Once in a lifetime
This is perhaps the greatest marketing strategy struggle of our time:
Should your product or service be very good, meet spec and be beyond reproach or…
should it be a remarkable, memorable, over the top, a tell-your-friends event?
The answer isn't obvious, and many organizations are really conflicted about this.
Delta Airlines isn't trying to make your day. They're trying to get you from Atlanta to Salt Lake City, close to on time, less expensive the other guy and hopefully without hassle. That's a win for them.
On the other hand, when I was growing up, we used to stop in a diner in Deposit, New York to break up the long drive from Buffalo to New York City. This diner had a really engaged staff and always one practical joke or another subtly present. (I still remember the little notice on the bulletin board once, "Henway for sale, $45. Ask cashier.") It was enough reason to drive three miles out of our way, a few times a year. My guess is that a busy traveler wouldn't be happy with the extra six minutes it took to eat there.
Most of the consumer businesses (restaurants, services, etc.) and virtually all of the business to business ventures I encounter shoot for the first (meeting spec). They define spec and they work to achieve it. A few, from event organizers to investment advisors, work every single day to create over-the-top remarkable experiences. It's a lot of work, and it requires passion.
If you ran a spa at a ski resort, which would you shoot for?
Most of the people who come aren't regulars, and most of them just want a massage, a good one, one that makes the trip a little special. I don't think most people coming by expect anything more than that.
On the other hand, you could invest in staff and training and services that would be so connected to each other and the guests, so willing to engage and to change people that it might become the sort of transcendent experience that people talk about for months.
But you can't do both at the same time. That customer who came for the on-spec service isn't going to be happy with the over the top hoopla. And so you try to compromise and do both, to please everyone. Sorry, but you can't.