Whatever it is it isn't enough

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Madeleine's picture
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This is what we complain about all the time...reviews that say there wasn't value in the purchase...

 

Usually, a lot is insufficient

People don't care how much you offer them.

They care about whether you exceeded their expectations.

If you want to delight, if you want to create a remarkable experience, if you want people to talk about you or buy your stock, the secret is simple: give them more than they expected.

If I walk into your store and it looks and feels like stores I've been into before, my expectations are locked in. Now what? But if I walk into your showroom and it's like nothing I've ever experienced before, you get a chance to set my expectations, right? Marketing isn't merely bragging. Marketing creates a culture, tells a story and puts on a show.

In our rush to get picked or get noticed or build buzz, the instinct is to promise more. Perhaps it pays to promise less instead, to radically change expectations and to reset what it means to deliver on the promise of delight.

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I didn't realize NH had a beach.  I need to look at the map more!

My itinerary so far... very much in draft form:

Day 1 (Partial day) Drive to Rochester, NY

Day 2 National Museum of Play (Children's Museum), drive to Ticonderoga

Day 3 Fort Ticonderoga, Ben & Jerry's Factory in Waterbury, VT.  Possibly swing through Burlington, VT, but probaby not. Stay somewhere in VT or NH.

Day 4 Mount Washington, drive to Maine

Day 5, 6 In Maine (don't know where yet, probably mid-coast)

Day 7, Maine / drive to Boston

Day 8, Boston all day

Day 9, Drive as far west as I can, by way RI and CT (and Plymouth Rock????)

Day 10 (Partial), Drive remainder home, hopefully arriving by 11 a.m. ish

 

Kathleen... I agree Mt. Washington Cog is expensive, but I'm going to do it.  And another friend recommended the Gray Line Tour in Boston... again a lot more than I'd normally like to spend, but probably the best way for us to do Boston in a day.

I'm trying not to overplan and stay loose, but the organizer part of me wants to know where I'm staying each and every night.  So far only the Boston lodging is set. I have decided not to even try to camp... which will save time and space in my car. I might try to find a cabin in Maine...

But I am starting to get excited about it!

=)
Kk.

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 Plymouth Rock is a real tourist trap....pay money to look at a rock that is roped into an enclosure.  Underwhelming for sure.  Really, skip it.  But, with that said, Plimouth Plantation is worth the time and $.  PP is a period museum with all characters in costume, going about their daily chores.  It is a smaller, earlier version of Williamsburg, featuring both a Settler's village and Native American village...teepees and all.  We have taken kids there and they love it.

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Generic's picture
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If you go to VT, we love this Chinese restaurant that serves family style, "A Single Pebble", it's downtown and usually needs a reservation. 

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gillumhouse's picture
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Vermont covers a lot of territory. Where in Vermont? Montpelier? Rutland? Brattleboro? Bennington?

Generic's picture
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Sorry, it's in Burlington on Bank. http://www.asinglepebble.com/ 

It's a very interesting location, it's like three houses that are connected on the inside. 

Madeleine's picture
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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

If you go to VT, we love this Chinese restaurant that serves family style, "A Single Pebble", it's downtown and usually needs a reservation. 

Burlington? Where? (What street, I mean! Not what Burlington.)

Is it where the Vietnamese restaurant used to be?

 

Generic's picture
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Bank street, right opposite the mall, close to the Church street marketplace. Don't know where the Vietnamese restaurant used to be. 

Then again, for breakfast or lunch there is Penny Cluse, probably one of the best places in all of Burlington, but it's breakfast.... I'm home for breakfast Smiling

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

Bank street, right opposite the mall, close to the Church street marketplace. Don't know where the Vietnamese restaurant used to be. 

Then again, for breakfast or lunch there is Penny Cluse, probably one of the best places in all of Burlington, but it's breakfast.... I'm home for breakfast Smiling

That is the location of the old Vietnamese restaurant. Cafe Saigon or something similar. You walked into the front door of one of the houses. I've never eaten at Penny Cluse. Just cannot get up early to eat breakfast. But I have heard it's really good. Maybe next time we're there and we have to get on the road early. (Altho, the daughter who lives there is now talking about moving out to Vegas near her step brother.)

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We go to Burlington most often now, since they have a Costco. We used to go to NY, but the Costco is too much of a draw. I remember the old gas station that was Ben and Jerry's, College at St-Paul. There was a plaque on the corner. 

I have to admit that I have taken MoH to see the Shelburne Museum and I should. We usually go off-season for a weekend and it's closed by then. Which is why we also haven't seen the Ben and Jerry's cemetary, it's down for the winter by the time we can go visit.

Madeleine's picture
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Never realized the museum closed! You have not seen the museum until you've seen it 4 times on school trips as chaperone. Save me.

