6+ Easy Gender Neutral Ways to Greet People in Customer Service

One of the places I experience the most gendering or being misgendering is when I am working with someone in customer service. Whether it’s a fellow teammate or when I am the customer myself, it can be very easy to use the wrong pronouns or name for someone based on an assumption someone is making about their gender or appearance. It is critical to allow customers to share their names and pronouns on their own terms, especially in customer service settings.

As a nonbinary person, it’s important to me that transgender people feel safe in public spaces — which is why I’ve created a list of ways you can greet people gender neutrally and ask for their name or pronouns if necessary!

Let’s dive in:

Six easy gender neutral ways to greet people in customer service

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Greetings

  1. “Hello! Welcome to [name of shop here], my name is Lexie, what can I get started for you today // help you with today?”
  2. “Good morning folks, how is everyone doing today?”
  3. “Welcome to [shop name here], did you have something specific you were shopping for today?”
  4. “Hello! My name is Jay, I’m a store associate, what name can I use for you while I’m assisting you today?”
Photo by BBH Singapore on Unsplash

Getting someone’s attention who may not notice you immediately:

  1. “Hello! I can help the next person in line, is that you? Please step right up!”
  2. “Excuse me! I am trying to get that person’s attention, the person wearing the red shirt and grey pants next to you- could you direct them to me?”
  3. “Excuse me! Can I assist you in finding what you’re looking for today?”
  4. “Hi there! I noticed you may be looking for something specific, is there any way I can help?”
  5. “Hello, my name is Bailey, are you in need of any assistance today? Great! What is your **name? Awesome, how can I assist you today, [name]?”

**asking someone’s name is not the same as asking their pronouns. I do not believe you need to know someone’s pronouns if you are helping them directly, as you should not need to refer to them while you are speaking with them.

If you DO need to ask their pronouns, it’s important to do that before you’re trying to refer to them in the third person in front of a teammate or coworker, you can do that like this:

How to ask for someone’s pronouns:

“Hello, my name is Bailey — I use they/she pronouns. Are you in need of any assistance today? Great! What name and pronouns do you use? Awesome, I’m excited to help you today, [name]!”

Or like this:

“Hey [name], looks like I’ll need to grab my coworker to come help me out with this, real quick before I do that — I use they/she pronouns — could you share with me what pronouns you’d like me to use for you today? Great, thank you!”

Does this seem like a mouthful, or maybe inconvenient? Being misgendered in public will always be more violent and inconvenient for transgender people than the extra 2 minutes it takes to make sure the pronouns and name you’re using for someone is correct.

Exiting // saying goodbye

  1. “It was my pleasure, you all have a great day now, thank you!”
  2. “Thank you so much everyone, have a wonderful rest of your day!”
  3. “We will see you next time, friends!”
  4. “Folks, let me know if you have any more questions for me, and I hope you have a great weekend!”
  5. “Thanks so much for your time today, [name] I hope you have a great rest of your Thursday!”

Why does this matter?

It’s important to not gender customers and clients in your interactions because often people have bad experiences being overly gendered in public spaces. It is absolutely a natural, and easy decision to use more inclusive language to allow anyone to feel comfortable in your space, and even more importantly, to ask what they’re comfortable with being called.

Visit my website: www.itsjustliz.com

Work with me!

Got more questions about gender? I offer “pick my brain” sessions about gender and other topics on my website for folks who have a basic understanding of gender but know there’s more they could be doing as an ally! Connect with me at www.itsjustliz.com or on twitter @itsjuustliz !

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Liz Brinks

Hey, I’m Liz Brinks (they/them) I’m a queer gender-non-conforming writer, business coach & cat-parent (@itsjuustliz everywhere) based out of Wisconsin!