AutoLeap Helps Small, Family-Owned Auto Shop in Florida Improve Communication & Increase Efficiency

Learn how Steve and Sons Auto Repair improved its overall efficiency and enhanced customer communication with AutoLeap.

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“Since signing on with AutoLeap, I’ve been able to decrease the amount of time I spend on administrative tasks by more than 40-50%. This translates into us servicing more vehicles and earning more profit.”

Steve Rodriguez

Steve and Sons Auto Repair

Steve Rodriguez, a 24-year retired military veteran, took a somewhat unusual route to become an auto mechanic, and ultimately the owner of his own auto repair shop in Melbourne, Florida. After retiring from the military in 2016, he quickly grew tired of sitting idle at home and decided to fix the transmission on his sister’s car.

“I screwed it up pretty bad, and brought it to a transmission shop,” Steve says. “Oh, [the shop’s owner] just ripped me for about 20 minutes, telling me I had no business touching tools.”

Undeterred by the scolding, Steve decided to prove him wrong.

“I told him, ‘I’m coming back tomorrow and you’re going to teach me how to be a mechanic. I’ll do it for free. I just need to get out of the house, so I don’t get divorced,’” Steve says. “I never missed a day for two years.”

An opportunity had presented itself to open his own shop and after being assured he was ready to do so by his mentor he opened his shop a week later and the rest is history. The four-person shop includes Steve, his two teenage sons, and one other full-time mechanic.

“If you’ve got a problem, I’m going to give you a solution,” Steve says. “I work hard to get the customer. The money is going to come.”

Why Choose AutoLeap?

After trying a previous auto repair shop software to run the business, Steve discovered the software’s interface didn’t matter as much to him as good customer communication.

“We learned that in the military. You can figure out how to click stuff, but if you can’t talk to your customer and be able to give them the information they need, then it did me no good,” he says.

Frustrated by delayed responses to his software questions as well as charging him add-on fees for needed features, Steve dropped the old software and decided to give AutoLeap auto repair shop management software a test drive.

They [previous software company] didn’t care about me. I was on hold forever. Now, I email [AutoLeap], and I instantly get an answer back. That’s customer service. Plus, the functionality of it is just crazy.

Steve Rodriguez
Steve and Sons Auto Repair

Key Benefits of Using AutoLeap

For Steve and Sons, putting customers first means communicating auto repair problems quickly with full transparency, charging a fair price for the repair, and sometimes working with customers on a payment schedule.

“I like to help my customers, because that’s hard-earned money for them,” Steve says. “They work harder for that money than I do to fix their problem, honestly. And I have to take that into account.”

“AutoLeap actually helped me adjust my labor rate, too,” he says. “I realized how cheap I was after I talked to other people. AutoLeap helps me see all the numbers.”

Steve says other key benefits of using AutoLeap include:
  • User-friendly interface that simplifies estimating, invoicing, and billing.
  • Kanban workflow management (similar to military style) streamlines the whole process.
  • Sending pictures or videos to customers provides better communication.
  • Reporting, scheduling, and job-status features improve communication with technicians.
  • Automated appointment reminders and text notifications to accept, defer, or decline the repair solution offer customer convenience.

“AutoLeap is helping all of that, because not only am I saying it, I’m showing it to you, then I’m fixing it,” Steve says. “If I’m charging somebody $3,500 to $4,000, I don’t want to tell them what it is. I want to show them what happened. I want to show them that broken wire or that dirty transmission fluid.

“We’re communicating with you all along the way, but AutoLeap does it for us,” he adds.

What Steve and Sons’ Customers Love About AutoLeap

Steve and Sons strives to build a reputation with customers as a trustworthy auto repair shop they can depend on, and one they can work with to afford auto repairs.

For instance, one recent customer brought in a 2012 Volvo after a local dealership told them they needed to pay $13,000 for a new engine. The actual problem was simply a bad fuel injector, Steve says, which only cost the customer about $300.

“It’s 1% (of auto mechanics) that makes us all look bad,” he says.

In addition to building trust, the automated communication and efficiency gained through AutoLeap helps Steve and Sons work faster and service more vehicles.

“I’m probably spending about an hour less per customer,” Steve says, since using AutoLeap. “Which flips around to spending an hour more on your car or the other customer’s car.”

AutoLeap Makes Creating Estimates and Invoices Easier

In the shop’s previous life, Steve says, it took the owner’s wife about 45 minutes to walk around and collect enough information to manually create a repair estimate for one customer. And things sometimes got missed.

It would take me forever to write all that out. And then you’ve still got to worry about if it’s legible. Man, doing an estimate in AutoLeap, it takes five minutes and it's done. It takes longer for my son to enter the customer’s information than it does for the estimate.

Steve Rodriguez
Steve and Sons Auto Repair