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Three Business Solutions... One “Man In Green”

Vonage Business, Total Merchant Services and Spectrum Business

I recently sat down with Dick O’Donnell to hear a bit about his journey and his work. Dick’s infectious spirit and green approach are charming, but his work and attention to customer service really stands out. He brings a diverse background to telecommunications. Dick is adamant about putting his customer’s needs first.

"Yes, I need to make a living, but never at a customer's expense – customers must benefit much more than I do."

Q: What makes Total Merchant Services (TMS) and Spectrum Business different than similar credit card processing services and cable?
Unlike competitors, TMS nor Spectrum Business do not require a time contract. Within this open arrangement, Dick maintains an astonishing 98% customer retention rate. He takes great pride in keeping his customers happy by providing excellent products and customer service. In 2015, He lost 10 customers and within months got 9 back. The Grass was not greener on the other side.

Q: That’s great, but who would I contact if I have a problem with my equipment or services?
“Me! Contact me!” Dick said, “No, don’t look up your account number. Call me or shoot me an email – put the name of your business in the subject line and I’ll get tech support right on it if I can’t handle the problem! That’s what’s important, your happiness. This applies long after the initial purchase. I am always as close as your phone or email.”

Q: In a nutshell, what’s your career story?
After spending over a year in Salzburg, Austria and finishing his bachelors in Portland, Oregon, unlike most insurance sales people who start out by selling policies to their friends and families, Dick’s family was an ocean away. His friends were college buddies struggling to start their own careers. Necessity breeds invention, so he became efficient at prospecting. Accolades in his insurance sales career included membership in the Million Dollar Roundtable in his first full year and keynote speaker at the company’s national sales conferences all three years he attended.

Q: Your family was an ocean away? Where?
“My family was in Hawaii. We moved there when I was a young teenager to open a business.” After a few years in insurance, he returned home to Hawaii and joined O’Donnell & Sons. O’Donnell & Sons was the preeminent wholesale distributor of major cosmetics and fragrances in Hawaii and the South Pacific in the latter half of the 20th century.

Q: So how’d you get from makeup to telecom?
“My degree is in business, math and communications. “After 20 years, due to the changing retail climate, Dick closed the family business and shifted his emphasis to cellular technology. In the years at Hawaiian Wireless, Dick enjoyed the highest sales volume for Hawaii. He prides himself that over 2000 Hawaiians could get in touch with him by pressing *5 on their cell phone.

Q: Sounds like paradise. Why North Carolina?
“I’m originally from the east coast – New Jersey.” In 2004, Dick moved to Chapel Hill, NC to be near his young daughters and joined a startup. This completes the circle to marrying and going independent in 2007 with Total Merchant Services. Dick and Dr. Bebe O’Donnell have a blended family of 4 children, a daughter-in-law and two grandsons. He enjoys travel, golf, reading, Elon University athletics, family, and the arts.

- Elizabeth Lockley

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