Carter Services was recently featured on the Verizon Wireless website for our smart use of mobile technologies. The Carter Services team is always connected, bringing HVAC service to our customers as promptly as possible.
Scott Carter was in high school when he founded Carter Services in 1974. That was enough of a feat; however, not long after, the Torrance, Calif.-based company became one of Southern California’s top service providers for all things heating, cooling, refrigeration, electrical and more.
Back then, Carter would service appliances whenever he could schedule the time, mostly between classes and after school. Mobile phones were decades away, so he made do with the high-tech tools of the era: landline phones and word of mouth.
“When I first started, I just had an answering service,” said Carter. “If I wasn’t in the office, [customers] would sometimes have to reach out to [other] customers in their homes to try and find me. As you can imagine, it wasn’t the best system in the world.”
Soon pagers came onto the market, but while helpful, they still left Carter at the mercy of needing a nearby landline phone.
By the late 1990s, Carter’s business had grown substantially. He had several technicians in the field at any given time, plus additional office personnel – all of whom needed to keep in contact with one another. Carter was willing to try anything to keep his workers closely connected.
“We experimented with two-way radios, which supplemented the pagers,” he said. “We even tried pager watches for a time.”
Once mobile technology in business became affordable, Carter purchased a handful of what he calls “big, boxy Verizon flip phones” for himself and his crew.
“When we finally moved to cellphones, we paired them with handheld Palm devices,” he said. “That finally allowed our techs to stop lugging around big printed price sheets. Eventually we moved to Windows-based smartphones, which sort of combined the Palm and the cellphone into one device.”