Generic's picture
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We went to the museum today. It says that they close for the year on the 28th of October. I think the last time I was here was as a child. Enjoyed it, but it's a bit dear in price. of course it's half price for Vermont residents. Another VT rip off of us neighbours. (Lately the discussion around here has been about Burlington restaurants deciding to tack on a manditory gratuity if they hear you talking French... which is going to cost them in tourism dollars, because it's in every newspaper around here.)

Anyway, we took a day off and headed in the opposite direction. Back to real life tomorrow night. Smiling But the museum was fine. Now all we have to do is worry about dinner.

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The outdoor part does for the winter, if I remember correctl. Basically the season is until the end of October.

Madeleine's picture
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You know who has really pretty cabins/cottages in MidCoast with a kid-friendly atmospere...Harborfields. I drove over there a few weeks ago (I missed meeting them) but I took some great photos and the other guests I met were really nice. It's a wonderful location. The aquarium is at the end of the same road.

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Madeleine wrote:
You know who has really pretty cabins/cottages in MidCoast with a kid-friendly atmospere...Harborfields. I drove over there a few weeks ago (I missed meeting them) but I took some great photos and the other guests I met were really nice. It's a wonderful location. The aquarium is at the end of the same road.

Thanks for the plug Maddie. Yellow Socks, we do have some openings this week (7/7 to 7/14).....

 

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Harborfields wrote:

Madeleine wrote:
You know who has really pretty cabins/cottages in MidCoast with a kid-friendly atmospere...Harborfields. I drove over there a few weeks ago (I missed meeting them) but I took some great photos and the other guests I met were really nice. It's a wonderful location. The aquarium is at the end of the same road.

Thanks for the plug Maddie. Yellow Socks, we do have some openings this week (7/7 to 7/14).....

Ack! I'm too late!

You're booked. Maddie's booked.  Tipsy is booked. The cottage I liked the looks of is booked.

Besides, Harborfields, you take week long bookings... I'm just looking for a three night weekend (7/13-15), but obviously 7/14 is a primo night in Maine.  Actually, it is here, too. 

Whoops... Guess I'd better get researching and pick somewhere and book it.

=/
Kk.

Madeleine's picture
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Camp parents weekend. (One of two.) The parents all come to visit the campers.

gillumhouse's picture
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Take the Beantown trolley in Boston. You can get on and off at will all day. Go to the USS Constitution FIRST. The lines get VERY long as the day goes on.

At Fort Ticonderoga there is a (or was) small car ferry across the river to Vermont. It was my kids first ferry ride. It is still there - a 7-minute ride and it is not a river, it is Lake Champlain. http://www.forttiferry.com/page2.html  The Fort is great. Tip - unless you have a reservation somewhere, get a room no later than 6 PM I wanted to stop in Albany but it was 6 PM & DH wanted to go farther. Lake George - no vacancy, EVERYWHERE - no vacancy. We slept in the 5-passenger Jeep Cherokee - 2 adults, a 6'3" 18 yo, a 16 yo 5'2", a 16 yo 5'11', and a 12 yo 5'3". It was NOT a comfortable night.

Found the Old Town Trolley - hop on and off also and online tickets are cheaper - http://www.trolleytours.com/boston/rates-and-reservations.asp

The other is this http://www.allbostontours.com/body.asp?tour=BOS-B0006&page=TourDetails

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Wow, Kathleen!

I'm spending all this time trying to get the house ready (while I'm gone a group has use of my kitchen and laundry room... which are now both cleaner than they've been in a long time!) and you've found all this great info for me.  THANK YOU!!!

I went to Fort Ti the summer I turned 10 and I remember the ferry... it's definitely on my do list.  I'll keep in mind about the lodging... I might even make a reservation or two between now and when I leave!  It's weird that I'm heading for Maine and that's the part of the trip I've planned the least.  Madeline sent me a package of information a few years back and I know it's still here somewhere... hopefully I'll get to it tomorrow or Sunday!

You've gone above and beyond... and I really appreciate it! Oh, and I'll keep in mind the Constitution advice... I was thinking about which things I wanted to do first.  Oh, and I think the Gray Line Tour is the same as the Beantown Trolley.

=)
Kk.

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Fanuil Hall and Quincy Markets are at the same stop - a VERY good stop. The Hall is wonderful history for the home schooled (or anyone interested in history as I am) and the markets are an education in themselves. Buildings of booths selling everything imaginable. I remember it and I am not a "shopper". Glad I could help. If you go to Philly get the hiladelphia pretzles with mustard - sold everywhere and wonderful and unknown to me until too late, not expensive.

