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24/7 Software Blog

The Best Way to Report, Manage, and Return Lost & Found Items

by 24/7 Software / October 31, 2017

Your number one goal is to enhance your customers’ experiences.

Do you agree?

They come to your property and expect to be treated well.

But, you want to exceed their expectations too. It’s in your blood.

You don’t want to settle or be complacent.

You want people to leave your property excited to come back for another round. You want them to want more.

You want them to remember the memories they’ve created here.

But, are you doing everything it takes? Yes, everything.

You’ve invested in important training and team building days for your employees.

You go to all the annual conferences in your industry to advance your knowledge as a proactive leader.

Everyone on your staff is world class.

All the issues and incidents taking place on your property are managed expertly. But, that’s still not enough.

Are you paying attention to the small things? We mean this in the literal sense.

You know:

A customer’s wallet or purse, an umbrella or coat – the possessions that mean something to your customers.

It’s the stuff they feel they can’t and don’t want to live without.

Do you have lost and found software deployed for your property to mitigate this?

If not, let’s change that for the best.

You’re Missing What Matters to Your Customers

We’ll start here with a critical question.

  • Why does your property need lost and found software to exceed your customers’ expectations?

Let’s consider how your operation is operating currently.

You’re probably operating in one of these two likely scenarios:

  1. You don’t have any way to manage lost and found items at all. Items are just collecting in a box in Susan’s office.
  2. You’re using software, but it’s cumbersome and requires too much time and effort to Data entry takes forever! Your employees have to wait a few seconds for your slow tool to capture and store the item name before you can input the customer’s name.

Both of these scenarios result in the disorganization of items and nothing getting returned to customers.

You’ve got a lost and found storage closet of sorts, but it’s a mess.

Your team might’ve even invested a great deal of time to establish a process – but it still takes forever for reporting, managing, and returning to occur.

It’s an attempt at efficiency.

But, it’s a failed one.

Do you know why?

You’re not using a system designed for your operation and with the customer in mind.

What does that mean?

If you’re using a platform, there is a good chance industry experts have not participated in the development of it.

That’s what matters to your customers. It starts with them.

When you’ve worked in the industry as long as we have, you learn that your customers’ needs start and end the process.

You need software in place that has evolved from the input of your peers – the ones that understand your property’s operations – and most importantly – the customer.

Let’s let that sink in for a moment.

Are you ready change this?

The Best Lost & Found Software

At the end of the day, the customer is most important.

We all understand this.

Their presence on your property determines everything.

Satisfaction ratings, revenue, and your career are all affected by your customers’ perspective.

So, keep them happy.

No matter how hard you must work to achieve this, you need to make it happen. Make it look effortless to your customer too.

That’s the difference between a proactive rather than reactive operation.

Get lost possessions back to customers as fast as possible – and with a smile.

No one likes to lose their stuff, so put software in place that covers these three points of lost & found:

  1. Reporting
  2. Managing
  3. Returning

Reporting: your secret weapon to averting customer frustration.

We’ve never met anyone that likes losing their cell phone, wallet, glasses, or umbrella.

The feeling is even worse when you get home and realize you lost something.

The frustration and anger are overwhelming. You feel helpless.

Would this put you in a bad mood?

The best software lets your customers get over the bad mood 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.

It saves directly to your software.

Your staff doesn’t need to do anything until the item is identified as a match (we’ll get to this soon!) on your platform.

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.

Crisis averted. Now, everyone is happy.

Managing: where the magic happens.

We said it before.

You’ve got to make it look seamless to your customers – no matter how hard you work.

But, the good news is that the best software reduces the work and increases the customer satisfaction.

A lot of that occurs from using software that helps you manage your lost and found items with effectively and efficiently.

There are three aspects of managing your lost and found department we want to highlight that might resonate quickly for you:

  1. Capturing valuable data
  2. Tracking lost and found items
  3. Matching items quickly

1. Capturing valuable data

Managing your lost and found is a big part of every phase of the process. But, to keep things organized, we’ll discuss it here.

What do you capture when a customer reports a lost item? What happens when you return the item?

Does customer service end?

It shouldn’t.

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?

There is also a great chance that this number will decrease with the right software in place.

2. Tracking lost and found items

Struggling to find items is something all operations are up against without software in place.

That’s until they introduce lost and found software to their team.

Your employees no longer need to spend useless moments searching through 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.

Tracking, locating, and then communicating details is now accomplished in an efficient manner.

3. Matching items quickly

Knowing when an item that is found matches a lost item is the first struggle of storing possessions on your property.

Software removes this problem from your process.

Do you have a found item with specific characteristics?

  • Black iPhone 8
  • Background picture of the family Labrador, Spike
  • Lost in restroom 234-A

The software automatically recognizes the details of the found item and matches it with a lost item reported by your customer.

Grab the details from your software and locate the item in seconds.

Returning: it’s the most rewarding.

We bet you’re trying to figure out what we’re going to discuss here.

Well, the beauty of using the right software is, not much.

Why?

You’ve put top-notch software in place on your property to flip the most challenging aspect of lost and found into the most fun part.

Now, returning lost items back to customers is easily the best part of the whole process.

Do you agree?

It’s rewarding because you’ll be doing it so often now. Great job!

Over to You

Many properties are focused on handling their day-to-day operations.

They’re focused on issues, incidents, and maintenance activities that they often forget the importance of their customers’ needs.

Your customers hate the feeling of losing something.

So, you’ve got to do everything you can to get their lost possession back to them, or all the hard work you’ve done everywhere else won’t matter.

They’ll only be focused on what went wrong.

Think about that for a moment.

It’s time to make your “best” move to exceed customer expectations. Are you ready?

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