Wednesday, July 11, 2018

#14 Putting Customers into Bimbo Mode


Issue #14 – Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Posted by Denny Hatch

Putting Customers into Bimbo Mode

Peggy and I have taken six Viking Cruises, two of them with a high-powered estate/trust attorney with a major law firm in Philly and her husband, a retired surgeon.

Our lawyer friend—in her 60’s—once said, “When I arrive at the destination airport, get our luggage and see the people with the big VIKING signs awaiting us, I immediately go into bimbo mode.”

She knows during the entire coming week, the Viking team will take exquisite care of her. She won’t have a worry in the world.

The term CRM was no doubt originally coined by a bean counter: “Customer Retention Management.”

Somewhere along the line, CRM was softened a bit to become “Customer Relationship Management.”

Later I came up with CRM: “Customer Relationship MAGIC."

“The sale begins when the customer says yes”
This is the mantra of copywriter Bill Christiansen of Ellicott City, Maryland. Care and feeding of customers is everything. 

Christiansen was echoed by the late Joan Throckmorton, who wrote: “As direct marketers we’re not here to primarily make a sale; we’re here to get a customer.”

Viking: No Sticker Shock on River or Ocean Cruises
Free:  Wi-Fi

Free: At least one guided shore excursion a day.

Free: Wine and beer included with lunch and dinner.

• Often Free or half-price airfare

Free Goodies!

• Free: Worldwide Electrical Converter              •Free: Dopp Kit Bag

• Free: Leather luggage tags      • Free: Faux suede documents case

• Free Laundromat on ocean ships for smalls and wrinkle-free’s.

Free: Daily news briefings for each of the nationalities making up the lion’s share of Viking travelers.

• Port taxes paid.

• On ocean cruises dine in any ship restaurant at no additional cost.

• River Longships dock conveniently in the middle of towns and cities.

• In short order the waitstaff knows you. ("Your usual Grey Goose gimlet on the rocks, Mr. Hatch?")

• No casino.

• No children.

• No umbrella drinks.

• Premium cabins for returning customers.

• This very day Viking was voted the world's #1 Ocean Cruise Line by readers of Travel & Leisure.

Takeaways to Consider
• “The sale begins when the customer says, ‘Yes.’ ”

• “As direct marketers we’re not here to primarily make a sale; we’re here to get a customer.”

• No matter what your product or service, always think CRM: Customer Relationship Magic.

• Continually research your competition and dream up ways to make your product or service superior.


Word Count: 391

Note to Readers:  
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Invitation to Marketers and Direct Marketers: Guest blog posts are welcome. 
If you have a marketing story to tell, case history, concept to propose or a memoir, give a shout. I’ll get right back to you. (Kindly stay within the limit of 500 words.) I am: • 215-644-9526 (rings on my desk).

You Are Invited to Join the Discussion!


  1. We've always wondered if we should take one of these Viking cruises. You've just made that decision a whole lot easier, Denny.

    1. Thank you for writing.

      I will personally guarantee you will love it!

    2. You're one up on Pam and me , as we've done five European river cruises with Uniworld. They treated us so well on the first cruise that we've been "chicken" to try anyone else. Every cruise seems to get even better with service, like I'm sure you get with Viking.

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  4. The previous comment was sent too soon. The first sentence "Obviously, Viking knows its market and by difficulty believing that your description caters to it with full CRM flags flying." should have read: ...Viking knows its market and caters to its clientel with full CRM flags flying.

  5. Thanks for this Denny. Viking certainly has figured out how to serve real human beings. Too many people view cruising in the image of those giant Caribbean ships. Their science of pampering makes people become little children without a care in the world. At some point such service borders on vapidity.