Completed [The Protea Inn] The Difficult Customer Pt. 2

Tazrae consults her Silas Journal on Psychology to learn how to better deal with five types of difficult customers.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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[The Protea Inn] The Difficult Customer Pt. 2

Postby Tazrae on November 28th, 2022, 1:04 am

Timestamp: 90th of Fall, 522 A.V.


Psy fluttered its pages, flipping back and forth until it settled on a section that read “No Boundaries”. Then dutifully, the book started to recite the contents. “Customers often demand attention or turn up after hours. They want special favors or just a tad bit more than others. They stay late, make extra messes and tend to invade personal lives and leave professionals feeling swarmed or overwhelmed. They are disruptive and put their priorities over your own.” The Silas Journal said thoughtfully.

Taz sighed. “I’ve been lucky to not have anyone like that thus far in Syka. Everyone tends to respect boundaries here.” She added, then laid her finger down on the page and ran down the columns of advice on how to deal with this type of mentality. People could be mean, self-absorbed, and more than that they could drain happiness and leech her happiness. “So what’s the most effective way of all these ways to try first?” She asked, not sure if the first method listed was the best method to try.

The book ruffled its pages without flipping them. “Set boundaries and make sure those boundaries are clearly defined. Explain to people when you are willing to do business and when you aren’t willing to do business. The ‘no boundaries’ person will almost always refuse to honor the boundaries. But if you strictly stick by your willing boundaries, then you will be enforcing them passively.” The book said firmly.

Taz looked thoughtful. “What exactly does that mean? I don’t think I understand.” The Innkeeper said, furrowing her brow.

Psy was quick to respond. “People dropping in demanding meals outside of your set meal times. If you cook them a meal, then you are allowing them to walk all over your boundaries. If you point out your next meal time prep is and invite them to join you there, then you are reinforcing your boundaries.” The Silas Journal said firmly, causing Tazrae to nod.

“So what is the fifth type?” Taz asked, turning the pages of the journal herself. She found the problem customer type immediately, tapping her finger on it. “The Indecisive. I’ve seen this type, actually, many many times.” She added, shaking her head. “I think you can spot them because they tend to be the ones that ask questions. Then they follow their initial questions with more questions but don’t commit to saying buy something or sit down to dinner without yet more questions. They want to know the size of every room or every ingredient in every dish.” Taz said with a hint of frustration in her voice.

“I don’t know if they are indecisive, are afraid of making mistakes, or just want to say the best deal or best quality for the price they are paying,” Taz said, running her hand through her hair as she signed. “I can spot them because they usually want to see every room before they pick the exact place they want to stay in.” She added, almost apologetically to the book.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
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[The Protea Inn] The Difficult Customer Pt. 2

Postby Tazrae on November 28th, 2022, 1:06 am

“You realize that type of customer or patron is a completely classic time waster, right? They’ll drain your energy and take up your time for very little payout.” The book claimed, its voice turning slightly nasty.

“They seem harmless, and they are often very polite.” Taz countered, tapping the book lightly. “But I never get anything done when one of these types are around.” She added, thoughtfully, as if this hadn’t occurred to her before. “So, what are your suggestions for this one?” She asked, tilting her head, curious.

Psy answered immediately. It was, after all, an expert on its own contents. “Indecisive people have hot buttons. The key to handling them is to figure out what exactly that hot button is. What is it they want? In regards to business, it might be price, quality, quantity, features, or the like. When it comes to other things, it might be security, loyalty, that sort, especially with personal experience. When you can determine what their hot button is, it's easier to gently force them to make a decision. And if they can’t make a decision, you can just ignore them as time wasters and refocus your attention on things that are more productive to you.” Psy added.

Taz shook her head. “I’d never start ignoring a customer. There has to be more that can be done.” She asked, flipping the book pages, and reading ahead.

The Journal itself answered her question. “Of course. You can nudge a person of their indecisiveness by sweetening the pot, tempting them towards their sweet spot. Give them a deal, a discount, throw in some freebies, that sort of thing. You can also tell them that your time is limited or put a time limit on a current offer to nudge them into making a decision. The key is to be strict with any sort of customer like that. You can’t afford to get your energy drained, your time wasted, and have nothing to show for it by a customer walking away.” Psy said, adding in his two mizas.

Taz nodded, looking thoughtful, and flipping through to what else might be needed for her business sense in this tome.

“So my take-home here is to maintain an attitude of service. Regardless of if a customer’s complaint is founded or not, try to be accommodating without being a doormat. That means also… that I shouldn’t rush to agree or apologize. I should problem-solve with resolutions rather than snap judge and snap react. I need to avoid being defensive, for sure. I can also agree to further investigate a situation to see if something can be handled better or amends made where appropriate. And for some of those people, the only thing they really want to be is heard. I should develop good listening skills, in other words.” She added.

Psy agreed. “You are right about listening. You need to listen to them without interrupting. Try to look neutral in your facial expressions. Keep your voice soft but firm. Don’t ever sound impatient or at the end of your patience. Be confident and calm, and remain professional. Don’t get aggressive or defensive yourself. You can state your opinions assertively without being confrontational. Make the customer feel good, not bad, and support them without letting them walk all over you. It should be pretty clear by now. This is a whole new host of tools for your hostessing toolbox.”

