Recommending office chairs requires looking not just at the aesthetic factor of the chair but also at the functional level too. Finding the right chair for your client will depend on their needs, their measurements, the type of job they do, and their tendencies. Without a process, it could become a frustrating process that takes longer.

In this part two of my interview with Camille Fraser, we talked about her process of recommending chairs in greater detail. We also discuss some value-added situations that are so useful for Ergonomics Service Providers, including what happens when you recommend a chair and the client isn’t happy with it. 

Camille works closely with Ergonomic Consultants to provide the best equipment for their clients and help them make informed decisions. I encourage you to check out Office Ergonomic Equipment on her website if you’re in Canada. If you'd like her to help you source the best Ergonomic Equipment for you, check out her Preferred Ergonomic Equipment Program.

Let's dive into our conversation now:

What happens if an ergonomist recommends the best possible chair that they think is fit for their client but it’s not for them? 

First of all, everything is getting more and more online especially post-pandemic, people are still just ordering online. What I do with my business, ErgoMania, is we work with the ergonomist to make sure that all of the measurements work for that person with that chair. That eliminates the question: Is it going to be tall enough? Is it going to be short enough? Is it going to support my client well enough? You get that guessing game out of the way, so that’s one thing that you know will work for the chair. As long as you have all the measurements and make sure that the client is actually going to fit in the chair, that's going to make your chances of your client liking that chair so much more and reduce your risks of a return, to begin with. 

The second part is obviously them just trying it out to make sure that they're comfortable in the chair and they like the chair because people are different. It's all about personal preference. So sometimes it does work, sometimes it doesn't. And when it doesn't work, that's when the dreaded return policies started going into action. And sometimes it's a really easy process. So for our company, it's pretty easy, especially if we've had a conversation together and we know how they feel about the chair. Sometimes if you're just switching to get another chair from that same company, they might even waive the return fee. It's called a restocking fee for a lot of companies. So if you just want to switch to another chair, sometimes they could waive that fee, so that's one thing to look into. 

But for the most part, what I would suggest is that if somebody is just out on the internet, just make sure that they have a good customer service base. So even before you buy the chair, just email them and ask what's their return policy for a chair and how much is the restocking fee. That way, you know how much money to budget for if they don't like the chair. If they answer quickly and correctly, then that means that you’ll have some good back-and-forth emailing when you want to return the chair. As long as they're answering you by email nice and quickly before you buy the chair, most of the time they’ll answer you about the return policy as well. So just take that extra step before buying the chair because every single website is different, and sometimes it's really easy to get your return back. 

The other one would be to tell your client to keep the box that the chair has been sent in because that’ll make it a lot easier for you and your client to return the chair if the client doesn’t like the chair, or else you have to get the company to send you another box to put the chair and return, and then that’ll just delay the return of the chair. 

As an ergonomic specialist, the most time-consuming part of due diligence is finding specific products. That's why I really like what you're doing with your company because unlike many companies who are selling ergonomics equipment, you're an expert, you're on top of the literature. 

What I found the most time-consuming thing is trying to find specific products for different people that they needed and making sure that it all fit and everything, especially chairs because that's obviously a big ticket item, so people want to get it right the first time. And if they don't, then it’ll be easy to get back, return, and then get another chair that’s better. So it definitely helps when you have somebody that knows which chair they should go for and stuff like that.

Doing an ergonomic assessment or ergonomic report is very time-consuming. You need to spend a lot of time just to give someone the right chair. So it’s just right for an ergonomist to price higher in order to build a good reputation, get referrals, and have these conversations with experts like Camille.

Yeah, exactly. I have this program that you can subscribe to on my website which helps not just Canadians but people all around the world. You can email me all your questions about different products or send me some assessments. You can say, “These are my recommendations. What chairs would work for this person?” or stuff like that, and then I help you find all the products that you need. This way, you can confidently tell your client, “Here are the killer products you should get.” And you don't even have to waste time on all of that because I’ll do all the work for you for the products. 

To close off our conversation today, what are some lasting thoughts that you can share to the listeners?

If we’re keeping on the active chair saga, just make sure that you research the chair and the employers are on board with active chairs in the office because you don't want to make your client just waste money on something that their employers won't like. Always look at the warranty, and make sure that the customer service is great for the website that you're recommending just to make sure that it's easier on your client if things do go bad and they do need to return items. It's a lot easier when the return policy is very easy. 

That's part two of a two-part interview with Camille Fraser. If you want to have help with product recommendations, you can connect with Camille online at her website or contact her through [email protected].

As you can tell, Camille knows her stuff.  She delivers it mostly in the Ergonomic Showdown in the Accelerate program. On top of that, Accelerate offers monthly curated literature reviews so you can stay up to date with where the industry is going. Sign up for the waitlist to see if something like the Accelerate program could work for you.

Want to get into office ergonomics assessments? Click here to download my 7-step resource guide.


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