MWACA August 2021 magazine cover image for website

Making Moves

Schertz Auto keeps spirits, reviews, and revenue high


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Don’t Hire Employees— Hire Teammates

Friday, July 30, 2021 | August 2021

Schertz Auto Service takes a hands-off approach to staff and a hands-on approach to service (and expansion)

By JordanWiklund | Photography by Bonus Points Photography

Group shot of Schertz Auto shop owner and technicians outside of shop

Just to be clear, in the “Car Guy” music video parody of Bon Jovi’s “Cowboy,” Schertz Auto owner John Long can be seen at a desk near the end of the sequence, right around the key change and signature ‘80s hair metal double chorus. He does not sing.

“I’m not really a Bon Jovi fan,” Schertz says, “it just kind of happened.”

In the repair environment, things that just happen usually don’t bode well for anyone involved. Not this time, however—the parody videos produced by the Schertz Auto team have helped put their shop on the map (in addition to quality work) and they’ve even used them to help recruit future employees, mimicking PSAs from the ‘50s in a black-and-white, “So you want to work in auto repair!” send-up from yesteryear.

That’s the easy (and YouTube-able) answer to what makes Schertz Auto Service successful. The rest isn’t so obvious.

“We’re guided by pride,” Long says, “and that keeps us motivated and our culture fresh.”


After years spent working in virtually every role of both collision and mechanical repair, Long knew what he didn’t want—a team under the thumb (and eyes) of the owners. No one likes to micromanage at Schertz— it starts at the top with co-owner Mark Roberts, filtered down to Long, and finally to the rest of the team.

image of Schertz Auto tech in toolbox in shop bay area“We invest heavily in our team,” Long says, “and we empower them to do what it takes for the customer. We’re not going to bend over backwards and give away the farm, but we’re customer-focused and customer-oriented.”

Guided by Pride

At Schertz Auto, the staff works hard on a team-based mentality, allowing employees to thrive (and provide premium service).

That’s what accounts for over 1,500 online reviews between 4.9 and 5.0 stars. One review cites Schertz Auto as “the Disneyland of auto repair” while another says its customer service beats Chick-fil-A. In an era when star ratings play a huge role in shop revenue, the ability to reach customers, treat them fairly, offer transparent solutions, and get them on their way matters. Long doesn’t want his team working past 5:30—ever—or on the weekends, so the ability to turn recommendations and repairs quickly supports the work-life balance so many shops struggle to achieve.

“That’s been a challenge for me over several years, actually,” Long says.

“I worked many long hours and weekends for a long time and it wasn’t just until recently that I stopped doing that. I’m working to be a better father and husband and spend more time with my family. I’m also working on myself more, too—if I can’t work on myself, how can I work on my team?”

Long reports losing quite a bit of weight this year and recently returned from a trip to the Bahamas with his family and one of the shop directors, and he says they also took people from the team with them in an effort to reward them and change their lives as well. Though most employees love the shop culture and feel valued and rewarded for their work, Schertz experienced some employee turnover recently, keeping everyone on their toes and looking ahead.

“I work at finding good technicians every day,” Long says, “and you always have to be recruiting. I spend at least an hour of my day recruiting, and if you put the time in, you can find technicians and/or advisors. Yes, there’s a shortage, but I don’t believe in that because I put the time in and our shop speaks for itself.”

headshot image of Schertz Auto Service owner John Long

Anything is Possible
Looking ahead, the partners of Schertz Auto anticipate significant growth by building anew or acquiring more sites, staff, and the culture, revenue, and service that come with it.


Long says that part of the shop’s vision statement is to be the employer and provider of choice for the communities they serve. They feel being the employer of choice supports them being the provider of choice. Happy teammates produce happy customers. Schertz invests in local communities through local high schools and their graduation programs. Long is also happy to report they buy quite a bit of Girl Scout cookies for and from their customers and that they’re heavily invested in their community through various projects and minor sponsorships. Roberts is pretty much the face of the business throughout the community and invests quite a bit of time to several local organizations as well as mission work in the Dominican Republic. Long runs all aspects of day-to-day operations.

Long is also a part of the Transformers Mastermind group and was surprised to learn upon joining about the sheer volume of high-quality shop owners who are not only rooting for him but willing to help; “It just befuddles my mind that some owners are closed off; some believe they have the secret sauce and don’t want to give it away.” he says.

How do you know you run a good operation? Maybe it’s when you join one of the premier 20 Groups in the country and change very little.

“I learned that we were further along than I thought we were; we had never had coaching before, and I was pleased to learn that flying by the seat of our pants seemed to go pretty well,” he says. “We’re doing all right.”

Looking ahead, Long wants to expand. He and his business partners are committed to building or acquiring additional locations, hiring more staff, and filming some additional shop videos.

“We’d like to have a little fun while we’re doing it,” he says, “so I suppose anything is possible.”