In March 2006, Craig Handley and Tony Ricciardi;teamed to create Listen Up Español, a call center to aid the under-served U.S.;Hispanic demographic. Today,
the company, one of the DRMA’s ;rst
members, has rebranded as Listen Trust
and continues to support the Spanish-speaking market. However, it’s recently
doubled its business by adding English-speaking agents to support English
customer service and sales.
Q What is Listen Trust focusing on now,
a year after its rebrand?
Craig Handley:;When we were Listen
Up Español, I’d get calls asking for a refer-
ral to a call center that does English and
I’d say, “You know, we do English!”
While some of our existing clients
were bene;ting from our English-language
services, it was challenging at times to
get new accounts — or even to gain
English-speaking business from existing
clients — that needed English-speaking
After the rebrand, we wanted to focus
on dedicated English customer service —
;ve English sales campaigns we took, we
generated two to three times the revenue
they were earning previously. If the num-
ber of calls and results stayed consistent
for a year, that would mean more than $15
million in additional revenue. Our near-
shore call centers are close enough to the
U.S. that our agents know U.S. culture. We
beat our competitors’ interactive voice re-
sponse (IVR) results and their U.S.-based
live agents in close rate, while maintaining
or increasing revenue per sale.
Now we’re focused on maintaining
and increasing our Spanish call volume,
increasing customer service seats and
growing English sales.
Tony Ricciardi:;What English services
have allowed us to do is twofold. One, we
can create a much more even balance
across the company. There are a lot of
peaks and valleys in Spanish-language
campaigns, so adding English customer
service and sales provides balance.
Second, it allows us to truly leverage what
we’ve created here. While we have great
systems and technology, it’s our people
that make the difference. Combining our
technology with talented Spanish- and
English-speaking reps allows us to better
service existing and new clients. That’s
also what the rebrand allows us to do.
We worked with an awesome com-
pany called “Branding for the People,”
and they helped us create a new name we
loved because it held onto our past and
moved us into the future. At the core of
our business, we connect with our clients’
customers and build trusting relation-
ships. This helps us achieve higher close
rates and average order values for direct
response and digital marketers, higher
customer satisfaction scores and save-
the-sale rates for our customer service
clients, and greater donor performance for
nonpro;t fundraising organizations.
Q You believe strongly in an empowered
team. How do you accomplish this with
operations in both Maine and Mexico?
Ricciardi:;Communication is core to
our company’s success. The bigger we
get, the more important the rhythms we
create in our culture become. Whether
every day, three times a week, or monthly,
Helping Clients and Employees
Reach Their Dreams
How Listen Trust increased the profitability of every sales
and customer service call by up to 300 percent, while also
expanding its team’s capabilities and opportunities.
BY DOUG MCPHERSON;
Craig Handley and Tony Ricciardi
Listen Trust’s services include both Spanish and English sales and customer service. The call
center teams are incentivized in creative ways to build a feeling of trust and teamwork.