Leaving Your Legacy - Creating Lasting Value and Impact
  • LEAD - Listen, Empathize, Add Value and Delight
  • Drive Repeat Business - Blending Safety, Empathy, Compassion, and Intuitive Design

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