Policy changes that relate to updating forms in your business can be the most effective way to ensure that your transgender and non-binary guests are treated with respect.
For example, if your business is a spa, consider updating the registration form that a new guest completes. Request gender and provide an open-ended option like 'Other'. Ask for honorific/title, and consider using gender-neutral honorifics. Other companies like airlines and banks may also request a preferred name, in addition to the legal name on the account.
When you give your guests the opportunity to self-identify, your workers can then refer to that information rather than making assumptions. Whether your company is a bank, airline, spa, fitness center or other facility, creating policies that allow your customers to self-identify is an important best practice. Not only does it send a signal to your customers that your company is paying attention to the diversity of its community, but it also represents a powerful step towards inclusion, especially given that 12% of Americans 18 -34 are identifying as transgender.
In our survey of transgender customers, one of the most consistent pieces of advice from them to businesses, was simply, "don’t assume." Virtually every trans person we spoke to would rather be asked clarifying questions in a respectful, pleasant way, rather than someone making an assumption about their gender identity or gender expression. Of course, those clarifying questions can be awkward when asked verbally, especially to a novice associate. When your company puts those questions in a form, it creates a win-win for everybody. Your customer feel seen and your employees can feel confident in their customer service.