As I grow older, I have found that my choices in dining out have changed considerably. When I was in college, fast food, delivered pizza, and family dining establishments sufficed when cafeteria food couldn’t. As I headed into my mid-20s (firmly stuck in YUPPY mode), fine dining was the only way to go. As I’m cresting my mid-30s, it’s all about finding authentic restaurants that are firmly off-the-beaten-path. All the hail the Greasy Spoon.
We all know Greasy Spoons. The wait staff is affable, the menus are relatively simple, and most have specialty dishes that can only be found at that particular establishment. Orders are curtly barked-out in the kitchen, and the cooks operate with blazing military precision. The bacon always tastes best at a Greasy Spoon.
Now, let’s imagine a Greasy Spoon where the hamburgers are cooked to shoe leather. The eggs are served so runny that they remind you of snot. The fries are golden on the outside, and frozen in the middle. The pancakes are served with no syrup. Would you leave a tip? Would you recommend it to your friends? Would you ever go back again? Probably not.
Internet-lead responses are like orders for food. The customers who receive a response that’s way too late are getting overcooked hamburgers. A response that doesn’t add any value is a plate full of runny eggs. Getting a quick response with no-follow up is a basket of frozen fries. Receiving a response with insufficient information is a short stack of pancakes without any syrup. All of these situations can be solved with additional interaction with the staff. However, any chance of gratuity is likely gone, you’re more apt to tell your friends about the negative experience, and the likelihood of returning to that Greasy Spoon is pretty slim.
If the publicly traded auto groups are like McDonald’s, and the regional multi-rooftop dealers are like In-and-Out burger, where does that leave you? The Greasy Spoon.
Like any order of food, every lead is on a timer. Every lead is a customer. The customer doesn’t know if the kitchen is short staffed, or if the oven is broken. They don’t know that the manager called in sick, or if the health inspector is there. All the customer knows is that the food is on the menu, and they placed an order. The only thing that matters is that the food comes out timely and it’s tasty. The rest is irrelevant.