May 15, 2019
Anthony Kuhn – Customer Service Outsourcing in the Philippines
May 15, 2019
We are joined by Anthony Kuhn of 247CSR. We deep dive into 247 CSR and what they do and their value proposition for you as a prospective client. Find out how you can leverage outsourcing for your business.
Derek Gallimore: Welcome to the Outsource Accelerator podcast. This is a short format podcast where we explore business and outsourcing mastery. My name is Derek Gallimore and I am really excited to bring you the leading podcast in outsourcing.
Derek Gallimore: Alright, and welcome to another episode of the Outsource Accelerator podcast. My name is Derek Gallimore and this is episode number 233. So today I have Anthony Kuhn, back of 247 CSR, Anthony has been in the country, 17 years. He’s a guy from the US. and funny enough, we live incredibly close to each other. We live basically one apartment block away. What are the chances. Anthony is a great guy. We actually listened to his origin story back in episode 220. Today we deep dive into 247 CSR and what they do and their value proposition for you as a prospective client. it’s a good episode and I learned a lot. So if you want the show notes or to know any more, go to outsourceaccelerator.com/233 enjoy.
Derek Gallimore: Hi and welcome back everybody today. I’m super excited to be joined by Anthony. Kuhn again of 247 CSR. Hi Anthony, how are you?
Anthony Kuhn: Great, thank you very much.
Derek Gallimore: We are actually close neighbors when we realize this. We live in the same neighborhood, which is, which is quite exciting. and I’m happy to have you here we are talking about your outsourcing service or BPOs. We referred to it here, 247 CSR. Now, this isn’t as my listeners nervous moment infomercial. It’s about seeing the value out there, seeing what is vulnerable for our day and how it can leverage help business owners, business people can leverage it for their business. So, thank you for joining me. I suppose initially to just give a super brief info intro as to how you found yourself here in the Philippines.
Anthony Kuhn: Yeah, coming to the Philippines was primarily on vacation like many other people, soon as I landed it was great weather and I’ve never been outside of the US before. so when I came over here, I just love the country. I love the people. it was always an exciting experience. but then at a certain point in time I’m like, you know what, I like to stay here for a long time. When I’d like to develop a business concept, I knew a lot of people back home. I seen that at that point in time is wouldn’t be outsourcing business was just you starting to get going. but I, I was pretty much a mom and pop shop as my wife works with me as well in this business. And once we started picking up a few more clients, everything just started snowballing from there and we just kept fantastic.
Derek Gallimore: Fantastic and so it’s 247 CSR, which implies that there’s more of the customer service element to it. What, what, where is your sweet spot and what do you specialize in?
Anthony Kuhn: Customer service representative? CSR, I mean, that was primarily what we said is we can help answer your phones for a give you peace of mind. instant communications as we know, there’s so many different platforms where we can communicate directly with the clients back in the US, being, you know, Viber, SMS messages. We even have our own system platform set up where we can transfer calls directly from our, center directly to the client no matter where they are sort of, it’s very helpful.
Derek Gallimore: Fantastic. And so people out there, there’s a lot of businesses that I think, I don’t think there’s any business that wouldn’t benefit from, from most sales, more customer outreach, more happier customers. but they don’t realize there’s quite a lot of the mechanics behind call centers and now found inbound. and you’ve been in this game now for 17 years and there’s probably a lot of people in business that really don’t have as much insight, but what does it take to put together a business, that specializes in this customer service? You’ve got your own CRM, you’ve got your own phone systems, et cetera.
Anthony Kuhn: Yeah, we, we, we quickly found out after using different suppliers that we could develop our own system. So we want to have to keep changing. And so we ended up, the only thing on our own live chat system, it’s our own phone systems. We have, we offer, all our clients are free CRM. If they want to no extra charge, we’ll go ahead and we’ll build it for them. so everything really worked out being nice that way once we can develop all our own internal platforms. And that also allowed us to keep our price now because we weren’t competing, and purchasing other products so they can then pass that savings onto our client.
Derek Gallimore: That’s right. And if, if people interests in outsourcing I’m hoping that everyone listens, starts outsourcing journey because I think there’s just too good to ignore if they have a chat to you, better, you know, in any business, any line of business, how do you suggest people get in and get started?
