Messaging through a great international sales culture. Innovation in Compliance Network. Episode 25
Innovation in compliance brings you interviews with industry leading experts who are changing the way practitioners approach compliance. Host Tom Fox, the Compliance Evangelist and Voice of Compliance is driving the conversation about compliance into the 2020s and beyond with his focus on innovations for the compliance practitioner and the compliance profession. If you want to learn how to bring business solutions to compliance problems to more fully operationalize compliance, this is the podcast for you.
The Compliance Podcast Network is the only channel dedicated to all forms of anti-corruption, anti-money-laundering and export control compliance.
In this episode, I visit with Richard Blank, founder and CEO of Costa Roca Call Center on how he learned the business from the ground up, soft communication skills, effective, engaged training and the value of a VA.
Richard Blank is the founder, CEO, and head bilingual trainer at Costa Rica’s Call Center, a business process outsourcing (BPO) telemarketing company. They offer outbound and inbound telemarketing solutions of the highest quality. Tom Fox welcomes him to this week’s show to talk about Costa Rica’s Call Center, how they help their clients, why he opened a call center in Costa Rica, and how to lead a successful call center in a foreign country.
The Core of Costa Rica’s Call Center
Tom asks Richard why he decided to open a call center in Costa Rica and how the term “Learning through the Proletariat” influenced his business model. Richard explains that as a CEO who works among people, you learn the importance of training and keeping your employees and customers. “One thing that I heard most sitting amongst people that are in a call center industry is that they feel expendable,” he tells Tom. To counteract this, he invests in his employees' careers by promoting them and teaching them English so that they have pride and security in their job. Additionally, he has several retro arcade game machines that allow the employees to meet colleagues from other departments, and to relax, “or even hang out with el jefe”. He explains that this creates a safe, enjoyable workplace culture and an atmosphere of trust and institutional fairness.
BPO Telemarketing Outsource Company
Tom asks Richard to define a BPO telemarketing outsourcing company. BPO stands for business process outsourcing, and it is done in several parts of the world, including the Philippines where it is known as offshore. However, since Costa Rica is so close to the United States, it is considered a near-shore outsourcing company. “[That] could be either a blended or mixed center where they work on multiple accounts; usually it’s for overflowing and answering service,” he explains. Every one of Costa Rica’s Call Center’s agents is assigned to and works specifically for a client. He explains why having a brick-and-mortar call center is more beneficial for them versus being completely remote: problems like Internet redundancy and electricity failure plague remote workers, while at the in-person center, there are multiple tools and resources to hedge technical difficulties.
Nearshoring and Outsourcing
Tom asks why Richard chose Costa Rica for a BPO center and what’s the difference in having a company in essentially the same time zone as the US. Richard describes Costa Rica’s ideal location, and that it’s a democratic society with no standing army. In addition, the country’s literacy rate is 95%, and it has the best infrastructure in Central America. They also have highly skilled and experienced workers, some of whom have lived in the US and have dual citizenship. Furthermore, clients like the fact that agents are attuned to the North American market. It is also a safe place to visit for tourism.
The Innovation in Compliance Podcast Network Podcast has accepted Richard Blank's invitation to join the audience for a solid discussion regarding starting a company from scratch in Costa Rica as an expat. Topics discussed with Richard: advanced telemarketing strategy, conflict management, interpersonal soft skills, customer support, rhetoric, gamification, pinball machines, employee motivation, phonetic micro expression reading.
Richard’s journey in the call center space is filled with twists and turns. When he was 27 years old, he relocated to Costa Rica to train employees for one of the larger call centers in San Jose. With a mix of motivational public speaking style backed by tactful and appropriate rhetoric, Richard shared his knowledge and trained over 10 000 bilingual telemarketers. Richard Blank has the largest collection of restored American Pinball machines and antique Rockola Jukeboxes in Central America making gamification a strong part of CCC culture. Richard Blank is the Chief Executive Officer for Costa Rica’s Call Center since 2008.
Mr. Richard Blank holds a bachelors degree in Communication and Spanish from the University of Arizona and a certificate of language proficiency from the University of Sevilla, Spain. A Keynote speaker for Philadelphia's Abington High School 68th National Honors Society induction ceremony. In addition, inducted into the 2023 Hall of Fame for Business. Giving back to Abington Senior High School is very important to Mr. Blank. As such, he endows a scholarship each year for students that plan on majoring in a world language at the university level.
#RichardBlank #CostaRica #CallCenter #Outsourcing #Telemarketing #BPO #Sales #Entrepreneur #B2B #Business #Podcast #Leadgeneration #Appointmentsetting #innovationincompliancepodcast