Using nametags to make yourself available to customers

A nametag doesn’t always have to be a tag, per se.

When I was a furniture salesman in Portland; I encountered many customers who wore a myriad of nametags for their respective jobs. One of my favorites was a woman I met a few years back. She approached me at the checkout counter, said hello and quickly shifted her body to make her right arm visible.

I noticed she was a bus driver for the Portland Tri-Met. And her light blue uniform had an embroidered nametag that read “Laura” on the right sleeve!

“Scott, I thought you’d appreciate my nametag. It’s not exactly standard, but it still serves its purpose of increasing approachability!”

“Nice to meet you Laura. That’s great that you have your name on your shirt!” I said.

Laura’s example makes complete sense: commuters only see the right side of the bus driver when they step onto the platform. Tri-Met employees wear uniforms with the embroidered name on the right sleeve to make their names accessible to people when they step on to the bus! Brilliant! So, whether you wear a badge, a sticker, a lanyard or embroidered clothing – a nametag called by any other name is still a nametag.


What other “alternative nametags” can be used to increase approachability with your customers?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

Adventures of the coat check bandit

Assumption: nametag=employee.

I was eating dinner tonight at a place in St. Louis called Kreis’ Steakhouse. (Wearing my nametag as usual) Before sitting down I grabbed mine and my grandpa’s coat and headed to the coat check closet by the entry way. Right after hanging the two coats a gentleman walked in the door. He was about 50 or so and was removing his coat to check it in the closet.

Never missing another quasi employment opportunity, I said, “Can I take your coat for you sir?”

“Sure,” he said as he handed me the black leather bomber and scarf.

As I hung his coat amidst the others he asked, “Don’t you have to give me one of those tickets so I can claim the coat later?”

Thinking quickly I grabbed half of one yellow stub and turned around to the man.

“Uh…yeah…here’s your stub sir, number 819…and welcome to Kreis’ Steakhouse.”

Just then about a second later my Aunt Donna walked in the same door and yelled hello to me. Nice timing. I think she blew my cover!

The guy looked at me kind of weird. Especially since a few minutes later I walked right past him and sat down at a table right next to him!

But it made me think…let’s say a customer is in need of assistance. And you’re in the right place at the right time. I believe in lateral service – even if it’s not your job.


Have you ever helped a customer – even if it wasn’t your job?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

Sign up for daily updates


Daily updates straight to your inbox.

Copyright ©2020 HELLO, my name is Blog!