Taz yawned, picked up her juice, took a big drink, and looked thoughtful. She wiggled her toes to wake them up and rose. Khari let out a cry at that moment, and Taz went to see what she needed. As usual, her daughter was hungry, so she set The Silas journal aside and checked her diaper. The baby wasn’t wet, but as soon as she fed her, she would be, so Taz grabbed her baby bag and laid it beside her chair as she adjusted her daughter in her lap and started feeding her.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1251
Words: 1810650
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
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[The Protea Inn] The Difficult Customer Pt. 2

Postby Tazrae on November 28th, 2022, 1:07 am

Psy spoke then, flipping open. “Tazrae, I found more things to deal with difficult guests.” The book interrupted and Tazrae nodded. Gods, she hated to say it but it felt amazing feeding her daughter. Her chest was tight and heavy when she started, but having Khari nurse was like the most incredible feeling of contentment and well-being Tazrae had ever known. It increased when her daughter was bare skin to bare skin on her, so she often fed her that way. Some women covered up, but Taz didn’t see the need for it… not unless she was out in the sun. Khari’s caramel skin was vulnerable to burns and Taz was very conscious of it.

“Okay, what more? Because I can’t possibly believe all this is tucked into your pages.” Taz replied, leaning back, one leg tucked up on her chair, a silly smile on her face as she gazed down at her baby. What would it be like to have Kaysen here too? Gods, it would be close to perfect, that much was for sure.

“So, people who show strong emotions need to vent them… so let them have time to get all their grievances out. Half the time what they are upset about isn’t what they are actually venting about. So just let them vent… let them deflate like a puff ball you step on in the summer.” Psy replied.

Then he jumped in with more information, fluttering his pages to a new section. “Sit people down. I know it sounds odd, but people are less aggressive when they are seated. But don’t sit if they refuse a seat and remain standing. Stay on their level at all times. So if they won’t sit their asses down, don’t sit yourself down either. Stay on the same level. If they go down, sit down too… stay on their level. They will be more apt to treat you as an equal if you are on the same level.” Psy added in, then ruffled his pages again.

“Be friendly, Taz. Even if people are mean… be friendly. This is a psychological tactic that’s been in play forever. Don’t stoop to their level. Stay on the level you want to live on. And squat there, never rising or dropping. It might take a force of will, but stay on the level you want to dwell on.” The book instructed, causing Taz to grin.

“I can do that… I’d never get angry around my children anyhow… I don’t want them to grow up in an angry world. Not one single bit.” Taz told the book. “She’s going to know only love, laughter, and how to counter things that make her scared or threaten her well-being.” She said. “I’m going to shelter her from everything that could hurt her, including people with the wrong attitude and the wrong approach.” She mused.

“Well, in that case… I have more advice. Keep eye contact, then as you do so remain in control, being confident and calm. Stay professional. If you are about to lose it, make excuses and lose it out of their sight. Don’t argue with people… don’t make counterarguments. Unhappy people don’t want to debate. And above all, they don’t want you to pass judgment on them. Just remain neutral… hear them out… don’t argue.” Psy advised.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1251
Words: 1810650
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
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[The Protea Inn] The Difficult Customer Pt. 2

Postby Tazrae on November 28th, 2022, 1:10 am

Taz nodded, taking it all in. She gently detached Khari and moved her to the other breast, wanting to feel the same relief with her other side. “Psy tell me… how do I be a good listener to make this all work better?” She asked, knowing somewhere in his tome of psychology he should have the answer.

It would help her with her customers and it would help her with her kids.

Psy ruffled his pages, something she’d come to see as a book’s version of a nod before he flipped forwards and back a few times like he was looking for something. Finally, he began to speak…

“You need to practice active listening.” The book advised.

“I have no idea what that is. My hearing is astonishing, now that Rhaus has marked me.” Taz told the book. “But I don’t know exactly what active listening means…” It could be a number of things, she guessed it meant a focus on the person she was listening to, but she wasn’t certain.

“If you want good communication, you must have good skills at listening. Active listening is the practice of paying complete and utter attention to and absorbing what someone is saying so that the exchange between the listener and the speaker is productive and fulfilling. In active listening, you are demonstrating unconditional acceptance and unbiased reflection. That’s called reflective listening when you muse on what someone says and give it deep thought.” Psy said, flipping his pages to open to the section where the tome talked about communication skills as part of psychology.

“It sounds like this is a whole skill set one needs to develop. I mean, after a conversation, I might remember a quarter of the details. Are there techniques on how to remember more? Take in … what absorb?... more of the intent and idea of the conversation?” Taz asked Psy, stroking her daughter’s head as she fed and gazed down at the book in her lap. She leaned back in her chair and put her bare feet back up on the rail, stretching and arching her back slightly. The chair was comfortable, and she sent it rocking which lulled Khari even more than her warm milk did.

