People lose things.
For the individual, lost property is an intense problem. For the organization, lost property is overwhelmingly frequent.
Your Lost and Found solutions therefor must address both frequency and intensity of lost property to avoid frustration for both parties. Additionally, you are likely trying to improve either the customer service experience or reduce the overall cost of the process.
So we put together a brief overview of a typical lost and found process and what solutions you should consider when implementing a new process.
The start for an average lost and found process begins when property is found, there wouldn’t be a “found” in Lost and Found without it. This property is discovered throughout the organization by a wide range of individuals.
A key step to the Lost and Found process includes routinely informing staff on the location and practices of the Lost and Found, as many of your customers drop off found items on any staff members they find.
Cataloging Found Items
Upon arrival cataloging and storing items is a necessary first step for any Lost and Found process. Standardizing the cataloging of found property reduces errors and allows for easy recall when customers inquire about missing items.
Our ideal approach includes publicly posting found property and offering self-service access to found property. This both hastens identification and provides 24/7 access for customers to search for lost belongings. As a result, this speedy solution reduces customer anxiety and saves significant staff time.
Organizing Found Items
After an item has been cataloged the Lost and Found team now needs to keep found property appropriately secure and organized. A useful lost and found solution includes physical tags to connect found items to the digital records.
The Liff App takes tagging one step further by creating QR Code labels at the point of logging. These labels provide important information about the item to aid in storage and organization, along with a handy QR Code to pull-up the digital record. Activity updates, messages, claims, and more are all just a scan away.
Plus, the QR code allows for easy inventory control to help track all the found property moving throughout the Lost and Found process.
Lost and Found often varies from location to location and is a vital process that suffers from low awareness for your customers. Improve your customers’ experience and reduce time-consuming work with a transparent and easily discoverable process.
Online and Offline Positioning
A self-service is one of many ideal lost and found solutions for customers to locate missing property but amazing solutions must also be easy to discover at the moment they need them.
Improve visibility of the Lost and Found process by featuring links to your Lost and Found on your website (commonly in the FAQ or contact us menu), in your mobile application, on an organization map, social media pages or posts (amazing for content like at the Milwaukee Airport), and on-premise signage for maximal coverage for your customers.
Helping your customer prevent losing items before attending an event or visiting your organization can not only reduce the occurrence of incidents but also helps to educate the consumers on the process. Plus, a prevention program is an easy way to show how you care about your consumers’ experience.
The Liff App, of course, lets you natively offer item registration and prevention for all the property your customers hold dear, with the added benefit of associating your or a sponsors brand to the customer service effort.
Lost and Found Logistics
Managing the movement of items becomes quite complicated with increased scale. Found property has a variety of outcomes, such as customers picking items up, returning property by shipment, expired or relinquished items requiring disposal, or simply storing found property across various locations.
Often customers don’t have the time or convenience to pick up their found property. Although, encouraging customers to pick up items and offering a special upon arrival is a great opportunity to improve their experience and reengage them.
Shipping is a common alternative to pickup items back but also present a number of challenges for organizations, such as:
- Processing payments
- Handling a variety of shipping carriers
- International shipments and customs declarations
- Return to sender errors
- Package Insurance
- Tracking updates
The list of complications when shipping an item can go on and on. Instead, the Liff App has worked diligently to internalize the shipping process so your staff can simply print a label and ship the item. Easy as that!
Unfortunately, not all found property is returned to the owner. Since your organization doesn’t have unlimited space you will need a disposal process for all found items after the standard holding period has expired.
QR Codes save the day again. Item disposal is as simple as scanning a code. Checkout expired items with a scan, set the disposal outcome, and save the report. Done and done.