Michael Neuendorff: I'd like to welcome Richard blank to the show today, I've been really looking forward to this conversation. I know you're going to enjoy it too. So before we get into the questions I'd like to introduce Richard formally Richard's journey as an expat is filled with many twists and turns. When he was 27 years old, he relocated to Costa Rica to train over 5,000 employees for one of the larger call centers in San.
With a mix of motivational public speaking style, backed by tactful and appropriate rhetoric. Richard shared his knowledge and trained over 10,000 telemarketers. In the past 20 years, he has the largest collection of restored American pinball machines in antique Rockola juke boxes in central America.
Making gamification of strong part of CCC culture. Richard has been the chief executive officer for Costa Rica call center since 2000. Richard holds a bachelor's degree in communications and Spanish from the university of Arizona and a certificate of language proficiency from the university of Spain of note.
Richard was the keynote speaker for Abington high school, 68th national honor society induction ceremony giving back to Abington high school is very important to. And as such, he endows a scholarship each year for students that plan on majoring in a world language at the university level. Richard, it's really great to have you here with us today.
Richard Blank: Thank you. Thank you so much, Mike. It's great to be here. Um, as I mentioned to you before I watched so many of your videos and they were entertaining enough where I was able to get through, 'em motivated me enough to write. And here we are today. And so I'm just very happy to be spending time with you and your audience.
Michael Neuendorff: Well, likewise, Richard, I, I am, uh, keenly interested in, uh, in your background and your experience, and I just know that our viewers are gonna get a whole lot out of it. So I'd like to just jump right in and ask you the first question. Sure. Why did you decide to open a call center in
Richard Blank: 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 we'll add 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.