Anthony Kuhn: It, most people nowadays, and we’re looking at, individual entrepreneurs, people that started their website. and there’s just so many people that are out there right now that are doing the same thing. But then what they do is they find themselves over the occupied. They can’t answer their phones all the time. They are so going out on sales and meeting people. so that’s where our original need was a hey look, we can definitely handle all of your communications, keep your clients up to date, communicate with you on a 24, seven basis and, and, and let you focus on your core task that you focus on your core business and build your business and use those as your background to having to manage everything for you. That peace of mind, you have no worries with that.
Derek Gallimore: And, what are some of the core task that you specialize in? Would you suggest what a, and the businesses out there, what should they outsource? What can they outsource properly? What can’t they outsource?
Anthony Kuhn: yeah, one of the most of everything is communication with their clients. Like I said, they’re not, and not everybody can be online 24 hours a day. so having their phones with us, they can keep all their own phone numbers. They basically keep everything. Most everybody has a website. And then on that website there is communication tools, there’s the phone, email, live chat, ticketing systems, help desks. So what we do is we’d go in and meet man, that forum. We learn what their client, we do the training, everything’s done either via video conference and or sometimes we do have clients coming over and they want to work with us. and then it’s usually within less than a week, depending on the size of the business. It’s more of that, more as just a couple of days. Once we developed everything and we’ve ironed out the communications as far as how the phones are going to go back and forth, accessing securely into their system.
Anthony Kuhn: We have a very secure network. Everything gets white listed because they’re worried about security. So everything’s on the accessible through our office and directly to their backhand systems. some people come with larger members websites. The security was always a big task and a big concern for a lot of people. But we’ve got a very good grasp on our network. So one of the barrier of entries I think I also explained to earlier as people are like, oh, how much is this going to cost me? Even though they believe they’re going to be outsourcing and saving some money, they’re scared, they’re worried as they’re so large up front costs might have to pay this much money to get this thing started where we’ve just eliminated that were more worker just to contact us and say, hey look, can you guys manage this for us? We’ll speak with who will get it going.
Anthony Kuhn: And I think that’s the biggest concern for a lot of people that want to outsource something. They don’t want to come up with thousands of dollars just to sign a piece of paper. Just tell us what you need, we’ll evaluate it. We think we can get it going on. And I feel a quick, small, a one time down payment and then they can see it going and they weren’t happy with the business, which I haven’t actually had anybody not be happy with. The service will be more than happy to disconnect it and give that back to them. but again, I’ve never had anybody saying, hey, this isn’t working out for me. Uh,
Derek Gallimore: and how did the pricing structures work then? You know, there are, there are different pricing structurings does it work out to an hourly wage or is it a you pay the salaries and then service fee on top, whatever we find the most effective?
Anthony Kuhn: Everything for us is inclusive, unless it can be a very specific deal. We generally quote people, US dollars, Australian dollars. So the prices can range usually from for US dollars an hour depending on the work were, we never really were in a certain, and we’re actually on the lower range for most of our clients. but then includes phones, agents, management office, everything’s really all inclusive. So most of our clients come in is until we’ve established a relationship with them. We do usually have prepaid and if they’ve been with us for six months and we have a great relationship, then we usually working to a 30 day after that will be more than happy to do the work. And then it’s billable.
Derek Gallimore: Right, I have a bit of an education kind of a, or maybe even a soapbox. You get a lot of these smaller entrepreneurs that kind of the, they use the VAs, they’re into upwork, they’re into freelancer and they think that is the, the be all and end all about sourcing. And I’m trying to tell people that there’s this bigger horizon out there on this professional services within BPO suppliers. How do you sort of answered that and where is the point of difference
Anthony Kuhn: A lot of people they know because they’ve been looking online that they’re looking for an executive assistant or virtual assistant, somebody to do something and there isn’t an unlimited amount of people that will be more than willing to do the job. The trick is if somebody is working from home, they just don’t have the infrastructure and, or they don’t have a management, they don’t have the training. so coming with our office, it really solves, those issues. There’s just having the right people and most of our people that have been with us for a long period of time have the experience. And then it comes also with the management and making sure I understand when people understand fully what the client’s looking for and then having the communication working out seamlessly so there’s no skip communications, what the client needs without, over, communicating too much with the client. They’re like pretty much handle this for me. Let’s get it set up. And then it’s almost a plug and play operation.
