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KeepCalling – International Calls Made Easy!

KeepCalling was established as an American business in 2002 in Americus, Georgia, USA and now is one of the fastest growing businesses in the USA, as listed by Inc 5000 in the last years. KeepCalling provides accessible and easy to use telecom services to hundreds of thousands of consumers and businesses. Below is our interview with Silvana Tatu, Managing Director at KeepCalling:

silvana-tatu

Q: What’s KeepCalling’s story?

A: KeepCalling’s story is one about phone cards, friends, a $100 start-up budget and ethnic groups in the whole world. KeepCalling is now one of the fastest growing businesses in the USA, as listed by Inc 5000 in the last years.

Part of today’s success is that KeepCalling was from the start a clear niche business for one, then two and more and more ethnic groups or expats who needed an easy and affordable service to contact their family and friends back home. And hence it developed naturally and fast because it knew what expat communities to address.

Our company was established as an American business in 2002 in Americus, Georgia, USA. The journalist Florin Miron, now the President of the company, was an expat in the USA working as a volunteer for a well known NGO. His own experience as a far-away caller, gave him the idea of creating a larger resource for others like him. He launched, on a shoestring budget of only $100, an online platform for ethnic groups, reselling PINs. In other words, he started selling virtual phone cards for international calls with all the attributes he was looking for in a product. It was simpler for him to build a telecom business for expats like himself, since he understood exactly what ethnic groups needed and what challenges they were facing in terms of long-distance communication with their families and friends.

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Q: What makes KeepCalling a good choice for expats?

A: Expats are really courageous people, very smart and adaptive. They will turn their back on you if you lack common sense. We like it fair too, and decided to be open and transparent, to have no hidden fees and no evasive marketing approach.

We welcome expats’ feedback, keep quality high and pay attention to their needs by offering them bonuses for their calls around national holidays or other important events. Our telecom experts do their best to set better prices and plans, like the unlimited plans introduced for certain popular calling destinations.

It’s all clear on review platforms. People choose KeepCalling for its customer care, the fast and easy ordering and calling processes, the low rates and the high quality, the transparency, the high security, the free features and the loyalty program, the regular offers and the open communication. Smartphone fans also love KeepCalling app because it’s free to install, it’s as easy as it gets, and integrates all important functions of the website.

We try to be as human as it gets with our customers. We’ve always put ourselves in their shoes. We’ve actually been in their shoes as expats, plus we are customers ourselves and we know what’s fair and what’s not.

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Q: What makes customers stay with KeepCalling?

A: There are people with us for 14 years. We are lucky to have hundred thousands of loyal customers. On review platforms, direct messages or social media channels, they talk openly about what they like, and sometimes about what they need new.

We think that our current cocktail of really low rates, excellent connection quality and smart features is what makes us trustworthy. People who use the service describe it as easy and fast, safe and caring. We focused on having an easy system with intuitive interfaces, easy to follow steps within a friendly online environment.

Besides the rates and the quality, the customer care team is what differentiates us from others. The team is made up of empathic, sensitive and friendly people, all with interesting and diverse hobbies and high education in different fields, from Engineering to Psychology and Literature.

So, all these are building the conditions for a long time relationship, where both parties stay happy. Retention is a key strategy for our business. This way, we get to know what customers expect from us and how we should do things to work for them.

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Q: What’s the achievement KeepCalling is most proud of?

A: Enabling people to keep in touch with their far-away families and friends, at really affordable rates… that’s the greatest achievement for us as people and as a business!

Of course, in terms of recognition there is the Inc 5000 listing which placed KeepCalling among the fastest growing companies in the USA for 5 consecutive years, with a revenue increase of 219% in the last three years.

Q: How many nations does KeepCalling serve?

A: We serve over 230 ethnic groups worldwide. Most of them live in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. They are expats, travellers or tourists, and a smaller percentage use the calling or top up service for their own local use in their native countries like India for example.

We offer expats long-distance telecommunication services on 68 ethnic websites. There are 237 countries where one can make international calls and 131 countries where expats can send mobile credit.

Q: Does the company have a CSR policy?

A: We have it in our blood as people and as a business to give something back to the communities where our offices are: Sibiu (Romania), Cochabamba (Bolivia), Atlanta (Georgia, USA). In the long run, we ended up focusing on 5 main life fields we thought important to support: education, social support, environment, sports, animal care.

Everybody in KeepCalling got involved in Kiva loans to support third country entrepreneurial efforts. The laptop donation program was among the first supportive programs KeepCalling launched for children with high potential and poor economic resources. Some of them are graduates and still use that laptop.

We have a long term relationship with OvidiuRo, an NGO co-founded by Leslie Hawke, that helps children with poor economic resources to attend kindergarten. Then it’s also Habitat for Humanity we have been volunteering for and donating to since 2012. We have been supporting Niños con Valor children home in Cochabamba since 2011. Since 2013, Hogar de Sueños, the cozy children’s shelter in Cochabamba, are our friends too. “Walk / Bike to Work” is an in house project launched by our Charity Committee to keep fit, and raise funds for school supplies. We’ve also been contributing to Wikipedia fundraising since 2010, as Wikipedia is an important source of information for our company.

KeepCalling resuscitated the Marketing Department of the University of Sibiu, Romania by paying the tuition fee for all 30 students enrolled in the 1st year of study.

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