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Last Update: Sunday September 23, 2018

Key Idea: Hire Entertainers

It's employees that create the truly memorable customer experience. 

Key Question:


The first step to hiring the right person is to clearly understand exactly what you need a them to do.  Put the job description in writing and include the qualities the person must have to succeed at that particular job.

Q:  What makes Boston Duck Tours so entertaining?

A: The vehicles themselves are fun and funny to look at. They are the opposite of high tech. They are a novelty and make us feel as though we are stepping back in time. They are painted bright colors and cleverly named. They make people smile.

However, the key to the entertainment aspect is the tour guides themselves. They develop their own World War II character and "stay in character" the entire time they are working. They are excellent story tellers; and, even though Andy gives them a script, they are encouraged to make it their own.

Audience participation is key. Our tour guide got us all to say "quack, quack" on his signal. We had fun doing it and the people on the street laughed as we drove by. 

Q: When customers act stupid on a tour, do you think it helps increase business?

A: Yes. Boston is a very special place, the most historical city in the country. It is the home of Harvard, MIT and many other very famous and staid institutions. The Boston Duck Tours almost seem outrageous as they drive the streets of this sophisticated city. However, they attract attention. People on the street smile and say to themselves, "I want to take that tour."

Q: How does a great tour guide win over the customer?

A: He greats the customer with a smile and a welcome then he transports the customer to another place.  He makes the customers forget their troubles.  He teaches them something they didn't know about American history and at the same time makes them smile.

Restaurant owner Bill Sugars says that he tells his servers to leave their troubles at home.   This doesn't mean he doesn't care about his employees. During off-hours, he'll spend time sorting through problems with employees. This means: our customers are here to have fun, laugh, relax and enjoy themselves. The employees have to "put on a happy face" to help the customer have fun. 

We suggest that providing service to customers over and over is emotional heavy lifting. Just as a roofer does the heavy physcial work of carrying tiles up a ladder, a service worker is dealing every moment with the unseen feelings of every customer. The service worker then can succeed only if they have the natural ability to interact easily with many different types of people who are all strangers.

Think about it

How do you hire employees now?  Do you have employees who face the customers everyday?  Do your customers tell you good things about  the way your employees treat you?

Clip from: Boston Duck Tours: The Money is Out There

Boston: Meet Andy Wilson, founder of Boston Duck Tours. A Massachusetts Small Business Person of the Year, he turned three passions into a single business – his love of Boston, his respect for early American history, and the Charles River.

First, he wants us all to know the history of this country's early struggles for religious toleration, freedom, equality, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Learn how such passion moved him to quit his job and raise over $1M to launch this dream -- an 80-minute, historically-narrated tour from an authentic World War II amphibious landing craft.

Take the tour now as we wander the narrow streets of Boston and splash down onto the Charles River for the grande tour Boston.

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Boston Duck Tours

Cindy Brown, CEO (Andy Wilson, founder)

3 Copely Place
Suite 310
Boston, MA 02116

Visit our web site:

Office: 6172673825

Business Classification:
Entertainment / education

Year Founded: 1994

Hire Entertainers


HATTIE: Are you going to be our guide?


HATTIE: Now what's your name?

"CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS": Captain Courageous, my lady.

HATTIE: Captain Courageous?


HATTIE: You're going to make us learn how to say `quack, quack'?

"CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS": That's right. We're going to do the whole thing here.

You'll see those people who are gonna be kinda gawking at us or taking our picture, whatever the occasion is, we have a mission and our mission is to put a smile on their face.

Group: (In unison) Quack, quack, quack...

"CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS": The quack and the wave go like this--quack, quack. That's all it is, two quacks and a little bit of wave. But we do it all at the same time so that way it sounds nice and loud. So let's all try it right now as a whole group as I toot my horn here.

"CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS" and group: (In unison) Quack, Quack.

(Voiceover) Very good. I think everybody did it. So let's get going on our tour here.

Now over here on the right-hand side is the second tallest building...

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Each duck runs five tours a day, from April through December 1st. This year, about 300,000 enjoyed the ride, grossing the business $4.4 million. Believe it or not, he had to turn away over 200,000 people. Named Small Businessperson of the Year for Massachusetts, Andy Wilson will tell you how a guy with no money and a vision in a very short time built the hottest attraction in the state.

We were lucky we had called ahead, because the tour is so popular, it's hard to get tickets. If you come to town during the summer or on weekends, buy tickets early in the day.

"CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS": Over here on the right-hand side, you're gonna see where the Declaration of Independence was first read to the people of Boston in July of 1776.

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