After we left Boston we went to Lexington & Concord on our way north. Our trip started at Valley Forge as we had been to Gettysburg but miss Valley. Then to Philly for 2 nights for the one full day - it was needed, then Morristown, NJ on our way to Fishkill, Ny (hotel). That sto[ was so we could go to Hyde Park (we also did one of the Vanderbuilt mansions) and the air show and air museum at Rhinebeck, NY. We did Boston, Lex & Conc, Springfield (armory for the boys & basketball hall of fame for Sheryl), then on to Ft Ti. We did not do much in Vermont, the Cog Railroad and dinner w/friends in Manchester and on to Maine for the windjammer. This was supposed to be a 4-week trip but got cut to 4 days less due to Daddy deciding to try to die from pneumonia - he didn't so we went ahead with the trip, Ohio was to be the first 2 days of the trip to see him anyway.  (He died 10 years later).

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 Not sure when was the last time you were in Faneuil Hall, but it's become very touristy - shops along the lines of Urban Outfitters, Ann Taylor and Victoria's Secret and restaurants like the fake Cheers bar and Ned Devine's Irish Pub.  The history is interesting but it's not much more than an outside suburban shopping mall.  

If you walk around the North End Church and the Paul Revere House, you'll be in Boston's version of Little Italy with a lot of Italian markets and dining.  It's more interesting than Faneuil Hall as a market, IMO.

Boston as a city is small and compact, and you can get to a lot of places just walking.  The T (subway) works very well there, and is safe, although it's a little confusing right in downtown because there is no central station like the NY subway system.  A day pass, which includes the local buses, is $11.   A map is here.  

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muirford wrote:

If you walk around the North End Church and the Paul Revere House, you'll be in Boston's version of Little Italy with a lot of Italian markets and dining.  It's more interesting than Faneuil Hall as a market, IMO.

It's a really neat area of the city- loved it!

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I think guests just expect everything and there is no way to impress them by going beyond their expectations because there is no end to their expectations. We did handstands this week for 2 guests and all we got on departure was that they had a problem with their computer connecting to the internet. We made 4 meals for them totally to their specifications. Left out this and added that. And the parting comment was about the internet.

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Madeleine wrote:

 We did handstands this week for 2 guests and all we got on departure was that they had a problem with their computer connecting to the internet. We made 4 meals for them totally to their specifications. Left out this and added that. And the parting comment was about the internet.

boooooo

that's what i mean.  and it's not to say that there aren't swell guests, appreciative of the least little things.  but the fussy ones ... who demand a lot ... expect a lot ... find something to grumble about ...

they remind me of a teacher who once told us (6th graders) she NEVER gave someone 100% or A+ on any test or paper 'because there is always room for improvement.'  we used to argue with her, if all the answers are correct 100 out of 100, how can you not give 100% as the score?  she would say, the penmanship needed improvement or there were smudges or some other bs

    we used to call her Mrs. Fussybritches behind her back

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they remind me of a teacher who once told us (6th graders) she NEVER gave someone 100% or A+ on any test or paper 'because there is always room for improvement.'  we used to argue with her, if all the answers are correct 100 out of 100, how can you not give 100% as the score?  she would say, the penmanship needed improvement or there were smudges or some other bs

the last time I ever busted butt to get all 5s (A) on a report card was the time I had all 5s and 3 of them were 5+. Daddy's comment was - Why aren't they all 5+?

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it's so very hard!

you want guests to come stay and you say look, look at all i am offering ... but you don't want them to have their expectations too high ...

but i remember being out straight, doing all i could physically and money wise for guests and they were ... how to describe it? .... content but unimpressed ... and i felt defeated sometimes.

i remember some folks staying across the way, complaining and grumbling about no wifi and i said, 'we have free wifi at my place across the street'  what?what?why not here then?  as if i had any sway with what was offered there ... had they looked at my website? yes, but they always stayed with buddy ... customer loyalty. 

 

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Very interesting article and something along the lines I have been hashing around in my head, athough his is far more indepth.  Now more to think about and determine just where the threshold is - providing enough of the details to reel them in for the $ leaving enough asside to create the Ahhhhhh factor.

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Value is such a subjective rating that I don't even know why it's there. Around here, if you see a room priced at under $100 in the summer, it's fleabag! There are places where you can get a lovely room for just $49 a night. So, if you are from $49 a night land, what does $149 a night mean to you in value? And yet, it might be perfectly reasonable considering what else is on offer. Can you really judge "value"?

But I do agree, don't talk up, leave room for you to exceed the expectations of guests. Have a few extras that you offer to delight. But that doesn't mean giving the house away.

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This is a great article by Seth.

If you offer sodas/other cold refreshments guests are delighted. The next place they stay they expect it or think there is something lacking at the inn. and so on and so on... Then, they stay at an inn that charges for bottles of water or soda! Now what! That one little item will sway their whole experience.

