I’ll open a call centre. Let’s face it, part of being a successful author is maintaining a relationship with your fans and if you have so many fans a simple newsletter just won’t do.
Contingency plans to cope with overwhelming success are necessary and the Alien Noise Corporation customer service will be second to none. The ANC Customer Care Charter will look something like this:
Call centre staff won’t be simple drones, workers or employees. In accordance with modern corporate practice they’ll have a name, something that lends itself to a closer relationship to fans. Alien Noise associates will be known as Friendly Aliens. You will ring customer service and speak to a Friendly Alien.
‘Calls will be monitored for training purposes.’ No they won’t because they never are. In other call centres the calls are monitored so that line managers can bollock staff for not sticking to the script, taking too long to resolve an issue, or not hitting that month’s target to sell life insurance the caller doesn’t want.
Alien Noise calls will be monitored because we expect the odd nutcase to ring now and again. ANC don’t believe the customer is always right and we’ll have the recorded conversations to prove it. Eventually these calls will find their way onto a compilation cd and download, highlighting some of the more bizarre moments in the lives of our Friendly Aliens.
As with any customer service system you will be greeted with a list of choices when you ring for the first time.
Dial 1 to buy a book.
Dial 2 to book Toten Herzen for a major international rock festival.
Dial 3 to book an appointment to speak to the author and tell him how much you enjoyed the novels.
Dial 4 to report being attacked by a member of Toten Herzen.
Dial 5 to offer to give blood to a vampire benevolence charity.
Dial 6 for any other enquiry…
…or stay on the line to be held indefinitely in a queue that will never be dealt with.
For those without access to a telephone you will be able to write, email, text or contact us by thought, but these approaches will not be answered.
In time, as technology progresses, you may find your phone call being answered by a machine, but ANC guarantees you won’t notice the difference. The digital Friendly Aliens will have passed the Turing Test before they’re allowed into service.
Sounds good. Now if anyone knows how to sell millions of books without spending millions on Facebook ads do get in touch.
(Featured image is the Guggenheim Museum, Guadalajara. Photo credit Studio Asymptote. The ANC call centre might be similar in design to facilitate an alien environment.)