Voicemails are the worst, Lost and Found voicemail doubly so! Phone calls as the primary tool to report lost property end up causing far more harm than good. Even worse than that, many organizations have multiple phone numbers to contact lost and found offices (check out the Lost and Found for O’Hare Airport).
Voicemails tend to be a work multiplier, phone calls disrupt value-add work, and the overall experience is abysmal for both consumers and staff.
So why are we still doing this to ourselves?
Voicemails: A work multiplier.
As we saw in the video, voicemails are unstructured asynchronous ways to report missing property. Customers assume they are just going to a black hole and tend to call back multiple times. But more importantly, voicemails rarely prompt the customer to provide information that is useful to staff trying to reunite that item.
That voice message requires staff to decipher the call for any useful information, inevitably call the customer back when they don’t have enough information to go on, and typically leave a voicemail themselves (tag you’re it).
A single voicemail can lead to multiple volleys of calls and duplicated work that doesn’t result in returning an item. So why are we still doing this?
Phone Calls: Disrupt your work.
Every Lost and Found has a few key workflows; logging in new items, managing customer inquiries, returning found property, and disposing of unsuccessful items.
Typically, an office worker will be rotating through each job throughout a shift. Each job is essential to a smooth operation and aids in returning more property to the customers. But the interruption of these jobs mid-process leads to rework and delays or reduces the return of property.
Phone calls are the equivalent of an orderly line being efficiently managed when people keep barging in to demand service.
User Experience: Abysmal
Customers’ are contacting organizations attempting to resolve a problem; they need help! An asynchronous communication tool like voicemail makes an already high anxiety situation worse. Customers churn out of the process, feeling hopeless.
The staff ends up feeling overwhelmed. The calls, lost and found voicemails, and found property never stop. Work keeps piling up. Eventually, they become cold to your customers’ plight. All empathy is gone. So yeah… it’s not ideal.
Solution: Self Service and Claims Management
Solving this mess is relatively easy. Stop using voicemails. The Liff App keeps the asynchronous communication but lets the customer get more of the process done independently. Staff can now solely focus on getting the value-add work done without interruption.
A Self-Service Lost and Found removes the voicemails, and the corresponding garbled messages, and instead allows customers to search the found property directly. The customer can select their missing item, provide contact information, and submit a claim with information to prove ownership.
The customer essentially does the matching for Lost and Found staff and reduces anxiety by knowing their property is in safe hands.
>>> Check out how the Liff App works here <<<
Allowing the customer to provide structured information proactively simplifies the staff’s decision-making and drastically reduces processing time, which means more property is returned to customers.
For the staff, managing customer inquires becomes as straightforward as yes, no, or needs more information.
Plus, an integrated shipping option in the claims process allows customers to receive their items several days faster than usual.