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The Zappos Experience: 5 Principles to Inspire, Engage, and WOW Hardcover – September 29, 2011

34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D., is the bestselling author of Prescription for Excellence and The Starbucks Experience. He is an internationally sought after speaker and organizational consultant who has been featured on The Glenn Beck Show and CNBC’s On the Money.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (September 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071749586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071749589
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Hello, I am Joseph Michelli a business consultant, professional speaker and author. I consult for and write about transformational leadership and ways to deliver extraordinary employee and customer experiences.

My 5 business titles include:
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,
Prescription for Excellence: Leadership Lessons for Creating a World Class Customer Experience from UCLA Health Systems,
The Zappos Experience - 5 Principles to Inspire, Engage, and WOW, and
When Fish Fly - Lessons for Creating a Vital and Energized Workplace from The World Famous Pike Place Fish Market (co-authored with the owner of the market Johnny Yokoyama).

I also authored one parenting book titled Humor, Play and Laughter: Stress-proofing Life with your Kids.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mark P. McDonald VINE VOICE on October 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
If you want a positive example of a progressive company, than this book provides a comprehensive view of Zappos as an example. In that regard it is a 5 star book about Zappos. If you want to understand everything about what make Zappos a powerhouse in eCommerce, then read this book. If you want to understand how they got there, the tough decisions they made, the failures and what they learned, then you will need to look elsewhere. In that regard it is a two star book. Joseph Michelle has written a book that is more tribute than teaching about Zappos, why it is the way it is and how you can apply those lessons.

Overall the book is recommended for people who want to read about the positive aspects of a dynamic and unique business. Those looking for a more analytical, balanced and critical view will need to look elsewhere. Michelli provides a view of the company that is more than overly positive and based on the premise that whatever they are doing is right because they are getting good results. The book would have been much more powerful if it had shown the discussions, trade-offs, decisions, false steps etc.

If you can get past the single direction and positive shout out tone of the Zappos Experience, then there are more than a few things you can learn from reading this book. First it is organized around the five main principles of the company:

Principle 1: Serve a perfect fit -- a discussion of culture, its importance and what culture in operation looks like.
Principle 2: Make it effortlessly swift -- A discussion of how you raise speed through having engaged and knowledgeable people.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Saverino on July 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In today's environment where people have become accustomed to being treated like "walking wallets" by the places where they choose to spend their hard earned cash, the notion of providing outstanding service to one's customers is not a revolutionary idea. In fact, Mr. Michelli, does not present anything revolutionary in his book. What is revolutionary is that an online company like Zappos can capitalize on the old notion of customer service turn it into a religion of sorts, prosper, and remain humble. Zappos' philosophy is based upon the notion of creating happiness, not only to its customers, but also by creating a happy environment for its employees.

Although many of the ideas that made Zappos successful will not work as a cookie-cutter approach with all corporations, the overall philosophy will. Regardless of what industry one works in, the philosophy is worth adhering to -- that is, selling happiness at every level, and never forgetting that the customer is always right.

This book is also full of great resources and interactive guides. Well worth a read!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tracy M. Vance on December 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a book report in one of my MBA classes. I LOVED it! The book is organized well, and the Zappos culture is very interesting to study. I highly recommend this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Karen L. Jett, CMA on May 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read this book for a client who asked me to use it as the inspiration for their staff retreat which I facilitated. I will be forever grateful to this client for introducing me to Zappos.

The book is organized around 5 core principles:
1 - Serve a Perfect Fit
2 - Make it Effortlessly Swift
3 - Step into the Personal
4 - Stretch
5 - Play to Win

In addition to containing excellent content on how to use core values to be distinctive, the book also has a website with additional information, videos, and resources.

Finally, because the book is about Zappos, where one stated value is to create fun and a little weirdness, this book is not a dull read. And yet, there is much to learn. Enjoy!

Karen L. Jett, CMA
Author Grow Your People, Grow Your Business
Facilitator and Creator of Strategic Plan-ting(TM) Workshops
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Traslavina on October 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Length: 4:58 Mins
Virtual review of The Zappos Experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Biologychick on January 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
this book was thought provoking and will change the way I lead my team. I appreciated all the links and QR code--clearly a good value add. I think the author could have made the book about a third shorter and still made all the same points. but this is a minor quibble.

this is an important read for anyone who leads a service team and anyone looking to revitalize their team.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SteveH on September 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Always the simple that gives you the best results. It is now time to put it into practice. Good read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Molly H on September 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Zappos Experience was an inspiring story about how Tony Hseih took a simple concept and turned it into a successful company. It seems like he took business back to the basics and expanded on how to value both customers and employees in uncommon ways in today's business world. And from all I can tell, he has stuck to those principles while making Zappos an enviable place to work and do business with.
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