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“Yes, certainly. We can take care of that for you,” you respond to Shari over the phone.
Shari has requested a proposal to host an event on your property.
You have a lot going on during event days like today, but always have time to seed another possible sale.
“Of course,” you continue.
While you and Shari continue your conversation, Jason from your Executive team walks up to the counter with a cell phone.
He puts the cell phone behind the counter.
“Chris found this phone near men’s restroom 103-A,” he whispers to avoid interrupting you.
You nod from habit.
Eight minutes later, you finish your sales call with Shari.
As you reach for the stapler, you see the lost cellphone Jason left behind.
You grab the phone. “Shoot, what was this for,” you exclaim.
Because your department oversees the only lost and found location and you cannot recall who dropped this phone off on your counter, it’s your responsibility now.
Since you were focused on your conversation with Shari, you didn’t even see who brought the item over to you.
It is only one item but imagine the effect on your operation as more lost & found items make their way through your lost and found department.
It gets worse when the item doesn’t have details of where it was found or who found it.
How do you manage this?
How do you ensure all employees and departments are held accountable to get items back to customers?
Who could even be accountable in this scenario – besides you?
You have enough responsibility.
You don’t want poorly managed lost and found as a reason to tick off your customers.
Today, you need to employ lost and found software.
Operations face a more significant challenge than the systemic problem of disorganized lost and found items.
Do you know what this issue is?
Every employee and department must be responsible for found items.
Our scenario above illustrates a small potential for misinformation and an item going on an unwanted path that might never lead to its owner.
You can change this hindrance to your operation.
First, identify a process for collecting lost and found items, and then determine who is responsible for the items.
Implement lost and found software to empower your staff to execute your new-found processes.
Not only must there be processes in place, but also a medium for delivering exceptional customer service.
Your lost and found software is the answer.
It lets every department take responsibility for items they locate.
These actions demonstrate Proactive Operations.
These measures produce accountability your staff can get behind because they have the tools to be successful.
Keep reading; we’re going to share the value of these systems that keep all departments accountable.
Whether it is administration, security, operations, customer service, or housekeeping, everyone will have the ability to track and manage lost and found items.
Your team will get items back to their rightful owners.
The bottom line is that all personnel on your property need to participate in your lost and found efforts.
Yes, in the end, it all lands on your shoulders, but proactive operations don’t leave the responsibility to one individual.
Proactive Operations is a team effort.
Use your lost and found solution to ensure customers get their lost items returned.
Here is how a web-based solution helps you achieve your goal of accountability – and much more.
Your customers can report lost items directly from your website.
This option is a convenient way to submit a claim from the comfort of wherever they’re staying at the time (e.g., home or hotel).
Not everyone realizes they lost something right away, and this gives them peace of mind knowing they can take care of it.
It also reduces the time it takes employees to become aware of a lost item.
It prevents possessions from slipping through the cracks.
This method moves an item directly to the system to avoid any accountability issues down the road.
Eliminate training shortcomings and storage problems immediately with a unified and digital process for lost and found management.
Having confirmed process makes ramping up new staff seamless.
They can confidently do their job – from day one.
Improved training leads to the acceptance of responsibility.
Your employees are confident that they can perform their roles effectively.
This mindset removes the fear of taking responsibility.
They know how to report, and document lost and found items.
Printing storage tags, organizing items, and emailing receipts to customers strengthens your employees' consistency for managing and tracking things.
You are eliminating waste, removing inefficiencies, and executing a plan for ensuring customers get their items back.
Digital records let you track and manage lost and found claims with ease.
Digital documentation is crucial.
It is at your fingertips and always there for reference.
The recording capabilities of lost and found solutions ensure nothing gets missed.
Consider this alternate outcome to our scenario above.
Jason would have entered the information into the system, which allows you to reference the details.
There is no stress of having to listen to him while you’re closing a sale with Shari.
Do you see how these systems help your ability to promote ‘accountability’ as a real job assignment?
Efficiently get lost things back to their owner by matching lost items to found items in seconds.
Let the system do the hard work once your employees have entered the complete details.
You reduce the amount of time wasted searching for items that may not even exist.
Once you eliminate the efficiencies, you get items back to customers.
Taking responsibility becomes a natural process because the staff knows things are getting back to their owners.
Now, let’s say Jason retrieved a lost item with a lost and found solution in place.
Rather than walking to your department with vague information and a cell phone, the outcome will be different.
Jason will enter the details of the item into your web-based solution, print a storage tag, and provide you with the item and information needed to follow through.
You close the deal with Shari. Jason takes responsibility for a lost item that eventually gets back into the hands of its owner, Kristy.
Your lost and found story can have a happy ending too.
At first, many people do not understand the tremendous value lost and found software provides for their operation. The result, negative or positive, can be exponential.
You drastically enhance the chances of more positive lost and found outcomes at your property – by deploying a solution. Our scenario above is not complicated, but without the right system and attitude, your lost and found efforts are useless.
It’s time to take responsibility for your operation. What do you think?
Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.