In a recent article, SETI has a very important question to answer. What should we say to an advanced alien civilization? Our own communications industry thinks about “what to say” to people everyday and I think SETI could use a few pointers. Customer Service satisfied customers since the invention of the telephone so why not use some of the age old “service wisdom” gleaned from call centers across the world. Here are a few ways that aliens can benefit from customer service:
1. Recommend that the aliens switch to a Extended Earth Plus calling plan. Per minute charges for inter-galactic calls can really add up. Before they bankrupt their entire civilization from their daughters chatting to their Earth friends, they can enjoy the benefit of unlimited Earth calling. If they don’t call Earth that much, explain about all the joy they will receive from calling Earth, like psychic hot-lines, information, and even prank calling random names from the phone book that sound like celebrities, for example S. Jackson or O. Osbourne.
2. After the aliens call, attempting to widen their knowledge of Earth culture, transfer them for a quick chat about a new life insurance benefit or credit protection. The extra terrestrials will probably be irritated when they call to ask a simple question and we try to sell them crap they don’t need. But they will be thankful they have that credit protection when their home planet is destroyed by a interstellar planet engulfing space entity.
3. Credit them a free month of service when they threaten to cancel because Earth portrays their species in a negative manner with movies like Independence Day and V (the mother ships hovering over every major city was there to roll out a new cosmetics line). Free service from a company the customers hate works wonders and keeps them for life!
4. Limit the length of each phone call to an alien civilization. Short calls means efficient business. Anyone who has called customer service knows how much fun it is to keep calling back for the same problem. Why spend thirty minutes with one person when you can spend two minutes with fifteen! Even better, five minutes of hold music between each call! What better way for an alien civilization to be introduced to Earth than through hold music? (The real reason why the War of Worlds aliens attacked, they couldn’t take a minute more of hold music).
5. Advertise during the hold music! What’s better than hold music? Smarmy guys announcing deals during the hold music! Who says aliens don’t have solid reasons to annihilate humanity?
6. Of course, the call center’s true gift to humankind should be shared with the universe. Outbound Sales. The best part is that aliens don’t know yet that buying from Outbound Sales only encourages them to call more.