Derek Gallimore: Super exciting, and you are based outside of Manila. A lot of people maybe only considered Manila, but there’s, you know, there’s a whole country out there, there’s about a thousand islands
Anthony Kuhn: 1700 Islands
Derek Gallimore: 1700 islands and, and, you are based a little bit out of Manila. And with that comes, the opportunities of having keener price. When you see some of the pros and cons of being in Batangas City, where you’re based, why, what’s some of the opportunities for the clients to access?
Anthony Kuhn: So we started here, I’m actually here in Metro Manila and actually our sales offices in this building right here. but what happened as awesome, oh, so many companies came in. It did drive the price up quite a bit. And like many metropolises, you have, bad seasons of weather. Sometimes you have a lot of traffic. so as it, as it wasn’t going that route, we made the choice to say, Hey, look, we believe we can bring this outside of Metro Manila. so we were having a lot of agents that were coming and going and bouncing around to different places, but once we moved at the time, the city, we ended up having a lot more retention with our agents. So they enjoy it that we were, hey, we’re one of the bigger centers there basically. And so when you have those voices and you find the good employees, you keep them. So definitely one of the pros of being in my area is a lack of competition. We’re only 90 minutes south of Metro Manila, but the infrastructure is basically the same. And then let people are more loyal to us. At our company, we don’t really have a lot of turnover. Our attendance rate is usually a 98%. So we’re not having people saying they can’t come to work because it rained and they can’t get out of their house.
Derek Gallimore: And these are very real factors of managing a team, isn’t it? You’ve got attendance and churn isn’t
Anthony Kuhn: More of alliance. So one of a smaller client comes in and they’ll say they only had one person. We actually have to have a double trained a person on that account. So there’s always two people available. So that way if that person for whatever reasons had, oh, I couldn’t come to work that they know, we understand that. And then we learned from that and there’s always somebody there and another person as well as the manager of the accounts as well. so you don’t, you can’t just say her client off. Sorry, somebody haven’t showed the work today. We couldn’t do your work. Then my clients are going to accept that at all. but we’re well, well prepared for that and are, like I said, our attendance rate is just very high end.
Derek Gallimore: Okay. And, so what is the, how does it work in terms of allocation of staffing then? Is it a highest someone in their advocate to, to you or make you more performing a function supporting the client? and it’s not necessarily asserted time to necessarily one person or another.
Anthony Kuhn: Yeah, so there’s, it’s a trick because a lot of people watching this may say, hey, I don’t have enough business just yet, where I need a dedicated staff. So we started the shared support groups or shared support group also handles multiple clients, smaller clients. Because if you go into a dedicated agents, unless you have a dedicated cost, you $700 a month, you can come into the smaller group and then you could, as we help you build your business and you’re freed up on your resources and you can go make more sales and we can help you with them as well. It allows the people to come in with less of a barrier. So the staff is really the key. And then again, I can’t stress enough having longterm staff and key staff, a proper Internet, easy communication tools with the client. It makes everything so much easier.
Derek Gallimore: Absolutely. Fantastic. And so if anyone wants to get in touch with you, if anyone wants to learn more, and how, how, what’s your typical engagement with a client? How to add up people sort of make that first step?
Anthony Kuhn: Usually they’ll just either send an email, we’ll come to our website, they’ll fill in a form, the live chat with us. Our staff are online 247 as a, as the name represents that gets forwarded or we’re going to be directly and then out the first one I pick up the phone and I’ll speak to the client. I’ll call them up late at night depending on where they’re at in the world. But yeah, I just communicate directly with the client. So if a video call or a voice call, speak with their needs, evaluate their website, then 48 hours we can get them off and going.
Derek Gallimore: Fantastic. Thanks so much. And of course if anyone wants to learn more or contact you, how can the do that. Okay,
Anthony Kuhn: They can either go to our website directly 247csr.com and they can also hit me on the, directly to Skype, Viber or whatsapp, Facebook, any other way. Communication’s not a problem, but the main is 247CSR.com.
Derek Gallimore: Fantastic. And we’ll have a little of that in the show notes.
Derek Gallimore: Okay. That was Anthony Kuhn, the founder of 24/7 CSR or 247 CSR. If you want to get in touch with Anthony or know any more about this episode, go to our show notes, which is an outsourceaccelerator.com/233 and as always, if you want to ask us anything and then just drop some email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. See you next time.