This scenario happens at your property every day.
Barry from your security team picks up a lost cell phone near the restroom.
He brings it to your lost and found counter.
Jessie is already on the phone, whispers “thanks,” and Barry is back on his way.
Jessie takes the cell phone to the storage closet, dumps the cellphone in a plastic container marked “Cell Phones,” and gets back to the day’s critical tasks.
Eventually, one of your customers realized they'd lost their phone.
They call your property.
But, now you have a problem.
Do you know your problem?
You don’t track anything!
Running your lost & found department proves complicated.
It also causes customer services problems that you’re tired of dealing with all of the time.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
We get it; it’s easy to forget about lost or found items when there are so many more important things going on at your property.
It’s time for a change.
Today’s the day you upgrade your lost and found efforts.
Today is the day you choose software to boost your operation.
Trust us; it’ll prove beneficial because you’ll save time handling lost and found items, but you’ll also enhance your customer service.
We’re going to take you through the necessary components of lost & found software that gives you a stress-free way to get items back to customers.
Are you ready?
Why Your Property Needs Lost & Found Software
Let’s start with an important question.
Why does your property need to invest in lost and found software?
You have a “system” in place – why do you need to change it up? Well, let’s consider how things are currently operating.
Most operations have a disorganized department.
How is yours?
Are you struggling to get lost items back to customers?
Let’s take it further.
How are customers able to report that they lost or found something?
Do they have to walk to a kiosk on the other end of your property?
OK, they make it to your kiosk. Now, what happens?
Your customer reports they’ve lost their wallet.
But, you have lost wallets for miles. How do you get them their wallet?
Maybe your staff found their wallet, but you’ll never know because they didn’t provide you with the details of when and where it was found.
Now stop for a moment and process your answers.
You might not have even realized it, but this was an exercise.
We took you through a few scenarios forcing you to address your operation.
Now you know why you need software for your property.
There are plenty of “innovative” solutions out there, but rarely are they intuitive enough for your property.
You need to choose one that’ll make your transition to software seamless, but also keep your staff from pulling out their hair.
Keep reading to choose the best one for your property.
4 Characteristics of Lost & Found Software Proactive Operations Use
In today’s ‘customer experience’ environment, we’ve found that implementing a lost and found system is no longer nice to have.
You need to have it.
The days of disorganized disheveled lost and found operations are over.
Everyone that runs a property where people frequent realize this more than ever.
You realize it too, which is why you’re reading this article.
To you, a solution might seem a simple fix. It is.
But, to your customers, it’s the difference between them getting their possession back, and not.
This disparity is why proactive operations recognize the need for software that increases the chances of getting lost property back to their owner.
No one likes to lose their stuff.
It’s a headache that you don’t want to ruin your day.
Now, think about the issues your team faces the most.
What hinders their ability to get items back to customers?
What frustrates them?
Better yet, what would make their life easier, so they can focus on bigger projects that make your property money?
The right system can help you achieve Proactive Operations.
We’ve figured out what you need in your system.
- Report lost items through your website.
- Match lost items to found items with ease.
- Email or print receipts and storage tags.
- Capture digital documentation of all items.
1. Report lost items through your website.
No one likes losing their cell phone, wallet, glasses or even umbrella.
The feeling is even worse when you get home and realize you lost something.
The frustration and anger are overwhelming.
Would this put you in a bad mood?
Anyone would be grumpy, right?
The best solution lets your customers ‘get it out of their system’ in a productive way.
They can report the lost item through your website from the comfort of their home.
They provide you with the details of the item and all their contact information.
The beauty of this is that it saves directly to your software.
Your staff doesn’t need to do anything until the item is identified as a match in your system.
Then, they call the lost item’s owner.
Your staff spends significantly less time on the phone dealing with customers who’ve lost their possessions.
Your customers spend less time clogging up your phone lines.
How would this efficiency affect your bottom line?
2. Match lost items to found items with ease.
Knowing when an item is found that matches a lost item is the first struggle of housing possessions in a facility or closet.
Software removes this step (and problem) from the equation.
You’ve got a found item with specific characteristics?
Black iPhone X
Background picture of a family
Lost in restroom 106-A
The software automatically recognizes the details of the found item and matches it with a lost item reported by your customer.
Now, you just need to find it in the maze that is your storage closet.
Or, do you?
3. Email or print receipts and storage tags.
Struggling to find items is, well, a struggle all operations are up against without a system.
That’s until they introduce lost and found software to their team.
Your employees no longer need a degree in archaeology to uncover lost artifacts buried in your lost and found storage bins.
Your customer receives a receipt once they report their lost item.
Your employees print an associated storage tag to organize and track a found item.
Eric’s iPhone X is matched to a found item, your staff knows where to find it, and calls Eric with the great news.
This ability is Proactive Operations at its finest.
Your customer is happy, and your team feels relieved.
4. Capture digital documentation of all items.
What happens after lost items are returned to your customers?
Is that where being proactive ends?
Tracking all items in a progressive system lets you get a clear understanding of the state of your lost and found.
Think about it, at certain times you might have a significant number of valuable items in your possession.
You must know what’s there.
Reports and analytics let you know how often you’re receiving new items, what those items are, and how long these items have been in your possession.
This information gives you the insight to make important decisions on what to do with your unclaimed items.
Do you throw them out or donate the items to charity?
Being proactive means keeping your lost and found under control.
Do you have control of your lost and found operation?
Are you ready to have control?
Over to You
You want to ensure your staff is efficient. You need them focused on critical operational tasks. You also want your customers happy and coming back.
Implement lost & found software to achieve this. Be proactive to ensure your team gets items back to customer – and to the right one!
It’s time to decide. Are you ready?
Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.