Why did you decide to open a Call Center in Costa Rica? Build & Balance B2B guest Richard Blank
First question. Sure. Why did you decide to open a call center in Costa Rica?
That's one of my favorite questions, Michael, and I appreciate you asking it. I have to go back a couple years and tell you where it all began. When I was growing up in Northeast Philadelphia, a lot of opinions were provided for you and sometimes your destiny and careers were predecided for you.
So a lot of my friends were going to Ivy league to study medicine and law engineering and architecture. And I, myself, I wasn't really sure what to do, but I knew my favorite class was Spanish. So as a dreamer that felt a little bit alone because no one else could relate to it. I decided to double down and go to the university of Arizona and be a BI major.
I, I majored in Spanish and communication and like yourself, Michael, as a teacher and a really effective public speaker, I decided to study that. In addition to that, I concentrated on a rhetoric. So your message and delivery was more effective and everyone needs a special sauce. So my special sauce was phonetic, micro expression reading.
I used to like to study body language, and then here at the call center, I was able to do it where we're more voice micro expression reading, which we'll get to later in the show. And when I had the opportunity post grad to move here at 27, a friend of mine owned a call. I said, Richie, why don't you come down for a couple months and teach some English and naturally a 27 year old kid.
You fall in love with central America, tropical beauty. And when I was at the call center, I kind of shed some skin. I realized that I had a calling. This was an environment where people were using the art of speech. They were converting phone calls and giving positive customer experiences. And actually since English was their second language, they were fulfilling their studies.
I took to that. I embraced it. I decided to stay and work there for four years. So obviously I learned the business, but the one thing I did learn Michael, was I learned how to enrich the experience being politically correct. I saw certain things, the gripes and the tough times of working the phones or working in a certain structured environment.
And I realize that if people are given their dignity, if they're not treated as robots or as numbers. Besides the productivity, you'll get a much more fulfilled person working with you that will work longer with you. And in my opinion, in my goal will grow with you and be some of your future supervisors.
Oh, it's a great story and a great philosophy, all, all wrapped into that answer. So, and it happened in 2008. I mean, I worked at the center for a while and my thing came later in life. Everyone has a coming of age moment. I had certain stages that gave me an experience or a vision quest to complete certain goals.
But at 35, I started my company. The fact that I've lasted 14 years, a Philly boy here in another country. It says something. So I let my record speak for itself, but I'm very proud of the people that work with me. And my favorite thing is walking the rose. Michael, I love to stop on the occasion and listen to somebody, speaking with a client and smile and give a thumbs up.
And that's the essence of what I do.
Build and Balance Show has accepted Richard's invitation to join the audience for a solid discussion regarding taking a chance by moving abroad and starting a company from scratch in Costa Rica. Michael Neuendorff discusses with Richard advanced telemarketing strategy, conflict management, interpersonal soft skills, customer support, rhetoric, gamification, employee motivation and phonetic micro expression reading.
Build and Balance is dedicated to serving salespeople with 0 - 5 years of experience; and anyone who wants to improve their public speaking skills. Michael Neuendorff been in sales and marketing for more than 20 years and know what it's like to start out in sales. Michael has 25+ years of sales and marketing experience; extensive team building and leadership experience; teaching, training and mentoring experience and a proven ability to think creatively and listen deeply. Michael was a marketing director at Oracle Corporation, and an assistant manager of direct marketing at Softbank Forums. Michael has also been a top inside sales manager and a private English instructor in Tokyo.
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. 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.
Costa Rica’s Call Center (CCC) is a state of the art BPO telemarketing outsource company located in the capital city of San Jose, Costa Rica. Our main focus has been, and will always be to personally train each and every Central America call center agent so that we may offer the highest quality of outbound and inbound telemarketing solutions and bilingual customer service to small and medium sized international companies, entrepreneurs as well as fortune 500 companies.
We encourage you to visit one of our call centers on your next personal vacation or business trip to Central America’s paradise, Costa Rica. While you are here, we would recommend taking an extra day of your trip to visit breathtaking virgin beaches, play golf next to the ocean, try your luck at deep sea fishing, explore tropical jungles, climb volcanos or just relax in natural hot springs. Come and see for yourself why call center outsourcing in Costa Rica is a perfect solution for your growing company and a powerhouse in the BPO industry.