We pulled into the parking lot and my daughter read the sign out loud “Newcomers, turn on your flashers.” Parking lot attendants directed newcomers’ cars to the parking spots closest to the doors of the church.

And as I held my girls’ hands to walk them into church, parents of younger children loaded them into wagons — provided and pulled by ushers of the church.

Our entire visit to Newspring Church reminded me of the lessons from Chip Bell’s new book, 9 1/2 Principles of Innovative Service.

From sign-in to the kids’ program, where an attendant wrote down all my girls’ pertinent information then entered them into a computer system that returned printed labels, for me and them, to ensure their safety during church to the ladies’ room, where each sink had its own bottle of fragrant lotion, volunteers at Newspring treated my family and me like royalty.

My girls left church with gift bags containing information about the kids’ programs, a colorful lollipop, and a plastic Newspring cup that turned color when the temperature of the contents changed.

My parents and I visited the Green Room, a meet and greet room for visitors with special snacks — cucumber water and berry lemonade along with packaged energy bars, fruit, and cheesecake square — not your mama’s church refreshment table! At each table in the green room, volunteers greeted newcomers with gift bags and gathered contact information.

At a well-stocked information booth, volunteers offered earplugs for visitors to the church unaccustomed to the loud music.

Chip Bell says: “Boldly summon customers on a journey to collective joy much like a child welcoming a close friend to a tree house filled with secrets.”

As a visitor at Newspring Church, the attention to detail astounded me. Even after the service, the attention to detail continued as my daughters and I each received personalized notes in the mail. My note even referenced a comment I made about our visit to the church! Sherry, who wrote to me, remembered we were visiting from out of town and expressed her desire that we return to the church the next time we visited the area.

The innovative service we received at Newspring Church made me feel valued and special, from the moment we pulled into the parking lot.

I encourage you to buy and read Chip Bell’s new book, 9 1/2 Principles of Innovative Service, for insight and inspiration about the principles organizations can use to create experiences that will cause customers to swoon, smile, and sing your praises.