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Losing an item at a property is an awful, upsetting experience for your customers.
Once they realize they've lost their valuables, the search for the lost and found kiosk begins.
Finding it can be a trek.
We're talking the road less traveled – the one off the beaten path.
You get the point.
Losing an item causes visitors an inconvenience resulting in a less than satisfying experience at the same time, especially if you're not using lost and found software to optimize your customer service.
Whether it's a whole department or not, lost and found consists of aisles of boxes or cabinets filled with items upon items…upon items – in an unorganized fashion.
Processes for managing lost and found items can be quite ambiguous.
It's got to be a challenge for your staff.
For quite some time, we've known that there hasn't been a way to accurately and efficiently manage items as they are found, verify ownership, and – most importantly – to issue items to the correct owner.
It's a hulking problem potentially affecting other areas of your operation.
The problem continues onto the process for which items are received, documented, tracked, and returned.
Turned in items become misplaced in the department itself. We wouldn't say that's getting off to too great of a start.
What's the result of all this chaos?
A less than satisfied customer – that's for sure!
When it boils down to lost and found, your customer service relies on a high return-to-owner ratio.
More items found, more items returned to their rightful place, more customers at your property.
It's the little things that count.
It's the little things that can make or break the customer experience.
It's also the little things that lead to job security.
We enjoy helping you out when we can.
A web-based solution to eliminate the need for pen and paper and disorganized storage bins…well, that's the biggest bang for your buck if we've ever seen it.
Software that gives you the orderliness you need while providing a user-friendly process, so staff uses the system…do we even need to continue?
As a web-based solution, an excellent lost and found solution can be accessed through the internet from anywhere and anytime you need it.
You have the power to do what you want with a system like this.
Storage locations, receipts, found items, documents, statuses, notifications, and even web forms for owners to submit lost item information can be centrally managed.
Ease of use is a crucial factor when it comes to a web-based lost and found solution.
Again, it's the little things.
The type of solution you want to be set up should be an effortless process, leaving you with an operational system in no time.
We're talking a super quick and functional setup.
That way, you can start managing lost claims, found items, claimed items, and matching items like a professional.
A valuable system will make submitting lost items a breeze.
You're making the little things count in the most significant way possible!
In the systems we've seen–the ones you'd want to consider using for your lost and found department–lost claims are added through the software with claimant details and item details.
The claimant details consist of the name and contact information for the individual claiming an item or multiple items.
Would you jump up and down singing if we told you these solutions even give you the ability to print or email claimed item receipts easily?
Better start singing!
The ability to email and print a receipt for the claimant's records is now possible in today's progressive lost and found systems.
Lost item details include the property's information and an item's associated elements, including item name, lost date, and when and where it was lost.
If you think the grandeur stops here…it doesn't.
Take your customer service to new heights.
Go ahead, attach pictures of items to their record.
This is how you ensure nothing gets overlooked AND that everything lost is found.
Found item records will allow you to enter details of items found by staff or customers to match with possible lost claims.
Details of the found item are submitted, and the ability to also print a receipt and attach associated documents.
The game-winning benefit is the location the item is being stored at is recorded in the found item details.
You can actively track where all items are located, removing the ambiguity standard storage methods create.
Find a solution like this and KEEP IT.
It's another way to keep your customers and boss happy.
A lost and found solution starts getting robust when it incorporates a matching items feature.
Wait, you're telling me some systems match items for me based on specific characteristics?
You got it!
Your staff can compare item details to identify matching items for all your customers efficiently.
They can populate items and then select a found item.
Once the found item is selected, all possible matches will populate.
Staff can claim a found match, fill in additional details of the item if needed, and add a signature to verify the item's issue to its owner.
A few clicks, and they're done.
A trouble-free process at your fingertips.
Whoa, slow down.
Never mind–this is great–keep going!
Superior systems conduct the bulk of the work needed to manage a lost and found department for you effectively.
Use the system to make raising the return-to-owner ratio so much easier for you and your staff.
We like ratios.
What else do we like?
Reporting and analytics, of course.
Generate reports to review comprehensive statistics like it's your job.
Well, it is your job, but now it's SUPER easy.
Analyzing all reports for the lost and found department is simple with the luxury to see data on a collection of charts.
The most powerful systems let you export reports for even more in-depth analysis.
Innovative lost and found software empowers you to proficiently manage customer service at your property without missing a beat (or item).
You no longer use up valuable time to train staff.
You also don't need to ask them to manage inefficient processes.
"I like inefficiency," said no one ever.
Problems with lost and found item return-to-owner rates and customer experience can indeed be irrelevant to your operation with a valuable lost and found system.
Vague and disorganized processes become passé, period.
For your customers, losing something ends up being an arduous and painful experience.
Help your customers lower their blood pressure… it'll help you reduce yours.
"Help me help you." (Who said it? Post your answer in the comment section below and let's see if you know your movies.)
Giving your customers the ability to report lost items through your website can go a long way in making strides for not only operational efficiency but keeping customers around for the long term.
Customers can check the website to see if the staff has marked their item as found.
It's a stress-free experience.
What does this do for you?
It helps reduce the number of phone calls coming into your property to report lost items.
Consider all time you'll have to focus on other essential tasks without having to fret over these calls.
Get a system you can effortlessly manage.
That's called leverage.
Here's some effortlessness for you.
Similar lost and found items can be identified in a system by populating the items in a top-to-bottom comparison of details to determine if a match is likely.
What's the value in all this?
It reduces the number of items moving under the radar affecting the time it takes to return items to their owner.
The recipe for building customer loyalty includes quickly returning lost items to their owners.
Lost and found software we've seen allows you to record item found dates and define an expiration date for holding each item before discarding or donating it.
Now you're attacking financials?
Now you're looking out for the bottom line?
Remember, it is the small things that count, especially in the long run.
Printing and emailing receipts as soon as lost item details are entered provides real-time documentation and historical records of all items moving through the system.
Your staff can then print tags to attach to items for storage, along with the receipts for claimed items.
Take it one step further and create customized categories to make searching for items even more effortless.
All items and their details will be accounted for now.
This leads to a fluid and impressive operation.
Meticulously measure the performance of the operation, so you can keep it humming.
The comprehensive reports for tracking and analysis we noted before will give you the final tool to enhance the customer experience and keep them coming back!
Was the customer experience lost at your property?
Good news, it's been found–and look at you–you're now using an impeccable solution to keep it where it belongs.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.