I love the fact that we start with dessert first.
I love the fact that we start with dessert first. TrulyYourVA with Janis podcast guest Richard Blank Costa Rica's Call Center.
Janis Melillo: Good afternoon everyone. I am so excited to be here today. My name is Janice, and I am the host of Truly Your VA with Janice. For those of you don't know, VA of course stands for Virtual Assistant, and I am also a podcast manager. Go figure today. I am so excited to have on my podcast. Mr. Richard Blank, welcome to the truly year BA with
Richard Blank: Janice.
Janice, I'm so happy to be here with you today and to share ideas with you and your amazing audience. Well,
Janis Melillo: wonderful. Thank you so much. So I have so many questions to ask you, and before we hopped on, you know, I did make reference to your boxes. And before we get into the, the business discussion, I understand that, uh, you have the largest collect.
Of American pinball machines in, um, I'm gonna pronounce this, rock out, juke boxes in Central America. Is that, is that
Richard Blank: so? I love the fact that we start with dessert first. Absolutely. . I am an avid collector of retro pinball machines, juke boxes. Arcade machine. So I've created a gamification culture so the agents can meet people from other departments, let off steam and hang out with their hefy in the game room, old school style.
Janis Melillo: Oh my God. I absolutely love that. So that leads me to the next question. Of course. Um, you have a business that is, I think so, is underrated in my opinion, because, Why don't you start us off before I just go any further on what led you to be where you are today? You're in Costa Rica, correct?
Richard Blank: That is correct.
In Central America. Been here for the last 22 years.
Janis Melillo: Wow, and your business
Richard Blank: is Costa Rica's Call center. We're a bilingual dedicated. Nearshore call center that deals with appointment setting, lead generation, and inbound support. And so our agents here are brilliant college educated. They're coming to the table once again with structure and discipline by speaking a second language.
Mm-hmm. . And by creating a certain sort of work culture where they're synergy and I look to promote people and we invest in them. Our attrition is very low and our production is extremely high.
Janis Melillo: Wow. So, You, you were, you've been in Costa Rica for 22 years. What led you to start this type of business?
Richard Blank: There's really no blueprint for it, and so when I was in high school in Northeast Philadelphia, I doubled down on my favorite class, which was Spanish. So when I graduated Abington in 91. , I went to the University of Arizona, was a Spanish communication major. Mm-hmm. , because at 18, what are you gonna choose unless you have a predestined career and you follow certain opinions where people raise you compared to you raising yourself.
Mm-hmm. , I had to understand that I needed to be marketable. And versatile. And if there was a way that I could separate myself from friends, by being able to translate and to speak, I might be able to have a different career path. And so at 27 I was given a one and a million opportunity. It was only supposed to be for two months, and I came down to my friend's call center to train and teach English, and I just fell in love with it so much.
I decided to put my stuff in storage in the United States and. You know, throw my hat in the ring and try a life here. And when you learn a business from the inside and out and you're with the people, the proletariat, you can really understand ways to enhance the experience. And so in my mid thirties, I decided to throw my hat in the ring and start my own company.
Janis Melillo: is just so amazing to me. Now internal. Interpersonal communications conflict, Like in reference to like management strategy? Yes. Must of, especially with training, how many people that you've trained, of course those skills must have been like second nature to you.
Richard Blank: Well, I believe in manners and you and I have spoken off the air multiple times.
I believe that we were raised in, in. Fashion's from our grandparents and parents. So I'm coming to the table with agents in a very strict Catholic country. So it's very family oriented, even multi-generational family. So people do live with others that influence them. And secondly, I believe in empathy and dignity.
As long as I don't treat somebody like a robot or a number, I properly prepare them and support them. Why shouldn't I get that sort of positive reinforcement where people would wanna continue to walk with? And to grow with me. And also there are things that do happen outside the office that may affect their work performance here.
So as long as we take people's personal situations into consideration, I think there's a better chance to find sort of resolutions. And also solidifying even a better relationship cuz we were able to get through certain challenges together. Right. And so I really take it from a case by case old school basis when I'm dealing with the people that work with me.
Janis Melillo: Wow, that is amazing. So you.
TrulyYourVA with Janis podcast has accepted Richard Blank's invitation to join the audience for a solid discussion regarding moving abroad and starting a company from scratch in Costa Rica. Janis Melillo discusses with Richard advanced telemarketing strategy, conflict management, interpersonal soft skills, customer support, rhetoric, gamification, employee motivation and phonetic micro expression reading.
In a now all consuming digital world, Virtual Assistant's are in such high demand. From choosing which social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Clubhouse and many others; knowing how to hire a VA is just as important as to which social media outlet you should use. Did you know that hiring a VA will actually save you money? Janis Melillo is a Virtual Assistant, Business Coach, Ghostwriter, Author, Publisher, Speaker, Podcast Co-Host.
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.