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On game day, your stadium is filled with guests ready to cheer on their favorite team, enjoy time with friends or family, and get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life
Your No. 1 job is to create the perfect guest experience, which means you need processes in place in case things don’t go as planned, such as when a guest loses a personal belonging.
In a perfect world, these things would never happen, but the reality is that they do, which means you need a lost and found process in place that’s going to mitigate the issues as quickly as possible. Not only will this improve the guest experience, but it will also increase the efficiency of your venue.
In this article, we’ll go over the common problems created by a subpar lost and found process, a few ways in which lost and found software may improve your process, and the must-have features to look for should you decide to implement lost and found software.
A non-existent or poorly run lost and found process is painful for both guests and management overseeing the guest experience.
For guests, a poor lost and found process only adds stress to an already stressful event: misplacing a personal belonging. It’s even more stressful to think the belonging will never be found.
For management, problems arise if the lost and found process either doesn’t exist or it’s run inefficiently. Usually, this results in issues related to:
A guest who loses something might not realize it until after they’ve already gotten home. So, what do they do? They can call your venue, but there’s no guarantee that your staff is still on the clock, which means they’ll need to wait until the next day to call again.
This makes a stressful situation even more upsetting. These issues need to be resolved as quickly as possible.
Many lost and found procedures don’t emphasize a reporting process that can be done from anywhere, at any time. The process relies on in-person reporting or phone calls. This could be easily managed and mitigated with software that allows guests to report lost items through web forms as soon as they realize their personal belongings are gone.
As soon as an item arrives at your lost and found location, what happens next? Does it just go into storage with the rest of the lost and found items? Do you use a tag to match the item with a number provided to the guest? Are they stored in easily accessible compartments to organize the items?
Many lost and found processes suffer from poor cataloging, which leads to an unorganized process and, ultimately, an inefficient start-to-finish process.
Hopefully, at a minimum, you have a process for collecting contact information and pairing this information with a description of the lost item so that it can be returned as soon as it is found. But what happens when an item isn’t claimed? Far too often, those responsible for the process let unclaimed items pile up. In part, it makes sense—these are valuable items, and it doesn’t feel right to simply throw them away.
Remember: The lost and found process is as efficient as those who run it want it to be. When clutter piles up, it interrupts operations and intrudes on services provided for those who need to find their lost belongings.
Poor discovery, management, and resolution processes come down to one basic issue—a lack of resources. Think about it: Each challenge we discussed boils down to the problem of not having a central place to input and organize information.
With lost and found software, you can:
Let’s dig a little deeper into how exactly lost and found software improves the guest experience and venue efficiency:
No one likes losing a piece of property. Whether it’s of practical or sentimental value, it causes turmoil, and the last thing an upset customer needs is a false sense of hope in finding that lost item.
Lost and found software provides the organization and data to create a seamless lost and found process from start to finish. When the issue is resolved quickly and efficiently, your guests won’t just come back for the entertainment, they’ll also trust you and your processes.
Gone are the days of using manual methods or Excel spreadsheets to manage lost and found items. Instead, lost and found software makes it easy to find items that are similar in appearance, such as men’s wallets. By applying keywords, dates, and other identification labels to items, searching is made easy.
You’re looking for every way to reduce costs, and lost and found software can help by minimizing the labor force in the department. This software reduces workloads by eliminating paperwork, providing a better organization method, and automatically generating reports. Plus, automation helps to reduce human error.
Imagine a guest has lost a high-value item, they learn that the item has been found, and they arrive to collect their belongings only to hear that your team can’t locate it. Not only is this frustrating for the guest, but they’re also unlikely to return to your venue again.
Better management of the lost and found process can save you from an embarrassing event such as this one. The right software ensures that you are able to return every piece of property to the right person by including relevant information and asking the right questions to verify ownership.
Not every item that has been found will be reclaimed. It’s not important to understand why, but it is important to consider your disposal policy. You don’t want to end up with a storage room full of unclaimed property that makes it difficult to retrieve other items.
An expired period policy needs to be established on your end, but lost and found software can provide reports and alerts to let you know when it’s time to donate unclaimed items.
Now that you’re sold on implementing lost and found software, let’s talk about the sheer number of options. The global lost and found software market has grown significantly over the last decade and is forecasted to experience continued growth.
So, how can you tell between a lost and found platform that is worth using and one that isn’t?
Here are 8 features that your lost and found software must have:
Guests need to have the option to report lost items from your website by entering information directly in a web form. This reduces the number of phone calls and staff hours dedicated to identifying and documenting lost items.
As soon as a lost item is found, your system needs to be able to match it to an item reported as lost. All matching items should be retrieved within seconds after completing a lost claim form.
Far too many lost and found storage facilities rely on an owner describing the lost object rather than a streamlined process that connects an object to an owner via a receipt and tag.
You can eliminate storage chaos by implementing an organizational structure that aligns email or print receipts to storage tags to ensure that the correct item goes to the proper owner.
Gain the ability to generate reports that provide a clear understanding of your lost and found inventory, including the length of time they’ve been in storage and your process for handling unclaimed items.
By easily capturing electronic signatures when a guest retrieves their found item, you protect yourself from future liability issues if they ever arise.
By including barcodes on your storage receipts, your team can quickly scan items and release them to your guests.
Easily generate reports that allow you to locate an item and its status at any time. Robust analytics allow you to identify trends and relevant data to inform your internal processes and improve the efficiency of your lost and found function.
Filling out the necessary fields, matching items to claims, adding claimant details, and exporting data needs to be completed easily and without extensive training.
To help you create the perfect guest experience, you need to anticipate the lost and found process with software that ensures that you don’t miss any steps as you work to return items as quickly as possible.
24/7 Software’s Lost and Found Software provides you with a fast and reliable way to enhance customer experience, build guest loyalty, and increase your return-to-owner rates.
Want to see the software in action? Request a demo! We’d love to show you around today!