Lipstick on a pig – Exhibit A: A hotel in Washington, DC told me my room service order would be delivered in 30 minutes or less. Over an hour and a half later, after making four calls to room service and being lied to four times, they finally sent my order along with a cart that had wine, cheese, fruit, desserts, etc. – as an apology. I sent it all back – untouched. I called the room service manager and we had a conversation about doing the job, training the people, and telling the truth. Giving me a cart of goodies is like putting lipstick on a pig.
Lipstick on a pig – Exhibit B: My car dealer took four tries to fix my car. Four. In the meantime they were nice as pie, apologetic, provided me with a free loaner car – they did everything right, except fix the car. Not doing your job well but being nice about it is lipstick on a pig.
Lipstick on a pig – Exhibit C: Flight to New York delayed because the flight crew was late to the airport. The WiFi we were promised didn’t work. One restroom was out of order. But two weeks later I got a nice letter of apology from the CEO of the airline. Yep….lipstick. On a pig.
Nothing takes the place of consistent, excellent performance. Nothing. Apologies and treats are easy. Being really good at what you do consistently takes hard work.
Don’t put lipstick on a pig.
Do the hard work necessary to create value, consistently deliver quality, and achieve excellence in performance.