I always remember the gal from Canada who ran the very remote B&B in Costa Rica on her own and sold the bottles of water, which seemed extreme to most people, but she had to physically go through the jungle and 25 miles to retrieve these and so to her they were like gold. Same with the showers, the water was pumped up from the river at the bottom of this mountain, so to shower, it was like gold. She wanted people to realize the expense and effort of these items, and so charged accordingly.

Our value on something is not always accurate. You have had guests or know people who do not give a rip about anything, any effort, any additional amenities, they expect them or the more you give the more they take.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

If you offer sodas/other cold refreshments guests are delighted. The next place they stay they expect it or think there is something lacking at the inn. and so on and so on... Then, they stay at an inn that charges for bottles of water or soda! Now what! That one little item will sway their whole experience.

Yet the same guest would NOT expect the same treatment at every hotel.  We are put on a different pedestel while they know we are all unique. 

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copperhead wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

If you offer sodas/other cold refreshments guests are delighted. The next place they stay they expect it or think there is something lacking at the inn. and so on and so on... Then, they stay at an inn that charges for bottles of water or soda! Now what! That one little item will sway their whole experience.

Yet the same guest would NOT expect the same treatment at every hotel.  We are put on a different pedestel while they know we are all unique. 

Unique rocks!

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its what hacks me off with 4 in a bed sometimes - remote bb in highlands of scotland very little tourist trade and is a low rate and you have to have everything to beat the competition

Another bb in central london where property prices are sky high means you will pay twice as much for less ie $200 is cheap so you have to reflect the value in relation to the cost - ie room in wimbledon during the tennis or monticarlo during the Formula one - ie for the red bull team it was cheaper to build a barge and have it on the water than stay in a hotel!

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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

its what hacks me off with 4 in a bed sometimes - remote bb in highlands of scotland very little tourist trade and is a low rate and you have to have everything to beat the competition

Another bb in central london where property prices are sky high means you will pay twice as much for less ie $200 is cheap so you have to reflect the value in relation to the cost - ie room in wimbledon during the tennis or monticarlo during the Formula one - ie for the red bull team it was cheaper to build a barge and have it on the water than stay in a hotel!

I hear ya! I always say "a Motel 6 in NY is $200 a night, elsewhere the same stinky generic chain is $29 bucks."

I know another innkeeper here and myself seriousely considered buying an inn in the White Mountains of NH (N Conway area) and when I was there I was blown away by the room rates, there was so much competition, in it's hey day before the economic crash they were $89 for the whole she-bang. It was ridiculous! And each inn had to offer more and more to keep up.  And yet, they were swamped, had plenty of guests to go round.

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I am still surprised by the extremely low rates in NH. The motels here are up to $69/night. It IS a big leap to think that you're going to get an additional $100 in experience by staying here. The person who doesn't make that leap is going strictly on price.

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Madeleine wrote:

I am still surprised by the extremely low rates in NH. The motels here are up to $69/night. It IS a big leap to think that you're going to get an additional $100 in experience by staying here. The person who doesn't make that leap is going strictly on price.

Because who goes to NH?

I'm planning my New England trip (since it's next week, I guess I'd better get around to it) and except that Mount Washington is there I know very little about NH.  My kids want to see the ocean!

=)
Kk.

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15 years ago (when we lived there), I could have told you all about neat, beautiful places to go. Now, I bet it's just grown into that urban sprawl combining with Boston and Nashua.  Sad

I'd recommend the Boston Children's Museum of Science. However, it's been 15 years since I've been there, too... I'm guessing it's changed slightly Eye-wink

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It is pricey BUT a once in a lifetime experience - take the cog railroad to the top of Mt Washington. there is a little cafe at the top as well as the weather station. We went in 1986 taking 4 of the 2-legged animals with us and it was $25 per person with no guarantee of view. Just looked (gulp) it will be $62 for you and $39 each for the DS. IF you can swing it, I would still do it. (The $25 per was huge for us at the time but no regrets.)

We also got to see the Man on the Mountain but I understand he has fallen off since then.

There was an outlet mall with a Van Husen store at Portsmouth (the store I remember) back then. Beautiful scenery. They have lots of Kids & Family events on their web site.

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NH is a state I have ignored almost all of my life! However, there is cheap beach in NH. BUT, it's honky tonk beach, so maybe not completely suitable for kids. (Bars, lots of drinking, semi-nudity off the beach, that sort of thing.)

Have you decided where you're going?

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Madeleine wrote:

...Bars, lots of drinking, semi-nudity off the beach, that sort of thing....

 Do you have GPS coordinates you can share?

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Hampton Beach.

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