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FIRA and The Furniture Ombudsman to host third joint learning session

The furniture inspection and repair experts within FIRA International, and the Furniture Ombudsman, have announced plans for a third free joint learning session. The event will include the process of furniture inspection and repair when customers report a possible product defect, with The Furniture Ombudsman covering the latest consumer legal updates and offering customer service training.

Taking place on Wednesday 12 February, from 09.30-15.00 the event will include a mix of ‘classroom’ style sessions and practical hands-on workshops where delegates will have the opportunity learn how the experts inspect furniture and identify possible faults, alongside the opportunity to try a range of repair techniques first-hand.

The workshop sessions will specifically focus on upholstery, mattress and cabinet repairs. Inspections will include looking for mattress dipping, whilst repairs will focus on re-tufting mattresses, re-stitching upholstery, colour repairs on leather and scratch repairs to cabinets. There will also be the opportunity for delegates to get ‘hands-on’ and test their own repair capabilities.

There will also be a focus on utilising photo-triage as part of retailer / manufacturer customer aftercare programmes. Using this method can remove some needs for a technician to visit the customer, relying instead of photo evidence to determine possible product defects. Or if a visit is required ensures the issue can be resolved as the technician will be carrying the exact part(s) needed to remedy.

The day will also cover how the correct reporting analytics can help the early identification of possible issues which may lead to an improvement in production. Swift action can help prevent reoccurring service issues and in turn increase overall customer satisfaction.

Speaking on the session, Trudi Dunn, Operations Manager at FIRA Service Technicians said, “This third event follows on from events held previously at FIRA International (June) and most recently at Westbridge Furniture Designs, Flintshire (October). It’s been great to see the response from the industry. Previous delegates have given us positive feedback and to meet demand after our February event we’ll be planning a few more throughout 2020. Delegates have been amazed to see how the worst scratches can be fixed, and also get an appreciation of the skills needed to mix paint to precisely match leather upholstery. These repairs bring the furniture back-to-new, keeping them in use.

“The Furniture Ombudsman sessions have also helped delegates to understand the customer’s point of view when they have a ‘perceived’ issue or a fault with their furniture. Their case studies have demonstrated how passionate customers can be on solving issues, and the impacts this can have on retailers and manufacturers.”

The session is open to all from across the furniture industry, you do not need to be a client of FIRA International or a member of The Furniture Ombudsman to attend. Anyone wishing to confirm their place(s) at the session should email Emma Delea, edelea@fira.co.uk, or visit www.fira.co.uk/FSTFeb