Psy flipped pages again. “There are several techniques you can use, Tazrae. The first one involves focusing on the intent and purpose of the conversation. You need to absolutely intend to be conscious and receptive to the person speaking. It's important to absolutely try and understand, even emphasize, with them. It’s a concept called Mindfulness. You always need to give the speaker your full attention. The person you are listening to deserves your respect and for you to be present at that moment, not thinking about what you get to say when they pause or take a breath. Don’t anticipate what they are going to say or interrupt them. Listen and try and understand their words and body language. It’s called making a connection.” Psy said, closing the book.

“Does it talk about body language in there? I’m not good at reading it or interpreting what I should be doing with my body to indicate I’m listening.” Taz admitted, shifting Khari to her shoulder to burp her. She rocked, patting the infant, listening to the book recite its contents.

“Everyone knows what a smile means that is filled with happiness. But smiles can mean a whole bunch of things. They can be cruel, sad, and even apologetic. It all depends on body language. Body language is made up of conscious and unconscious gestures and movements that express or convey information.” Psy told her.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1251
Words: 1810650
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
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[The Protea Inn] The Difficult Customer Pt. 2

Postby Tazrae on November 28th, 2022, 1:12 am

Tazrae nodded. “Things like facial expressions, posture, eye contact, blinking, hand gestures, or even touches. I think even how you stand or sit conveys a lot of information.” The Innkeeper added.

“My author says that more than fifty percent of communication is non-verbal… that only something like forty percent is vocal, and maybe ten percent is spoken language. That means what you say is far less important than how you say it.” Psy told the Innkeeper, who nodded in her understanding.

“What about verbal cues? Are they important? Like when you say something like ‘mmhmm’ or ‘I understand.’” Taz asked.

Psy flipped open his pages, riffling, seeking the answer. “Yes, give encouraging verbal cues. Don’t give disparaging or rude ones. Use these along with gestures such as smiles, nods, or hand gestures. And watch for verbal cues from the person you are listening to. They will often speak more slowly or loudly to emphasize certain places or points, stress certain words, or use a different tone of voice or pitch. Dramatic pauses are also a thing, in which they will create a silence they want you to fill with approving nods or gestures.” The book said thoughtfully.

“Okay, what else?” Taz asked, unsure if she knew anything beyond what the book had taught her and what she herself experienced day to day.

“Clarification and Paraphrasing,” Psy said. “You need to let the speaker know you understand by clarifying or paraphrasing the information to make sure you have absorbed it properly and have a good understanding of the speaker's needs. That way, if you have the concept wrong, they can correct you and fill in any misinformation or gaps in your understanding.” The book added.

Taz nodded just as Khari finally let out a baby-sized belch and giggled. The baby’s mother gigged too, not so much at the belch but at how cute her daughter’s giggles were.

“Refrain from judgment in active listening. Ask questions… a lot of them show you are interested in the topic the speaker is speaking about. If you don’t judge and ask a lot of questions, you might walk away from a meeting with new ideas, a different perspective, or maybe even new opportunities.” Psy added as Tazrae slipped her daughter from her shoulder and quietly began to rock her to sleep.

“Anything else?” Taz asked, needing a break from this training for a long time now that Khari was going down for a nap.

“Just one more thing…. end your exchange on a good note. Address a few notes, and give your thoughts and opinions as long as they are positive. Downplay critique. Exchange quick summaries and share thoughts and feelings. And always walk away from the interaction reflecting on what you’ve learned. Sometimes you need to take time to think about what you’ve heard, learned, or opinions expressed.” Psy told her, causing Taz to nod.

“That’s a good note to end this lesson on. I want to make sure I understand the psychology of this as well as the take-home of how to interact. It’s a lot to reflect on.” Taz told the book, closing it firmly. “Thank you for your assistance. You’ve been invaluable today.” She said thoughtfully, patting the book affectionately before she set Khari back in her hammock, her daughter fast asleep. Then she slipped the book into her backpack, one of the only safe places she had to store it against the jungle rot.

Words: 2900
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1251
Words: 1810650
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

[The Protea Inn] The Difficult Customer Pt. 2

Postby Tazrae on November 28th, 2022, 1:26 am

Grading


Tazrae -

Hostessing +5, Research +5, Psychology +5

Hostessing: Setting Boundaries, Psychology: Dealing With People That Don’t Respect Boundaries, Hostessing: Dealing With Indecisive People, Psychology: Counteracting Indecisiveness, Psychology: The Effects Of Time Wasters On Hostesses, Psychology: Sweetening The Pot On Deals, Psychology: Being Accommodating To Complainers, Hostessing: Maintaining An Attitude Of Service, Psychology: The Helpfulness Of Letting People Vent, Psychology: Sitting People Less Violent, Hostessing: Be Friendly, Hostessing, Make Eye Contact, Psychology: How To Be A Good Listener, Psychology: Active Listening, Psychology: How To Connect To People, Psychology: Understand The Conversation, Psychology: Reading Body Language, Psychology: Understanding Verbal Cues, Psychology: Refrain From Judgement/Ask Questions To Make A Connection
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1251
Words: 1810650
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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